Making Television: Authorship and the Production Process

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Robert J. Thompson, Gary Burns
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 212 pages
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Part of "Praeger's Media and Society Series," this contributed volume is the only collection of essays on television authorship. It includes work of some of the most prominent scholars in television studies. Rather than assigning one author to individual television texts, the contributors probe the relationship between the various authors at work within the institutional, cultural, and economic settings that characterize the television industry. This book analyzes and defines the unique methods of television authorship and suggests numerous candidates for authorial accountability allowing the medium to enter the realm of contemporary criticism.

The first part of the volume provides a case study in four chapters on authorship issues surrounding "Frank's Place," the short lived but compelling situation comedy. This is followed by three chapters focusing on issues of authorship in international television. The book then probes the studio's role as author, including essays on Warner Brothers, Desilu, and Screen Gems. Finally the contributors examine individual TV authors and cover such topics as point of view in music video, television production as collective action, and unconventional television.


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The Case of Hugh Wilson
A Closer Look at the Cinematic
The Sense of Place in Franks Place
Le Realisateur
Authorship Conflict in The Prisoner
The Transformation
Desilu I Love Lucy and the Rise of Network
A Dialogic View of Television
Television Production as Collective Action
Authorship and PointofView Issues in Music Video
The Comic and Artistic Vision of Lorne Michaels
Selected Bibliography
About the Editors and Contributors

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About the author (1990)

ROBERT J. THOMPSON is an Associate Professor at the State University of New York, at Cortland.

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

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