Below are direct links to the various features written by members of the This Was Television team.
Branded: A chronicle of networks’ and channels’ ever-evolving identities.
TNT’s Journey from “The Best Movie Studio on Television” to “We Know Drama”
Our Old TV: Members of the TWTV team explore the television programs and events that were foundational to their viewer experience.
Cory Barker on the NBA Draft
Les Chappell on Mystery Science Theater 3000
Noel Kirkpatrick on serialized storytelling in animation
Okay, I Finally Watched It: Members of the TWTV team discuss their experience catching up with shows generally viewed as classics.
Cory Barker on Seinfeld (Seasons 1-2)
Les Chappell on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1-3)
Lists: Various lists by the TWTV team. Best of, worst of, etc.
Cory Barker on the Top 30 Shows in WB and UPN History: 30-25, 24-16, 15-8, 7-1
Andrew Rabin on The Top 40 Nickelodeon Theme Songs Pre-2000: 40-33, 32-25
People Who Matter: TWTV spotlights influential and productive people from all facets of the television industry.
Cory Barker on Grant Tinker, of MTM and NBC
Special Presentations: Other columns, essays, commentary and opinions by members of the TWTV team.
Cory Barker: The frustrating, never-ending onslaught of television
Andy Daglas: So, could Aaron Sorkin “ever” write women?
Cory Barker: There is no canon of TV shows—how about a Hall of Fame?
Cory Barker: WWE Raw’s 1,000th episode: The best terrible show of all-time
Andy Daglas: Studs’ Place offers a little-seen angle on a medium and an icon
Happy 2013 (and Highlights of 2012)
Anthony Strand on Mel Brooks’s lackluster attempt at TV with Inside Danny Baker
1970s Fun Flops: Jaime Weinman writes about the failed sitcoms of the 1970s.
The Tony Randall Show, part 1
The Tony Randall Show, part 2
Bridget Loves Bernie
Asked & Answered: A chance for the writers of TWTV to answer questions about TV history. Questions can range from the personal to the critical about historical television.
What’s your earliest TV memory?
Which show would you visit?
This Was Television: Best of 2012
Who was your first TV crush?
Which TV show filled in those answers that sex ed or the birds and the bees chat with your parents left out?
Which TV actor or character did you crush on that you now look at and think “Why?!”
Was there a show or scene from a show that you were mortified to watch with your family? Did an awkward birds and the bees talk follow?
What’s the first influential season finale you remember?
Which character(s) deserved a spinoff?
What old show is at the top of your summer catch-up list?
What awards snub bothers you the most?
What book should be adapted into a television show?
What show is the most ‘American’?
What news anchor did you trust the most?
What reunion panel would you most like to see?
Who is your favorite television cop?
What is the first TV death you remember?
Black in Time: Erin Canty looks at black television over the last few decades.
A Celebration of TV’s Black Nerds
Dear Grandchildren, You Would’ve Really Liked In Living Color
The Top 5 Best Black TV Theme Songs
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
That’s All Folks! A Look At Series Finales
The Box Seats: Cory Barker looks back at bring up some older sports events, games, and telecasts. Appears occasionally.
The Short, Disastrous Life of the XFL
‘The Malice in the Palace’ and Sports ‘Characters’
March Madness, History, and Memory
Brit TV: Heather McLendon takes a look at classic British television. Appears on the first Tuesday of the month.
Coronation Street: Working-class realism and escapism in the 1960s
Spaced and the celebration of geek culture
Doctor Who & its problematic casting history
The Cheers Legacy
Debate Night: Eric Thurm casts his vote in the matter of televised presidential debates. Appears every other Wednesday.
John F. Kennedy vs. Richard Nixon, 1960
Gerald Ford vs. Jimmy Carter, 1976
Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan, 1980
Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale, 1984
George H. W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis, 1988
Barack Obama/Mitt Romney Link Roundup
George H.W. Bush vs. Bill Clinton vs. Ross Perot, 1992
Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole, 1996
George W. Bush vs. Al Gore, 2000
George W. Bush vs. John Kerry, 2004
Barack Obama vs. John McCain, 2008
Game Night: Whitney McIntosh spins the wheel on classic game shows. Appears on the third Thursday of the month.
Notte Gioco (A look at Italian game shows)
Scripted Series Can’t Have All the Holiday Fun
Win, Lose or Draw
Love Connection and The Newlywed Game
Double Dare and GUTS
Let’s Make A Deal
Wheel of Fortune
Anything You Can Do
The Jett Jackson Five: Cameron offers a limited-run look at the Disney Channel series The Famous Jett Jackson. Appears on Monday.
“Saving Mr. Dupree”
Right on Schedule: Anthony Strand flips through network primetime schedules and their relationship to TV and culture as a whole. Appears on the second Wednesday of the month.
ABC Fridays (1970-1971)
CBS Saturdays (1955-1956)
NBC Fridays (1968-1969)
FOX Sundays (1988-1989)
CBS Mondays (1973–1974)
DuMont Tuesdays (1952-1953)
WB Sundays (1996-1997)
NBC Wednesdays (1981-1982)
ABC Sundays (1960-1961)
CBS Sundays (1960-1961)
NBC Sundays (1960-1961)
Same As It Ever Was?: J. Walker examines shows that lose their most influential voices. Appears on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
Star Trek After Gene Roddenberry
Steroids Almost Ruin Pro Wrestling (Though Not in the Way You’d Think)
Mulder vs. Flukeman – How Darin Morgan Taught The X-Files to Laugh at Itself
You’re No Fun Anymore – Monty Python Minus One
Saved by the Bell Gets Real (By Turning All the Characters into Jerks)
Article Meh, Section Bleh – How The West Wing Turned into a Miserable Slog
How the 21st Century Made David Copperfield Disappear
Searching for Queerness in Television’s Past: Alfred L. Martin, Jr. considers TV’s depiction of race and queerness. Appears on the first Monday of the month.
Small Screen Shivers
The Cat Creature (1973)
The Squared Circle: Cory and J. discuss pro wrestling’s place on television. Appears occasionally.
Thinking about Pro Wrestling as TV
Wrestling’s Serialized Storytelling, The Mega Powers, and The nWo
Teen Dreams: Kerensa Cadenas goes back to the roots of teen television. Appears on the third Wednesday of the month.
Dobie Gillis, Gidget, Never Too Young, and the Origins of Teen Television
The Partridge Family and Feminism, Dull TV, and Singing Heartthrobs
Let’s Talk About Sex: Race, Class and Sexual Double Standards in Happy Days and Good Times
James at 15: Teen Boys, Masculinity and Raging Hormones
The Facts of Life, Teen Lesbians, and Queer Invisibility / Visibility
Square Pegs: Construction of Popularity, Nerd Girl Desirability and Fleeting Crushes
Degrassi: 34 Going on 15
Together Forever — The Wonder Years and The “Forever” Narrative
Televising Masculinities: Brian Faucette takes a look at representations of masculinity throughout TV’s history. Appears on the second Monday of the month.
I Love Lucy: Expectations of the Sitcom Husband in the early 1950s (Part 1)
I Love Lucy: Expectations of the Sitcom Husband in the early 1950s (Part 2)
Blue Collar Masculinity and the 1950s in The Honeymooners
The Sitcom Dad in the 1950s on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
Television’s Best Episodes: Our staff takes a look at episodes considered to be the best of the medium.
Cory Barker on The Wonder Years, “She, My Friend and I” and “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”
Cory Barker on Malcolm in the Middle, “Bowling”
Wild and Crazy Kids: Kevin McFarland discusses kids’ shows from the rise of cable television.
Women in the Box: Sabienna Bowman analyzes the iconic female characters of TV history. Appears on the second Thursday of the month.
Ellie Walker, The Andy Griffith Show
Katherine Chancellor, The Young and the Restless
Janet Tyler, The Twilight Zone
Roseanne Conner, Roseanne
Marilyn Whirlwind, Northern Exposure
Ethel Mertz, I Love Lucy
Winnie, Topanga, and the ’90s Girl-Next-Door
Dawn Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rachel Green, Monica Geller, and Phoebe Buffay, Friends
Rita Capkovic, The Rockford Files
Hyacinth Bucket, Keeping Up Appearances
Zoe Washburne, Firefly