An unremarkable, faintly disapproving, almost resigned overview of American television--by (surprisingly) the founder of Action for Children's Television (ACT) and an independent TV producer. The book was clearly designed with a video audience in mind: there are charts and graphs, hundreds of pictures (mostly shaped like TV screens), and breathtakingly brief segments on everything from FCC licensing procedures to video-disc technology to adolescents-and. TV. What one reads is the stock-in-trade of books on all these subjects. Re the structure and politics of the industry: ""advertisements are hot the by-product of television, they are the reason for it."" Re programming: news as show business; ""escape"" apart from the soaps. Re stereotyping: the elderly are ""invisible"" because they are ""regarded as poor consumers."" ""Home Tech"" describes ""earth stations"" (for satellite-broad. casts), video recorders, various types of cable TV (Re the latter, there are invasion-of privacy warnings.) To evaluate your viewing habits, ask yourself: ""Why am I watching this program?"" ""Does TV interrupt family mealtimes?"" Etc. Parents should watch with their children, and provide babysitters with guidelines. Also included are community applications of TV (corporate newsletters, medical diagnosis) and tips on making public-service announcements or taking complaints to the FCC. Stale but serviceable.