Quality popular television: cult TV, the industry and fans

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British Film Institute, 2003 - Drama - 204 pages
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Why are some contemporary television shows so compelling? The Sopranos, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friends, and ER are examples among many of a new era of the "must-see" program. These shows and others, like The X-Files and Ally McBeal, have a compulsiveness, a depth of characterization and backstory that puts most of cinema to shame.
Quality Popular Television looks at this new category of "cult" television (mostly U.S.-produced) and the reasons for its emergence. Considering shows as diverse as Ally McBeal, Martial Law, Buffy, Lois and Clark, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Ellen, the book examines the particular qualities necessary for success and how they relate to issues such as the economics of network scheduling, the growth of the Internet, and contemporary debates about television audiences. This important new book provides an invaluable window on transformations in contemporary television culture.

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About the author (2003)

Mark Jancovich is Reader and Director of the Institute of Film Studies at the University of Nottingham. James Lyons is a lecturer in film at the University of Exeter. He is the author of John Sayles: Independence, Integrity and the Borders of Identity (co-written with Mark Jancovich, in Yvonne Tasker, ed, Fifty Contemporary Film Makers) and a member of the editorial advisory board of Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies.

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