What’s Alan writing? A new book called ‘The Revolution Was Televised’

Senior Television Writer
11.08.12 116 Comments

Over the last year and change, you may have noticed an occasional mysterious allusion to some project I was working on but wasn’t ready to discuss. Well, today I am very proud to announce that it’s my new book, “The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever.”

The book tells the story of this new golden age of drama we’re lucky enough to be experiencing, through the prism of a dozen shows from the last 15 years: in chapter order, “Oz,” “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Deadwood,” “The Shield,” “Lost,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “24,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” It’s a mix of critical analysis and history, featuring interviews – the great majority of them new – with the creators of these shows and other key people who worked on them. Each chapter discusses both the greatness of that particular show and the way it contributed to this creative revolution. (The Shield, for instance, ended HBO’s monopoly on this kind of show.) I’ve got David Chase discussing the end of The Sopranos (not explaining it, mind you, but discussing why he chose to do it that way), Damon Lindelof on the Lost origin story, David Milch on the beginning and end of Deadwood, and a whole lot more.

I’m self-publishing the book for a variety of reasons, one of which is that so many of the biggest accomplishments of my career happened because I was doing something entirely on my own, whether it was the old “NYPD Blue” fan site or the original version of this blog. The mechanisms for self-publishing – in this case, there will be a paperback, as well as editions for Kindle, Nook and possibly some other eBook readers – have become so streamlined that I wanted to take a crack at it this way.

Barring something strange (like, say, another superstorm), the book should be available to order by the week of Thanksgiving, and I think it will make an excellent holiday gift for the TV fan in your life.

UPDATE: The Kindle edition wound up going on sale ahead of schedule, and so did the Nook version. The paperback is also on sale, as are versions for iBooks and Kobo.

I’ve set up a website about the book, at AlanSepinwall.com, which still has some tweaks to be made, but has a FAQ that should answer more questions you may have (like why I chose these 12 shows and not others), a collection of links to my previous writing about these shows, as well as a sign-up form for an email list if you want to be reminded the day the book goes on sale, since you can’t pre-order the book. (I’ll also be doing another post here on that day, discussing it on social media, and have some other things in the works in terms of spreading the word.) If you want to know something that’s not there, ask in the comments or feel free to email me, as always, at sepinwall@hitfix.com

I’m very excited about this. I always knew I didn’t want “Stop Being a Hater and Learn to Love The O.C.” to be the only line on my bibliography, and “The Revolution Was Televised” touches on a lot of what’s made this such a special time to do what I get to do for a living. I hope you like it. And while we wait for it to be released, here’s a look at the cover, courtesy of Jeroen ten Berge:

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