The Program Content of Television
From 8 to 11 o'clock each night, television is one long lie . . .
-- David Rintels, Former President, Writers Guild of America
If the direct effects of television's influence come from the content of television, how can we begin to describe this content? For one thing, we need to adopt a perspective, we need to ask "from what point of view?" The industry's point of view, as we have seen, is that the content of television is a series of programs, divided into types, shown at different times of the day and night, and appealing to certain members of the audience. The content, described in this way, changes with some regularity.
The location of these programming categories varies quite a bit over the day and the week. During the week, the morning is taken up with news and game shows, the afternoon mostly with soap operas and reruns of situation comedies. The evening begins with more news, more sitcoms, and then the prime-time shows of comedy, drama, entertain-____________________