Dealing primarily with the post-1996 era shaped by digital technologies and defined by consumer choice and brand marketing, this book brings together leading scholars, established journalists and experienced broadcasters working in the field of contemporary television to debate what we currently mean by quality TV. They go deep into contemporary American television fictions, from The Sopranos and The West Wing, to CSI and Lost -- innovative, sometimes controversial, always compelling dramas, which one scholar has described as ""now better than the movies!"" But how do we understand the emergence of these kinds of fiction? Are they genuinely new? What does quality tv have to tell us about the state of today's television market? And is it quality? Original, often polemic, each chapter proposes new ways of thinking about and defining quality TV. There is a foreword from Robert Thompson, and heated dialogue between British and US television critics. Also included are interviews with W. Snuffy Walden (scored The West Wing among others) and with David Chase (The Sopranos creator).