We Now Disrupt This Broadcast: How Cable Transformed Television and the Internet Revolutionized It All

We Now Disrupt This Broadcast: How Cable Transformed Television and the Internet Revolutionized It All

Hardcover

$29.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details

Overview

The collision of new technologies, changing business strategies, and innovative storytelling that produced a new golden age of TV.

Cable television channels were once the backwater of American television, programming recent and not-so-recent movies and reruns of network shows. Then came La Femme Nikita, OZ, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. And then, just as “prestige cable” became a category, came House of Cards and Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and other Internet distributors of television content. What happened? In We Now Disrupt This Broadcast, Amanda Lotz chronicles the collision of new technologies, changing business strategies, and innovative storytelling that produced an era termed “peak TV.”

Lotz explains that changes in the business of television expanded the creative possibilities of television. She describes the costly infrastructure rebuilding undertaken by cable service providers in the late 1990s and the struggles of cable channels to produce (and pay for) original, scripted programming in order to stand out from the competition. These new programs defied television conventions and made viewers adjust their expectations of what television could be. Le Femme Nikita offered cable's first antihero, Mad Men cost more than advertisers paid, The Walking Dead became the first mass cable hit, and Game of Thrones was the first global television blockbuster. Internet streaming didn't kill cable, Lotz tells us. Rather, it revolutionized how we watch television. Cable and network television quickly established their own streaming portals. Meanwhile, cable service providers had quietly transformed themselves into Internet providers, able to profit from both prestige cable and streaming services. Far from being dead, television continues to transform.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262037679
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 04/06/2018
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 247,894
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Amanda D. Lotz is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Michigan and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. She is the author of The Television Will Be Revolutionized, the coauthor of Understanding Media Industries and Television Studies, and the editor of Beyond Prime Time: Programming in the Post-Network Era.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Part 1 Cable Transforms Television, 1996-2010 1

1 Transformation, Then Revolution 3

2 Cable? 7

3 A Death Spiral? 11

4 300 Channels, Why Is Nothing On? 17

5 Cable's Image Problem 23

6 The Long Road to Original Cable Series 27

7 Cable's First Antihero 33

8 OZ Locks Up Cable's New Strategy 39

9 Seeds of Transformation 47

10 The Death of Television! It's a Golden Age of Television! 49

11 The Shield: Not Your Father's Cop Show 53

12 Monk: Just Distinct Enough 59

13 Cable's Rising Tide Doesn't Lift All Channels 67

14 Cable Gets Real 73

15 Mad Men Brings AMC Prestige but Loses Money 81

16 The Walking Dead Redefines Cable Success and Strategy 87

17 Cable Goes Global 93

18 Watching Cable Before the Internet 97

19 Distinction Fails 103

Major Developments of the Transformation: 1996-2016 108

Part 2 The Internet Revolutionizes Television, 2010-2016 111

20 Seeds of the Revolution 113

21 Netflix: Diabolical Menace or Happy Accident? 117

22 Over the Top of What? 125

23 TV Whenever, Wherever 129

24 Cable under Pressure 135

25 Came of Thrones Introduces the Global Blockbuster 141

26 TV Goes Indie? 149

27 The End of the Early Days 155

28 Portals: The Beginning of the Middle Days 159

29 The Unbundling Continues 167

30 Signs of Failure 171

31 A Vision of the Future 175

Conclusion: All We Need to Know About the Future of Television … 179

Notes 187

Index 253

What People are Saying About This

Tim Wu

A fascinating, definitive, and surprising story of how lowly cable channels rose to create TV's real golden age.

from the foreword by John Landgraf

Once in a while, conditions arise in which artists find themselves with the institutional support to be truly brave, to resolutely follow their muses in the pursuit of truth and beauty. These tend to be eras in which new ideas and insurgent institutions are rising—times when we are emboldened to follow the bravest explorers as our tastes change. As economic competitors rush to meet a new demand, artists may find themselves, for a while, with the financial support to hold fast to their highest aspirations. We call these hallowed periods 'Golden Ages.' In this book, Amanda Lotz has written a history of the forces and conditions that have given rise to the recent Golden Age of Television.

Endorsement

A fascinating, definitive, and surprising story of how lowly cable channels rose to create TV's real golden age.

Tim Wu, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; author of The Attention Merchants

From the Publisher

Once in a while, conditions arise in which artists find themselves with the institutional support to be truly brave, to resolutely follow their muses in the pursuit of truth and beauty. These tend to be eras in which new ideas and insurgent institutions are rising—times when we are emboldened to follow the bravest explorers as our tastes change. As economic competitors rush to meet a new demand, artists may find themselves, for a while, with the financial support to hold fast to their highest aspirations. We call these hallowed periods 'Golden Ages.' In this book, Amanda Lotz has written a history of the forces and conditions that have given rise to the recent Golden Age of Television.

from the foreword by John Landgraf

A fascinating, definitive, and surprising story of how lowly cable channels rose to create TV's real golden age.

Tim Wu, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; author of The Attention Merchants

Customer Reviews