The Fourth Network by Daniel M. Kimmel
How FOX Broke the Rules and Reinvented Television

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When Garth Ancier left NBC for the start-up FOX network, NBC head Grant Tinker told Ancier he was making a terrible mistake. "I will never put a fourth column on my schedule board," Ancier recalls Tinker telling him. "There will only be three." Today, fewer than twenty years later, FOX is routinely referred to as one of the "Big Four" television networks while more recent arrivals like UPN, PAX, and the WB strive to be number five. The Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, and the many executives who have worked at the FOX network over the years changed the rules of the game. They showed it was possible to build and sustain a fourth American television network through innovations in prime-time shows, sports, children's entertainment, news, and new business models that challenged the assumptions of how the industry operated. Daniel Kimmel's lively account of the FOX story carries the reader from the launch of the ill-fated Joan Rivers Show in 1986 to the challenging media environment of the twenty-first century—an environment FOX helped create. The Fourth Network is filled with behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, outsized personalities, improbable risk-takers, and the triumphs and disasters that led to such signature television series as The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210, The X Files, and America's Most Wanted. For better or worse—or perhaps a bit of both—the story of the rise of FOX is the story of contemporary American television.

About Daniel M. Kimmel

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Daniel M. Kimmel has been a film critic for more than twenty years, including reporting for Variety. His book The Fourth Network: How FOX Broke the Rules and Reinvented Television (also published by Ivan R. Dee) won the Cable Center Book Award. Mr. Kimmel is a past president of the Boston Society of Film Critics and teaches film at Suffolk University. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Published May 25, 2004 by Ivan R. Dee. 340 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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According to Peter Roth, FOX Entertainment Group's former president, the network's formula for success was simple: executives must "be nimble, be opportunistic and be aggressive."

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ForeWord Reviews

“We ran FOX on exactly the same timetable.” While at least one executive at another network criticized FOX as a “coat-hanger network” for its pastiche of programming, FOX emerged in the 1990s as a television power that could not be ignored.

Aug 16 2004 | Read Full Review of The Fourth Network: How FOX B...

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