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Monday, October 10, 2016

TV's Halloween

American TV once had a long-standing tradition of Halloween-themed episodes. While this trend has faded in recent years, sit-coms in particular used to celebrate the Halloween holiday season in grand fashion. Even today, The Simpsons can be relied upon for annual Halloween fun, and classic Halloween episodes of Roseanne are always in season.

But younger readers may not realize how big a holiday Halloween once was for the small screen. In a world bereft of Saturday morning cartoons and made-for-TV movies, a dearth of holiday specials and commercials makes the lack of Halloween on TV even more noticeable. When the nation was more connected through broadcast television and its traditional three channels, Halloween commanded as much airtime annually as Christmas, albeit for a briefer period.

I do not have children, but I understand that the practice of the Halloween holiday has changed since I was young. More people take their children to gatherings at churches and schools than trick or treating through the neighborhoods, according to what I understand. And the nature and role of TV in society has changed incredibly since the sit-com heyday of the 1980s. Many streaming channels feature seasonal content for Halloween, but the streaming audience is nothing compared to television audiences of earlier decades, which have also dropped dramatically.

© Copyright 2016, The Cyberculturalist

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