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Drama without drama: The late rise of scripted TV formats

Chalaby, J. (2016). Drama without drama: The late rise of scripted TV formats. Television & New Media, 17(1), pp. 3-20. doi: 10.1177/1527476414561089


This article revisits the history of TV formats - concepts of TV shows that are licensed for local adaptations – focusing on scripted entertainment. While the TV format revolution of the 1990s bypassed scripted formats, they have been catching up in recent years. This paper analyses both the reasons for this late rise and the factors behind the recent growth. It argues that the adaptation of scripted formats is more complex and risks remain higher than for other genres. The underlying economics of their production and distribution also differs from non-scripted formats. Stars came together when demand for drama increased worldwide, Hollywood studios began to mine their catalogues, new exporters and scripted genres emerged, and knowledge transfer techniques improved. Finally, this paper analyses the significance of the rise of scripted entertainment in the global TV format trading system.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Global television; Hollywood; scripted entertainment; transnational television; TV formats; TV genres
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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