Companion Website Launched

Companion Website

Routledge just launched the companion Website for the book:

Here you’ll find:

Student Resources

  • Do-it-Yourself Video Editing Exercise
  • Do-it-Yourself Sound Exercise
  • Tutorials & Video Links
  • Glossary of Key Terms
  • Interactive Flashcards
  • Image Gallery

Instructor Resources

  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Sample Chapters
  • Sample Syllabus
  • Sample Student Papers

Official Release!

5th Edition CoverTelevision: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture has been revised, renamed, and updated. Plus, a new chapter by Amanda D. Lotz has been added.

Television was released last month and is available for summer and fall classes. Examination copies may be requested here:

The marketing team says:

Under the title, Television: Critical Methods and Applications, this textbook has served as the foremost guide to television studies for over two decades. The new, fifth edition, offers readers an in-depth understanding of how television programs and commercials are made and how they function as producers of meaning. It shows the ways in which camera style, lighting, set design, editing, and sound combine to produce meanings that viewers take away from their television experience.


  • A new subtitle to reflect the broader scope of what qualifies as “television” in the 21st century: “Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture.”
  • An entirely new chapter by Amanda D. Lotz on television in the contemporary digital media environment. (Lotz’s next book, We Now Disrupt This Broadcast: How Cable Transformed Television & the Internet Revolutionized It All will be published by MIT Press this month.)
  • Discussions integrated throughout on the latest developments in screen culture during the on-demand era—including the impact of binge-watching and the proliferation of screens (smartphones, tablets, computer monitors, etc.).
  • Updates on the effects of new digital technologies on TV style.
  • A forthcoming companion Website with PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi, and sample student papers for instructors.


“There is, quite simply, no more comprehensive resource for the student of television.” -Heather Hendershot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Instructors of undergraduate television studies courses know that Butler’s Television is a smart, accessible, and indispensable teaching tool, whether our objects of study are The Beverly Hillbillies or Breaking Bad, Monday Night Football or Meet the Press.” -Mary Desjardins, Dartmouth College

“Given television’s pervasive presence in our personal and political lives today, it’s vital to understand how TV works as an expressive form, a business, and a cultural force. Jeremy Butler’s updated Television proves more indispensable than ever before in exploring these facets of the medium.” -Christine Becker, University of Notre Dame

Television remains the best book out there for introducing students to the art, industry, and culture of television as we actually experience it. An essential guide to the stories television tells, yesterday and today.” -Michele Hilmes, University of Wisconsin, Madison


    • Chapter 1 An Introduction to Television Structures and Systems: Ebb and Flow in the Network Era
    • Chapter 2 Television in the Contemporary Media Environment, by Amanda D. Lotz
    • Chapter 3 Narrative Structure: Television Stories
    • Chapter 4 Building Narrative: Character, Actor, Star
    • Chapter 5 Beyond and Beside Narrative Structure
    • Chapter 6 The Television Commercial
    • Chapter 7 An Introduction to Television Style: Modes of Production
    • Chapter 8 Style and Setting: Mise-en-Scene
    • Chapter 9 Style and the Camera: Videography and Cinematography
    • Chapter 10 Style and Editing
    • Chapter 11 Style and Sound
    • Chapter 12 An Introduction to Television Studies
    • Chapter 13 Textual Analysis
    • Chapter 14 Discourse and Identity
  • Appendix I: Sample Analyses and Exercises
  • Appendix II: Mass Communication Research
  • Glossary

Further information:

First Look at the New Cover Design!

Cover of Fifth Edition
Fifth edition cover.

The cover design for the fifth edition has been completed!

As we first reported in a post on August 31, 2017, we selected a LIFE magazine image from 1966, created by Arthur Schatz. It’s licensed from Getty Images, which title it: ““Showing different stations available to CATV subscribers.”

The following blurb will appear on the book’s copyright page to provide a bit more context. Part of our rationale for picking this image is to allude to the abundance of screens in 21st-century life.

When it first appeared in LIFE in January 1966 it illustrated the variety of channels that were available to “community antenna TV” (CATV) subscribers at that time. CATV was the first form of “cable television” in the U.S. and would eventually lead to the vast profusion of cable channels in the 1990s. In turn, the proliferation of cable networks came to disrupt the dominance of over-the-air broadcast networks—a harbinger of future upheaval caused by on-demand streaming services.


New Narrative Diagrams

We’ve designed three new diagrams of narrative structure: classical film, TV series, and TV serial. As the basis for our diagram, we used a LucidChart Story Map created by Victoria Costley. Here’s what we came up with (click an image to enlarge it).

Narrative structure in classical film.
Narrative structure in classical film.

View classical-film narrative structure on LucidChart.

TV Series Narrative Structure
TV Series Narrative Structure

View TV-series narrative structure on LucidChart.

TV Serial Narrative Structure
TV Serial Narrative Structure

View TV-serial narrative structure on LucidChart.

Ms. Costley generously made her map and other narrative-analysis tools available online for reuse and modification (although as of August 31, 2017 it appears to have disappeared from LucidChart). She offered it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license. To honor the spirit of her license, we offer these three new diagrams under the updated CC BY-NC-SA license:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.