Adventures on Prime Time: The Television Programs of Stephen J. Cannell

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 143 pages
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Part of Praeger's "Media and Society Series," this volume breaks new ground in television studies as the first booklength study of an individual television producer. Robert J. Thompson examines the work of Stephen J. Cannell, one of television's most prolific and successful producers. Thompson uses theories of film authorship revised for application to television texts and provides close analysis of Cannell's programs, including individual episodes of "The Rockford Files," "The A-Team," and "The Greatest American Hero."

Moving away from the notion that a television series is the creation of an individual author, the book begins with a look at the televisionmaker. Thompson probes the polyauthorial nature of the medium and introduces a new method of studying television authorship. The book then turns to Cannell and a study of his career, focusing on how he developed the formula for his many highly rated television series. Students and teachers of television and television criticism will find Adventures on Prime Time a source of stimulating ideas about the nature of the medium.

 

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User Review  - cannellfan - LibraryThing

An interesting but extremely biased book by Thompson, a television historian and educator. When I talked to Cannell himself about the book, he commented that he thought it was a misleading hack job ... Read full review

Contents

The Television Auteur
1
A Television Auteur
23
Adventures about Prime Time
33
Cannells Adventures at Universal An Apprentice in a Sausage Factory
51
Autobiographical Adventures The Early Days of Stephen J Cannell Productions
87
Beyond Autobiography Manufacturing Television
109
The Further Adventures of Stephen Cannell
131
Selected Bibliography
135
Index
137
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About the author (1990)

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. In addition to the present volume, he is the co-editor of two anthologies of essays entitled Television Studies: Textual Analysis (Praeger) and Making Television: Authorship and the Production Process (Praeger).

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