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Understanding Star Trek’s initial conditions of production and distribution requires an understanding of the basic operations of the classic network era: 1. Star Trek and American Television History 18 / Star Trek and American Television History that period, from roughly 1960 to 1980, in which the oligopoly constituted by the big three networks—CBS, NBC, and ABC—secured control of pro- duction, distribution, and exhibition through what Michele Hilmes calls a “tight vertical integration, similar to that of the movie studios before 1947.”1 In terms of production

c h a p t e r 8 American TV Writing Musings of a Global Storyteller k a r e n h a l l 128 I am a television writer. I’ve been one for a long time, which means I’ve been announcing that fact at cocktail parties, when asked what I do for a living, for a long time. By now I’m very used to the reaction I get, which is somewhere between “We don’t even own a television” (read: “We don’t have head lice”) and “We only watch the Learning Channel.” Sometimes I just get a surprised look and an “Oh, really?”—which is meant to be non- committal but is generally delivered

132 The transformation of the Latin American television industry clearly exposes the profound impact of neoliberal policies throughout the region, including the multiplication of distribution windows, trends toward media concentration, and changes in the modalities by which global media corporations are rooting in local and national television industries. Miller and Leger argue that runaway produc- tions are the means by which Hollywood outsources production to developing countries to realize cost advantages via flexible labor, low wages, low prices, tax


Contents Acknowledgments ix Abbreviations xi Foreword by Sir Patrick Stewart xiii introduction: “it’s a television show” 1 1. star trek and american television history 17 2. art, commerce, and creative autonomy 55 3. the craft-workshop mode of production 86 4. actors: the public face of star trek 106 5. world building 126 6. character building 149 conclusion: “it’s not a television show” 185 Appendix: List of Interviewees Quoted 193 Notes 195 References 221 Index 231 This page intentionally left blank


Star Trek and American Television This page intentionally left blank Star Trek and American Television roberta pearson and máire messenger davies With a foreword by Sir Patrick Stewart University of California Press berkeley los angeles london University of California Press, one of the most distinguished university presses in the United States, enriches lives around the world by advancing scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions from

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