Genre Welcome?: Formula, Genre and Branding in USA Network’s Programming and Promotional Content (A thesis)

It has come to my attention that I have yet to link to a work that I spent the last year working on, my MA thesis. Thankfully, I busted my butt last summer and didn't have much to re-write or tinker with over this school year, but all sorts of other responsibilities kept me from … Continue reading Genre Welcome?: Formula, Genre and Branding in USA Network’s Programming and Promotional Content (A thesis)

Character depth welcome: On why White Collar is far and away USA Network’s best series

You may or may not know this, but I am in the midst of completing my MA thesis on USA Network and the “Characters Welcome” brand campaign (among other things). I say this to point out that I have spent a good deal of time with USA Network’s slate of programming over the past year … Continue reading Character depth welcome: On why White Collar is far and away USA Network’s best series

Quality television-by-the-numbers: On AMC’s continued misguided laziness

This is not a review for the pilot episode of Hell on Wheels. You see because I don’t think I could barely muster up more than 150 words about that initial offering. At the pilot stage, Hell on Wheels is dull, sloppy, clunky and generally trying to do way too many different things without accomplishing … Continue reading Quality television-by-the-numbers: On AMC’s continued misguided laziness

Post-hiatus musings: Syfy Edition (Warehouse 13 and Alphas)

After nearly a month, my fairly substantial hiatus here at TVS is over. I am happy to be back providing content for you folks on a regular basis. In my time off, I’ve missed all sorts of television, both viewing- and writing-wise. To combat that, I’ll be whipping up a number of random posts with … Continue reading Post-hiatus musings: Syfy Edition (Warehouse 13 and Alphas)

Brand transition? — On what’s at stake for USA Network this summer

I am entirely enthralled by television network/channel branding. You might know this about me. You might also know that I'm writing my MA thesis on the topic, specifically USA Network's branding. USA is such an interesting case because they are just so damn successful, even though up until now, their programming has been generally formulaic. … Continue reading Brand transition? — On what’s at stake for USA Network this summer

Season Finale — The Killing, “Orpheus Descending”

This is going to be a slightly different kind of review, mostly because it's going to talk just as much about the reaction to the episode as it does the episode itself. If you've been on the site over the last week, you probably came across my frustrated rant about The Killing, pre-finale. After watching … Continue reading Season Finale — The Killing, “Orpheus Descending”

Telling the best original stories?: Discussing AMC’s brand development

I have been thinking a lot about television network/channel branding lately. Call it a dual byproduct of writing a MA thesis on the topic and the upfronts season, which always brings forth questions about whether or not a series is "right" for whatever it is a network or channel is trying to do. My branding-on-the-brain … Continue reading Telling the best original stories?: Discussing AMC’s brand development

Stuck in the middle — The failure of the complex, restrained television series

Let's play pretend for a moment (since I planned on writing this column had this thing we're pretending about actually happened), if you don't mind. Let us assume for the sake of argument that AMC's fantastic new drama series The Killing didn't open to nearly 3 million viewers, which is a sizable success for the … Continue reading Stuck in the middle — The failure of the complex, restrained television series

Test Pilot: File #4, The Simpsons

Test Pilot #4: The Simpsons Debut date: December 17, 1989 Series legacy: Not just the most influential animated comedy or most influential comedy, but the most influential television series of the 20th century, set a brand-new bar for animation, comedy and television as a whole, and continues to be important today, in its 22nd(!) season … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #4, The Simpsons

Event pre-air musings: Haven’t we been down this road before?

On Monday, NBC's much-publicized The Event debuts. I should be excited. The series wants to fill the void left by Lost and 24 by creating a dense, complicated thriller with a global scope and some sort of secret ongoing mythology. It features a ridiculously cryptic title and is powered by an effective/stupid advertising campaign, much … Continue reading Event pre-air musings: Haven’t we been down this road before?

Welcome characters, knowing drama and more — Discussing branding approaches by cable and broadcast networks

A few weeks ago, a number of critics and TV-related folk were blowing up my Twitter feed with their discussion on the greatness of USA Network. In short, these folks were watching screeners of White Collar's second season and the first few episodes of the network's new series, Covert Affairs. They loved them. If I … Continue reading Welcome characters, knowing drama and more — Discussing branding approaches by cable and broadcast networks