American Legends: The Life of Rod Serling

ISBN: 9781519371454
*Includes pictures *Includes Serling's own quotes about his life and career *Includes footnotes, a bibliography, and online resources for further reading *Includes a table of contents “There’s nothing in the dark that isn’t there when the lights are on.” – Rod Serling A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. The “Golden Age” of television was in part so named because it was the era in which new technology was pioneered and industry rules were still being written. Here was a fascinating new medium, founded by executives with no previous body of experience, and a myriad of directions in which to proceed. Numerous factions spent the next generation wresting control over content and the content/product relationship. Some envisioned a public service and educational medium, while others sought sophisticated entertainment. With profit as the determining motive, executives and sponsors sought only what would evoke the most lucrative response. The term “Golden Age” also applies to the reality that much of the television programming in the 1950s was offered up as live performance, a dangerous and exciting time for both writers and actors. As pioneer director John Frankenheimer put it, “There were no old days. We were the old days.” Frankenheimer went on to associate with one of the age’s best and most prolific TV writers, Rod Serling, an enduring name in the realm of philosophical fright and ironic reflections of human injustice. In another sense, it was the writing of television scripts that defined the era, on as important level as the acting. Many of the best writers strove for a greater degree of enlightenment and public service, and in the process became the early stars of the new paradigm in communications. Many came from the world of radio where sophisticated content in adult programming reigned as a prerequisite for success. 
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