The Cosby Show: Audiences, Impact, and Implications

Overview

This volume chronicles the phenomenon of a television program that commanded first place for much of the time since its premiere in September 1984. Each week in the United States it has consistently drew a loyal audience of up to 60 million people, breaking records for ratings and shares. The show is credited with lifting a third-place network into commanding leadership, advancing the image of black families, being the object of the greatest syndication barter deal in history, ...

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Overview

This volume chronicles the phenomenon of a television program that commanded first place for much of the time since its premiere in September 1984. Each week in the United States it has consistently drew a loyal audience of up to 60 million people, breaking records for ratings and shares. The show is credited with lifting a third-place network into commanding leadership, advancing the image of black families, being the object of the greatest syndication barter deal in history, and regenerating the sitcom genre.

Approached from a systems-theoretical perspective, this book considers The Cosby Show historically, economically, politically, legally, and socioculturally. The book provides detailed examination of the shoW's production, audience profiles, and international reviews and reactions to it. Fuller includes the results of a survey conducted by her (and translated into appropriate languages) for more than 800 responses from a dozen countries. Media scholars continue to call for future research on acculturation effects of television and for research on complete, contextual studies of specific television genres. The Cosby Show: Audiences, Impact and Implications attempts to fill those gaps.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

LINDA K. FULLER, Ph.D., is Professor of Communications at Worcester State College. She is the author/(co-) editor of more than 20 books, including The Cosby Show (1992), Community TV in the U.S. (1994), and Dictionary of Quotations in Communications (1997). Awarded Fulbright scholarships to teach in Singapore in 1996 and do AIDS research Senegal in 2002, she has also been a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Preface
1 Background of The Cosby Show Phenomenon 1
2 The Economics of The Cosby Show 33
3 The Politics and Legalities of The Cosby Show 57
4 Production of The Cosby Show 65
5 Audiences for The Cosby Show 83
6 Kudos and Criticism for The Cosby Show 117
7 The Sociocultural Implications of The Cosby Show 131
Epilogue 157
Appendixes 163
Notes 193
References 203
Index 217
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