4th Edition

An Introduction to Television Studies

By Jonathan Bignell, Faye Woods Copyright 2023
    336 Pages 106 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    336 Pages 106 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This comprehensive textbook, now substantially updated for its fourth edition, provides students with a framework for understanding the key concepts and main approaches to Television Studies, including audiences, representation, industry and global television, as well as the analytical study of individual programmes.

    This new edition reflects the significant changes the television industry is undergoing in the streaming era with an explosion of new content and providers, whilst also identifying how many existing practices have endured. The book includes a glossary of key terms, with each chapter suggesting further reading.

    New and updated material includes:

    • Chapters on style and form, narrative, industry, and representation and identity
    • Case studies on Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel, Insecure, British youth television, ABC and Disney+, fixed-rig observational documentary, streaming platforms' use of data to shape audience experience, Chewing Gum, Korean drama and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
    • Sections on medical drama, YouTube creators, Skam and scripted format sales, the global spread of streaming platforms, prestige TV and period drama

    With individual chapters addressing television style and form, narrative, histories, industries, genres and formats, realities, production, audiences, representation and identity, and quality, this book is essential reading for both students and scholars of Television Studies.

    Introduction  1. Studying Television  2. Television Style and Form  3. Television Narrative  4. Television Histories  5. Television Industries  6. Television Genres and Formats  7. Television Realities  8. Television Production  9. Television Audiences  10. Television Representation and Identity  11. Television Cultures and Globalisation  12. Television and Quality  Glossary of key terms


    Jonathan Bignell is Professor of Television and Film at the University of Reading, UK. He authored three previous editions of An Introduction to Television Studies and was co-author of The Television Handbook, second edition. His many other publications include co-editing the book A European Television History.

    Faye Woods is Associate Professor of Film and Television at the University of Reading, UK. She is the author of the books Period Drama and British Youth Television.

    Praise for the previous editions:

    ‘At a time when the question of what constitutes "television" is being ever more keenly debated and as the medium continues to be reimagined, I can think of no other book to so adroitly meet the needs of students new to Television Studies. Engaging, accessible, and with a diverse series of activities and case studies that capture both the history and dynamism of this subject, Bignell’s invaluable new edition provides a comprehensive entry into the most significant debates in the field.’ Dr Deborah Jermyn, Reader in Film and Television, Roehampton University

    ‘In covering key areas of Television Studies, ranging across history, aesthetics, genre, production and reception, this book remains a key touchstone for students entering and studying the field. Accessibly written and well-illustrated with the addition of up-to-date examples, Bignell manages to span the core concepts and concerns of the discipline in an engaging and stimulating manner. At a time when the very idea of ‘television’ as an object of study is undergoing significant shifts, An Introduction to Television Studies succeeds in taking us on a journey which maps out longstanding aspects of television (and Television Studies), whilst embracing the "new" context of television’s dispersed screens and digital culture.’ Su Holmes, Reader in Television Studies, University of East Anglia