To what extent has British (or American) television been successful in providing programmes for diverse audiences?

Essay by SpliffyUniversity, Bachelor's November 2005

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In this essay I am going to talk about the way in which American television has been successful in providing programmes for female viewers. I will discuss the ways in which American television programmes have provided women viewers with successful role models and provided programmes which are of interest for them.

I will talk about sitcoms that have been made with a female audience in mind. I will also write about talk shows and soaps which are also aimed at a female audience.

At first television programmes were made with men as the lead characters and women just played a supporting role but over time the programmes changed and women started playing a bigger part. The first programmes that were made for women were about the home and romance.

"A conservative vision of work and family life affirms the traditional division of men and women into separate 'spheres', where women primarily occupy the private sphere of the home and men the public sphere of the paid labor force"

(Margaret J.

Heide, Television Culture and Women's Lives 1995)

This is saying that women are traditionally shown as being in the home whilst the men are out at work earning money for the family. This is how it is shown on tv but since the 1960's there has been a change in womens lives. Their focus has moved from the home to the workplace as more and more women get jobs outside of the home. With this television has had to change too to keep up with the times and to keep womens interest in the programmes they are watching.

In "I Love Lucy" the main character Lucy is a housewife but unhappy and wants to be able to perform on stage with her husband. She tries all sorts of things to...