This short article examines the strengths and weaknesses of textual analysis as a form of interpreting television. It begins with an examination of its historical place in television studies and its more recent rejection by certain methodologies and practices in the field, particularly audience and reception studies. However, it will also investigate its more recent resurgence and the lessons it has learnt from adopting a 'post-structuralist' informed approach to the television text. In particular, it suggests that textual analysis should now be viewed as a 'dialogic' process through which various 'reading positions' can be viewed rather than universalised. In conclusion, it argues that the inter-disciplinary nature of television studies should remain and be encouraged in future research.