Television since 1980

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Television sf has undergone tremendous change since the 1980s. In the face of challenges from cinema, the internet, and computer games, sf has been at the forefront of television’s attempts to maintain a regular and devoted audience. From what is usually considered a lean period in Britain and the US during the 1980s, the genre has developed two distinct popular forms through which it continues to attract viewers in an overcrowded, diverse multi-channel climate: the cult series and the quality series. In the competition between established networks and new cable channels for revenue and audiences, in which inexpensive reality television shows have proved invaluable, more expensive dramatic formats, such as the series, serial, and miniseries, have combined with popular genres, such as sf, crime, horror, and medical drama, to produce programs that either maintain a small but hardcore fanbase over several seasons or attract millions of casual viewers through hype and marketing in a relatively short period of one or two seasons.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Science Fiction
    EditorsM. Bould, A. Butler, A. Roberts, S. Vint
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)9781135228361
    ISBN (Print)9780415453783
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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