The August Audience

by: Jonathan Gray / Fordham University
While television networks are rolling out their lineups of new shows this month, many potential viewers have already decided which programs they will tune in to, and which they will actively avoid. How does pre-season marketing play in to the way audiences interpret television texts, and how do we analyze those readings as critics in television studies?

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Putting the ‘Syn’ into Synergy

by: Eileen R. Meehan / Louisiana State University
I beat the Rugrats to Paris by two years. In December, 1998, I was on an Air France flight from Houston to Paris. Rosy-fingered Eos was rising over Europe and our French flight attendants were distributing breakfasts. In the middle of the tray was a large container of applesauce whose foil cover was emblazoned with the faces of the Rugrats plugging their first movie.

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Black Zen Masters in the Dojo of Reality Television

by: L.S.Kim / University of California, Santa Cruz
Typically in reality television, the host is white – famous examples include Jeff Probst in Survivor, Ryan Seacrest in American Idol, and Regis Philbin in Who Wants to be a Millionaire? whose through-the-roof ratings jump-started the reality programming watershed. But in America’s Next Top Model, The Road to Stardom, and Pimp My Ride, the hosts are African American and already stars.

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