Cover image for Coming after Oprah : cultural fallout in the age of the TV talk show
Coming after Oprah : cultural fallout in the age of the TV talk show
Abt, Vicki, 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Bowling Green, OH : Bowling Green State University Popular Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
ix, 205 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1440 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1992.8.T3 A28 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



More than just a commentary on the aesthetics of the genre, this book looks at the evolution and cultural significance of these programs, disputing claims that they are nothing more than harmless entertainment. In the work's revealing first half, Vicki Abt and Leonard Mustazza uncover the mechanics of the talk-show game. The second half examines the behind-the-scenes economic games and their implications, revealing a web of complex commercial and political interests that influence their production. A detailed description of the corporate players and the revenues they are generating is also provided. The study concludes with suggestions for what we as a culture might do to protect ourselves from its inherent deceptions and misinformation.

Author Notes

Dr. Vicki Abt is professor of sociology and American studies, and Dr. Leonard Mustazza is professor of English and American studies, both at the Pennsylvania State University's Abington College in suburban Philadelphia. Dr. Abt is the author of numerous scholarly articles on controversial social issues and co-author with James F. Smith and Eugene Christiansen of a landmark study of gambling, The Business of Risk . Dr. Mustazza is the author of many articles on literature and popular culture and of four books, one on poet John Milton, two on popular writer Kurt Vonnegut, and one on singer Frank Sinatra.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 Contaminating Culturep. 13
2 Television Plays the """"Reality Game""""p. 35
3 The Star Players: Variations on a Themep. 55
4 Entertaining Sin: The Rules of the Gamep. 81
5 The Social Vacuump. 101
6 Talking Business and Playing Monopolyp. 119
7 Reconstructing the Frame: beyond the Politics of Deceptive Talkp. 153
Appendix: The Corporate Players: a Directory of Producers, Owners, and Revenuep. 171
Works Citedp. 181
Indexp. 191