CTCS 467 (Spring 2006)
Location: Norris Cinema Theatre
Instructor: Howard Rosenberg
Julia Himberg (Lead TA): Office Hours – Tuesdays 5-6pm at the University Village Starbucks
Erin Hoge: Office Hours – Wednesdays 12-1pm at the University Village Starbucks
The best way to reach us is at firstname.lastname@example.org or using our mailboxes in Lucas 405.
This course reveals the inner workings of the television industry by giving students a unique opportunity to interact with people in the business. Each class starts with a lecture, followed by the screening of a current or upcoming television show. Then one or more guests who participated in the creation of the program sit down for a question and answer session. While the majority of television shows screened in 467 are new, the course looks at current trends in the context of television history, encompassing the last 60 years of television production and consumption. Los Angeles-based writer Howard Rosenberg conducts the lectures and Q&A sessions. In addition to serving as the television critic for the Los Angeles Times from 1978-2003, Prof. Rosenberg was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1985, the Edward R. Murrow Award for criticism in 1994, and recently authored the 2004 book Not So Prime Time: Chasing the Trivial on American Television. The teaching assistants write and grade the examinations.
From Daytime to Primetime: The History of American Television Programs by James Roman. Available at the University Bookstore (Pertusati Bookstore).
Readings on Reserve at Leavey Library:
Television: Critical Methods and Applications (Second Edition) by Jeremy G. Butler
Creating Television: Conversations with the People Behind 50 Years of American TV by Robert Kubey (see blog for further info.).
The exams are based on material from lectures, readings and Q&A sessions. Take detailed notes during the lectures and Q&A sessions, and complete the readings carefully each week. We don’t expect all of you to become television scholars overnight, but we do expect you to gain an understanding of the elements involved in the television production process. You don’t need to be a Critical Studies major to do well in 467, just a good listener and note-taker, no matter how casual the information may seem.
The midterm exam will be on Monday, March 5th and the final exam will be on Wednesday, May 2nd. They will both begin at 7pm in Norris Theatre.
Any questions about your midterm or final exam grades should be addressed to the TA’s and not to Professor Rosenberg. If you have questions about your grades or would like to discuss ways you might improve your score on the final exam, please come to either of the TAs’ office hours anytime during the semester. Re-grade requests however must be made within two (2) weeks from the time the exam is returned (between March 19th and April 2nd). In addition, re-grade requests must be accompanied by a typewritten note that provides specific details as to what question(s) you are contesting and why.
Disability Services and Programs:
Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30a.m. - 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776.
If you are registered with the office of Disability Services and Programs and require other accommodations for this class or for the exams, please let us know in writing by January 29th.
Please read the University memorandum on piracy concerns and comply with all guidelines and requests.
Class attendance is mandatory for all students. You must bring your USC ID with you every Monday and leave it with us at the door in order to be marked present. Because the lecture begins at 7pm, the doors will open around 6:30 and be closed promptly at 7. Anyone arriving after the doors have been closed will be marked absent, so be sure to arrive well before 7pm every Monday.
When class ends each night, you’ll collect your IDs again. If you leave early, you’ll be marked absent, and will have to retrieve your ID from the Critical Studies office in Lucas 405. Be aware that you’ll have to pay $1.00 to retrieve your ID from the office.
Guests are not allowed in class, regardless of how many empty seats we might have. If you have immediate family in town and want to bring them to class, let us know several days in advance via email and we’ll be happy to accommodate you.
You are allowed 2 unexcused absences during the semester. Each additional unexcused absence will lower your grade by one third (i.e., B to B-). Valid excuses include illness or schedule conflict due to required participation in a USC-sponsored event, and in any case the reason for the absence must be documented. A total of six absences without valid, documented excuses will result in an “F” for the course. If you know ahead of time that you will be missing multiple classes, you should consider dropping 467.
The 467 class blog is located at: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ctcs467
. You are required to check this blog on a weekly basis for class announcements and information. If you did not receive or have misplaced any course materials (syllabus, handouts, etc.) you will find them on the blog. While the vast majority of the information posted on the blog will be discussed in class, you are still responsible for checking it on a weekly basis. Information from each week’s television show will be posted each Tuesday (the day after the class screening).
It’s particularly important that you show respect for your professor and classmates, so be quiet and courteous during class, and make sure your cell phones and pagers are turned off before 7pm every Monday night. If you have a cell phone or pager on and visible during class hours, you will be asked to leave and will not receive credit for that class. No food or drinks are allowed in the screening room, and you should keep your feet off of the seat in front of you.
You should also show respect for our guests, who are providing you with a great opportunity by coming to class to share their thoughts and experiences. Your questions and comments should be thoughtful and concise. Don’t ask for autographs, pitch script ideas, or try to network with our guests. Any inappropriate or disruptive behavior will lead to a dismissal from the class and an unexcused absence. If you are dismissed a second time, your final grade will drop one letter (“B” to “C”) regardless of your previous grade or record. A third dismissal will result in an “F” for the class.
Week 1: January 8th: Roman ix-xxvii and reserve readings (Kubey 9-20)
Week 2: January 15th: NO CLASS (Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday)
Week 3: January 22nd: Roman 1-21 and reserve readings (Butler 13-32)
Week 4: January 29th: Roman 23-50
Week 5: February 5th: Roman 51-60 and reserve readings (Kubey 69-77)
Week 6: February 12th: Roman 61-92
Week 7: February 19th: NO CLASS (President’s Day)
Week 8: February 26th: Roman 93-134
Week 9: March 5th: MIDTERM EXAM, 7pm-9pm in Norris Theatre
Week 10: March 12th: NO CLASS (Spring Break)
Week 11: March 19th: Roman 171-190 and reserve readings (Butler 143-172)
Week 12: March 26th: Roman 193-211 and reserve readings (Kubey 113-119)
Week 13: April 2nd: Roman 213-237 and reserve readings (Butler 253-280)
Week 14: April 9th: Roman 239-260 and reserve readings (Kubey 165-173)
Week 15: April 16th: Roman 261-269 and reserve readings (Kubey 253-265)
Week 16: April 23rd: Roman 301-310 and reserve readings (Kubey 137-153)
May 2nd (WEDNESDAY) : FINAL EXAM, 7pm-8:30pm in Norris Theatre