“Mustn’t See TV?”: A Case Study of NBC’s 1983-84 Television Season
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
This research project uses the case study method to explore NBC’s 1983-84 television season, dubbed “the September Train Wreck of 1983.” Examining trade publication articles, mainstream press, and the programs themselves, this case study applies a “Network Executive Auteur” theory to the programming strategies of Grant Tinker, NBC Chairman and CEO, and Brandon Tartikoff, President of NBC Entertainment. Conventional wisdom at the time portrayed Tinker and Tartikoff’s network decisions as desperate and unfocused. However, a closer look suggests that Tinker and Tartikoff essentially invented a hybrid of “highbrow/lowbrow/middlebrow” programming to combat the audience fragmentation brought on by the penetration of cable television.
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Amernick, Dan, "“Mustn’t See TV?”: A Case Study of NBC’s 1983-84 Television Season" (2016). Dissertations - ALL. 555.
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