In this illuminating book, David S. Silverman assesses four controversial television programs from the perspective of media history, assessing the censorship present at all four networks and the political and intellectual inertia it produces in broadcast television.
Beginning with The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the sixties, the author also examines The Richard Pryor Show, TV Nation, and Politically Incorrect. Drawing on firsthand accounts by the writers, producers, and performers of these programs, Silverman offers an unbiased view of the ways in which censorship, sponsor intimidation, regulation, and network tampering force all American broadcasters to manipulate creative talent and stifle genuine controversy. Shedding new light on the prevalence of censorship in broadcast television, this book reinvigorates the subject of free speech in American society.
Table of Contents
Television Censorship and Regulation: An Introduction 1
Tuned In, Turned On, Then Kicked Off: The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 33
"When You Hire Richard Pryor, You Get Richard Pryor": The Richard Pryor Show 62
Two Networks, One Emmy, and the Some Outcome: TV Nation 99
Do Not Relinquish the Right to Criticize: Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher 132
Discussion and Conclusions 146
Works Cited 157