The Golden Age of Television Drama

An area of multiple panels for
The 2014 Film & History Conference:
Golden Ages: Styles, Personalities, Genres, and Histories

List of All Areas Main Conference Page

DEADLINE for Abstracts: June 1, 2014

The television drama has been, and continues to be, one of the most important and contested elements of television production in the United States and around the world. In America, the genre—mostly episodic in style—came into its own in the late 1940s and early 1950s, experiencing what many call its first “Golden Age.”

In the 1980s, series like Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, L.A. Law, and Thirty Something marked the medium’s second “Golden Age.” These series adapted the serial form associated with the production of daytime soap operas in order to create stories that were long form, more complex in structure, and designed to attract a more educated and upscale audience. With the airing of shows such as Sex and the City, and The Sopranos on HBO in the 1990s, and Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead in the 2000s on AMC, television critics suggest that America is experiencing its third “Golden Age” of television dramas.

Why has the television drama continued to be one of the most vibrant forms of programming? How has the genre been able to incorporate numerous changes in terms of format, content, style, and production methods over time? This area invites 20-minute papers dealing with all aspects of understanding television drama and its relationship to the evolution of the medium and society.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are welcome. All proposals must include an abstract, contact information, including email for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting see the Film & History website (

Please email your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014 to the area chair:

Dr. Brian Faucette
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

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