The American Television Critic

A History


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About the Book

Aren’t we all TV critics? It’s a question that overlooks the importance of professional critics whose print and online columns reach large audiences. Their work helps viewers engage with programming and helps shape the conversations that arise.
This book covers more than five decades of American criticism, from the early days to the present. Whether by praising or condemning programming trends, evaluating production and ratings, analyzing storylines or weighing in on policy decisions, a television critic’s work is more than a consumer guide—it is part of a rich history that offers an insightful view of American culture.

About the Author(s)

Melissa Crawley has a Ph.D. in media studies and is the author of two books on television and popular culture. She is a member of the Television Critics Association and writes the syndicated newspaper column “Stay Tuned.” She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Bibliographic Details

Melissa Crawley
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6936-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2903-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface  1

Introduction: Aren’t We All TV Critics?  3

Chapter One. Sound Meets Sight: The 1950s  13

Chapter Two. Turn On, Tune In: The 1960s  35

Chapter Three. Movin’ on Up: The 1970s  54

Chapter Four. Television’s Second Age: The 1980s and 1990s  83

Chapter Five. Extreme Makeover, Television Edition: The New Millennium  116

Chapter Six. Critics of the ­Twenty-First Century  132

Conclusion  155

Chapter Notes  159

Bibliography  179

Index   183