explores how a growing array of 21st century US programming is produced and received in ways that elevate select series above the competition in a saturated market. Contributing authors demonstrate that these shows are positioned and understood as comprising an increasingly recognizable genre characterized by familiar markers of distinction. In contrast to most accounts of elite categorizations of contemporary US television programming that center on HBO and its primary streaming rivals, these essays examine how efforts to imbue series with prestigious or elevated status now permeate the rest of the medium, including network as well as basic and undervalued premium cable channels. Case study chapters focusing on diverse series, ranging from widely recognized examples such as The Americans
(2013-2018) and The Knick
(2014-15) to contested examples like Queen of the South
(2016-2021) and How I Met Your Mother
(2005-2014), highlight how contributing authors extend conceptions of the genre beyond expected parameters.