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Businessmen Behaving Badly: Prime Time's World of Commerce

Introduction

Does entertainment television have an anti-business agenda? Does it trivialize and criminalize business owners and executives more than characters with other occupations? Does prime time send positive or negative messages about the American workplace?

To find out, MRC researchers analyzed 17 weeks of prime time fare during a 26-month period (1995, 1996, and early 1997) -- a total of 863 sitcoms, dramas, and made-for-TV movies on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. (See Appendix I.) Their mission: Determine how business owners and executives were portrayed and what cultural messages these networks were sending about the American workplace.