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Television Com 160 History of the Medium (sans content) TV Debut at World’s Fair in: ____ Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in: ____ Result? Began manufacturing TV’s again in: ____ 1947: Affluent people owned TVs. 1948: TVs became a central feature in: ____

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television

Television

Com 160

history of the medium sans content
History of the Medium (sans content)
  • TV Debut at World’s Fair in: ____
  • Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in: ____
  • Result?
  • Began manufacturing TV’s again in: ____
  • 1947: Affluent people owned TVs.
  • 1948: TVs became a central feature in: ____
    • The local tavern was a significant element in demonstrating and popularlizing the new medium.
diffusion of innovations theory
Diffusion of Innovations Theory

A SCALED-DOWN VERSION OF THE THEORY

  • Diffusion: how something new (ideas, technology) is communicated throughout a society.
  • Diffusion of an “innovation” occurs through interpersonal communication & the media.
dit cont
DIT cont.
  • Propensity to adopt varies…
    • Is it valuable?
      • Relative Advantage
      • Compatibility
      • Complexity
      • Trialability
      • Observability
  • How DIT works (cyclic)
the basics of the dit cycle
The basics of the DIT cycle
  • It’s created. 
  • People sell it

(related to media when it existed)

  • Some people buy it (“Early Adopters”) (“Opinion Leaders?”)
  • They talk about it.
    • Awareness Talk
    • Opinion Talk
    • Practice Talk
    • Advocacy Talk
          • (Resistance talk??)
  • We buy it (“Opinion Followers”)

Critical Mass:

When 15-20% of the population “bought” it. (Mass production  price goes down)

dit tv
DIT & TV?
  • In 1950 <10% of American homes had a TV
  • In 1960 almost 90% had TVs!!!
    • More TVs than babies?!?! 
  • The Big Freeze – 1948-1952
    • No new TV licenses awarded
    • No TV transmitters could be built
  • Resulted in the rise of “cable” TV.
lucille ball s contributions
Lucille Ball’s Contributions
  • 1951: CBS wanted to move radio hit “My Favorite Husband” to TV.
  • Lucille Ball had conditions
    • Desi 
    • Film Cameras
      • 3 cameras would give best combination of action/reaction shots.
    • Production in Hollywood
  • CBS said “No way.”
  • Lucy  produced on her own, sold the rights to CBS.
  • TRANSFORMED THE BUSINESS & LOOK OF TV
lucille ball s industry transformation
Lucille Ball’s Industry Transformation…
  • Filmed reruns now possible
    • Created the off-network syndication industry
  • TV industry moved from NY to Hollywood
  • Weekly series now produced quickly and cheaply.
    • Saved $
    • Stock Shots
how a program gets on the air
How A Program Gets on the Air
  • 4,000 proposals/yr; 100 will be pilots; 20-30 make it on air; 3-4 might become hits.
  • Producers propose ideas…
    • Networks may buy a whole script…
    • A pilot…
    • Some episodes…
    • More episodes?
  • Producers pay for 50% or more along the way.
what the
What the… ?
  • Producers lose money throughout the development process
      • Continue to lose even more the longer the show stays on TV.
  • Syndication desired (producers retain rights)
    • Sold to individual stations
  • Critics argue this system keeps TV content weak.
    • There is little incentive to gamble w/characters or story lines; there’s little profit in pushing the aesthetic boundaries of the medium.
cable tv s contribution to programming
Cable TV’s Contribution to Programming
  • Appeals to niche markets (narrowcasting)
    • Audiences not stuck watching whatever the networks happen to be broadcasting…
    • Subsequently appeals to advertisers
  • Reduces the market share that watches regular network TV
    • “Market Share” – proportion of the total television viewing audience
market share programming relationship
Market Share-Programming Relationship
  • Network programming formulas now unprofitable
    • Exorbitant fees can’t be recouped w/advertising
    • Ratings decline
  • Networks offset declining ratings w/lower production costs
    • So-called “reality” programming
      • “found” material
      • Unpaid amateurs
the end result
The end result?
  • True innovation is stifled by a complex pattern of relationships among producers, networks, and media conglomerates who own them.
programming strategies
Programming Strategies
  • TV viewing is a deeply ingrained habit.
  • Be the least objectionable choice!
  • Strategies Employed:
    • Scheduling genre blocks
    • Lead into a promising show w/a proven one
    • “Lead Out”
    • “Hammocking”
    • “Tent Poling”
    • “Stripping”
    • “Checkerboarding”
programming strategies competition
Programming Strategies: Competition!
  • The competition will…
    • “Stunting”
    • “Counterprogram”
children and television
Children and Television
  • 1967 – Public Broadcasting Act
    • Educational TV stations united w/ PBS.
  • 1968 – Joan Ganz Cooney
    • Distraught by lack of preschool – founded CTW
    • 1969: Sesame Street
    • Major hit: even went seriously int’l!
    • Made an educational difference (?)
    • Better off kids benefited most