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Robin Nelson

production chain in many respects. Forces in other areas of television pull in other directions and some cheap programming has to be made in some contexts to offset the costs of the expensive “high end”. I would ultimately want to put the argument no more strongly than to say that today’s production circumstances, highly commercialised as they are, ironically appear to have yielded a context facilitating creativity and distinctive product, indeed “quality television”, at the “high end” of the industry, in TV drama. But such terms as “quality TV” and chap 7.p65 161 6

in State of play
Genre, Authorship, and Quality in Teen TV horror
Rebecca Williams

The Vampire Diaries began life as a series of novels before being adapted into a television series screened on the CW channel in the US and ITV2 in the UK. This article explores how the show contributes to debates over genre and authorship within the context of the TV vampire via its status as a teen horror text. It also investigates how the show intersects with debates over quality television via the involvement of teen-TV auteur Kevin Williamson. In exploring genre and authorship, the article considers how The Vampire Diaries functions as a teen drama and a TV vampire/horror text.

Gothic Studies
Abstract only
Aims, scope, methods and standpoints
Robin Nelson

, drawing on a range of illustrative examples, and Chapter 7 revisits questions of quality and the cultural implications of “quality TV”. In the final chapter, some instances of a sustained singularity in British TV drama are discussed to reflect upon how traditions may successfully adapt to new circumstances without altogether abandoning cultural heritage. “Quality”, of course, is a highly contested term. Currently, very bold claims are being made in some quarters about “American Quality Television”. With texts such as The Sopranos and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in mind

in State of play
Martin Barker, Clarissa Smith, and Feona Attwood

In this final chapter, we look at just one aspect that might mark GoT as quality TV: its unpredictability. In part, this has been prompted by the marketing and transmedia activities in the lead up to the TV show's finale, which we discuss in our Postscript and by Gierzynksi's prognosticating article in the Chicago Tribune , in which he stated: I'm hoping ‘Game of Thrones’ has an unhappy ending because, sadly, unhappy endings mimic reality. I recognize the need to occasionally escape from the

in Watching Game of Thrones
Mapping post-alternative comedy
Leon Hunt

3885 Cult British TV Comedy:Layout 1 2 14/12/12 07:52 Page 2 Cult British TV comedy ‘alternative’ and ‘post-alternative’ comedy on TV can be seen as both categories of ‘quality TV’ (niche-oriented, requiring some kind of cultural capital) and cult TV (positioned in relation to an increasingly slippery ‘mainstream’). Roger Wilmut, writing before alternative comedy had really impacted on television, identifies three waves of British comedians in the twentieth century. The first, dominant up to the Second World War but still a significant TV presence well into the

in Cult British TV comedy
24 and Spooks; Buried and Oz
Robin Nelson

-relationships · imbued with a public service ethos: downbeat, reflective and engaged with social and political issues For some quick comparative examples to establish this opening gambit, I invite readers to: think ER then think Casualty think NYPD Blue then think The Bill think Friends then think Cold Feet In the late 1990s and early noughties, critical discourse on “qualityTV drama has been dominated by the celebration of “American Quality TV”. Even before film buff Peter Kramer remarked, as noted, that ‘American fictional television is now better than the movies’ (in

in State of play
Directions and redirections
Jonathan Bignell and Stephen Lacey

money or the ‘quality’ status of their majority audience. The issues of whether there is more or less ‘quality television’ than there was, and the standards of taste and decency in television, have mostly been left to popular and journalistic opinion, industry reports and regulatory discourses. Inasmuch as Television Studies involves the relationships between television and society, these problems may return on to the agenda. One aspect of this on which we think there will be much more work is in the evaluation and theorisation of performance (see Caughie 2000 for

in Popular television drama
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Race and representation in recent
James Burton

racial difference. The sixth series included an episode for Christmas 2016 shot in South Africa. Cometh The Hour Where Call the Midwife has frequently been dismissed as cosy, Sunday evening heritage programming, The Hour was greeted as ‘qualitytelevision with episode-by-episode review blogs appearing on the Guardian site and elsewhere. This can perhaps be explained by the fact that The Hour’s concerns are more macro than Call the Midwife’s focus on the quotidian and the soapy nature of its serialisation. The serial plots of The Hour’s two series address broad

in Adjusting the contrast
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Contemporary “high-end” TV drama
Author: Robin Nelson

This book updates and develops the arguments of TV drama in transition (1997). It sets its analysis of the aesthetics and compositional principles of texts within a broad conceptual framework (technologies, institutions, economics, cultural trends). Tracing ‘the great value shift from conduit to content’ (Todreas, 1999), the book's view is relatively optimistic about the future quality of TV drama in a global market-place. But, characteristically taking up questions of worth where others have avoided them, it recognises that certain types of ‘quality’ are privileged for viewers able to pay, possibly at the expense of viewer preference worldwide for ‘local’ resonances in television. The mix of arts and cultural studies methodologies makes for an unusual approach.

From Reeves and Mortimer to Psychoville
Author: Leon Hunt

The TV debut of Vic Reeves Big Night Out on Channel 4 in 1990 is often seen as marking a turning point for British TV Comedy, ushering in what is often characterised as the ‘post-alternative’ era. The 1990s would produce acclaimed series such as Father Ted, The League of Gentlemen and The Fast Show, while the new century would produce such notable shows as The Mighty Boosh, The Office and Psychoville. However, while these shows enjoy the status of ‘cult classics’, comparatively few of them have received scholarly attention. This book is the first sustained critical analysis of the ‘post-alternative’ era, from 1990 to the present day. It examines post-alternative comedy as a form of both ‘Cult’ and ‘Quality’ TV, programmes that mostly target niche audiences and possess a subcultural aura – in the early 90s, comedy was famously declared ‘the new rock’n’roll’. It places these developments within a variety of cultural and institutional contexts and examines a range of comic forms, from sitcom to sketch shows and ‘mock TV’ formats. It includes case studies of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and the sitcom writer Graham LInehan. It examines developments in sketch shows and the emergence of ‘dark’ and ‘cringe’ comedy, and considers the politics of ‘offence’ during a period in which Brass Eye, ‘Sachsgate’ and Frankie Boyle provoked different kinds of media outrage. Cult British TV Comedy will be of interest to both students and fans of modern TV comedy.