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Author: Rebecca Edwards

Free and Low-Cost Cable TV Options

When saving money is a priority — as it usually is — one of the first places people tend to cut back is their cable or satellite television subscription. However, you don’t have to give up TV entertainment in order to keep a few extra bucks in the bank. Thanks to a wide variety of free TV options and basic cable plans, you can access a number of basic channels or shows without having to pay hefty bills for a premium cable package. Basic TV Channels vs. Basic Cable Most major networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX used...

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How Much Does TV Impact Real Life?

Along with baseball and apple pie, television is one thing Americans absolutely love. But we’re told time and again that our obsession with the tube is detrimental to our overall health and happiness. Some go so far as to blame television for what they view as the erosion of moral conscience and common decency in modern society. However, a slew of new studies turn the idea of television’s bad influence on its head. In fact, it’s been posited that TV is actually beneficial — helping with everything from preparing kids for success in school to decreasing sexual violence. With...

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ABC Family Changing Name to Draw Younger Crowd

Shakespeare once told us that a rose by another name would still smell as sweet, but does a television network by any other name still get us to tune in? ABC Family hopes so. The Disney-owned network recently announced that it will be changing its name to Freeform come January. Why Make a Change? The network made its decision based on its target audience, viewers aged 18 to 34 whom it has dubbed “becomers,” and the misconception that a network with “family” in its name broadcasts only family-friendly and wholesome programming. As the Millennials age out of its target base, the network needs to attract and keep new, younger viewers. It’s not uncommon for networks to use a name change as a way of rebranding their offerings in hopes of capturing a new, or bigger, audience. In fact, this isn’t the first time this network has changed its name: when it first aired in 1977, the network was known as CBN Satellite Service, denoting its original parent company, the Christian Broadcast Network. From there, the channel went through at least three other names, most of which included the word “family.” As the channel changed hands from CBN to FOX to Disney, programming that used to center around religious shows like “The 700 Club” dropped off to make way for more mainstream content. Anyone who has tuned in to “Pretty...

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Can TV Be a Catalyst for Change and Tolerance?

Pointing out the evils of television is a longstanding tradition, but recognizing its role in creating a more vibrant, diverse, and tolerant society is something of a rarity. Recent research shows that the small screen is just as influential as we’ve always thought, and that influence is a mighty weapon for instigating changes in societal norms — especially when writers and directors make a conscious choice to use that power for good. What Research Found The research, conducted by Jeremiah Garretson of Stony Brook University, compared thirty years of television portrayals of working women, lesbians, gays, and African-Americans to...

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The Dangers of TV’s Love Affair with Nostalgia

It’s been said that there’s nothing new under the sun, and that certainly appears to be the case for television. We are living in a world of remakes, reboots, and spin-offs the likes of which the television landscape has never before seen. From revamped Muppets to “unauthorized” exposés of shows like “Beverly Hills 90210,” the small screen is dripping with nostalgia. Among the recycled shows currently airing or in the works are “Heroes,” “Twin Peaks,” “MacGyver,” “Girl Meets World,” “Full House,” “The X-Files,” “Charmed,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” and “Married with Children.” And that is just the tip of the...

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