TV… the Giant Black Hole

Tim Brooks reports on the state of television:

When Newton Minow made his famous 1961 speech characterizing American TV as a “vast wasteland,” network programming was in a transitional period. Gone were the great playhouse series of the 1950s (“Kraft Television Theater,” “Studio One) as well as the more-experimental series that marked early TV (“Your Show of Shows,” Ernie Kovacs, political discussion shows). TV had become big business. Nielsen was introducing detailed demographic measures to allow ad targeting as never before; and lighter, more populist fare had crowded out almost everything else. Even Westerns, which had begun as more-or-less accurate representations of the Old West (“The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”) had turned largely to gimmicks (“Have Gun, Will Travel,” “Maverick, “Wanted: Dead or Alive”).

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