From dominant performers such as Jackie Gleason and Carol Burnett to powerhouse producers such as Norman Lear and Steven Bocho, "Prime Time, Prime Movers" reviews the stories and styles of the most important architects of the airwaves. Television is the most maligned of the modern media. Critics and even reviewers casually call it the "boob tube" or "idiot box". In the hands of certain individuals, however, it can become a creative canvas, a dramatic art that opens a distinctive window on our culture. There is a growing argument - an amateur theory - that despite all commercial constraints, the television producer is capable of using TV as a medium of personal expression. Covering a broad spectrum of TV programming formats, from old-time variety shows to sit-coms, from action/adventure shows to documentaries, from gameshows to soap operas, the authors challenge the tastes and interests of television viewers - a group roughly equivalent to the American population at large.