TV shows in the United States have come a long way since the introduction of the first electronic television. At that time the range and number of television shows were limited along with the number of viewing channels. But all this changed due to a combination of commercial television, public broadcasting, and the introduction of new technologies.

Commercial television

The commercial or private broadcasting of television shows by privately owned corporate media gradually started to increase during the 1960s-1970s. Three television networks steadily rose to prominence and dominated the broadcasting of several of television shows. Theyincluded CBS, NBC and ABC, and were together responsible for vast improvements in the number and quality of shows. The different shows became more realistic and adventurous and were made widely available to maximum viewers. Mass appeal was the new target and shows were timed and broadcasted accordingly to gain the highest viewership and profitability.

How TV Shows Have Emerged With Time

Public broadcasting 

This was introduced in 1967 and created as a noncommercial non-profitable educational Public Broadcasting System or PBS. This was made operational throughout the United States with more than three hundred stations and a variety of shows. PBS also earned a reputation for high-quality television shows and bringing the still popular “Sesame Street” to all preschool children across the United States. It broadcasted drama shows, children’s educational shows as well as historical documentary shows. PBS also contributed to increasing the number of television shows and especially high-quality shows.

Introduction new technologies and technological advances 

Home videocassette recorders were made available in the United States by the 1980s and proved to be incredibly convenient. People were able to record their favorite television showsand watch them at any time suitable for them. Along with this, the number of cable networks also continued to grow and literally made numerous television shows viewable.The cable technology continued to improve during the 1990s and along with direct-broadcast-satellite-television, significantly increased television channels and shows.

Simultaneously, the number of broadcast networks increased and the number of television shows made available by them. Fox, UPN and WB networks arrived and the 1994 O. J. Simpson trial demonstrated the strong impact of cable television. In 1996, television shows had to display ratings, as some were considered unsuitable for children to watch. Accordingly, ratings such as “TV-G/general audiences, TV-PG/parental guidance, TV-14/unsuitable for under fourteen children, and TV-MA/mature audiences only” were introduced. The “V-chip” in new television sets also helped parents to control the television shows their children were able to watch.

Then, the introduction of high-definition televisions and channels allowed people to watch television shows in far greater clarity than ever before. The signals began to be digitally transmitted and convergence between the Internet, television, and computers became possible by 2006. Television shows could now be watched as easily on computers as on television sets, making it very convenient for viewers. At present, with even further advances, it is possible to watch shows on hand-held devices and at any convenient time. You can also see repeats of any favorite show you may have missed and you can watch them anywhere.

Thus, through the development of technology, it has become possible to watch any television show anywhere and at anytime. They have also increased significantly in number and variety and can be categorized under according to various types. These include reality shows, talk shows, comedy and drama shows, children’s shows, soap operas, news, sports show, and imported shows.Hence, an endless choice is now available for you to choose from and watch either live or in recorded form.


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