Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Decade of Television

Some of the most popular TV series premièred during the 1980's or carried over from the 1970s include: Dynasty, Dallas,Miami Vice,The Cosby Show, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The 1980s also was prominent for spawning several popular children's cartoons such as The Smurfs, Transformers,  G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Inspector Gadget, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Some of these TV shows became to be some of the best known shows in world.

A prime example of the this would be the the Simpsons an an American adult animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and is extremely popular as it parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.The Simpsons is widely considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time (Time magazine's December 31, 1999, issue named it the 20th century's best television series).

Along with all of these popular programs, the 1980's was can be identified to be a decade that transformed television. This is particularly because of the mass introduction of cable television. Cable television became more accessible and therefore, more popular. Only 8 percent of American households received basic cable in 1970. But by 1980 that number had climbed to 23 percent, and it would double within the next four years. By the end of the decade, nearly 60 percent of American homes were wired for basic cable, and almost half of those were receiving some premium channels. With the advent of cable, the three major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, lost their monopoly on what Americans viewed in their living rooms.

Furthermore, videocassette (VCR) ownership grew from 1 to 68 percent during the 1980s, allowing viewers to tape one or several shows while watching others. Along with more TV sets within households, the old image of entire families gathered around a single set had given way to the more common practice of individual members of the family watching a personal TV, or watching their shows individually on the same TV set.

Therefore the 1980's was a decade that carried on and introduced many successful and iconic  TV shows but completely changed the way in which Americans watched their favourite TV shows.


The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History — John Ortved — Google Books. Retrieved 1/14/14

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