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Ever since HBO broke the mould that had defined conventional network television by beginning to produce intelligent, well-written and expensive productions, critics started to proclaim a “Golden Age of Television.” Of course, what one terms a “Golden Age” is inevitably subjective: television as a medium has always been evolving, and with every new generation groundbreaking shows have redefined what the viewing public and critics see as excellence in broadcasting. The most innovative accomplishment of the show that broke the conventional pattern, The Sopranos, was to finally end the quasi-monopoly of the “Big Three” networks – ABC, NBC and CBS – that for all intents controlled the airwaves that had been beaming programming into American homes for so long.

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