(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Emmy

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”*…

On the history and impact of a seemingly simple service…

If I was to ask you what was the most important invention of the 20th century, you might mention the car, the television, the computer, or the internet. But there’s another invention that had such a huge impact on culture and society that people would organize their lives around it, and it drove the growth of multi-billion dollar industries. Despite this, most of us wouldn’t think of it as an invention at all, as it seems to have always just been there. So here’s a brief history of one of the most important overlooked inventions of modern times: the TV schedule…

The TV schedule organized the attention of millions of people at the same time, sharing the same experience, whether it was Richard Nixon sweating in a presidential debate, Neil Armstrong stepping foot onto the moon, or finding out who shot JR. These live, synchronous events created a kind of public sphere at a scale that had never been seen before, and we’re unlikely to see again. Sports are the only TV events that get close—on the list of most-watched US TV programs of all time, the only entries from the 2000s are Superbowls.

For nearly a century, a simple list, based around the hours of the day, structured the daily habits of millions of people, shaped the careers of politicians and celebrities, and powered a multi-billion dollar advertising industry. As we spend less time watching live TV, and more time on digital platforms, that power is now passing from the TV schedule to another way of organising our attention—algorithmic streams

Entertainment, technology, and shared experiences: “The TV Schedule Edition,” from Why Is This Interesting? (@WhyInteresting), by Matt Locke (@matlock).

(Image above: source)

* Annie Dillard

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As we tune in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1980 that Magnum, P. I. premiered on CBS; consistently highly-rated and the recipient of numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and awards, it ran until 1988, and made a star of its lead, Tom Selleck.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 11, 2021 at 1:00 am

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things”*…

 

Wikipedia

 

Even in so-called “normal” times, Wikipedia is a tremendous resource and a reminder that the internet doesn’t have to be terrible. Launched in January 2001, the now massive online encyclopedia, which can still be edited by anyone and remains an ad-free nonprofit, provides easy access to information to people who need answers to some of life’s most important, challenging, and difficult questions. It’s also still a great way to kill a few hours.

With so many people stuck indoors and looking for ways to pass the time during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there’s never been a better time to brush up on some classic strange Wikipedia articles and perhaps discover a new bizarre favorite. You might not have the willpower required to write your own version of King Lear while in lockdown, but you definitely have the energy to skim this “List of titles of works taken from Shakespeare.” From pro wrestling drama and mythical creatures to disastrous roller-skate musicals and unsolved hijacking mysteries, these are some of our favorite Wiki wormholes…

Can one ever know too much about too little?  For your sheltered-at-home amusement: “10 Outrageous Wikipedia Articles That Will Send You Down a Rabbit Hole.”

* Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

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As we dig digging, we might recall that it was on this date in 2010 that, thanks to a massive Facebook campaign by her fans, Saturday Night Live announced that Betty White would host the May 8 show that year– which she did, becoming, at 88, the oldest host in the show’s history.  Lorne Michaels and the production staff were sufficiently concerned about her age that they had Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch and Amy Poehler on standby to replace her; White went on to appear in every sketch… and won an Emmy for her performance.

C.F. Wikipedia’s “List of Saturday Night hosts.”

200px-BettyWhiteJune09 source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 8, 2020 at 1:01 am

“There’s a good deal in common between the mind’s eye and the TV screen”*…

 

Not your correspondent… but might have been

It’s widely suggested these days that we’re in a “Golden Age of Television”… but hasn’t the history of the TV been one long Golden Age?

In case of fire, 82% of 20th Century Americans surveyed in the pre-Internet era would rescue the TV set. The other 18% would stay still watching the thing and ask, ‘What fire?’ America loved the magic box…

More glimpses of Americans and their tubes at “Found Photos: Mid-Century People Standing By Modern TVs.” Volume Two here.

* Ursula K. LeGuin

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As we tune in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1998 that Frasier set an Emmy record, becoming the first to take top honors for outstanding comedy series five years in a row (a record currently tied by Modern Family).  Frasier won a total of 37 Primetime Emmy Awards during its 11-year run, breaking the record long held by The Mary Tyler Moore Show (29).

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

A place for every thing, and everything in its place…

 

Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli is the epitome of neatness.  His new book, The Art of Clean Up, takes everyday scenes of disorder and… well, orders them.

Readers can find more of Wehrli’s “chaos conquered” at Jeannie Huang’s nifty blog Jeannie, Jeannie— and see Wehrli’s tidiness applied to high culture in his Tidying Up Art books…

 

As we resolve to straighten up and fly right, we might recall that it was on this date in 1993 that that America’s favorite neat freak got his own show, when Cheers spin-off Frasier debuted on NBC.  Kelsey Grammar created the Frasier Crane character (in 1984) for what was supposed to be a short-arc as Diane’s boyfriend on Cheers.  But the character was such a hit that he became a regular, then anchored his own series for 11 years.  Grammar appeared in character as Dr. Crane on the NBC series Wings— and became the only actor ever nominated for Emmys for portraying the same character on three different series.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 16, 2011 at 1:01 am

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