Quality TV: Contemporary American Television and Beyond

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I.B.Tauris, Oct 15, 2007 - Performing Arts - 292 pages
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Dealing primarily with the post-1996 era shaped by digital technologies and defined by consumer choice and brand marketing, this book 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? 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 British and US television critics. Also included are interviews with W. Snuffy Walden (scored The West Wing among others) and with David Chase (The Sopranos creator). 
  

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Contents

Debating Quality
1
Defining Quality Industry Policy and Competitive
5
Quality TV On Show
13
Is Quality Television Any Good? Generic Distinctions
19
A US TV Critics Perspective
35
Womens Rights and Quality Television
52
Courting Controversy
62
The Daily Show the Peabody and Brand
79
HBO and the Concept of Quality
145
Reflexivity and Quality
158
The Work of Television
171
Mark Lawson Talks to David Chase
185
An Interview with W
221
Read Any Good Television Lately? Television Companion
228
From PostNetwork to PostTelevision
239
TV and Film Guide
257

Quality is Not What
98
A Buyers Perspective
111
Crime Scene Investigation Quality the Fifth Channel
118
Television Schedules
129
Notes
265
Bibliography
271
Index
287
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Janet McCabe and Kim Akass are joint Series Editors of the Reading Contemporary Television series at I.B. Tauris and are founding editors of Critical Studies in Television journal. They have co-edited and contributed to Reading "Sex and the City" (2004), Reading "Six Feet Under": TV To Die For (2005), Reading "The L Word": Outing Contemporary Television (2006) and Reading "Desperate Housewives": Beyond the White Picket Fence (2006, all I.B. Tauris).

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