'I hope this thing will not come to Australia in my term of office', said Prime Minister Menzies in 1952. But it did. In 1956 Australia opened its first channel and began the long road to building the industry that changed our way of life. Nick Herd has written the first comprehensive history of our commercial television, a brilliantly researched, independent account of the rise of the networks, the deals, the protests, the tribunals, the government regulation, the programs that won and lost fortunes. In Nick Herd's hands our television emerges as a social force, one which has brought us together in the lounge room, carried us out into the streets, told our stories, transformed our sports culture and captured our history, our politics and the world around us. Good and bad, says Herd, it's the television we had to have.