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It's Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO

af Felix Gillette, John Koblin

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
381660,733 (3.75)1
"The riveting inside story of HBO, the start-up company that reinvented television-by two veteran media reporters HBO changed how stories could be told on TV. The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Game of Thrones. The network's meteoric rise heralded the second golden age of television with serialized shows that examined and reflected American anxieties, fears, and secret passions through complicated characters who were flawed and often unlikable. HBO's own behind-the-scenes story is as complex, compelling, and innovative as the dramas the network created, driven by unorthodox executives who pushed the boundaries of what viewers understood as television at the turn of the century. Originally conceived by a small upstart group of entrepreneurs to bring Hollywood movies into living rooms across America, the scrappy network grew into one of the most influential and respected players in Hollywood. It's Not TV is the deeply reported, definitive story of one of America's most daring and popular cultural institutions, laying bare HBO's growth, dominance, and vulnerability within the capricious media landscape over the past fifty years. Through the visionary executives, showrunners, and producers who shaped HBO, seasoned journalists Gillette and Koblin bring to life a dynamic cast of characters who drove the company's creative innovation in astonishing ways-outmaneuvering copycat competitors, taming Hollywood studios, transforming 1980s comedians and athletes like Chris Rock and Mike Tyson into superstars, and in the late 1990s and 2000s elevating the commercial-free, serialized drama to a revered art form. But in the midst of all its success, HBO was also defined by misbehaving executives, internal power struggles, and a few crucial miscalculations. As data-driven models like Netflix have taken over streaming, HBO's artful, instinctual, and humanistic approach to storytelling is in jeopardy. Taking readers into the boardrooms and behind the camera, It's Not TV tells the surprising, fascinating story of HBO's ascent, its groundbreaking influence on American business, technology, and popular culture, and its increasingly precarious position in the very market it created"--… (mere)
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Felix Gillette and John Koblin are journalists who have covered the entertainment business. It’s Not TV (2022), looks at the careers of several executive employees of Home Box Office, the evolution of HBO as a premium cable brand, and its struggles to maintain its reputation and revenues after Internet streaming became a method of broadcasting.
The book is mainly a series of stories about the producers, directors, writers and some of the the actors of almost all of the successful premium cable HBO movies, TV series, documentaries, comedy specials that HBO distributed through to the end of 2021 – including David Chase (The Sopranos), David Simon (The Wire), David Milch (Deadwood). It mentions cases when HBO killed projects after spending money and time on them It has stories about scandals and disputes within HBO. It mainly suggests that HBO’s institutional culture fostered the successes, and that HBO deserves credit for making its brand successful.
The book notes that HBO proclaimed its progressive stance in the US culture wars but complains about HBO’s slow progress in becoming sufficiently diverse and inclusive to tell some stories that some persons wanted told, and providing resources to some writers, actors, producers, and promoters. This appears to be an accusation that HBO historically practised Woke capitalism. Since HBO was a profit-seeking entity in the American neo-liberal economy, HBO employees were never able to do what shareholders, managers, creatives and consumers wanted at any given point in time.
The book’s storytelling about content producers will appeal to fans of HBO and its shows.
The book does not discuss technical issues, financial data or viewer data, or the broadcasting business.
The book mentions HBO’s use of satellites to distribute pay-per-view sports in the 1970s and to send content to cable distributors. The book touches on technical successes in the use of satellite signals to receive and distribute contents, and coding satellite transmissions of HBO content to cable companies to frustrate signal piracy, which disrupted the home satellite dish markets. The book mentions HBO’s relationship with the American cable industry, but fails to discuss the reliance of HBO on the cable companies’ control of cable converters to protect content creators and distributors, or the rent-seeking behaviour of HBO, its owners and the cable industry. It mentions, but does explain that HBO was slow in pivoting from cable to streaming, and the reasons that its business was disrupted by the development of broadband internet.
The book mentions HBO’s problems with developing software but does not otherwise explain the delay in developing software that would distribute content to streaming devices. HBO and its owners and partners continue to license their properties to cable consortiums elsewhere in the world and developed HBO Max as a serve to cable subscribers rather than a streaming service. The conversion of the service to a an internet streaming service was awkward, and frustrating for internet customers before and after the merger of Warner and Discovery, and the reorganization of streaming services with the conglomerate.
The book does not discuss the reasons that HBO Max dropped several programs in 2022. National Public Radio's Planet Money addressed this in a 25 minute podcast called "Dude, Where's My Streaming TV Show" March 10, 2023. ( )
  BraveKelso | Jan 29, 2023 |
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"The riveting inside story of HBO, the start-up company that reinvented television-by two veteran media reporters HBO changed how stories could be told on TV. The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Game of Thrones. The network's meteoric rise heralded the second golden age of television with serialized shows that examined and reflected American anxieties, fears, and secret passions through complicated characters who were flawed and often unlikable. HBO's own behind-the-scenes story is as complex, compelling, and innovative as the dramas the network created, driven by unorthodox executives who pushed the boundaries of what viewers understood as television at the turn of the century. Originally conceived by a small upstart group of entrepreneurs to bring Hollywood movies into living rooms across America, the scrappy network grew into one of the most influential and respected players in Hollywood. It's Not TV is the deeply reported, definitive story of one of America's most daring and popular cultural institutions, laying bare HBO's growth, dominance, and vulnerability within the capricious media landscape over the past fifty years. Through the visionary executives, showrunners, and producers who shaped HBO, seasoned journalists Gillette and Koblin bring to life a dynamic cast of characters who drove the company's creative innovation in astonishing ways-outmaneuvering copycat competitors, taming Hollywood studios, transforming 1980s comedians and athletes like Chris Rock and Mike Tyson into superstars, and in the late 1990s and 2000s elevating the commercial-free, serialized drama to a revered art form. But in the midst of all its success, HBO was also defined by misbehaving executives, internal power struggles, and a few crucial miscalculations. As data-driven models like Netflix have taken over streaming, HBO's artful, instinctual, and humanistic approach to storytelling is in jeopardy. Taking readers into the boardrooms and behind the camera, It's Not TV tells the surprising, fascinating story of HBO's ascent, its groundbreaking influence on American business, technology, and popular culture, and its increasingly precarious position in the very market it created"--

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