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Target: Prime Time - Advocacy Groups and the Struggle over Entertainment Television

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Television is the most powerful and pervasive storyteller of our time. The stories it tells--and, equally important, the stories it fails to tell--have a marked impact on how viewers see the world around them. Is it any wonder then that television has become the focal point of bitter struggle, with numerous advocacy groups--from the NAACP to the National Gay Task Force to the Moral Majority--battling with network executives over the content of prime time shows?
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Overview


Television is the most powerful and pervasive storyteller of our time. The stories it tells--and, equally important, the stories it fails to tell--have a marked impact on how viewers see the world around them. Is it any wonder then that television has become the focal point of bitter struggle, with numerous advocacy groups--from the NAACP to the National Gay Task Force to the Moral Majority--battling with network executives over the content of prime time shows?
Target: Prime Time is the first book to explore network television's dealings with political advocacy groups, offering a comprehensive picture of the impact of organized pressure on prime time TV. Montgomery describes, for instance, how the Catholic Church campaign against Maude's abortion caused the withdrawal of almost every sponsor as well as the blackout of the program by 40 affiliates; how the Moral Majority, adopting the tactics originally developed by liberal groups, waged its own "Clean Up TV" campaign by threatening to boycott advertisers ("the soft underbelly of the television industry"); and how the concerns of a few outraged actors mushroomed into a national protest against the portrayal of blacks in the TV miniseries Beulah Land. Of course, as the author shows, some groups have worked very closely with the industry, providing input on such issues as the image of gays, the consumption of alcohol, and the use of birth control.
Based on over six years of research in Hollywood, New York, and Washington--including interviews with network executives, producers, writers, advocacy group leaders, and government officials--Target: Prime Time exposes the inner workings of network television as no other book before. It shows how behind-the-scenes struggles profoundly affect the stream of images, messages, and values that enter people's homes every night, and it raises critical questions about the role of the electronic media in American society.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195049640
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/1/1989
  • Series: Communication and Society Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Kathryn C. Montgomery is Assistant Professor of Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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