TV Industry

Go behind the scenes of the TV industry to learn how TV shows are produced.


Public broadcasting in the U.S. is divided into NPR for radio and PBS for TV. Both have been on the air for years and remain popular, amid recurring calls for government defunding. Here's why.

Although the NFL might seem particularly litigious, experts say the organization is just protecting itself from trademark infringement.

Here's the math behind that stat, for all you cord cutters or would-be cord cutters.

Well, it depends on who else is showing commercials during the big game.

The TV itself isn't the only thing that's changed over the last 65-plus years in the industry. Many things—some good, some, well, not so good—have contributed to America's obsession with the boob tube.

Cha-ching! Talk about cashing in. Most TV actors are well paid, and then there are these TV actors. Their comedies may have had us in stitches, but they were the ones laughing — all the way to the bank.

Ever wonder how those crazy folks you watch on reality TV land on those shows? Are they related to the show's director or something? Nope. Reality TV producers use several methods to cast their shows.

It always happens. You, your mom, your neighbor and everybody else you know gets wrapped up in a new TV show, only to have the TV network cancel it. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to which TV shows survive on air. Or is there?

Ever wondered how reality TV shows really film all of that unscripted insanity? No need to wonder any longer. One of the HowStuffWorks writers tells what happened when reality TV came knocking on her door.

Oh, reality TV: fights, scheming, double-crossing, tears and drama. All of this "unscripted" reality can't possibly be real. So what's real, and what's fake in reality TV?

Ah, the charmed life of a TV actor: have one big hit TV show and then live like a king for years once all of those royalty checks start rolling in. Is that how royalties really work?

The public's knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes of our favorite TV shows is usually pretty good. We often know who most of the writers, producers and executive producers are. Now we're learning a new term: showrunner.

You can hear an awful lot of foul language when watching your favorite movies or shows — as long as they air on cable or the Internet. Who decides which words are too hot for broadcast TV?

Cable TV is ubiquitous now, but a little more than 50 years ago it was the unique, exotic way to see your favorite TV programs. What made cable TV a staple?

It's a sure sign of spring in New York. Flowers? No, TV's upfront presentations. TV networks use upfronts to show off their new shows, and rake in advertisers' money.

Those cable access channels you flip through may sometimes be the butt of jokes, but public access TV serves an important function in many communities.

Want to watch your favorite TV show tonight but won't be home? That's not a problem, with TV Everywhere. It's rapidly changing how we watch TV.

You think binge-watching your favorite show weeks after its episodes air will help pump up its ratings? Think again. Live+3 television ratings metrics have changed things considerably.

The average TV commercial is 30 seconds. So they should be fairly easy to shoot, right? Just slap together a concept, a product and some actors and that should do it. Not so fast, TV commercial production gets super complex really quickly.

Authors, songwriters and even playwrights receive royalties as payment for their copyrighted works. So what about actors -- do they get royalties when their movies or TV shows are seen over and over?

Streaming TV shows online seems like it makes sense for the networks. So why aren't all shows available via the Internet? We'll explain.

If you've ever watched a Hollywood film on your TV, you've watched a TV-ready movie. It's quite a job for film editors to get a film TV-ready. We'll explain the process.

You know you can't wait until the season premiere of your favorite show. But have you ever wondered why the networks' new seasons start in the fall? You might be surprised by the answer.

When CNN debuted in 1980, the 24-hour news network was taking a leap into the unknown. Now we can get our news anywhere, anytime thanks to tablets, smartphones and the Internet. Could 24-hour news stations could be gone in our lifetime?

Imagine never having to pay for C-SPAN. It's a possibility if a la carte cable ever comes to fruition.