By Paul Rixon
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Additional resources for American Television on British Screens: A Story of Cultural Interaction
Sendall illustrates this when he compares a similar week of programme schedules of the BBC and lTV, showing that the BBC screened only slightly less American material than lTV, the opposite to how some on the Pilkington Committee would view the situation (Sendall, 1983: 98-100). 15 per cent (BBC2) in 1964 (T16/29S, 15 January 1965). Indeed, in the early 1960s it was Dr. Kildare, a US import, which was the most watched BBC programme (December 1961 and January 1962; Harbord and Wright, 1992: 128-9).
I would like to argue here that while confusion might exist around this concept, that it might have been used in variety of ways, it does not lessen the need for an approach that can focus on the way television programmes and schedules are constructed, how television exists in its broadcast form, how this has changed over time and how it is experienced. Only by doing this can we start to explore how programme texts from different national sources are assimilated into a national schedule. For Corner, Williams's work has three main problems: an overall focus on the analysis of the internal aspects of the programmes rather than on that between programmes; too much concentration on news; and, finally, he 'does not exemplify just how "the flow of meaning and values of a specific culture" (1979: 118) is managed by television' (Corner, 1999: 64).
Through marketing and promotion, they create a pre-image of the programme, of how they would like the critics and audiences to understand the programme. Broadcasters, sharing the deep cultural structure with the rest of society, come to create 'surface structures', which are then consumed by the audience(s); they change and adapt the imports into a form more apt for that cultural context. I will now look at how we can conceptualise the role of broadcasters as active assimilators. 3 Active assimilators As noted above, it must be accepted that no cultural community is hermetically sealed; cultural products leave and enter all cultural systems.
American Television on British Screens: A Story of Cultural Interaction by Paul Rixon