FILM 392 Topics in TV Production (Formerly TV 372)

Martha McGee

Office: CDM 924
Spring 2019-2020
Class number: 37334
Section number: 920
ONLIN E0000 Online Campus

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The purpose of this class is to enable students to understand the recent history of television broadcasting and how we got to the creative and challenging programs that are dominating the medium now. The course highlights the careers of influential showrunners; David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Joss Wheaton, Ron Moore, Matthew Weiner, Vince Gilligan, Shondra Rhimes, Jill Soloway, Noah Hawley and more. We take a look at where they came from and how they created and maintained control of their series. We also examine the broadcasting atmosphere and what has been happening to the networks with the advent of cable, VHS, DVDs, DVR and Streaming. Programs of various genres and eras will be examined. 


  •  Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad” by Brett Martin. Penguin Press HC, The (June 27, 2013) 
  •  ISBN-10: 1594204195 , ISBN-13: 978-1594204197
  •  ?
  •  The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall. Touchstone, reprint edition, May 2013. ISBN-10: 1476739676, ISBN-13: 978-1476739670 ?


Written Assignments: 35%, Midterm: 20%, Final Paper: 30%, Participation: 15%



School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

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Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

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Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296