Chapter

The Writer/Producer in American Television

Roberta Pearson

in The Contemporary Television Series

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748619009
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671168 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619009.003.0002
The Writer/Producer in American Television

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By 2001, producer and programme had become inseparable; writers, agents and United Paramount Network's target demographic of younger viewers were said to be attracted not just by Buffy but by Joss Whedon's high-profile public image. The thirty years between the publication of Muriel Cantor's 1971 book, The Hollywood TV Producer: His Work and His Audience and UPN's acquisition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer saw fundamental changes in the television industry in the United States. Cantor's book was published during the height of three network dominance, a period that Michele Hilmes has dubbed the classic network system. When UPN acquired Buffy, the number of television networks had doubled from three to six, all of which struggled for ratings in a multi-channel, fragmented audience environment. The transformation of the industry resulted in the television writer-producer playing a much more prominent role in the industry than ever before.

Keywords: United Paramount Network; Muriel Cantor; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; classic network system; television networks; television writer-producer; television industry; United States

Chapter.  7028 words. 

Subjects: Television

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