Go behind the TV screen to explore what is changing, why it is changing, and why the changes matters.
Many proclaimed the “end of television” in the early years of the twenty-first century, as capabilities and features of the boxes that occupied a central space in American living rooms for the preceding fifty years were radically remade. In this revised, second edition of her definitive book, Amanda D. Lotz proves that rumors of the death of television were greatly exaggerated and explores how new distribution and viewing technologies have resurrected the medium. Shifts in the basic practices of making and distributing television have not been hastening its demise, but are redefining what we can do with television, what we expect from it, how we use it—in short, revolutionizing it.
Television, as both a technology and a tool for cultural storytelling, remains as important today as ever, but it has changed in fundamental ways. The Television Will Be Revolutionized provides a sophisticated history of the present, examining television in what Lotz terms the “post-network” era while providing frameworks for understanding the continued change in the medium. The second edition addresses adjustments throughout the industry wrought by broadband delivered television such as Netflix, YouTube, and cross-platform initiatives like TV Everywhere, as well as how technologies such as tablets and smartphones have changed how and where we view. Lotz begins to deconstruct the future of different kinds of television—exploring how “prized content,” live television sports and contests, and linear viewing may all be “television,” but very different types of television for both viewers and producers.
Through interviews with those working in the industry, surveys of trade publications, and consideration of an extensive array of popular shows, Lotz takes us behind the screen to explore what is changing, why it is changing, and why the changes matter.
1 Understanding Television at the Beginning of the Post-Network Era 21
2 Television Outside the Box: The Technological Revolution of Television 53
3 Making Television: Changes in the Practices of Creating Television 95
4 Revolutionizing Distribution: Breaking Open the Network Bottleneck 131
5 The New Economics of Television 167
6 Recounting the Audience: Measurement in the Age of Broadband 207
7 Television Storytelling Possibilities at the Beginning of the PostNetwork Era: Five Cases 233
Conclusion: Still Watching Television 263
Selected Bibliography 307
About the Author 331
“Television is anything but dead, but we are now fully into the post-network era that Amanda D. Lotz projected when this book was first published. An incredibly prescient book, setting many of the terms through which television studies has understood these changes, the revised edition updates its account to reflect an age when Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon are now competing for Emmy and Peabody Awards, when television content is being funded through Kickstarter, and where web series are diversifying whose stories get told.”-Henry Jenkins,co-author of Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture
“In this second edition, Lotz not only updates us on developments over the past seven years; she digs deeper and thinks harder about the revolutionary changes taking place in the television today. An outstanding contribution to television studies and an invaluable guide for students, scholars, and professionals.”-Michael Curtin,co-director, Media Industries Project