How do they get the little people into the box?
February 17, 2012 2:50 PM   Subscribe

What books, blogs, online journals, etc. would be good reads in order to get a behind the scenes, nuts and bolts look at the television industry?

I'm thinking books like The Late Shift or Blumenthal and Goodenough's This Business of Television, blogs like those of Ken Levine or Earl Pomerantz, or websites like How TV Production Works at How Stuff Works.

Just about all aspects of the business interest me, from scripting to advertising to production to in-depth academic examinations of particular genres. Also, histories of specific periods in television history would be good.
posted by roosterboy to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You might enjoy Eric Barnouw's Tube of Plenty, which was required reading for one of my radio/TV/film classes.
posted by jquinby at 2:55 PM on February 17, 2012

The Billion Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson's Creek and Other Adventures in TV Writing and Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (as well as some of Tina Fey's Bossypants) have light, readable insights into the business.
posted by purpleclover at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2012

I just finished reading The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy and it is a fascinating read. It's almost a classic tragedy, as you can see the setup of the machine that then exploded on itself and almost divided the comedy world into Leno supporters vs Team Coco.

It's more contract-oriented and not necessarily camera angles and production technology, but well worth a read.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:27 PM on February 17, 2012

John August.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:29 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's no longer being updated but Jane Espenson's blog about being a TV writer had a wealth of information about that side of the biz. She was particularly helpful in talking about ways of breaking in to the biz.
posted by yoink at 4:55 PM on February 17, 2012

Inside Prime Time by Todd Gitlin.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:32 AM on February 19, 2012

The same thing interests me, and I found the sections of this book about the history of ESPN that dealt with the nuts and bolts of running a television network particularly compelling.

In a similar vein, maybe check out this oral history of SNL?
posted by soonertbone at 8:01 PM on February 21, 2012

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