TV

TV is one of the world's biggest businesses. Learn all about TV entertainment, the television industry and popular TV shows.

Topics to Explore

Learn More / Page 2

10 Surprisingly Canceled TV Shows

Did you know the original "Star Trek" was canceled after just three seasons? In fact, there's no shortage of other popular TV shows that got similar treatment and were nixed by their networks, despite fan loyalty and sometimes super-high ratings.

10 of the Most Binge-watched TV Shows

Slowly put down the remote control, and back away from the TV. Walter White will still be there when you get back. If this sounds like you, don't worry: 91 percent of people binge-watch their favorite shows. And these are some of the best for it.

How do reality TV shows choose their cast?

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.

How do they decide which TV shows to air?

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?

How do they really shoot reality TV shows?

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.

Just how fake are reality TV shows?

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?

What is the longest-running TV show of all time?

"Gunsmoke." "Law & Order." "The Simpsons." All of them long-running TV classics, which makes you wonder: Which TV show had the longest run in television history? The answer may surprise you.

Why are singing shows so popular?

Sure, we all feel like stars singing in the shower or into a hairbrush in the bedroom. But most of us don't feel confident enough in our vocal abilities to pursue our musical dreams. Is that why we live vicariously through singing competitions?

Can a TV actor live off royalties forever?

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?

What does a showrunner do?

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.

Who decides what words you can't say on TV?

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?

10 British TV Shows That Crossed the Pond

American television networks have adapted British shows left and right. But a number of original British programs – er, make that programmes – have become hits with U.S. audiences, no translation necessary.

10 TV Shows That Pushed the Limits of Censorship

What was once considered obscene and indecent on television is laughable by today's standards. But shows have pushed boundaries as long as there's been TV. Which have given the FCC and network censors the most stress?

How do I get on a game show?

Must be a lot of fun to be on a TV game show, getting all of that attention (and not to mention all of those cool prizes!). What really goes on behind the scenes of your favorite game shows?

How do talk shows work?

From highbrow content (politics, literature) to more unrefined fare (paternity tests, cheating spouses), talk shows have been on the tube for as long as there has been television.

How did cable TV become a staple?

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?

What are TV upfronts?

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.

Who runs public access TV channels?

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.

Who does the cooking on cooking shows?

Whipping up a four-course meal looks so easy when one of those TV chefs does it. But in reality, it takes a small army of chefs, producers and technical wizards to pull off cooking shows.

What is TV Everywhere?

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.

How does 'live+3' work in television metrics?

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.

How are TV commercials produced?

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.

Is Superman mentioned in every 'Seinfeld' episode?

"Seinfeld" will forever be known as the best "show about nothing." But is it also an homage to Superman?

Do TV actors get paid in royalties?

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?

Why don't all TV networks stream their shows online?

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.


Recommended