Welcome to the website I have created to showcase my research and writing about the history of television. It encompasses a variety of different approaches and styles, both popular and scholarly, but my hope is that all of it serves to shed light on some of the too-often neglected programs and personalities of television’s early years.
Somewhat arbitrarily, the focus in my work is on American television during the period between 1948, when the first season of regular prime-time network programming began, through the early seventies. If a generation spans roughly twenty-five years, then this website can be seen as a chronicle of the first generation of our television forebears. You’ll see some coverage of subsequent eras slip through – there’s much to enjoy and to write about from more recent years – but a historian’s sense of urgency demands the earliest material be attended to first.
If you’ve just found this website, a good place to get started is on the oral history page. For the past five years or so, I’ve spent a lot of time capturing the stories of the men and women who toiled, usually without much public fanfare (despite the paradox of seeing their names in the credits each week), to create the TV shows seen around the country during the nineteen-fifties and sixties. Initially I focused on writers, and then expanded my net to catch directors and other behind-the-camera talent as well. As I write this, the collection is launching with five profile/interviews with golden age television writers. By the time you’re reading it, hopefully the archive has grown to include many more.
Elsewhere you’ll find in-depth examinations of the content and production histories of individual programs, a grab bag of articles that don’t fit into any particular category, and a blog for shorter pieces, frivolous musings, or (as Carl Kolchak might have said) nyoooze.
While television was and is a one-way medium, the internet is not. So please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.