Through the visionary executives, showrunners, and producers who shaped HBO, seasoned journalists Gillette and Koblin bring to life a dynamic cast of characters who drove the company’s creative innovation in astonishing ways—outmaneuvering copycat competitors, taming Hollywood studios, transforming 1980s comedians and athletes like Chris Rock and Mike Tyson into superstars, and in the late 1990s and 2000s elevating the commercial-free, serialized drama to a revered art form. But in the midst of all its success, HBO was also defined by misbehaving executives, internal power struggles, and a few crucial miscalculations.
As data-driven models like Netflix have taken over streaming, HBO’s artful, instinctual, and humanistic approach to storytelling is in jeopardy. Taking readers into the boardrooms and behind the camera, It’s Not TV tells the surprising, fascinating story of HBO’s ascent, its groundbreaking influence on American business, technology, and popular culture, and its increasingly precarious position in the very market it created.
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Felix Gillette is the enterprise editor for Bloomberg News’s media, entertainment, and telecom team, as well as a features writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. He has covered the business of media and technology for over a dozen years and has worked as a staff writer at the Washington City Paper, the Columbia Journalism Review, The Village Voice, and The New York Observer.
John Koblin is a media reporter for The New York Times, covering the television industry. He reports on the companies and personalities behind the scripted-TV boom as well as the networks that broadcast the news. Prior to joining the Times, he covered media at The New York Observer, Women’s Wear Daily, and Deadspin.
Choire Sicha is an editor at New York magazine.
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