As a person with a masters in information science, who also really loves research projects, I go kind of crazy looking for good reading about made for TV movies. Here is an ongoing list of what I’m reading:
I guess I should think about starting with my book! Released in 2017 through Headpress, Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999 is the book I always wanted to read myself. It’s a reference guide that also features essays about different aspects of the TVM. There’s over 200 reviews. Also, it made Barnes and Noble’s Best of Horror 2017 list. I am so proud of this. And it features writing from my podcast partner, Dan!
Movies Made for Television by Alivin H. Marill: This is essentially my bible. There are various editions of this book, and I have the following:
The first edition has a lot more stills, and is simply gorgeous. The final edition is a five volume set and encompasses all TVMs from network to cable. Sadly, there are no images, but it’s a great guide. I recommend them all!
The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis: Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and Other Productions, 1966 -2006 by Jeff Thompson: This is your one stop shop for all things Dan Curtis. It’s a fabulous read, filled with lots of tidbits, a few gorgeous black and white stills and a lot of heart. Viva la Dan Curtis!
TV Book: The Ultimate Television Book edited by Judy Fireman: While I have mixed emotions about some of the content of this book, I do think it captures the history and influence of television (up to the mid-1970s) very well. When I say “mixed emotions” I mostly mean some of the more pessimistic essays that feel dismissive of the programming and intelligence of the audience. However, it does offer a lot of information, plenty of fantastic photos, and it shines a light on very important but underrated figures, including a stellar interview with John Randolph about being blacklisted. Definitely worth a read.
Movie of the Week: Private Stories, Public Events written by Elayne Rapping: Rapping uses a heavy cultural theory lens to look at “women’s” telepics to fully comprehend how the medium played towards the female audience. I quote Elayne all the time in my essays, presentations and lectures. She’s amazing, and insightful, and the first to really look at the TV movie with such a critical lens. She’s fantastic. This is a heavy book, but worth a read if you are really into theory.