Television studies: textual analysis

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Praeger, 1989 - Performing Arts - 260 pages
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Burns and Thompson help to remedy the lack of a forum for current research on television by bringing together, in this volume, some of the best recent research in television studies. This work will begin to fill the gap in literature on television studies as a discipline. In compiling these 13 papers, the editors maintain a balance of timely interest and lasting relevance. The contributors study the texts of current TV dramatic and comic series, such as Dallas and Cheers, as well as current trends in nonfiction TV, such as network and local news coverage. Each analysis of a specific television text is complimented with rigorous theoretical argumentation. Students and scholars of communications and television criticism will find Television Studies valuable reading. The book begins with a two-chapter debate primarily seeking a definition of 'television studies.' The debate includes a critical examination of the capitalist institutions that dominate television as an industry. Further chapters discuss dramatic television series; an examination of the development of the lengthy serial text of Dallas, and structural analysis of the pilot episode of Cheers. The book contains five essays on nonfiction television, including an insiders view of the production and promotion of local TV news and an analysis of CBS and ABC's TV news coverage of South Africa over a two week period in 1987. In a final essay, conventional wisdom about 'the audience' is refuted.

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Contents

Television Cultural Studies and the Blind Spot
9
Critical Studies of Dramatic Series
41
The Young Ones
57
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

GARY BURNS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northern Illinois University.

ROBERT J. THOMPSON is an Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Cortland, the Director of the Radio-TV-Film N.H.S.I summer program at Northwestern University, and an occasional visiting Professor at Cornell University.

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