Ronald Reagan 1982

Ronald Reagan, The First Reality TV Star President

Ronald Reagan is at the heart of the modern American politics of advertising, public relations, and a television in every home.
Jack Barry, Charles Van Doren and Vivienne Nearing

How Academics Fell In and Out of Love with TV Quiz Shows

In the 1950s, the world went quiz-show crazy. But something was rotten inside Hollywood—the shows were packed with ringers.
watching tv on couch

Mediated Reality is No Match for Personal Experience

The world represented in the media greatly influences our understanding and beliefs about reality. But our lived experiences might be more important.
Sesame Street characters

Sesame Street’s Controversial Early Years

Sesame Street's original purpose was to use TV to deliver research-based educational techniques and prepare low-income kids for school.
Dallas JR

Did the Internet Kill the TV Cliffhanger?

The internet may have changed the concept of the television cliffhanger, but is it possible that knowing the ending of something increases our enjoyment?
His Girl Friday

Rory Gilmore: The New New Woman

Recently, Netflix brought us the Gilmore Girls revival–Rory, Lorelei, and Emily 10 years on, able to “end” the show as its creator intended.
The Simpsons logo

“The Simpsons”: More Than Just a Cartoon

"The Simpsons" is the longest-running scripted series in television history, full of canny satire and the occasional prophecy.
Oprah and Obamas

A Little Political Knowledge Is…Much Better Than Nothing

Studies show that viewers do gain political knowledge through daytime television and other forms of "soft news."
Nixon Kennedy televised debate

How Televising Presidential Debates Changed Everything

Ever since Kennedy-Nixon, televised debates have given viewers an insight into candidates' policies—and their personalities, too.
Stranger Things title

“Stranger Things” and the Psychic Nosebleed

Where did we get the idea that using psychic or telekinetic powers makes a person's nose bleed?