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Horace Newcomb, Editor

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Television has developed from its beginnings in the early part of the 20th century to become an integral part of everyday life in today's society as a means of obtaining and communicating information as well as a form of entertainment. The new edition of the Encyclopedia of Television builds on the award-winning first edition that has been widely recognized and cited as the foremost reference work on the study of television. Incorporating almost 200 new entries and revisions of almost all of the original entries from the first edition, the second edition of the Encyclopedia not only focuses on the history and current state of television in today's society but looks to the future, exploring significant changes that have occurred in the economic, technological, and regulatory contexts in which television is produced, transmitted, and experienced.

In over 1,150 entries, this four-volume, A-Z reference work brings together the latest research and criticism in entries devoted to:

  • Television programs that are notable for their artistic merit or popular appeal, as well as those that have had a particular impact on society, on culture, on a genre, or on television as a medium or industry

  • Actors, directors, writers, inventors, and other individuals in the television industry who have played a significant role in the history of television

  • Concepts and issues that discuss a wide range of subjects, including:
  • Cultural, social, and political issues
  • Genres
  • Technologies, techniques, and materials
  • Particular networks, stations, media corporations, or production companies
  • Activists and advocacy groups
  • Regulatory and legal topics
  • Issues related to the economics or marketing of television
  • Professional and trade organizations
  • Noteworthy historical events covered by television
  • Specific professions in television
  • Audience and ratings
  • Concepts integral to the medium

  • Country Overviews that examine the historical development of television in specific countries or regions with emphasis on political, economic, technological, and regulatory issues. Entries also evaluate programming and program content and the social and cultural relevance of television in the country or region
The second edition of this Encyclopedia brings an already highly acclaimed and praised work up-to-date with the latest scholarship and criticism in television studies. This accessible work will be of great use and interest for students, scholars, and researcher as well as general readers and watchers of television who want to know more about their favorite programs.

  • Produced in association with the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago

  • Almost 200 new entries have been added and nearly all of the original entries from the first edition have been revised and updated

  • Expanded international coverage from the first edition

  • Comprehensive coverage of the explosive growth of cable television and popularity of reality television in the last decade

  • Reflects the new developments in the television industry since the first edition such as new programs, new companies, merged conglomerates, and individuals who have risen to prominence

  • Illustrated with over 745 black-and-white photographs including show stills, persons, and other facets of television history

  • Helpful research tools include a comprehensive analytical index, a network of cross-references, and bibliographies for suggestions for further reading and research

  • Program entries contain cast lists, programming histories, and production personnel

  • Entries range in length from about 1,000 words for most entries to 7,000 words for overview entries on topics such as Americanization and Music on Television

  • More than 1150 signed A-Z entries by over 300 contributors—critics and scholars—from around the world



Horace Newcomb is the Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards Program and Lambdin Kay Distinguished Professor for the Peabody Awards in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Newcomb is the author of TV: The Most Popular Art (1974), co-author of The Producer's Medium (1983), and editor of six editions of Television: The Critical View (1976-2000). In 1973-74, while teaching full time, he was also the daily television columnist for the Baltimore Morning Sun. From 1994-96 he served as Curator for the Museum of Broadcast Communications (Chicago) with primary duties as editor of The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Television, a 3 volume, 1,948 page reference work containing more than 1,000 entries on major people, programs, and topics related to television in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Hi research and teaching interests are in media, society, and culture and he has written widely in the fields of television criticism and history. Most recently he has published "Other People's Fictions: Cultural Appropriation, Cultural Integrity, and International Media Strategies," in Mass Media and Free Trade (1996; "Television and the Opening of America: Meaningful Difference in 1950s Television," in The Other Fifties (1997); "From Old Frontier to New Frontier," in The Revolution Wasn't Televised (Routledge, 1997); and "National Identity/National Industry: Television in the New Media Contexts," in Television Fiction and Identities (1997). A collection of previously published essays was published as La televisione da forum a biblioteca (Television: From Forum to Library, trans. Prof. Milly Buonnano, University of Florence), was published in Italy in 2000.

Recent lectures in Italy, Taiwan, Norway, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Korea, Switzerland, and China have focused on cultural exchange and international media industries. In 1989 Newcomb was named one of the three Outstanding Teachers in the Graduate School at the University of Texas at Austin.

Newcomb received the B.A. from Mississippi College, Clinton, Mississippi in 1964. He studied as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and University Fellow at the University of Chicago, receiving the M.A. in 1965 (General Studies in the Humanities) and the Ph.D in English (American Literature), in 1969. From 1990-95 he served as a member of the Board of the Peabody Awards Program. He taught at colleges and universities in Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, and Texas before joining the Peabody Program as Director in 2001.


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