Television and Culture

Television and culture have each affected the other in major ways. From epic historical moments to hilarious TV catch phrases, television and culture influence each other daily. In this section we'll examine the relationship between television and culture.


It's impossible to say for certain whether TV has been good or bad for American politics. But the introduction of the television definitely changed the political landscape in the United States, from the election of the president to the city council.

The introduction of television all but changed the way we elect our presidents. So just how exactly has this powerful medium influenced our elections? Read on to find out.

Do you love wandering the aisles of specialty food stores, seeking exotic ingredients to transform into a gourmet feast? If Friday fish fingers have no place at your table, you're probably a foodie -- and you just might have TV to thank for it.

There's no denying reality TV's prominence in today's culture. But is it influencing Americans in a positive or negative way?

These days, crime dramas are all the rage, from the bazillion spin-offs of "CSI" to "reality" shows like "Cops." How has all this crime drama shaped our perceptions, for better or worse, of law enforcement here in the real world?

The best TV shows change the way we think about news, sports, drama or comedy. Which ones have had the most impact on viewers or the medium?

Today, watching your favorite baseball or football game on television includes extra timeouts, more close-up shots and lots of instant replays. So how else has TV changed the sports we love to watch?

You may picture decades of radio-bound sports broadcasting before those sports hit TV. But in reality, there were only 18 years between the first radio broadcast and the first TV broadcast of a live sporting event. What was that first televised game?

While the first television sets and networks were already being built before World War II, during the war, most television production ceased. Afterward, though, TV helped create the world we live in today. So how did the war affect television?

Children ages 8 to 18 spend nearly four hours a day in front of the TV, and part of parenting is helping them understand and interpret the messages they're receiving. But how can TV affect a child's mood?

It's no secret that TV has a great influence on popular culture. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that what our favorite characters say on TV inevitably infiltrates our language, as well. But has TV really changed the way we speak?

Our heads are full of commercial jingles, company mottos and snappy slogans that we've gleaned from years of watching TV. So what are some of the most famous jingles that we can't seem to get out of our minds?

TV ads are built on one simple idea: If you buy X, you'll get Y. But Y is rarely the product itself. Rather, it's a positive emotion or an amazing experience. How do ads use this promise of greatness to influence American culture?

Over the years, we've gone from three or four TV channels to thousands of options. However, there are still some stations you probably can't view with your cable box, no matter how many channels you get. How does location affect your choices?

The major 24-hour networks report the same news, but that doesn't mean they report the same stories. While news is limited by the size of an event, a story is limited only by the size of producers' imaginations. So how has this affected society?

Many people are pretty conscious of how much energy they use. But have you ever wondered if your cable set-top box is sucking up too much power? Or if your satellite TV setup is an energy hog?

Time-shifting TV has become the norm for many households. Along with convenience and enjoyment, however, come a lot of less obvious complications that the industry is still trying to figure out. How has time shifting changed how we watch TV?

It's been awhile since the days of sitting down right at 7 p.m. to watch a favorite TV show. Internet and cable companies have made it easier to watch the shows we love when we want to. How are TV time technologies shifting?

With the invention of online streaming of television shows, TV ratings have changed. After all, there should be a way to measure not only standard TV ratings, but also ratings for online viewing. How is this challenge being tackled?

Want to watch your favorite shows through the Internet? The world of online TV can be confusing, but if you know where to look, you can find what you want. What are a few ways to watch your favorite shows online?

Networks decide to cancel shows for a variety of reasons, but no matter what, it's never fun to discover that a show you love is about to get canceled. So how have fans come to rescue of their favorite programs over the years?

Has one of your favorite programs ever faced cancellation? Sometimes even the best TV shows don't pull the viewership they need to keep them on the air. So is there anything you can do to help keep your favorites from being canceled?

Have you ever invested hours and hours of watching a TV show, only to see it get canceled? Don't worry -- you're not alone. We've got 10 TV cult hits that had a tough time getting viewers in front of the tube.

TV shows rely on advertising to stay on the air and in production. However, thanks to the popularity of TV on DVD, this model is slowly changing. How have DVDs helped to expand the life cycle of your favorite TV shows?

Many American shows have gained an almost cult-like following abroad, thanks in part to the Internet and satellite technology. So which ones are the most popular? We highlight 10 of them here.