Cover image for One nation under television : the rise and decline of network TV
One nation under television : the rise and decline of network TV
MacDonald, J. Fred.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Pantheon Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
xii, 335 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN1992.3.U5 M24 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A history of television that concentrates on the role the major networks played in it.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

A fluid and fact-filled history of television--"the most important social and cultural force in the U.S. during the past four decades." MacDonald starts with the early days and shows how the original broadcast standards dictated TV's format and paved the way for domination by the powerful networks. He examines network programming trends and issues, including commercials, within a social context, decade by decade, discussing such touchstones as race, violence, sex, and profanity. Different types of shows--comedy, crime, sports, and televangelism--are analyzed, as are the implications of political reporting. The author also tracks the policies of the FCC and the effects of deregulation and multimedia conglomerates. Noting how ill-prepared the networks were for the rapid growth of cable and the ramifications of VCR use, MacDonald concludes with a question: Will free television survive? A discerning overview. To be indexed. --Donna Seaman

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Emergence of American Television : The Formative Years
1 Sturggle for an Industry
2 The Arrival of TV
Part 2 One Nation Under Network Television: The 1950s
3 Programming for a Nation
4 Shaping a National Culture
5 Streamlining Industry/Streamlining Culture
6 Of Scandal and Power
7 Appearance and Reality
8 the Networks at Home and Abroad
9 The Politics of Television
Part 4 Toward A New Video Orderl The 1980s and 1990s
10 The Decline of Network Television
11 Broadcasting versus Cable
12 The New Video Order

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