The Genre Goes Hard-Core: A Brief History of Talk Shows and the Money Shot

in The Money Shot

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780226309095
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309088 | DOI:
The Genre Goes Hard-Core: A Brief History of Talk Shows and the Money Shot

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As a broad generic category, the talk show is one of the oldest and most durable electronic-media forms with roots dating back to the early days of radio. On television, the talk show has traditionally been devoted to either light entertainment, with comedy, skits, music, and celebrity guests, or more serious discussion of news and public affairs among experts. By the mid-1990s, there were roughly two dozen different daytime talk shows on the air, and this proliferation refigured the genre in key ways. Most obvious was a shift to more sensational topics as new shows struggled to distinguish themselves from one another and gain a foothold in the market. Related to the shift in content was a shift in style, in the performances that guests were expected to give, and in the orchestration of these performances behind the scenes. Generally speaking, shows became faster, louder, more visual, and, in the words of one producer, “full of attitude.”

Keywords: talk shows; public affairs; light entertainment; news discussion; electronic media; sensational topics

Chapter.  15382 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Media Studies

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