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From serial drama to transmedia storytelling: How to re-articulate television aesthetics in the post-broadcast era

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The post-broadcast era is witness to a number of transformations in television culture. Similar to other styles and forms representative of broadcast television, even the most ‘televisual’ genre, television drama, is going through some drastic changes. While transmedia storytelling is offering new possibilities for both content creation and promotion of serial drama, it also questions some of the generic conventions by expanding the serial form and narrative structure across various types of media. In this article, I will draw from both television aesthetics and studies on transmedia storytelling in order to study seriality in current television drama. I argue that the serial form of television drama can be studied as a programming strategy, a mode of production, a narrative form and a viewing experience. By applying this framework to Finnish television drama I will identify and discuss the challenges involved in studying television aesthetics in the post-broadcast era as well as suggest possible ways of approaching the emerging forms and styles of broadcast television. Finally, I will consider the concept of quality in relation to post-broadcast television drama.
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Keywords: convergence; serial form; television aesthetics; television drama; television production; television series; transmedia storytelling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Turku

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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