Sunday, May 21, 2006

Move over Hollywood

In The Guardian Weekend, John Patterson and Gareth McLean celebrate the current Golden Age of American TV.
Today, US television is where cultural debates are sparked, and where popular culture renews and reinvigorates itself. Over the past 10 years, TV has slowly seized the creative initiative from the movies and run with it, all the way to the Emmys - and to the bank. With entire seasons of TV shows available on DVD and cheap iPod downloads of popular shows online, television is now teeming with beautifully written, well-made programmes, including The Sopranos, Deadwood, Law & Order and its many spin-offs, Lost, 24, Six Feet Under, The Shield and Nip/Tuck. Umbilically connected to the internet, TV is also able to attach itself swiftly to new currents in subterranean culture and bring them to viewers in a matter of days. This inventiveness affects all areas, from news to drama. And it is because of the sudden upsurge in TV drama, along with the immense fortunes to be made in it, that so many names we associate with the cinema are moving to television.

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