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The New Entrepreneurs

An Institutional History of Television Anthology Writers

Jon Kraszewski

Publication Year: 2011

According to the sociologist C. Wright Mills in his 1951 book, White Collar: The American Middle Classes, the "new entrepreneur" was a lone wolf able to succeed in post-World War II corporate America by elusively meandering through various institutions. During this time, anthology writers such as Rod Serling, Reginald Rose, and Paddy Chayefsky achieved a level of creativity that has rarely been equaled on television since. Yet despite their success, anthology writers still needed to evade the constraints and censorship of 50s television in order to stay true to their creative powers and political visions. Thus they worked as new entrepreneurs who adapted their more controversial scripts for the Hollywood, Broadway, and book publishing industries. Even after the television networks cancelled their prestigious anthology series at the end of the 50s, the most resilient writers were able to redefine what it meant to be entrepreneurs by launching cutting-edge shows such as The Twilight Zone and The Defenders that are still popular today. The New Entrepreneurs includes detailed textual analysis of legendary, sometimes hard-to-find, television anthology scripts that have received only cursory glances in television history until now.

Ebook Edition Note: All images have been redacted.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Cover

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-

List of Illustrations

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pp. viii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

This is my first book. Like many first-time authors, I owe a lot to the department where I earned my PhD, the universities that have employed me in my pre-tenure years, the press that agreed to publish my book, and the friends and family who have supported me along the way. This project began because of the advice and encouragement of...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-25

It was an era dominated by fears of corporations that robbed men of their identities. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman showed Willy Loman committing suicide after the company he worked for his entire life fired him. Rod Serling’s “Patterns,” a television...

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CHAPTER 1. Between the Television and Book Publishing Industries: Anthology Writers and Their Struggle for Authorial Identities

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pp. 26-49

For an anthology writer, having a public reputation as an author offered cultural benefits. Public reputations allowed writers to position themselves in mass-culture debates. Americans in the post– World War II era placed faith in experts...

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CHAPTER 2. Between the Television and Theater Industries: Representations of Race in Rod Serling's "Noon on Doomsday"

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pp. 50-69

Working within the centralized power structure of the broadcasting industry made it impossible for anthology writers to represent race in their scripts. The broadcasting industry had official policies and unofficial assumptions that strictly prohibited dramas about race on anthology series...

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CHAPTER 3. Between the Television and Motion Picture Industries: Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty" as Art Cinema

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pp. 70-102

From the post–World War II era through the present day, media scholars have noted the relationship between the theater and television anthology dramas, so much so that we think of the theater as the principal and perhaps sole...

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CHAPTER 4. New Strategies for Entrepreneurship: Reginald Rose, The Defenders, and the 1960s Television Industry

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pp. 103-138

At the end of the 1950s, the mode of production for television drama underwent a drastic change that transformed writers from new entrepreneurs to dependent employees. Major changes in the television industry destroyed the market...

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CHAPTER 5. A New Zone of Production? Rod Serling's Attempt to Redefine the Role of the Writer in the 1960s Television Industry

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pp. 139-178

Rod Serling was always a wily businessman, and it is no surprise that he challenged the television industry as it took creative power away from dramatic writers at the end of the 1950s and defined them as dependent employees. Here, much...

Notes

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pp. 179-194

Bibliography

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pp. 195-200

Index

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pp. 201-213


E-ISBN-13: 9780819571038
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819569462

Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Wesleyan Film

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Subject Headings

  • Television programs -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Television programs -- Economic aspects -- United States.
  • Television -- Production and direction -- United States.
  • Television plays, American -- History and criticism.
  • Television authorship -- United States.
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