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Criticism, Theory & History

See also: Television > On Individual Shows

The Cult TV BookThe Cult TV Book
Stacey Abbott
Whereas cult TV used to mean marginal programs with a small, loyal fan base, the phenomenon is now key to the television industry. This book is a guide to this development, complete with lively and diverse analyses of the work that goes into conceiving and marketing a cult series, as well as numerous investigations that explore the unique cult appeal of a remarkable variety of programs. Softcover, 273 pp. $19.95.

Get SmashedGet Smashed. The Story of the Men Who Made the Adverts that Changed Our Lives

Sam Delaney
Between the 1960s and the 1980s some of the most influential men in the country spent most of the day in the pub and got paid more than the Prime Minister. They were responsible for transforming a lifeless advertising industry into something exciting and extravagant--they came up with the idea of selling lifestyles. Get Smashed is their story, a story of ambition, obsession and excess which illustrates how the ads that began reflecting British culture came to define it. Softcover, 214 pp. $34.95.

Television Studies: The Key Concepts Television Studies: The Key Concepts

Second Edition
Bernadette Casey et al
Now in its second edition, this A-Z guide is thoroughly cross-referenced and contains examples from television in the US as well as in the UK. Further reading and an extensive bibliography makes for some lively engagement with the latest issues. Readers will find much to carry them forward in this fast-paced and fascinating subject area. Softcover, 345 pp. $31.95.

The Great American Makeover: Television, History, NationThe Great American Makeover: Television, History, Nation

Dana Heller
The Great American Makeover explores two basic questions: How do myths of self-reinvention shape America's past, and how do contemporary television makeover programs continue and question this long-standing tendency to celebrate the fundamental powers of American transformation? This collection demonstrates that the makeover mythos is a crucial link between earlier and emergent forms and processes of engagement with the national imaginary. It demonstrates the tenacity of the American fantasy of recreation and its enduring ability to speak to our shifting national desires and anxieties. At the same time, the volume speaks to American popular television's own enduring ability to reinvent itself. Softcover, 246 pp. $31.95.

Two Aspirins and a ComedyTwo Aspirins and a Comedy: How Television Can Enhance Health and Society

Metta Spencer
Can television become a positive force in society? Can socially conscious entertainment change the world? Two Aspirins and a Comedy asks these questions and offers surprising, unconventional answers. The historic social and political effects of such books as Uncle Tom's Cabin and such films as Gandhi led sociologist Metta Spencer to delve into the power of entertainment to influence society -- too often for the worse, but potentially much for the better. She identifies examples of socially constructive TV dramas. She shows how mass entertainment productions can enhance our emotional well-being and social sensibilities as well as point out promising solutions to global issues; and even inspire us to become activists. Softcover, 326 pp. $29.95.

They'll Never Put That on the AirThey'll Never Put That on the Air

Allan Neuwirth
Ever wonder how television evolved from showing married couples sleeping in separate beds to the edgy outrageousness of today's TV shows? This is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the landmark comedy shows that fought to break down TV's taboos, including All in the Family, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H, Maude, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Seinfeld, and Soap. Softcover, 259 pp. $26.95.

Teen DreamsTeen Dreams: Reading Teen Film and Television from Heathers to Veronica Mars

Roz Kaveney
Jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, goths and stoners - the American teen movie is peopled with types and tribes yet manages to speak interestingly about hopes and dreams that do not have just to do with skipping detention or going to the prom. Roz Kaveney charts the development of the teen movie and TV show from a marketing category to a full-blown genre obsessed with smart answers to its own past. Softcover, 191 pp. $19.95.

Close-Up: 01Close-Up: 01

John Gibbs, Ian Carwood & Deborah Thomas
Close-Up is an innovative and accessible new annual series devoted to the close analysis of film and television. Each volume contains three extended individual studies linked by a concern to explore in detail the decisions that go into the making of films or television programmes. The three topics profiles in this issue are: "Filmmakers' Choices", "The Pop Song in Film", and "Reading Buffy". Softcover, 244 pp. $32.95.

Kissing Bill O'Reilly, Roasting Miss PiggyKissing Bill O'Reilly, Roasting Miss Piggy
Ken Tucker
In his inimitable, opinionated style, Ken Tucker offers a collection of prove-me-wrong arguments, proudly vulgar tirades, and carefully reasoned mini-manifestos about the best and worst that television has to offer -- past and present. Softcover, 254 pp. $18.95.

Thinking Outside the Box: A Contemporary Television Reader Thinking Outside the Box: A Contemporary Television Reader
Gary R. Edgerton & Brian C. Rose
Thinking Outside the Box is an essential resource for understanding television's past and future. Identifying historical continuities and envisioning trends, this is the richest and most up-to-date study of how television genres form, operate, and change. It is the first book to focus on genre as a significant process in the development of the TV industry and includes an epilogue that serves as a convenient guide to further study. Hardcover, 368 pp. $57.50.

Hollywood's WestHollywood's West: The American Frontier in Film, Television, & History
Peter C. Rollins & John E. O'Connor
In Hollywood West, a group of distinguished American film scholars analyze popular conceptions of "the frontier" as a fundamental element of American history and culture. This volume examines classic Western films and programs that span nearly a century, including some films that are considered among the greatest cinematic landmarks of all time. Hardcover, 373 pp. $57.50.

Sitcom StyleSitcom Style: Inside America's Favorite TV Homes
Diana Friedman

From Archie Bunker's Barcalounger to the framed peepholes on Friends, sitcom decor sets the tone of our favourite shows and defines the lives of its characters. Now Sitcom Style brings you a behind-the-scenes peek inside more than two dozen of the most recognizable homes in American television. TV fans will absolutely adore this unique combination of popular culture and interior design. Hardcover, 192 pp. $42.00.

Holocaust and the Moving ImageHolocaust and the Moving Image: Representations in Film and Television since 1933
Toby Haggith & Joanna Newman
Based on a major symposium held at the Imperial War Museum in 2001, this book is a unique blend of voices and perspectives -- archivists, curators, filmmakers, scholars, and Holocaust survivors. Each section of the book is dedicated to a different category of moving image: film as witness; propaganda; documentary in film and television; feature films; the legacy of the Holocaust and other genocides. These considerations are set within the wider context of the history of the Holocaust and how they may have contributed to awareness and understanding of the cataclysm since the war. Accessible, engaging and stimulating, this book is an excellent introduction to the subject. Softcover, 317 pp. $35.00.

The Lure of the VampireThe Lure of the Vampire: Gender, Fiction and Fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy
Milly Williamson
Over one hundred years after Bram Stoker's influencial novel was published, the vampire is as ubiquitous as ever in popular culture. The Lure of the Vampire explores the enduring myth of Dracula and vampires and just why it has remained so popular for so long. Milly Williamson examines several movies and television shows in this stimulating volume. Softcover, 213 pp. $33.95.

Created By... Inside the Minds of TV's Top Show CreatorsCreated By... Inside the Minds of TV's Top Show Creators
Steven Prigge
As entertaining as it is enlightening, Created By... presents a stellar cast of 21 show creators who candidly talk about writing and selling hit television series. They discuss influences, writing spec scripts, getting an agent, being staffed as a writer, writing a pilot, what show creators look for, and much more. This is a lively, well-written must-have book for all screenwriters and television writers -- as well as avid tv fans. Softcover, 215 pp. $19.95.

Catherine Johnson
Telefantasy offers the first book-length study to consider the place of fantasy, science fiction and horror dramas in the history of British and US television. With case studies of the Quatermass serials, The Prisoner, Star Trek, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), this volume argues that genre entertainment pushes the boundaries of television genre, narrative, and programme aesthetics, and thus deserves serious academic attention. Softcover, $34.95.

Serial TelevisionSerial Television: Big Drama on the Small Screen
Glen Creeber
This intelligent collection of essays focuses on contemporary television drama, offering detailed accounts of hugely popular, influencial and ground-breaking shows such as The Sopranos, Queer as Folk, Sex and the City, Twin Peaks, This Life, Prime Suspect, Cold Lazarus, The Kingdom, Holocaust, Heimat and Roots. Softcover, 184 pp. $34.95.

Contemporary World TelevisionContemporary World Television
John Sinclair & Graeme Turner
What is happening in the area of world television today? With intense commercialisation and ever more open national markets, with technological convergence and the concentration of ownership, the international television landscape is changing at a bewildering pace and in a host of different ways. This anthology presents a unique overview of the questions that matter most in the world of contemporary television. Softcover, 131 pp. $37.95.

Cult TelevisionCult Television
Sara Gwenllian-Jones & Roberta F. Pearson
In Cult Television leading scholars examine such shows as The X-Files, The Avengers, Doctor Who, Babylon Five, Star Trek, Xena, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to determine the defining characteristics of cult television and map the contours of this phenomenon within the larger scope of popular culture. Softcover, 242 pp. $34.95.

An Introduction to Television StudiesAn Introduction to Television Studies
Jonathan Bignell
In this comprehensive textbook, Jonathan Bignell provides students with a framework for understanding the key concepts and main approaches to Television Studies, including audience research, television history and broadcast policy, and the analytical study of individual programs. Softcover, 340 pp. $40.95.

Engaging the Moving ImageEngaging the Moving Image
Noel Carroll
Noel Carroll, one of the most brilliant theorists in contemporary film scholarship, has gathered in this book eighteen of his most recent essays on cinema and television. Readers interested in film, cognitivism and the emotions, the history of film theory, the relation of film and television, and film criticism will find much of interest in this stunning treatise on the philosophy of film. Hardcover, 420 pp. $67.95.

Moving PicturesMoving Pictures
Torben Grodal
A bold new theoretical account of the role of emotions and cognition in producing the aesthetics effects of film and television genres. It argues that film genres are mental structures which integrate sensations, emotions, and actions, activating the viewer's body and mind. Highly original, the work will interest scholars in a wide range of fields from aesthetics to psychology in addition to researchers in the area of film and television theory. Softcover, 306 pp. $43.50.

Television Talk
The History of the TV Talk ShowTelevision Talk: The History of the TV Talk Show
Bernard M. Timberg
Bernard Timberg here offers a comprehensive history of the first thirty years of television talk, replete with memorable moments from a wide range of classic talk shows, as well as many of today's most popular programs. Dividing the history into five eras, he discusses the evolution of the talk show in terms of patterns in American culture and the social history of the broadcasting industry. Softcover 364 pp. $49.95

A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the NewsBias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the News
Bernard Goldberg
In this scathing insider's account, Emmy Award-winner Bernard Goldberg breaks rank and names names as he reveals a corporate news culture in which entertainment wins over hard news every time. Softcover, 238 pp. $21.95.

Stay Tuned: Television's Unforgettable Moments
Stay Tuned: Television's Unforgettable Moments
Joe Garner
The most unforgettable moments ever to grace the television screen are collected here in this handsomely illustrated volume. Divided into three catagories, Entertainment, News, and Sports, these collective memories are certain to make you laugh, cheer, cry, and above all, remember. Included is a DVD which features the actual footage of selected moments featured in the book. Hardcover, 181 pp., $75.00.

The Prime Time ClosetThe Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays & Lesbians on TV

Stephen Tropiano
Entertaining and revealing, The Prime Time Closet is a comprehensive study of homosexuality on television from the 1950s to the present day. Through an analysis of over 300 television episodes, made-for-TV movies, and mini-series, this fascinating account of the evolution of the portrayal of gay men and lesbians offers an in-depth look at how four major television genres -- medical series, police/detective shows, drama, and situation comedies -- approached the subject of homosexuality. Softcover, 333 pp. $21.95.

TeleparodyTeleparody: Predicting/ Preventing the TV Discourse of Tomorrow
Edited by Angela Hague and David Lavery
In a cautionary attempt to dissuade those who may be tempted, this book fearlessly does go to far in its compilation of reviews of not-yet-existing, but all-too-possible, contributions to Television Studies. The contributors bring their critical skills to bear examining the hypothetical scholarship surrounding such texts as Baywatch, South Park, Star Trek, Mister Ed, The Howdy Doody Show and others. Softcover, $24.99.

The Haunted Smile
The Story of Jewish Comedians in AmericaThe Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America
Lawrence J. Epstein
The Mark Brothers, Jack Benny, Joan Rivers, Jackie Mason, Rodney Dangerfield, Mel Brooks, Alan King, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, and Jerry Seinfeld are just a few of the Jewish-Americans who have entered the canon of great comedians. Bringing together biographical sketches and sample routines from the very best Jewish-American comedians, author Lawrence J. Epstein offers us a deep and subtle understanding of how Jewish culture and American openness gave birth to a new style of entertainment. Softcover, 356 pp., $23.00.

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Last modified March 1, 2011.
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