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Cinema and the Age of Television, 1946–1975

3. 1946 to 1975

5. Film and Culture: Summary Essays

  1. Michele Hilmes

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470671153.wbhaf096

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

How to Cite

Hilmes, M. 2011. Cinema and the Age of Television, 1946–1975. The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film. 3:5:66.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


Hollywood's relationship with broadcasting goes deep, back to the days of the 1920s, before radio networks had yet established themselves. Far-sighted entrepreneurs like Harry Warner of Warner Bros. set up radio stations as publicity vehicles for films and film stars, and advertisers turned to the glamour of Hollywood to promote their products on air. Indeed, American broadcasting could not have developed as it did without the influence of the movie industry, nor would Hollywood be what it is today without its considerable connection to broadcasting. Unlike Britain, where film producers regarded the public monopoly British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as purely a competitor, likely to use up film properties and celebrities without adequate compensation, Hollywood studios and stars eagerly teamed up with radio in the early 1930s in the mutual pursuit of profit, not only as a medium of publicity but in the development of sound technology and practices and as a vibrant venue of mutual creative interaction. This continued and intensified as television debuted in the late 1940s, bringing visual aesthetics and techniques of film production to the serial forms of broadcasting. By the late 1970s, it had become impossible to speak of the film and television industries as separate entities: television networks both produced and aired movies; film studios originated the vast majority of prime-time programs on the networks; and cable television had begun to transform both industries as a new site of hybrid creativity.


  • radio;
  • television;
  • seriality;
  • filmed programs;
  • feature films on television;
  • made for TV movies;
  • fin/syn (financial interest and syndication) rules;
  • prime time access rule (PTAR);
  • situation comedy;
  • networks