The study of various types of programming is essential for critical analysis of the media and also offers revealing perspectives on society's cultural values, preoccupations, behavior, and myths. This handbook provides a systematic, in-depth approach to the study of media genres - including reality programs, game shows, situation comedies, soap operas, film noir, news programs, and more. The author addresses such questions as: Have there been shifts in the formula of particular genres over time? What do these shifts reveal about changes in culture? How and why do new genres - such as reality TV shows - appear? Are there differences in genres from one country to another? Combining theoretical approaches with concrete examples, the book reinforces one's understanding of the importance of genre to the creation, evolution, and consumption of media content. Each chapter in this reader-friendly book contains a detailed discussion of one of the theoretical approaches to genre studies, followed by Lines of Inquiry, which summarizes the major points of the discussion and suggests directions for analysis and further study. Each chapter also includes an example that illustrates how the particular theoretical approach can be applied in the analysis of genre. The author's careful linkage of different genres to the real world makes the book widely useful for those interested in genre study as well as media and culture, television studies, film studies, and media literacy.