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Paperback The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present Book

ISBN: 0345429230

ISBN13: 9780345429230

The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present

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Customer Reviews

6 ratings

T V shows etc.

Great book, answers questions about all shows and all in one book.

The Single Best TV Reference Work Today and Tomorrow

Brooks and Marsh have compiled what is far and away the best reference book for prime time television. Each entry includes the genre, the dates of first and last broadcast, the broadcast history of the show as to times and days of the week, and the cast members (hosts or regulars for reality programming). Then there is a description of the program, the length of which depends on how long that particular program aired. Clearly, the basics are covered in this compilation. My guess is that sooner or later they are going to have to come out with a CD-Rom edition or they are going to have to do two volumes. The other strengths of this volume are the introductory essay "A Short History of Network Television" and the Appendixes which provide Prime Time Schedules, Emmy Award Winners, Top-Rated Programs by Season, Longest-Running Series, The Top 100 Series of All Time, Prime Time Series Reunion Telecasts, Series Airing in Prime Time on More Than One Network, Prime Time Spinoffs, Prime Time Series Based on Movies, Prime Time Network TV Series that Also Aired on Network Radio, and Hit Theme Songs from Series. The Index of Personalities and Performers allows you to track your favorites from series to series throughout the history of the tube. In regards to their introductory examination of the trends in programming that have created specific eras in prime time, I would argue that Brooks and Marsh jumped the gun a little bit on characterizing the 1990s as the Ear of Choice. Certainly that is where we are now, but for the first part of that decade I think that network programming was dominated by female oriented programs. The Nielsen Top 10 included "Roseanne," "Murphy Brown," "The Golden Girls," "Designing Women," "Murder, She Wrote," and "Grace Under Fire" at some point during that period. Even shows will male stars-such as "Home Improvement" and "Coach"-presented ironic portraits of the traditional macho male. By presenting traditional males in explicit comic and inherently negative ways, even these shows work into the feminist perspective. Clearly women as the dominate audience for television were being courted by such shows and I think that constitutes a distinct era for Brooks and Marsh to include.Note: If you are looking for a book that covers daytime programming, then Alex O'Neill's "Total Television" is where you want to start.

The real TV Guide

I've owned every edition of this book and it just keeps getting better and better. Now they even include all the 'minor' networks (A & E, Nickelodeon, BET, ...) and some of those networks' first run shows. Every prime-time show through the 1998 season is covered with cast lists and air dates. The appendices have expanded the yearly ratings to include the Top 30 shows. About the only thing missing would be highest and lowest rated episode of each show, and that might be asking for too much.

Excellent reverence encuclopedia!

This review refers to the original volume that I have sitting by my TV. In these days with cable and satellite available many vintage TV shows are aired all of the time. A quick thumb through the book not only gives excellent overall view of the show but the cross reference of stars and other shows is suburb.

Enjoyable reference encyclopedia

This encyclopedia is a great reference source for everything having to do with every American TV series ever produced. From I Love Lucy to The X-Files, they're all here, presented in concise summaries with data on every major cast member, the basic plot, and important episodes, as well as interesting trivia. very enjoyable to read, and great for TV historians. It seems that they do a revision every three years or so. It's been almost four years since the last revision, so hopefully we'll be getting one soon, which should obviously include data on all the new series, more data on the ones still on the air, as well as the finales of all the ones that have ended, such as Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, et al.

Excellent reference material.

Used in conjunction with the Prime Time Stars book, this makes an excellent cross-reference of TV programs and stars for the period covered. My hopes are that the authors write a update for both the television shows and stars. The format is excellent showing all aspects of the shows including dates televised, stars and their roles, and interesting facts about the production.
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