"If you thought Seinfeld was a blockbuster sitcom, think again. Janet Staiger confronts the issue of the popularity of TV sitcoms and comes up with surprising results. A must-read for classes in television and popular culture."
-Jane Feuer,author of Seeing Through the Eighties: Television and Reaganism
"In this ingenious exploration, Janet Staiger presents three decades of lively public debate about television's role in U.S. culture. Weaving together research on audience, TV's promotional strategies, industry perspectives, and the diverse ingredients of comedy, Staiger crafts a vivid landscape of our common cultural pleasures."
-Mary Beth Haralovich,coeditor of Television, History and American Culture: Feminist Critical Essays
"A unique and intriguing study of a phenomenon the likes of which we may never see again. Everyone involved in teaching or observing U.S. TV culture—and on some level, most of us are—should read this book."
-Michele Hilmes,Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Provides fresh insight into one of the most popularly discussed and critically mysterious of media phenomenon. Rather than attempting to find a magic formula that explains the success of 'must-see' TV shows, Janet Staiger examines how diverse and variable historical factors contributed to the popularity of hit sitcoms. In the process, she makes a vivid contribution to the cultural study of television and signals important directions for future research."
-Barbara Klinger,Director, Film and Media, Indiana University
"Staiger's Blockbuster TV artfully balances formal analysis, inflected with and informed by various theoretical perspectives, of four different sitcoms with an examination of their reception.
About the Author
Janet Staiger teaches cultural, gender, sexuality, and media studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her recent books are Perverse Spectators: The Practices of Film Reception and Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era (both available from NYU Press).