American programmes have always been part of British television, from I Love Lucy in the 1950s to more recent 'must see' programmes, such as Lost. They have been used throughout the schedules, playing primetime, the afternoon and late night slots. However, many British critics, broadcasters and scholars alike, have in the past tended to malign, ignore, or sideline their role. Many ferared that this popular and shiny culture was eroding British culture. Now, when British viewers can watch American television 24 hours a day, is a good time to re-evaluate the American contribution. Through an analysis of popular and industrial discourses, interviews with key British broadcasters, and an examination of the way programmes are assimilated into the schedules, Paul Rixon explores the role of American programmes on British screens.

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