Since 1963 the U.S. Committee on Nationwide Television Audience Measurement (CONTAM) has engaged in methodological research. The purpose has been to understand and improve television audience measurement in order to increase the accuracy and reliability of ratings research. Specific projects have included benchmark studies of various types, monitoring of procedures, and analyses of audience data. Recently, in 1988 and 1989 CONTAM commissioned and completed an extensive and unparalleled review of people-meter operations. Beginning in 1991 CONTAM extended its commitment to research quality by initiating an elaborate three-year program of methodological research and development. This paper will include a status report on key components of this new project. The significance of the work and the findings will be discussed. In particular, the paper will focus on the requirements for new thinking and new approaches in - metering operations, - the determination of programs tuned and - persons measurement. CONTAM is composed of research professionals from ABC, CBS and NBC television networks and from the National Broadcasting Association of Broadcasters.