Television and the Humanities: Looking at Television Through the Years and It’s Affect on Humanities

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Television and the Humanities Lisa Chandler HUMN303 DeVry College of New York Television and the Humanities Introduction Many inventions throughout history have made their mark on contemporary American society, but none so much so as television. According to Mitchell Stephens in his article entitled History of Television, “Before 1947, the number of U.S. homes with television sets could be measured in the thousands. By the late 1990’s, 98 percent of U.S. homes had at least one television set, and those sets were on for an average of more than seven hours a day.” As the quality of the image improved over the years, so have the number of televisions in American homes. According to an article in TIME magazine in 2009, “The first…show more content…
TV could break the monotonous rush to formula that denoted the evolution of motion pictures and radio. The newest medium should look to the legitimate theater and the performing arts. Mindlessly mimicking radio and film would not succeed. Economically secure and better educated, the postwar consumer would have higher expectations for television. The second body of decision makers imagined a different audience—and a much more imitative medium. They gambled on continuity rather than change. Television’s acceptance depended on its capacity to re-create, for the small screen, entertainment that consumers had enjoyed on the radio and at their neighborhood movie theaters. In perhaps the greatest irony in the history of TV, the more creative response to the challenge of television was the less successful. By the late 1950’s, the second or more risk averse of these two groups had won the argument. (pg.3) The 60s and 70s By the 1960’s a different type of program was being watched as the audience seemed to prefer the drama and/or the comedy. Some of the very popular comedies we can all remember from this time period, and still watch today in re-runs, are the hugely successful I Love Lucy, and The Honeymooners. (Stephens, n.d.). “In the late 1970’s, three commercial networks essentially dominated the medium and gave little license to creativity” (Baughman, 2007). The 1970’s was a vibrant time for the black race on

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