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What is the name of the documentary-style television series in the 1950s?

by Ratan Srivastava
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television

Since the 1920s, the movie and television industries have had such a “symbiotic connection,” having major Hollywood studios striving to create and dominate television as a new distribution channel. Film studios created content for much of the prime-time television schedule in the 1950s, as well as experimenting with alternatives to broadcast. Diversification was well underway by the end of the 1950s, with Hollywood film studios becoming media conglomerates.

Television’s influence on the movie industry in the 1950s can indeed be understated. It has been suggested that perhaps the steep drop in ticket sales, box-office earnings, and business profits in Hollywood around 1947 and 1957 was mostly due to television.

However, in the 1950s, the movie industry’s connection towards television had to be taken in the context of social and economic transformations (suburbanization, demographic shifts, and consumer buying patterns), as well as political difficulties. In addition, due to such Paramount decrees, the expansion of independent production, trade restrictions in foreign markets, as well as the fall of the Production Code, as well as changes in movie-viewing habits, Hollywood was undergoing fundamental upheavals.

Whereas these changes are covered in greater depth elsewhere in this book, this chapter concentrates on the linkages between the cinema and television industries during this pivotal decade. As early as the 1920s, historians have explored the majors’ relationship with radio. For example, Christopher Anderson suggested that “the studios sought to control the radio and television industries, not only engage in electronic communication”3. Throughout this time, the big studios were heavily interested in radio in a variety of ways. Their operations encompassed station ownership, network investments, and contacts with radio interests, to name a few.

Despite the fact that the studios’ direct interests were hampered by the Depression, Hollywood continued to use the airwaves for promotion and also talent and programming.

During the 1930s, a few Hollywood studio executives showed a serious interest in television experimentation.

Also Read: Do Commercial television films no longer have white actresses?

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