The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 24, 2009 - Performing Arts - 1856 pages
4 Reviews


This is the must-have book for TV viewers in the new millennium–the entire history of primetime programs in one convenient volume. It’s a guide you’ll turn to again and again for information on every series ever telecast. There are entries for all the great shows, from evergreens like The Honeymooners, All in the Family, and Happy Days to modern classics like 24, The Office, and Desperate Housewives; all the gripping sci-fi series, from Captain Video and the new Battle Star Galactica to all versions of Star Trek; the popular serials, from Peyton Place and Dallas to Dawson’s Creek and Ugly Betty; the reality show phenomena American Idol, Survivor, and The Amazing Race; and the hits on cable, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Project Runway, and SpongeBob SquarePants. This comprehensive guide lists every program alphabetically and includes a complete broadcast history, cast, and engaging plot summary–along with exciting behind-the-scenes stories about the shows and the stars.

MORE THAN 500 ALL-NEW LISTINGS from Heroes and Grey’s Anatomy to 30 Rock and Nip/Tuck
UPDATES ON CONTINUING SHOWS such as CSI, Gilmore Girls, The Simpsons, and The Real World
EXTENSIVE CABLE COVERAGE with more than 1,000 entries, including a description of the programming on each major cable network
AND DON’T MISS the exclusive and updated “Ph.D. Trivia Quiz” of 200 questions that will challenge even the most ardent TV fan, plus a streamlined guide to TV-related websites for those who want to be constantly up-to-date

• Annual program schedules at a glance for the past 61 years • Top-rated shows of each season • Emmy Award winners • Longest-running series • Spin-off series • Theme songs • A fascinating history of TV

“This is the Guinness Book of World Records . . .
the Encyclopedia Britannica of television!”
–TV Guide

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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great tv reference

User Review  - b334me -

This is an excellent reference book for any tv show you can think of and some you never heard of.If you want to remember who played in a certain tv show or what tv shows a certain person played in ... Read full review

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I first used this reference book in the 1990s. It contains an overwhelming amount of information about every television series ever seen in the U.S., including imports. In some cases, it contains details you won't find at Internet Movie Database. On the other hand, the 2007 edition contains some of the same errors as in the first edition that I bought. I have written to the publishers listing several of these mistakes, but each new edition contains the same errors. For example, the description of Patrick McGoohan's series "Secret Agent" (p. 1210) is inexplicably snarky and deprecating in tone (describing the hero as "supposedly" this and that) as well as wildly inaccurate. The unnamed editor calls McGoohan's character, John Drake, more violent than other "peaceful" [the quotes are in the book] 1960s TV characters and says that Drake womanized and shot and beat up people with abandon. What show was the editor watching? Certainly not the one he is reviewing. McGoohan's Drake was the most upstanding, conscientious, no nonsense spy on TV or movies during the 1960s. He rarely got involved with women and didn't even carry a gun! (On the rare occasions when he did use a gun, it was always one that he took from one of the bad guys.) There are other mistakes, and they are only the ones I've noticed. Consequently, while the book can be useful, you have to take its information with a grain of salt. 

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About the author (2009)

Tim Brooks is a television fan who is also an executive in the industry. He helped launch the Sci-Fi Channel, taught television subjects at Long Island University, and co-authored the National Book Award–winning The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present with Earle Marsh.

Earle F. Marsh has a degree in marketing from Northwestern University; worked at the Nielsen Corporation, NBC, and CBS; and was vice president of research for Showtime/The Movie Channel. He is the coauthor of the National Book Award–winning The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present. Marsh currently works in the computer services industry and as a media consultant.

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