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Quality TV: Contemporary American Television and Beyond
     

Quality TV: Contemporary American Television and Beyond

by Janet McCabe
 

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ISBN-10: 1845115112

ISBN-13: 2901845115110

Pub. Date: 10/30/2007

Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited

In his now-seminal book, Television's Second Golden Age, Robert Thompson described quality TV as 'best defined by what it is not: it is not "regular" TV. Audacious maybe, but his statement renewed debate on the meaning of this highly contentious term. Dealing primarily with the post-1996 era shaped by digital technologies and defined by consumer choice and brand

Overview

In his now-seminal book, Television's Second Golden Age, Robert Thompson described quality TV as 'best defined by what it is not: it is not "regular" TV. Audacious maybe, but his statement renewed debate on the meaning of this highly contentious term. Dealing primarily with the post-1996 era shaped by digital technologies and defined by consumer choice and brand marketing, Quality TV brings together leading scholars, established journalists and experienced broadcasters working in the field of contemporary television to debate what we currently mean by quality TV.

They go deep into contemporary American television fictions, from The Sopranos and The West Wing, to CSI and Lost - innovative, sometimes controversial, always compelling dramas, which one scholar has described as 'now better than the movies!' But how do we understand the emergence of these kinds of fiction? Are they genuinely new, or merely repackaging older television formulas? What does quality TV have to tell us about the state of today's television market? And is it quality?

Original, often polemic, each chapter proposes new ways of thinking about and defining quality TV. There is a foreword from Robert Thompson, and heated dialogue between major British and US television critics. Also included - and a great coup - are fresh and full interviews with W. 'Snuffy' Walden and with David Chase. Quality TV provides throughout groundbreaking and innovative theoretical and critical approaches to studying television and for understanding the current - and future - TV landscape.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901845115110
Publisher:
I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date:
10/30/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312

Table of Contents


Contributors     ix
Acknowledgements     xv
Preface   Robert J. Thompson     xvii
Introduction: Debating Quality   Janet McCabe   Kim Akass     1
'Quality TV' On Show   Karen Fricker     13
Defining Quality: Critical Judgements and Debate     17
Is Quality Television Any Good? Generic Distinctions, Evaluations and the Troubling Matter of Critical Judgement   Sarah Cardwell     19
Quality TV: A US TV Critic's Perspective   David Bianculli     35
Quality TV Drama: Estimations and Influences Through Time and Space   Robin Nelson     38
As Seen on TV: Women's Rights and Quality Television   Ashley Sayeau     52
Sex, Swearing and Respectability: Courting Controversy, HBO's Original Programming and Producing Quality TV   Janet McCabe   Kim Akass     62
Defining Quality: Industry, Policy and Competitive Markets     77
Quality Control: The Daily Show, the Peabody and Brand Discipline   Jimmie L. Reeves   Mark C. Rogers   Michael M. Epstein     79
Inside American Television Drama: Quality is Not What is Produced, But What it Produces   Peter Dunne     98
Quality US TV: A Buyer's Perspective   Dermot Horan     111
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Quality, the Fifth Channel and 'America's Finest'   Ian Goode     118
The Problem of Quality Television: Television Schedules, Audience Demographics and Cultural Policy in New Zealand   Geoff Lealand     129
Defining Quality: Aesthetics, Form, Content     143
HBO and the Concept of Quality TV   Jane Feuer     145
Seeing and Knowing: Reflexivity and Quality   Jonathan Bignell     158
Quality and Creativity in TV: The Work of Television Storytellers   Maire Messenger Davies     171
Mark Lawson Talks to David Chase   Mark Lawson     185
Writing Music for Quality TV: An Interview with W.G. 'Snuffy' Walden   Peter Kaye     221
Read Any Good Television Lately? Television Companion Books and Quality TV   David Lavery     228
Afterthoughts: Defining Quality: Into the Future     237
Lost in Transition: From Post-Network to Post-Television   Roberta Pearson     239
TV and Film Guide     257
Notes     265
Bibliography     271
Index     287

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