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Reaching new audiences through Drama Production

Conference contribution
Authors Mats Björkin
Maria Edström
Published in IAMCR, International Association for Media and Communication Reserarch, Media and Global Divide, July 20-25,Stockholm 2008. Working Group Media Production Analysis
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Department of Culture, Aesthetics and Media
Language en
Keywords media production, SVT, Andra Avenyn, audiences, streaming
Subject categories Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, Other Humanities not elsewhere specified

Abstract

It has become all but mandatory for popular TV series to appeal to viewers with extra-broadcast content, offering television new opportunities to intensify its intercourse with fans and the proliferation of its texts. The use of extra-broadcast content has been frequent in both entertainment and factual programs, and is more and more used in drama production. Swedish public service television (SVT) made in 2007 two drama series where extra-broadcast content, primarily through their web site, were integral to the broadcasted show: the mini-series Sanningen om Marika (The Truth about Marika) and the beginning of the long-run series Andra Avenyn (Second Avenue). During the spring of 2008 we have been studying the production process of Andra Avenyn in order to analyse the production. We are looking at how the series is used by SVT to test new approaches to knowledge and skills, that is, the production unit as a means of recruitment and development of new knowledge and skills, as well as new modes of transmedia storytelling, by distributing relevant narrative content across a range of media platforms, as a way of reaching and involving a young audience. This paper will consider the combination of economic and creative motives involved in the production process, but also raise questions about existing understandings about the form, use and function of public service television. It is the first case study of the transformation of Nordic television drama production, where also issues of financing, branding and scheduling practices will be used to analyse questions concerning cultural labour, audience and the community forming roles television are playing.

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