Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Modern Era of Television Begins with HBO: A Conversation with James Andrew Miller

The link between what we watch in movies and on television, and the business, the money and the people behind it, are inseparable. Business decisions impact and shape what we see, just as one hit can change the finances of an entire company or industry.

The story of HBO, and the way in which it disrupted television, beginning back in the early 1970s, is perhaps the penultimate example.

Just as today we are going through a sea change with respect to how stories are delivered to us, HBO was the creative destruction of its day. Its motto, like Facebook, could easily have been “move fast and break things.”

And just as HBO disrupted television. Blockbuster would eventually disrupt HBO, Netflix would disrupt Blockbuster, and technology and streaming would disrupt everything. But in many ways the story all starts with HBO.

That’s the story that James Andrew Miller tells in his comprehensive and entertaining oral history Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers 

 My conversation with James Andrew Miller: