Television Cities

Paris, London, Baltimore

Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: 74 illustrations Published: February 2018

Media Studies > Film, TV, Sociology > Urban Studies

In Television Cities Charlotte Brunsdon traces television's representations of metropolitan spaces to show how they reflect the medium's history and evolution, thereby challenging the prevalent assumptions about television as quintessentially suburban. Brunsdon shows how the BBC's presentation of 1960s Paris in the detective series Maigret signals British culture's engagement with twentieth-century modernity and continental Europe, while various portrayals of London—ranging from Dickens adaptations to the 1950s nostalgia of Call the Midwife—demonstrate Britain's complicated transition from Victorian metropole to postcolonial social democracy. Finally, an analysis of The Wire’s acclaimed examination of Baltimore, marks the profound shifts in the ways television is now made and consumed. Illuminating the myriad factors that make television cities, Brunsdon complicates our understanding of how television shapes perceptions of urban spaces, both familiar and unknown.


"Interesting examination of how television has used cities in productions and the impact and image it produces for viewers. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." — C. L. Clements, Choice

"A well written and well researched book that opens new prospects for television researchers on the history and the future of the medium." — Nahuel Ribke, H-France, H-Net Reviews

"Television Cities is relatively short . . . but it packs in a wide range of thought-provoking issues without losing its focus. . . . An engaging and rewarding read for anybody interested in fictions for small, and not-so-small, screens. It will no doubt succeed in its aim of encouraging debate in these domains." — Robin Nelson, Critical Studies in Television

"A very welcome addition to both TV and urban studies, Television Cities combines spatial analysis and attention to the changing nature of TV production and viewership to suggest how urban space is produced and experienced in particular televisual ways." — Pamela Robertson Wojcik, author of The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945 to 1975

"Scholars have enumerated the many ways we are at home with television, but few have reflected on the fact that television's narrative home is most commonly metropolitan. Television Cities therefore invites us to do a critical double take on the consequential urban attributes of our most pervasive medium. It's Charlotte Brunsdon at her best." — Michael Curtin, author of Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV


Availability: In stock
Price: $25.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Charlotte Brunsdon is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick and the author of several books, including London in Cinema: The Cinematic City Since 1945 and The Feminist, the Housewife, and the Soap Opera.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction: Does the Flâneur Watch Television  1
1. The Modernity of Maigret's Paris  24
2. Living-Room London  65
3. Portable Cities: Baltimore  116
Notes  165
Bibliography  195
Index  211
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6920-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6894-6
Publicity material