Between 1978 and 1988, HBO began creating original programming that was most often associated with public television. This included PBS mainstays such as documentaries, family programming, concerts, and filmed theater. HBO pursued such cultural programming to develop a brand identity, to respond to industry discourse about the public service role of cable, and to cheaply fill their own programming schedule. This article draws upon a largely untapped resource of the industry trade journal CableVision to trace HBO’s programming decisions within the context of broader trends in the cable industry.
The Version of Record (VoR) of this Author Manuscript has been published and can be accessed using the DOI below.
JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies
Shayne Pepper, “Cultural Programming and the Early History of HBO’s Signature Style, 1978–1988,” JCMS 61, no. 5 (2020–2021): 86–112.