Same Time, Same Station: Creating American Television, 1948–1961

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JHU Press, Feb 22, 2007 - Business & Economics - 443 pages
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Ever wonder how American television came to be the much-derided, advertising-heavy home to reality programming, formulaic situation comedies, hapless men, and buxom, scantily clad women? Could it have been something different, focusing instead on culture, theater, and performing arts?

In Same Time, Same Station, historian James L. Baughman takes readers behind the scenes of early broadcasting, examining corporate machinations that determined the future of television. Split into two camps—those who thought TV could meet and possibly raise the expectations of wealthier, better-educated post-war consumers and those who believed success meant mimicking the products of movie houses and radio—decision makers fought a battle of ideas that peaked in the 1950s, just as TV became a central facet of daily life for most Americans.

Baughman’s engagingly written account of the brief but contentious debate shows how the inner workings and outward actions of the major networks, advertisers, producers, writers, and entertainers ultimately made TV the primary forum for entertainment and information. The tale of television's founding years reveals a series of decisions that favored commercial success over cultural aspiration.


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Opening Number
The Mother of Television
The Marionette and the CrossDresser
The Regulators
Mr Spectacular
Paleys Choice
We Just See That It Isnt Lousy
The Patrons
Informed without Being Ponderous
Shooting the Wounded
Signing Off
Essay on Sources

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Page 406 - TVA, pollution, terrorism" (William Stott, Documentary Expression and Thirties America [New York: Oxford University Press, 1973], 20). 21. Lawrence W. Rosenfield, "The Practical Celebration of Epideictic," in Rhetoric in Transition: Studies in the Nature and Uses of Rhetoric, ed.

About the author (2007)

James L. Baughman is professor and director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of The Republic of Mass Culture: Journalism, Filmmaking, and Broadcasting in America since 1941 and Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media, both published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

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