Course Description

AMERICAN TELEVISION: A BIOGRAPHY                         

Instructor: Jim McKairnes

Day of Week: Monday

Dates: Jan 29 – Mar 25 (8 sessions)

No Class: Mar 4

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Location: Online via Zoom


“Euphoria,” “The Bear,” “Wednesday,” “Ted Lasso,” “Succession,” “Abbott Elementary.” Big new players on the changing TV ballfield.(Whatever “TV” means anymore, right?) For each of these and scores of others, though, there’s a history that connects to television’s own. This course tracks it. It takes a conversational and video-clip-heavy biographical look at a century of television from its 1940s radio infancy to its 1970s rebellious teenage years to its mid-life crisis of the early 2000s. It’s a bio of the one person we’ve all met and want to know more about: TV.

Maximum Online: None


Instructor Bio:

Jim McKairnes is a former longtime CBS Television executive in Los Angeles who writes and teaches about TV history. He has served on the faculties of DePaul University, Temple University, and Middle Tennessee State University. He’s also taught previous OLLI classes though Vanderbilt and Fresno State. He divides his time between Nashville and Los Angeles.


Why when I’m registering do I join the Wait List?
Several of our courses are in high demand. In order to accommodate our members who are not tech-savvy and have trouble registering online, we created a registration system in which there is no advantage to registering early, no disadvantage to registering later.

When registering, you join the Wait List for each course. Don’t be alarmed. This does not mean the course is full. After the registration period is over, we run a lottery on the courses, and it randomly determines who is admitted to each course and who is not. You typically will receive notification regarding which courses you are admitted to, about two weeks before the start of the semester. If a course accepts 150 or more students, you are very likely to get into it.

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
American Television - A Biography (ONLINE VIA ZOOM)
Online-fixed date/synchronous meeting(s)
1:00PM to 2:30PM
Jan 29, 2024 to Mar 25, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online Learning
Delivery Options