TELEVISIONS: One Season of American Television by Marc Eliot

TELEVISIONS: One Season of American Television

Age Range: 1981 - 82
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Another near-worthless grab-bag of facts, lists, and opinions by the author of American Television (1981). This time Eliot surveys the 1981-82 television season--but without shape, substance, or point. There are remarkably superficial chapters on: the Moral Majority's threatened boycott (""The ants, with a few well-placed pushes, were able to roll over the elephant""); the show-biz strikes (with sarcastic attacks on ""Ed Asner, the Moral Major of the left""); the rise of cable (with already-dated material); and druguse by TV people (most of the chapter is the story of Jim, ""a friend of mine now working in Hollywood""). Eliot touches on ratings, the Rona Barrett/Tom Snyder/NBC squabble, and the changes at network news programs; he is predictably snide about the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Miss America pageant; he says that ""Magnum P.I."" is ""by far the most imaginative television series since 'The Fugitive.'"" But the only remotely illuminating material in this skimpy book comes in interviews with sitcom-producer Gary Marshall and with people involved in the production of St. Elsewhere. Otherwise: a reader interested in the 1981-82 season will do far, far better by leafing through issues of TV Guide from the period.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's