Essay on Turn the Channel Already!

According to the A.C. Nielsen Company, the leader in television industry analytics, the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. This translates into twenty-eight hours per week or two whole months of watching television per year. In 2010, 55% of American homes had three or more televisions, 28% had two, and 17% had one. (Gyimesi and McGiboney) America’s fascination with television started in the 1950’s and has been the primary source of family entertainment since. Television in America has a great deal of quality programming as it emulates some true facets of American life, but also falsifies and over-analyzes others. With over 1500 channels to choose from, Americans rank dramatic television as their favorite genre with comedy and reality television close behind.Dramatic television can be broken down into three different sub-categories. First are dramas that are considered anthologies. An anthology is a series that has episodes that tells stories that do not continue the following week. The cast of characters in an anthology are different each episode, as well. In 1955, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” premiered as a half hour mystery and suspense series and today is recognized as the most successful television anthology, however, the series only lasted seven years. Don Kaye, a writer for MSN Entertainment suggests the reason anthologies have not been very successful is because “Presenting a different story with a different cast each week didn’t let audiences settle into the consistency of character and setting found in a continuing series”.(Kaye) Other examples of an anthology would be “The Twilight Zone” and “Masterpiece Theatre”. Generally, the only constant in an anthology is a host who introduces and …

…deed, television can open your eyes to the tremendous variety of life in America, but it can also distort the portrait of America by numbing the senses, truly earning its nickname “the idiot box”.

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Works Cited

Cronin, Mark. “Reality Show Appreciation.” Interview by Videojug. VideoJug Corporation Limited, 22 Aug. 2007. Web. 25 July 2011.Douglas, Pamela. “Types of TV Dramas.” Interview by Videojug. VideoJug Corporation Limited, 19 Aug. 2007. Web. 25 July 2011.Gyimesi, Karen, and Michelle McGiboney, comps. “2010 Media Industry Fact Sheet.” The Nielsen Company, Nov. 2009. Web. 25 July 2011.Kaye, Don. “TV’s Greatest Anthologies.” Microsoft, 2011. Web. 25 July 2011.Metz, Winifred Fordham. “How Reality TV Works.” Discovery Communications,LLC, 7 Dec. 2007. Web. 25 July 2011.


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