"Genre and Television" proposes a new understanding of television genres as cultural categories, offering a set of in-depth historical and critical examinations to explore five key aspects of television genre: history, industry, audience, text, and genre mixing. Drawing on well-known television programs from "dragnet" to "The Simpsons," this book provides a new model of genre historiography and illustrates how genres are at work within nearly every facet of television-from policy decisions to production techniques to audience practices. Ultimately, the book argues that through analyzing how television genre operates as a cultural practice, we can better comprehend how television actively shapes our social world.
"Mittell makes a strong case for a return to genre theory, history, and criticism within television studies as a means of understanding the production, distribution, and reception of television programs. Each of the case studies is compelling in its own terms, offering a deep picture of important trends in the history of American television." -- Henry Jenkins, MIT
"Genre and Television is an insightful, original, and well researched book and makes a significant and timely contribution to television studies." -- Annette Hill, University of Westminster, UK
"Jason Mittell re-energizes the field of genre study with this intriguing analysis of American television. From talk shows to cop shows to reality TV, Mittell eloquently demonstrates why genre still matters to TV creators, critics, and fans. Rigorously researched and theoretically-informed, Genre and Television makes a vital contribution to the field of cultural studies." -- Michael Curtin, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Genres emerge from a dialectic of orthodoxy versus innovation, as the culture industries strive to blend predictability with surprise. By transcending the normal science of textual analysis and considering genres as industrial categories, Jason Mittell has done students of US television a considerable service." -- Toby Miller, Television & New Media