Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era

3.2 avg rating
( 5 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780814797570: Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Archie Bunker. Jed. Laverne and Shirley. Cliff Huxtable. Throughout the entire history of American prime-time television only four sitcoms have been true blockbusters, with Nielsen ratings far above the second- and third-rated programs. Weekly, millions of Americans of every age were making a special effort to turn on the set to see what Archie, Jed, Laverne, and Cliff were doing that week. The wild popularity of these shows--All in the Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Laverne & Shirley (and its partner Happy Days), and The Cosby Show--left commentators bewildered by the tastes and preferences of the American public. How do we account for the huge appeal of these sitcoms, and how does it figure into the history of network prime-time television?

Janet Staiger answers these questions by detailing the myriad factors that go into the construction of mass audiences. Treating the four shows as case studies, she deftly balances factual explanations (for instance, the impact of VCRs and cable on network domination of TV) with more interpretative ones (for example, the transformation of The Beverly Hillbillies from a popular show detested by the critics, to a blockbuster after its elevation as the critics' darling), and juxtaposes industry-based reasons (for example, the ways in which TV shows derive success from placement in the weekly programming schedule) with stylistic explanations (how, for instance, certain shows create pleasure from a repetition and variation of a formula).

Staiger concludes that because of changes in the industry, these shows were a phenomenon that may never be repeated. And while the western or the night-time soap has at times captured public attention, Blockbuster TV maintains that the sitcom has been THE genre to attract people to the tube, and that without understanding the sitcom, we can't properly understand the role of television in our culture.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Janet Staiger teaches cultural, gender, sexuality, and media studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her recent books are Perverse Spectators: The Practices of Film Reception and Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era (both available from NYU Press).

Review:

"If you thought Seinfeld was a blockbuster sitcom, think again. Janet Staiger confronts the issue of the popularity of TV sitcoms and comes up with surprising results. A must-read for classes in television and popular culture."

-Jane Feuer,author of Seeing Through the Eighties: Television and Reaganism

"A unique and intriguing study of a phenomenon the likes of which we may never see again. Everyone involved in teaching or observing U.S. TV culture—and on some level, most of us are—should read this book."

-Michele Hilmes,Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Provides fresh insight into one of the most popularly discussed and critically mysterious of media phenomenon. Rather than attempting to find a magic formula that explains the success of ‘must-see' TV shows, Janet Staiger examines how diverse and variable historical factors contributed to the popularity of hit sitcoms. In the process, she makes a vivid contribution to the cultural study of television and signals important directions for future research."

-Barbara Klinger,Director, Film and Media, Indiana University

"Staiger's Blockbuster TV artfully balances formal analysis, inflected with and informed by various theoretical perspectives, of four different sitcoms with an examination of their reception.

-JUMPCUT

"In this ingenious exploration, Janet Staiger presents three decades of lively public debate about television's role in U.S. culture. Weaving together research on audience, TV's promotional strategies, industry perspectives, and the diverse ingredients of comedy, Staiger crafts a vivid landscape of our common cultural pleasures."

-Mary Beth Haralovich,coeditor of Television, History and American Culture: Feminist Critical Essays

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 26.00
US$ 23.15

Convert currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780814797563: Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0814797563 ISBN 13:  9780814797563
Publisher: NYU Press, 2000
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Janet Staiger
Published by New York University Press, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Archie Bunker. Jed. Laverne and Shirley. Cliff Huxtable. Throughout the entire history of American prime-time television only four sitcoms have been true blockbusters, with Nielsen ratings far above the second- and third-rated programs. Weekly, millions of Americans of every age were making a special effort to turn on the set to see what Archie, Jed, Laverne, and Cliff were doing that week. The wild popularity of these shows--All in the Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Laverne Shirley (and its partner Happy Days), and The Cosby Show--left commentators bewildered by the tastes and preferences of the American public. How do we account for the huge appeal of these sitcoms, and how does it figure into the history of network prime-time television? Janet Staiger answers these questions by detailing the myriad factors that go into the construction of mass audiences. Treating the four shows as case studies, she deftly balances factual explanations (for instance, the impact of VCRs and cable on network domination of TV) with more interpretative ones (for example, the transformation of The Beverly Hillbillies from a popular show detested by the critics, to a blockbuster after its elevation as the critics darling), and juxtaposes industry-based reasons (for example, the ways in which TV shows derive success from placement in the weekly programming schedule) with stylistic explanations (how, for instance, certain shows create pleasure from a repetition and variation of a formula). Staiger concludes that because of changes in the industry, these shows were a phenomenon that may never be repeated. And while the western or the night-time soap has at times captured public attention, Blockbuster TV maintains that the sitcom has been THE genre to attract people to the tube, and that without understanding the sitcom, we can t properly understand the role of television in our culture. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.15
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Janet Staiger
Published by New York University Press, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Archie Bunker. Jed. Laverne and Shirley. Cliff Huxtable. Throughout the entire history of American prime-time television only four sitcoms have been true blockbusters, with Nielsen ratings far above the second- and third-rated programs. Weekly, millions of Americans of every age were making a special effort to turn on the set to see what Archie, Jed, Laverne, and Cliff were doing that week. The wild popularity of these shows--All in the Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Laverne Shirley (and its partner Happy Days), and The Cosby Show--left commentators bewildered by the tastes and preferences of the American public. How do we account for the huge appeal of these sitcoms, and how does it figure into the history of network prime-time television? Janet Staiger answers these questions by detailing the myriad factors that go into the construction of mass audiences. Treating the four shows as case studies, she deftly balances factual explanations (for instance, the impact of VCRs and cable on network domination of TV) with more interpretative ones (for example, the transformation of The Beverly Hillbillies from a popular show detested by the critics, to a blockbuster after its elevation as the critics darling), and juxtaposes industry-based reasons (for example, the ways in which TV shows derive success from placement in the weekly programming schedule) with stylistic explanations (how, for instance, certain shows create pleasure from a repetition and variation of a formula). Staiger concludes that because of changes in the industry, these shows were a phenomenon that may never be repeated. And while the western or the night-time soap has at times captured public attention, Blockbuster TV maintains that the sitcom has been THE genre to attract people to the tube, and that without understanding the sitcom, we can t properly understand the role of television in our culture. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 25.09
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Staiger, Janet
Published by New York University Press 10/1/2000 (2000)
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 11
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York University Press 10/1/2000, 2000. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 25.10
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Staiger, Janet
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # KS-9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 22.83
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Staiger, Janet
Published by NYU Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
GOMEDIA
(Glendale, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description NYU Press, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. /BRAND NEW/SAME AS PICTURED/. Seller Inventory # SKU0018643

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.23
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Staiger, Janet
Published by New York University Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York University Press, 2000. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Staiger, Janet
Published by New York Univ Press
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York Univ Press. Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover - This title is now printed on demand - please allow added time for shipment! A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Veteran Owned Bookshop in business since 1992!. Seller Inventory # 2598262

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 27.94
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Janet Staiger
Published by New York University Press
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.45
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.12
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Janet Staiger
Published by New York University Press, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Archie Bunker. Jed. Laverne and Shirley. Cliff Huxtable. Throughout the entire history of American prime-time television only four sitcoms have been true blockbusters, with Nielsen ratings far above the second- and third-rated programs. Weekly, millions of Americans of every age were making a special effort to turn on the set to see what Archie, Jed, Laverne, and Cliff were doing that week. The wild popularity of these shows--All in the Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Laverne & Shirley (and its partner Happy Days), and The Cosby Show--left commentators bewildered by the tastes and preferences of the American public. How do we account for the huge appeal of these sitcoms, and how does it figure into the history of network prime-time television? Janet Staiger answers these questions by detailing the myriad factors that go into the construction of mass audiences. Treating the four shows as case studies, she deftly balances factual explanations (for instance, the impact of VCRs and cable on network domination of TV) with more interpretative ones (for example, the transformation of The Beverly Hillbillies from a popular show detested by the critics, to a blockbuster after its elevation as the critics' darling), and juxtaposes industry-based reasons (for example, the ways in which TV shows derive success from placement in the weekly programming schedule) with stylistic explanations (how, for instance, certain shows create pleasure from a repetition and variation of a formula). Staiger concludes that because of changes in the industry, these shows were a phenomenon that may never be repeated. And while the western or the night-time soap has at times captured public attention, Blockbuster TV maintains that the sitcom has been THE genre to attract people to the tube, and that without understanding the sitcom, we can't properly understand the role of television in our culture. Seller Inventory # BZV9780814797570

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 30.26
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Janet Staiger
ISBN 10: 0814797571 ISBN 13: 9780814797570
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Majestic Books
(London, ,, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 4305292

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 24.27
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.23
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book