Teen TV explores the history of television’s relationship to teens as a desired, but elusive audience, and the ways in which television has embraced youth subcultures, tracing the shifts in American and global televisual and teen media.
Organized chronologically to cover each generation since the inception of the medium in the 1940s, the book examines a wide range of historical and contemporary programming: from the broadcast bottleneck, multi-channel era that included youth-targeted spaces like MTV, the WB, and the CW, to the rise of streaming platforms and global crossovers. It covers the thematic concerns and narrative structure of the coming-of-age story, and the prevalent genre formations of teen TV and milestones faced by teen characters. The book also includes interviews with creators and showrunners of hit network television teen series, including Degrassi’s Linda Schuyler, and the costume designer that established a heightened turn in the significance of teen fashion on the small screen in Gossip Girl, Eric Daman.
This book will be of interest to students, scholars, and teachers interested in television aesthetics, TV genres, pop culture, and youth culture, as well as media and television studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Baby Boomer Teen TV 2. Gen X Teen TV 3. Millenial Teen TV 4. Gen Z Teen TV
Stefania Marghitu is a visiting faculty member at Pitzer College. She has also taught courses at Chapman University, California State University Northridge, and Columbia College Hollywood. She received her PhD from the University of Southern California’s Division of Cinema and Media Studies. Her primary interests deal with critical and cultural studies of television, the showrunner and modes of authorship, production cultures, and feminist media studies. Her dissertation is titled Women Showrunners: Authorship, Identity, and Representation in US Television. She has published in Feminist Media Studies, Communication, Culture and Critique and The Spectator.
"Stefania Marghitu has written the book on the evolution of an often overlooked yet fiercely beloved TV genre, teen television. Teen TV provides a rich and insightful chronological history of the genre from Baby Boomer teen TV to the teen TV of Gen Z by mixing textual, cultural, and industrial analysis interspersed with illuminating interviews with key producers of the genre. A must read for everyone who’s watched TV as a teenager."
Gry C Rustad, Senior Lecturer in Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway
"In Teen TV Stefania Marghitu anchors engaging and accessible genre analysis not to decades but rather to generations. By accentuating generational specificities, cross-generational conflicts, and demographic shifts, Marghitu invites us to consider how different youth cultures are cultivated and chased by the corporate television complex. Attentive to key creatives, series, and episodes, Teen TV crafts a sweeping and swift journey through a television genre that is always on the verge of stirring up a moral panic."
Deborah L. Jaramillo, Associate Professor of Film and Television, Boston University, USA
"Teen TV is not just about how teens were portrayed on U.S. shows, but also skilfully traces the changing roles, status, financial and cultural power of them over a 70-year period. A clear and interesting read with insightful interviews with TV professionals."
Harvey G. Cohen, Senior Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries, King’s College London, UK
"Marghitu combines nuanced analysis of shows, audiences, producers, marketing and programming trends, and shifting media ecologies with interviews with leading producers of teen television series. The resulting book is short but sweet — easy to read and teach but also rich in insight and deeply grounded in historical research."
Henry Jenkins, Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education, University of Southern California, USA