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FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES (L53)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)

L53 Film 357Quality Television and the "Primetime Novel"3.0 Units
Description:Over the past four decades, the cultural status of television in the United States has been reconfigured and complicated with changes in industrial structures, audience formations, regulatory presumptions, and production techniques and strategies. This course examines these interrelated forces, particularly as they have fostered a set of programs and practices often hailed as Quality Television. The class will survey the institutional paradigms that gave rise to particular generations of programming celebrated as "quality" and analyze the systems of distinction and cultural value that make the label socially and industrially salient. We will critically investigate the role of audiences and the conceptions of viewer choice at play in these developments. In addition, the course will analyze the textual features that have come to signify narrative complexity and aesthetic sophistication. We will examine foundational historical examples of this phenomenon from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Hill Street Blues and Cagney & Lacey to Northern Exposure as well as more contemporary broadcast and cable fiction such as LOST, The Wire, and Mad Men. In addition, students will be expected to watch a complete series, chosen in consultation with the instructor, as part of their final research project. REQUIRED SCREENING. Prerequisite: Film Studies 220 or Film Studies 350 or consent of instructor.
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:CPA Fees:
Course Type:HomeSame As:L98 3570Frequency:None / History


A course may be either a “Home” course or an “Ident” course.

A “Home” course is a course that is created, maintained and “owned” by one academic department (aka the “Home” department). The “Home” department is primarily responsible for the decision making and logistical support for the course and instructor.

An “Ident” course is the exact same course as the “Home” (i.e. same instructor, same class time, etc), but is simply being offered to students through another department for purposes of registering under a different department and course number.

Students should, whenever possible, register for their courses under the department number toward which they intend to count the course. For example, an AFAS major should register for the course "Africa: Peoples and Cultures" under its Ident number, L90 306B, whereas an Anthropology major should register for the same course under its Home number, L48 306B.

Grade Options
C=Credit (letter grade)
S=Special Audit
Q=ME Q (Medical School)

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No section found for SP2021.