1st Edition

Television and the Legal System

By Barbara Villez Copyright 2010
    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book examines the American television legal series from its development as a genre in the 1940s to the present day. Villez demonstrates how the genre has been a rich source of legal information and understanding for Americans. These series have both informed and put myths in place about the legal system in the US. Villez also contrasts the US to France, which has seen a similar interest in legal series during this period. However, French television representations of justice are strikingly different, as is the role of fiction in offering viewers the possibility of acquiring significant understandings of their legal system. The book will be an important addition to the study of popular culture and law and will interest legal scholars, sociologists, and media scholars.

    Foreword by Judge Antoine Garapon.  Series Editors’ Preface.  Author’s Preface.  Introduction  1. An American History: Television Legal Series  2. Actors of Justice as Seen on American Television  3. The French Approach to Legal Series  4. Myths, Models, Messages  5. Citizen Education: Teaching Democracy  6. Conclusion: A Democracy of Individuals.  Afterword: Developments from 2005 to 2009.  Filmography (Table of US Legal Shows).  Bibliography.  Index.


    Barbara Villez is a Professor in the Department of English Studies at the University of Paris.

    "Courtroom drama has long been a preoccupation of TV in the US. Barbara Villez’s groundbreaking study explores the nature of the images of law in US TV drama and considers their impact in Europe, with particular reference to France. This book is a pioneering study of law and (tele)visual culture. It also makes a timely contribution to debates about the role of visual culture in the development of citizenship in contemporary societies."

    Leslie Moran, Professor of law and Editor of Law’s Moving Image