Television in Transition: The Life and Afterlife of the by Shawn Shimpach

By Shawn Shimpach

Combining a thrilling method along high-interest case studies, Television in Transition offers scholars of tv a advisor to a medium that has weathered the demanding situations of first-run syndication, a multi-channel universe, netlets, significant media conglomerates, deregulation, and globalization--all within the area of two decades. * Examines a go back in tv programming to motion narratives with person (super) heroes meant to navigate this new, overseas, multi-channel universe * Explores how tv programming "translates" to new spatial geographies: diverse international locations, cultures, broadcast structures; and diverse codecs, distribution shops, and monitor sizes * seems to be on the price of a program's "afterlife," the ongoing move, repackaging and repurposing of programming past its preliminary generation * Blends institutional and textual analyses in case studies of Highlander: The sequence, Smallville, 24, and Doctor Who

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Extra resources for Television in Transition: The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero

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Requiring such considerable production investment has meant that this narrative programming is asked to travel as produced, rather than as a (prohibitively costly) locally customizable format. The burden of appealing to multiple local sites of viewing is therefore placed on the narrative and the look of the program. Programming Transition Indeed the look of programming everywhere took on new significance. Amid literally hundreds of new viewing options, increasingly in multiple global locations, at any given time, television programming was an increasingly cluttered terrain, making it difficult for individual programs (even channels) to get noticed, attract viewers, or crucially, to justify their advertising rates.

The seemingly effortless geographic mobility afforded to the imperial subject conferred aggrandizement upon the seemingly unbounded, action-oriented individual. The young, white men who were (or became) the aggrandized subjects of these stories motivated the narratives through their penchant for action and resolved conflict through violence informed by grit, wits, and innate skill, securing, in each story, the future of the world for which they were responsible and in the process confirming their masculine identity.

This is why the corpus of texts comprising a given genre is so hand-wringingly policed4 – the expectations produced by the recognition of a genre can be permanently altered – scarred and damaged – by the inclusion of even one ‘‘wrong’’ text to the mix. The programs examined in the following chapters, as examples of television in transition, do not stand as pure examples (whatever that might be) of the action genre. Instead they leverage their potential audience draw through the incorporation of traits and expectations associated with a number of other popular-culture screen genres.

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