Television in the United States portal
Television is one of the major mass media of the United States. Ninety-nine percent of American households have at least one television and the majority of households have more than one. As a whole, the television networks of the United States are the largest and most syndicated in the world. There are at least five basic types of television in the United States: broadcast, or "over-the-air" television, unencrypted satellite or "free-to-air", Direct Broadcast Satellite, cable television, and IPTV (internet protocol television). Over-the-air and free-to-air TV is free with no monthly payments while Cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite, and IPTV require a monthly payment that varies depending on how many channels a subscriber chooses to pay for. Channels are usually sold in groups, rather than singly. The United States has a decentralized, market-oriented television system. Unlike many other countries, the United States has no national broadcast programming service. Instead, local media markets have their own television stations, which may be affiliated with or owned and operated by a TV network. Stations may sign affiliation agreements with one of the national networks. Except in very small markets with few stations, affiliation agreements are usually exclusive: If a station is an NBC affiliate, the station would not air programs from ABC, CBS or other networks. However, to ensure local presences in television broadcasting, federal law restricts the amount of network programming local stations can run. Until the 1970s and '80s, local stations supplemented network programming with a good deal of their own produced shows. Today, however, many stations produce only local news shows. They fill the rest of their schedule with syndicated shows, or material produced independently and sold to individual stations in each local market.
Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The original executive producers were Crane, Kauffman and Kevin S. Bright, with numerous others being promoted in later seasons. Kauffman and Crane began developing Friends under the title Insomnia Cafe in November/December 1993. They presented the idea to Bright, with whom they had previously worked, and together they pitched a seven-page treatment of the series to NBC. After several script rewrites and changes, including a second title change to Friends Like Us, the series was finally named Friends and premiered on NBC's coveted Thursday 8:30 pm timeslot. Filming for the series took place at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California in front of a live studio audience. After ten seasons on the network, the series finale was promoted by NBC, and viewing parties were organized around the U.S. The series finale (the 236th episode), airing on May 6, 2004, was watched by 51.1 million American viewers, making it the fourth most-watched series finale in television history and the most watched episode of the decade. (More...)
James T. Aubrey, Jr. (December 14, 1918–September 3, 1994) was an American television and film executive. As president of the CBS television network during the early 1960s, he put on the air some of television's most enduring series, including Gilligan's Island and The Beverly Hillbillies. Under Aubrey, CBS dominated American television the way General Motors and General Electric dominated their industries. The New York Times Magazine in 1964 called Aubrey "a master of programming whose divinations led to successes that are breathtaking." Despite his successes in television, Aubrey's abrasive personality and oversized ego—"Picture Machiavelli and Karl Rove at a University of Colorado football recruiting party" wrote Variety in 2004—led to his firing from CBS amid charges of improprieties. After four years as an independent producer, Aubrey was hired by financier Kirk Kerkorian to preside over Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's near-total shutdown in the 1970s, during which he slashed the budget and alienated producers and directors but brought profits to a company that had suffered huge losses. Aubrey resigned from MGM after four years, declaring his job was done, and then vanished into almost total obscurity for the last two decades of his life. (More...)
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