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The Fourth Network : How FOX Broke the Rules and Reinvented Television - Daniel M. Kimmel

The Fourth Network

How FOX Broke the Rules and Reinvented Television

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When Garth Ancier left NBC for the start-up FOX network, NBC head Grant Tinker told Ancier he was making a terrible mistake. "I will never put a fourth column on my schedule board," Ancier recalls Tinker telling him. "There will only be three." Today, fewer than twenty years later, FOX is routinely referred to as one of the "Big Four" television networks while more recent arrivals like UPN, PAX, and the WB strive to be number five. The Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, and the many executives who have worked at the FOX network over the years changed the rules of the game. They showed it was possible to build and sustain a fourth American television network through innovations in prime-time shows, sports, children's entertainment, news, and new business models that challenged the assumptions of how the industry operated. Daniel Kimmel's lively account of the FOX story carries the reader from the launch of the ill-fated Joan Rivers Show in 1986 to the challenging media environment of the twenty-first century - an environment FOX helped create. The Fourth Network is filled with behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, outsized personalities, improbable risk-takers, and the triumphs and disasters that led to such signature television series as The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210, The X-Files, and America's Most Wanted. For better or worse - or perhaps a bit of both - the story of the rise of FOX is the story of contemporary American television.

Industry Reviews

Kimmel has done his homework.... Rich in anecdotage and specifics, it offers a rear-view perspective on the way Fox came out of nowhere. * The New York Times *
Dan Kimmel nails it! He makes the inside story of the boldly, innovative Fox Network come alive. Has it really been twenty years? -- Paula Lyons, former consumer eidtor, ABC TV's Good Morning America
Kimmel has written a deeply researched and fast moving history of Fox-a crucial player in the rapid transformation of American television, from almost total domination by three established networks to a highly varied assortment of viewer choices. -- Leo Bogart, author of The Age of Television, Commercial Culture, and Finding Out
Kimmel's riveting study offers not only a masterful account of the evolution of the FOX network but also a grand narrative of the politcs of the television industry. * Foreword Reviews *
He is throrough, and his subject is sufficiently engaging to carry his book along nicely. * Dow Jones News Service *
Kimmel offers a behind-the-scenes look at the corporate and financial machinations behind the creation of a fourth network 20 years ago, at a time when few could imagine a viable network beyond the Big Three. * Booklist *
This narrative of the birth of FOX Television is laden with first-person accounts, and Kimmel relies on several former FOX executives and staff members for behind-the-scenes information. * Library Journal *
It's a captivating tale that's well worth the read. * Weekly Dig *
Entertaining new history. * Technology Liberation Front *
Kimmel's new book...is worthy reading for broadcasting professionals, in particular. * The Financial Manager *
He certainly knows television...something he demonstrates rather nicely.... Thorough...careful research. * Worcester Magazine *
Kimmel is in the perfect position to present the story of FOX.... Chapters are lively. * The Bookwatch *
An informative read.... A straightforward recap of how Murdoch did it. * The Atlantic's "Editor's Choice" Review *
Useful in academic collections.... Highly recommended... accessible at all levels. -- C. Sterling, George Washington University * CHOICE *
The Fourth Network...deserves a place on the shelf of any serious observer of the American media-industrial complex. -- Jimmie Reeves * Television Quarterly *
A captivating tale that's well worth the read.... Kimmel's book is a success in its own right. -- Seth Donlin * Boston's Weekly Dig *

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologue: "If I found out, he was going to cancel the deal."p. 3
The Coat-Hanger Network
"There will only be three" (1985-1986)p. 17
"A brand that most of America knows" (1986-1987)p. 30
"Why should I buy you?" (1987-1988)p. 45
"Hey, you watched the whole show" (1988-1989)p. 57
"People will watch car accidents, too" (1989-1990)p. 71
"What is this 90210?" (1990-1991)p. 94
"We were throwing parties in the halls" (1991-1992)p. 111
The Revolving Door
"Like most businesses, this is a team sport" (1992-1993)p. 131
"How come you make my mommy cry all the time?" (1993-1994)p. 145
"I was never in doubt about what FOX intended" (1994-1995)p. 175
"They finally got it" (1995-1996)p. 194
"Tom, you've got to script the ad-libs" (1996-1997)p. 210
"We're not the establishment" (1997-1998)p. 224
"They've run the numbers" (1998-1999)p. 239
"I never got a real at bat" (1999-2000)p. 255
21st Century FOX
"It was the perfect fit at the right time" (2000 and Beyond)p. 267
Notesp. 285
Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 312
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781566635721
ISBN-10: 1566635721
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 340
Published: 25th May 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.61