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The Television Will Be Revolutionized, 2nd edition

The Television Will Be Revolutionized, 2nd edition

Amanda D. Lotz
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    The Television Will Be Revolutionized, 2nd edition
    Book Description:

    Many proclaimed the end of television in the early years of the twenty-first century, as capabilities and features of the boxes that occupied a central space in American living rooms for the preceding fifty years were radically remade. In this revised, second edition of her definitive book, Amanda D. Lotz proves that rumors of the death of television were greatly exaggerated and explores how new distribution and viewing technologies have resurrected the medium. Shifts in the basic practices of making and distributing television have not been hastening its demise, but are redefining what we can do with television, what we expect from it, how we use it - in short, revolutionizing it.andnbsp;Television, as both a technology and a tool for cultural storytelling, remains as important today as ever, but it has changed in fundamental ways.andnbsp;The Television Will Be Revolutionizedandnbsp;provides a sophisticated history of the present, examining television in what Lotz terms the post-network era while providing frameworks for understanding the continued change in the medium. The second edition addresses adjustments throughout the industry wrought by broadband delivered television such as Netflix, YouTube, and cross-platform initiatives like TV Everywhere, as well as how technologies such as tablets and smartphones have changed how and where we view. Lotz begins to deconstruct the future of different kinds of television - exploring how prized content, live television sports and contests, and linear viewing may all be television, but very different types of television for both viewers and producers.andnbsp;Through interviews with those working in the industry, surveys of trade publications, and consideration of an extensive array of popular shows, Lotz takes us behind the screen to explore what is changing, why it is changing, and why the changes matter.

    eISBN: 978-1-4798-9039-2
    Subjects: Technology, Law, Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    As I was dashing through an airport in November 2001, the cover ofTechnology Reviewdisplayed on a newsstand rack caught my eye. Its cover story was titled “The Future of TV,” and the inside pages provided a smart look at likely coming developments.¹ Even by the end of 2001, which was long before viewers or television executives truly imagined the reality of downloading television shows to pocket-sized devices or streaming video online, it was apparent that the box that had sat in our homes for half a century was on the verge of significant change. The future that the...

  6. 1 Understanding Television at the Beginning of the Post-Network Era
    (pp. 21-52)

    Before continuing further, we must develop the distinctions between the U.S. network era, the multi-channel transition, and the post-network era in greater detail. This chapter opens with a concise recounting of the major developments of sixty-five years of U.S. television that explains the norms that produced a particular experience of television in each era. The second half of the chapter steps back from the details of industrial operation that otherwise motivate the story told in these pages to reflect on how television has been thought of and the role it has been perceived to play in society. The adjustments in...

  7. 2 Television Outside the Box: The Technological Revolution of Television
    (pp. 53-94)

    The first epigraph, taken from an uncharacteristically forward-looking think piece by one of the industry’s key trade publications, captures the uncertainty and anticipation of the industry as early as 2005. Industry workers knew that technological change was approaching. Many had seen the diverse platforms and applications debuting at electronics shows long before they would reach the living rooms of middle America, but no one could be certain of how audiences would use the new technologies, how quickly they might adopt them, which devices would prove essential, or what might be the next “killer application.” To make things more challenging, constant...

  8. 3 Making Television: Changes in the Practices of Creating Television
    (pp. 95-130)

    The barrage of new technologies marketed to us in the early years of the twenty-first century has indicated much about the changing nature of television—so much so that even non-technophiles have realized that changes are at hand. Yet, though hours of television programming daily stream into our homes and now onto an array of new devices as well, the process of creating shows remains well hidden from most viewers. To be sure, by the late 1990s, the casual viewer could notice adjustments in types of shows and how networks organized them in their schedules. What most viewers may not...

  9. 4 Revolutionizing Distribution: Breaking Open the Network Bottleneck
    (pp. 131-166)

    An age-old debate within the television industry concerns whether content or distribution is “king.” Your position on this question depends greatly on what sector of the business you work in, with favor going to your own role as either a creator of content or a controller of the means by which content reaches viewers—that is, a distributor. This debate was somewhat less complicated in the network era, when ways to distribute television were scarce. Producers sold series either to networks or to local stations—a situation that created a significant bottleneck that allowed only a limited amount of programming...

  10. 5 The New Economics of Television
    (pp. 167-206)

    The commercial model supporting U.S. television has remained fairly stable since its establishment in the mid–1960s. As many have criticized, the lack of innovation and change in the relationship among television networks and their Madison Avenue supporters indicated a stunning lack of dynamism. Certainly, shifts occurred as audience measurement systems grew increasingly sophisticated and cable networks introduced new options throughout the multi-channel transition. For the most part, however, dominant practices remained in place until the late 1990s, when it became apparent that changes of prodigious proportions were approaching. Most tried to ignore them. Others attempted to halt them or...

  11. 6 Recounting the Audience: Measurement in the Age of Broadband
    (pp. 207-232)

    For most of U.S. television history, Nielsen Media Research provided the common currency supporting the entire economic framework of the U.S. commercial television industry. The industry trusted Nielsen as an independent player, and remunerated it well for supplying the agreed-upon standard audience measurement values upon which the industry allocated millions, and eventually billions, of advertising dollars each year. At first glance, audience measurement may seem a secondary and insignificant business relative to what is commonly thought of as the “television industry,” but as Gertner’s remarks in the epigraph suggest, adjustments in audience measurement and research norms have the potential to...

  12. 7 Television Storytelling Possibilities at the Beginning of the Post-Network Era: Five Cases
    (pp. 233-262)

    At the summer 2003 Television Critics Association tour, the CBS researcher David Poltrack presented data reporting the comparatively minuscule amount of attention paid to CBS series by the nation’s journalists relative to the network’s substantial audiences. The shows, includingJAG,The Guardian, andJudging Amy, were among the most watched each week, yet, Poltrack complained, the critics insisted on devoting expansive column space to relatively obscure shows on the WB and HBO. Ten years later, the situation was largely the same. CBS shows such asNCISandThe Big Bang Theorycontinued to gather the largest regular audiences, but pop...

  13. Conclusion: Still Watching Television
    (pp. 263-278)

    Despite the wide-ranging changes in the norms and experience of this technology we have called television, I feel safe in asserting that the verb “watch”—or maybe “view”—will remain the primary word most of us will continue to use to describe our experience. Regardless of the screen size or our location, television fundamentally remains a cultural experience valued for the simultaneous visual and aural glimpses it provides of everything from fictional worlds to breaking news. But otherwise, any further commonality in the experience or the use of television is likely to continue to erode.

    We may keep watching television,...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 279-306)
    (pp. 307-320)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 321-330)
  17. About the Author
    (pp. 331-332)