History of Television 512:388


Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 8-9:20, Armitage 124

Professor Woll

awoll@camden.rutgers.edu or 225-6671

Office:  Robeson Library 298

Assigned books:

Barnouw, Tube of Plenty

Minow and LaMay, Abandoned in the Wasteland, Children, Television and the First Amendment

All students will be required to create a blog on Television History. For instructions, go here: http://awoll.wordpress.com/


Sept 2-Sept 4

       VIDEO:  Empire of the Air I

"The Day TV Died"


Sept 9-Sept 11

Where Does Television Come From?-I
       READINGS:  TOP, 1-2/ VIDEO:  Empire of the Air II

Listen to one hour of radio at:


How do radio shows differ from television shows?  How are they similar?


Sept 16-Sept 18

Where Does Television Come From?-II

READINGS : TOP, 3/ VIDEO: Philo Farnsworth

For a review of a new book about Philo Farnsworth, click here

Sept 23-Sept 26

Berle and the Expansion of Television
       Video:  Texaco Star Theater

For next week: (Watch the Robert Redford film Quiz Show (1994) prior to October 7 class.)

Sept 30-Oct 2

The Murrow Moment
       READINGS: TOP, 4  (Up to “Dynamic Duo”)

VIDEO: See It Now


Oct 7-Oct 9



Oct 14-Oct 16

(14) Ethics of the Medium
        VIDEO: $64,000 Question

Charles Van Doren, "All the Answers"

A response by Stanley Fish: "None of the Answers"


(16) TV and Politics
           VIDEO:  The Checkers Speech
           READINGS , TOP, 4 & 5

Oct 21-Oct 23

TV and Politics -  II

On the first nationally televised political convention, click here and listen.


Oct 28-Oct 30

The Minow Experiment and the FCC

READINGS:  Abandoned in the Wasteland will be discussed on the 28th.  Pay particular attention to Appendix 2.  (“The Wasteland Speeches”) for today’s class.

Nov 4-Nov 6

The Relevant 1970s
           VIDEO:  All in the Family
           READINGS: TOP, 6

For a story on the first satellite and how it changed television, click here and listen.

Nov 11-Nov 14

The New Television Media I – Cable, VCRs, Satellites &

Read:  Veni, Vidi, Video, Intro Chapters 1-3

Nov 18-Nov 21

The New Television Media II  -- Decline (?) of the Networks

Read:  Veni, Vidi, Video, Chapter 4-7

Nov 25-28

(28) Thanksgiving

Dec 2-Dec 4

Into the Future – The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the
New Media Enterprises

Read "Who Owns What?"



Dec 9

New Vistas in the 21st Century

Final Exam, Monday Dec. 22, 2-5 PM

Grades: Midterm Exam--1/3

Final Exam--1/3


Absence Penalty: For every three absences, 10 points will be deducted from your final grade total.