1st Edition

Indie TV Industry, Aesthetics and Medium Specificity

Edited By James Lyons, Yannis Tzioumakis Copyright 2023
    392 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    392 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    This edited collection is the first book to offer a wide-ranging examination of the interface between American independent film and a converged television landscape that consists of terrestrial broadcasters, cable networks and streaming providers, in which independent film and television intersect in complex, multifaceted and creative ways.

    The book covers the long history of continuities and connections between the two sectors, as seen in the activities of PBS, HBO or Sundance. It considers the movement of filmmakers between indie film and TV such as Steven Soderbergh, Rian Johnson, the Duplass brothers, Joe Swanberg, Lynn Shelton and Gregg Araki; details the confluence of aesthetic and thematic elements seen in shows such as Girls, Breaking Bad, Master of None, or Glow; points to a shared interest in regional sensibilities evident in shows like One Mississippi or Fargo; and makes the case for documentaries and web series as significant entities in this domain. Collectively, the book builds a compelling picture of indie TV as a significant feature of US screen entertainment in the 21st Century.

    This interdisciplinary landmark volume will be a go-to reference for students and scholars of Television Studies, Film Studies and Media Studies.

    Introduction James Lyons and Yannis Tzioumakis

    Prologue Hollywood and Television before Media Convergence - Tino Balio 

    Part 1 - Indie Film and Television: Historical Relationships 

    Chapter 1 Indie (Film on) TV: A Tale of two very Close Friends - Yannis Tzioumakis

    Chapter 2 Same Word, Different Medium: The Evolution of Indie TV since the 2000s’ Alisa Perren

    Part 2 - Indie Film and Television: Industrial Continuities 

    Chapter 3 (Re-)Branding Sundance: Entering the Indie TV Market - Sarah E.S. Sinwell

    Chapter 4  Packaging the 'Purest' form of Indie TV: Michael Sugar, Talent Management and Indie-Auteur Clients’ - Andrew Stubbs

    Chapter 5 ‘The Things That Keep Us Up at Night’: Blumhouse Television and Indie Horror’s Small Screen Dispersal - Tom Fallows

    Part 3 - Filmmakers Migration from Indie Film to TV (and back)

    Chapter 6 From Brick to Breaking Bad: ‘Quality’ Television Style, Authorship and ‘Cinematic’ Status - Geoff King

    Chapter 7 Mumblecore’s Second Act: Millennial Indie Moviemaking’s Migration to Television - Maria San Filippo

    Chapter 8 Apocalyptic Visions and Commercial Constraints: Gregg Araki’s Negotiation of Emerging Modes of Indie TV Auteurship - Anthony P. McIntyre

    Part 4 - Indie TV: Aesthetic and Institutional Trajectories

    Chapter 9 Prestige TV, Comedy, and the Indie Aesthetic - Michael Z. Newman

    Chapter 10 Netflix, Race and Cinephilia: Master of None and Indie TV - Meenasarani Murugan

    Chapter 11 'It may Be Where the Future of Independent Production Is Happening': Netflix and Indie Aesthetics in GLOW - Cat Mahoney

    Chapter 12 Affect, Tabloid Reality TV and Indie Cinema - Justin Wyatt

    Part 5 - Indie TV and Regional Sensibilities

    Chapter 13 Fargo (2014-2020): Indie Cinema, Midwest Mobsters, and Indie TV - Cynthia Baron

    Chapter 14 Gender, Family, and Therapeutic Regionalism in One Mississippi - Julia Leyda and Diane Negra

    Part 6 - Indie TV and Alternative Practices 

    Chapter 15 Indie TV in the Streaming Era – A.J. Christian

    Chapter 16 Web Series as Indie TV: Intersectional Identities and Intersecting Media - Elana Levine

    Chapter 17 ‘A Decade of Distinction’: A&E IndieFilms and the Channelling of Documentary - James Lyons


    James Lyons is Associate Professor in Screen Studies at the University of Exeter. He is the author or co-editor of six books, including Documentary, Performance and Risk (2020), Miami Vice (2010) and Quality Popular Television (2003).

    Yannis Tzioumakis is Reader in Film and Media Industries at the University of Liverpool. He is the author and editor of eleven books, most recently United Artists (2020). He also co-edits the Routledge Hollywood Centenary and the Cinema and Youth Cultures book series.

    "Indie TV is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the interrelationships between media industries. Lyons and Tzioumakis have assembled a formidable group of scholars to make the powerful collective argument that cinema and television are, and always have been, inseparable. The many layers of indie TV revealed within will inspire film and TV historians, as well as those analyzing contemporary digital media and production cultures."

    Jennifer Holt, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

    "When I praised this book to a non-academic friend, he readily and enthusiastically rattled off titles of multi-season and limited-episode series that immediately came to mind as cutting-edge examples of 'indie TV' and its cultural reach and resonance. Clearly, 'indie TV' has public purchase, and this far-ranging anthology, strong equally in conceptualization and industrial and aesthetic analysis, pinpoints why. The volume offers rich examples, sharp and smart insight, and welcome attention to diversity, on-screen and behind, around gender, race, ethnicity."

    Dana Polan, Cinema Studies, NYU, USA