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August 29, 2015

book review

Prisoner of Trebekistan: The TV Squad review

by Keith McDuffee, posted Dec 23rd 2006 10:17AM
prisoner of trebekistanTo me, Jeopardy! is the quintessential game show. At the end of a game, I walk away with a sense of awe that those three people could truly have the brains to retain such an amazing amount of information, then be put in front of millions of people to blurt pieces of it out on demand and faster than two other people -- in the form of a question, to boot. I'd often wonder how one could possibly prepare to be faced with that kind of pressure and what kind of unfathomable studying one would have to do to qualify for that show, never mind actually win. Several times.

Jane Espenson, who as some of you know has been extremely courteous enough to give her insights into her recent writings for Battlestar Galactica, sent me a copy of a book that opened my mind to the world of one very successful contestant on the greatest game show in the world, Bob Harris. That book is Prisoner of Trebekistan.

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Desperate Networks is a must-read for TV fans

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2006 10:59AM
Desperate NetworksBill Carter wrote one of my favorite media/entertainment books, The Late Shift (about the Letterman/Leno battle for late-night), and now he's back with an even more ambitious book, Desperate Networks. It explains how we got the TV landscape that we have today, from all the reality shows to how Les Moonves got to the head of CBS to Katie Couric's negotiations to leave NBC. It's a fascinating read, with many interesting revelations, including:

1. ER was originally set in Boston, but NBC already had St. Elswhere set there, so they asked for the setting to be changed. Chicago was chosen "for no especially good reason."

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