Golden Age of Television (2000s–present)

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In the United States, the current Golden Age of Television has been a period widely regarded as being marked by a large number of high quality, internationally acclaimed television programs.[1][2][3][4] Various sources have identified the beginning of this period as the early 1980s,[5] the late 1980s-early 1990s,[6] the mid-to-late 1990s,[7][8] or the early 2000s.[9] It is believed to have resulted from advances in technologies of media distribution,[10][11] as well as a large increase in the number of hours of available television, which has prompted a major wave of content creation.[12]

Its name refers to the original Golden Age of Television which occurred in the 1950s. It has also been referred to as the "New", "Second" or "Third Golden Age of Television" ("third" being used when a period in the early 1980s is considered a separate second Golden Age).[10][13][14][15][11][16] The era has also been called Peak TV.

History[edit]

French scholar Alexis Pichard has argued that TV series enjoyed a Second Golden Age[17] starting in the 2000s which was a combination of three elements: first, an improvement in both visual aesthetics and storytelling; second, an overall homogeneity between cable series and networks series; and third, a tremendous popular success. Pichard contends that this Second Golden Age was the result of a revolution initiated by the traditional networks in the 1980s and carried on by the cable channels (especially HBO) in the 1990s.[18] Film director Francis Ford Coppola thinks that the second golden age of television comes from "kids" with their "little father’s camcorder", who wanted to make films like he did in the 70s but weren’t permitted to, so they did it for television.[19]

Shows such as The Sopranos (which first aired in 1999), Six Feet Under (2001), The Wire (2002), Deadwood (2004),[20] Mad Men (2007), Breaking Bad, (2008), and Game of Thrones (2011), are generally considered the basis of the so-called Golden Age of Television, (i.e. the new creator-driven tragic dramas of the 2000s and 2010s).[16][21][22] The Writer's Guild of America vote for 101 Best Written TV Shows includes a complete foundation of the current Golden Age of Television.[23]

Origins[edit]

Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice has argued that the current golden age began earlier with network shows like Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (both of which premiered in 1993), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997).[7] Will Gompertz of the BBC believes that Friends, which debuted in 1994, might stake a claim as the opening bookend show of the period.[8] Matt Zoller Seitz argues that it began in the 1980s with Hill Street Blues (1981) and St. Elsewhere (1982).[24] Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku has said that Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) should be considered a part of the golden age of television, and recommended "the sophisticated kids show" to others.[25] With the rise of instant access to content on Netflix, creator-driven television shows like Breaking Bad, The Shield (2002), Friday Night Lights (2006) and Mad Men gained cult followings that grew to become widely popular. The success of instant access to television shows was presaged by the popularity of DVDs, and continues to increase with the rise of digital platforms and online companies.

The increase in the number of shows is also cited as evidence of a Golden Age, or peak TV. In the five years between 2011 and 2016, the number of scripted television shows, on broadcast, cable and digital platforms increased by 71%. In 2002, 182 television shows aired, while 2016 had 455 original scripted television shows and 495 in 2018. The number of shows are rising largely due to companies like Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu investing heavily in original content. The number of shows aired by online service increased from only one in 2009 to over 93 in 2016. John Landgraf, the CEO of FX Networks, has stated that the amount of television series being aired during peak TV could be overwhelming for the viewer to choose from, especially for critics obligated to review as many shows as possible, which results in a decreased output of television series in the future.[26][27][28][29][30][31] An increasing reliance on rebooting and reviving existing franchises led to widespread belief that the Golden Age of Television was ending in the late 2010s,[32] with the caveat that some of these reboots (such as Girl Meets World[33] and One Day at a Time[34][35]) share the positive reception and complex character development of original shows of the era.

Characteristics[edit]

Characteristics of this golden age are complicated characters who may be morally ambiguous or antiheroes, questionable behavior, complex plots and often forays into R-rated territory.[36][37][38]

Genres of television associated with this golden age include dramas (especially ones originating on cable and digital platforms); sitcoms (especially ones that use comedy-drama which some critics would called them "sadcoms"),[39] single-camera setup, or adult animation; sketch comedy (especially series linked to alternative comedy); and late-night talk shows (especially ones that emphasize news satire).

List of selected important and notable figures[edit]

Showrunners

Actors

Hosts

List of selected important and notable outlets[edit]

Terrestrial networks[edit]

Cable/Satellite channels[edit]

International networks[edit]

Over-the-top services[edit]

List of selected important and notable shows[edit]

Past shows associated with the second Golden Age of Television[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Plunkett, John; Deans, Jason. "Kevin Spacey: television has entered a new golden age". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ Stephen McGinty: A golden age of television? - The Scotsman
  4. ^ ITV share price: Broadcaster calls for retransmission payments - Invezz.com
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Why the Golden Age of TV Was Really Born in the 1980s-Vulture
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Making A Case For The ’90s, Television’s ‘Other’ Golden Age-UPROXX
  7. ^ a b c d Zacharek, Stephanie (2015). "Why Avengers: Age of Ultron Fills this Buffy Fan with Despair". The Village Voice. Archived 2015-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b Gompertz, Will (November 2, 2019). "The Morning Show: Will Gompertz reviews Aniston and Witherspoon's Apple TV drama". BBC.com. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  9. ^ The golden age of TV is dead; long live the golden age of TV|AV Club
  10. ^ a b Carr, David. "Barely Keeping Up in TV's New Golden Age". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  11. ^ a b Welcome to TV's second "Golden Age" - CBS News
  12. ^ Simon, Jeff (March 31, 2015). "Who put these shows on the air and why?". The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  13. ^ "The CB Guide to the New Golden Age of Television". Canadian Business. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
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  15. ^ Pichard, Alexis. Le nouvel âge d'or des séries américaines. Editions Le Manuscrit.
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  17. ^ TV's golden age is real: The end of channel surfing The Economist
  18. ^ Pichard, 2011, p.11
  19. ^ Francis Ford Coppola: 'Apocalypse Now is not an anti-war film' The Guardian
  20. ^ Saraiya, Sonia (May 30, 2019). "Review: The Deadwood Movie Gives the Golden Age Series What it Deserves: a Fitting, Emotional Sendoff". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  21. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (24 June 2013). "Brett Martin's 'Difficult Men' Sees a New Golden Age for TV". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
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  23. ^ "101 Best Written TV Series List". wga.org. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
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  30. ^ Flint, Joe (2016-12-21). "Peak TV Still Going Strong With 455 Scripted Shows in 2016". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  31. ^ Koblin, John (2019-04-12). "Hollywood Upended as Unions Tell Writers to Fire Agents". The New York Times. p. B1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  32. ^ Adalian, Josef (February 1, 2018). "Why Network TV's Obsession With Reboots Isn't a Bad Thing". Vulture.com. Retrieved April 17, 2019. My former Variety colleague Michael Schneider, executive editor of IndieWire, captured perfectly the jaded response many had to last month’s reboot news: “Anyone else getting the sense that broadcast TV is embarking on its Farewell Tour by playing all the hits one last time?” he tweeted.
  33. ^ Sabienna Bowman (January 7, 2017). "Girl Meets World Has Become a Landmark Show for a New Generation of Fans". Bustle. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
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  35. ^ "Best of 2018: Television Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
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  37. ^ New Book Challenges Myth That TV's New Golden Age Is Just A Boy's Club Hollywood Reporter
  38. ^ Tired of TV's Golden Age The American Prospect
  39. ^ No laughing matter: the rise of the TV 'sadcom'|Television & radio|The Guardian
  40. ^ Overview of Lauren Faust|TCM.com
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  42. ^ The 15 Best Comedies On TV Right Now-CINEMABLEND
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  45. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o The Great Sci-Fi TV Boom of 2018-The Ringer
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Trench, Rob (2015-09-24). "10 Best TV Shows from the Golden Age of Television". screenrant.com. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  47. ^ David Lynch: Even now, in a TV golden age, too hip for the room?-Chicago Tribune
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  49. ^ a b c d Are We Close To A Second Golden Age of TV Animation?-CBR.com
  50. ^ TV Stars Discuss the 'Second Golden Age of Television'|Ashby Dodd
  51. ^ a b c d 'Documentary Now!': Bill and Fred and Seth's Excellent Adventure-NBC Southern California
  52. ^ shonda rhimes, queen of network tv, has signed a deal with netflix-i-D
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  54. ^ The Trouble With Our "Golden Age" of TV|The New Republic
  55. ^ Emmy spotlight: David Milch deserves writing win - Gold Derby
  56. ^ David Fincher|Television Academy
  57. ^ Noah Hawley|Television Academy
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  60. ^ a b c d e f g h i j ’30 Rock’ Is The Most Rewatchable Comedy Of TV’s Golden Age
  61. ^ a b c Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele Are Ending “Key & Peele” After This Season-Comedy Bureau
  62. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Faith and the New Golden Age of Late-Night TV-RELEVANT Magazine
  63. ^ and the New Golden Age of Late-Night TV-RELEVANT Magazinetv
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  65. ^ Jesse Plemons|Television Academy
  66. ^ Elisabeth Moss is the Queen of Peak TV
  67. ^ Stephen Colbert Won't Save Us, "Game of Thrones" Isn't That Good: This "Golden Age" of TV is a Big Sham-Films for Action
  68. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows proves we're really in the Golden Age of Television-Consequence of Sound
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  74. ^ Rugrats Is Coming Back to NIckelodeon-TV Guide
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  76. ^ Disney Channel's Golden Ages-Odyessy
  77. ^ There's Nothing on TV Quite Like Yellowstone, but That Will Change|TV Guide
  78. ^ Watch: House Style in the Golden Age of Comedy Central-Indiewire
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  83. ^ Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee|Television Academy
  84. ^ 13 Reasons Why: Season 1 Review - IGN
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  87. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The 30 Best Animated Shows Since The Simpsons|Vanity Fair
  88. ^ a b c New Netflix shows won't return you to golden age of TV drama...
  89. ^ Freak TV: Welcome to the Golden Age of Weird – Rolling Stone
  90. ^ a b c d How we entered the “second golden age” of TV
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  92. ^ a b to watch: Fleabag, Chernobyl highlight why TV is having another golden age|Stuff.co.nz
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  94. ^ Television Academy
  95. ^ Breaking Bad: FX chief regrets passing|EW.com
  96. ^ a b c 'American Idol' And The Golden Age Of Reality Television-TVBlog
  97. ^ a b The best TV shows this week: Dear White People gets a 10-part spin-off|The Guardian
  98. ^ The 18 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows Set In Space, Ranked|IndieWire
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  102. ^ Best TV Shows of 2019:Top TV Series of the Year|Complex
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  104. ^ Even better this time round: The Crystal Maze, Twin Peaks and our golden age of TV reboots
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  106. ^ How the binge drop led to a golden age of TV characters|Datebook
  107. ^ The 50 Funniest TV Comedies of All Time-Complex
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  110. ^ What's New on Hulu:June 2016 - Vulture
  111. ^ How TV Became Art-The New Yorker
  112. ^ In the “Golden Age” of Television, Spring Is The New Fall
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  120. ^ Meet the dramedy queens: the women who built TV’s new golden age-The Guardian
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  122. ^ 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' at 30: How a Cult TV Show Changed Popular Culture -Rolling Stone
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External links[edit]