American TV has often been groundbreaking, and has provided the world with some of the best comedies and dramas ever made. Its news coverage also became a template for how TV news should be presented. The most famous TV networks in the US are CBS, NBC, and ABC, with Fox also becoming a major player in recent years.
It was American TV which broke The Beatles in America, after the band appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1964. This underlined the power of American TV, with fame in America also ensuring becoming household names throughout the Western world.
By the mid-sixties American TV was already setting the standard for other nations to follow in terms of entertainment, and the US also had regional TV much earlier than the UK. Many of the formats for entertainment and quiz shows on American TV were adapted by other countries, which would then go on to become popular in their own right, and especially on British TV.
Hollywood feared the growth of television, and TV companies in the US further prompted those fears as they began to make and broadcast movies specifically for TV. Over time, American television and the film industry have both continued to thrive and to adapt to the new and mutual challenge of internet.
Advertisers also quickly picked up on the potential of American TV, when it came to selling products. Some adverts even became almost as famous as the product they were trying to sell, and the American style of TV advertising became hugely influential.
Critics of American television have often called it brash, but countries around the world continue to owe a debt of gratitude to American TV. Today, for instance, Russian TV has adopted the snappy American news style on stations such as Russia Today. From the 1950s to the 1980s, American TV produced such iconic shows as ‘The Phil Silvers Show’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Dallas’, ‘Dynasty’, ‘I Love Lucy’ – and countless Westerns and cop shows which became popular around the world.