Global Television Formats
Understanding Television Across Borders
Edited by Tasha Oren, Sharon Shahaf
Routledge – 2012 – 394 pages
Winner of the 2013 SCMS Best Edited Collection Award
For decades, television scholars have viewed global television through the lens of cultural imperialism, focusing primarily on programs produced by US and UK markets and exported to foreign markets. Global Television Formats revolutionizes television studies by de-provincializing its approach to media globalization. It re-examines dominant approaches and their legacies of global/local and center/periphery, and offers new directions for understanding television’s contemporary incarnations.
The chapters in this collection take up the format phenomena from around the globe, including the Middle East, Western and Eastern Europe, South and West Africa, South and East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, North America, South America, and the Caribbean. Contributors address both little known examples and massive global hits ranging from the Idol franchise around the world, to telenovelas, dance competitions, sports programming, reality TV, quiz shows, sitcoms and more. Looking to global television formats as vital for various cultural meanings, relationships, and structures, this collection shows how formats can further our understanding of television and the culture of globalization at large.
"An engrossing and highly stimulating collection that provides critical new bearings for television, cultural and globalisation studies in the second decade of the new millennium. The authors offer a highly nuanced and suggestive re-negotiation of the global/local dichotomy that has bedeviled media studies in the past. This is a critically thoughtful and robust challenge to recent scholarly orthodoxies about what is happening to world television. A magisterial collection of critical insights that dares the student and teacher to re-examine what they are seeing on television now." —Albert Moran, Professor of Screen Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
"This extraordinary anthology shows how format TV is transforming the look, feel, and appeal of television in societies around the world. These essays help to expand our understanding of what a format is and how it works, both globally and locally, drawing fascinating connections between commerce, creativity, and the everyday lives of viewers." —Michael Curtin, Mellichamp Chair of Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
"…the collection…proves television studies to be a still relevant, fruitful and highly contentious field of enquiry for understanding entangled media environments in the 21st century. Especially the accelerated circulation of television formats illustrates contemporary layers of global, transnational, national, and cultural connections… the edition provides a useful and important academic overview and is to be recommended to all those interested in television formats." —Anne Grüne, Global Media Journal: German Edition
From Media, Culture & Society: "This edited collection argues formats are a 'highly contextualised study of television as a global system.' For this idea alone, the book should be read. It offers chapters from a range of researchers in television economics, policy, production and form, that address the situated nature of formats as they exist as ideas, products and services, and as they are produced and understood in specific countries and cultures….the book…calls for the end of television research that seems to ignore the vibrant and complex development in global formats across a range of media"--Annette Hill, Lund University, Sweden
From the Journal of Communication: "[Global Television Formats] is eminently useful, well-edited, transparently organized and overall a good read without any weak links. Not only does it thoroughly analyze phenomena crucial to grasping television’s globalization but it also retroactively globalizes the history of television, creating helpful models for subsequent analyses." —Anikó Imre, Associate Professor, University of Southern California
From the Global Media Journal: "Readers will discover under its broad thematic umbrella a host of valuable data and informed commentary. With the decline of the top-down model of US cultural imperialism now broadly accepted, this book offers an invaluable road map to a new media landscape that is more complex than scholars have previously acknowledged." —Paul Julian Smith, Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center of City University of New York
Introduction: Television Formats--A Global Framework for TV Studies Tasha Oren and Sharon Shahaf I. Format Theories and Global Television 1. More than Copycat Television: Format Adaptation as Performance Vinicius Navarro 2. Calling Out Around the World: The Global Appeal of Reality Dance Formats Dana Heller 3. Television Formats and Contemporary Sports Tony Schiarto 4. A Political Economy of Formatted Pleasure Eddie Brennan 5. Interpreting Cubanness, Americanness, and the Sitcom: WPBT-PBS's Que Pasa USA? Yeidy M. Rivero II. Transnational Formats: Historical Perspectives 6. From Discrete Adaptations to Hard Copies: The Rise of Formats in European Television Jerome Bourdon 7. "National Mike": Global Host and Global Formats in Early Italian Television Chiara Ferrari 8. Telenovelas in Brazil: From Traveling Scripts to a Genre and Proto-Format both National and Transnational Joseph Straubhaar 9. Reversal of Fortune? Hollywood Faces New Competition in Global Media Trade Paul Torre III. Case Study: The Idol Franchise 10. Idol Worship: Ethnicity and Difference in Global Television Biswarup Sen 11. NZ Idol: Nation Building through Format Adaptation Joost De Bruin 12. Global Television Formats in Africa--Localizing Idols Martin Nkosi Ndlela 13. We Are the World: American Idol's Global Self-Posturing Erica Jean Bochanty-Aguero IV. Trans-Formats: Local Articulations and the Politics of Place and Nation 14. The Social and Political Dimensions of Global Television Formats: Reality Television in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia Marwin M. Kraidy 15. A Revolution in Television and a Great Leap Forward for Innovation? China in the Global Television Format Business Michael Keane 16. Global Television Formats and the Political Economy of Cultural Adaptation: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in India Lauhona Ganguly 17. Global Franchising, Gender, and Genre: The Case of Domestic Reality Television Sharon Sharp 18. Reiterational Texts and Global Imagination: Television Strikes Back Tasha Oren
Tasha Oren is an Associate Professor of English and Media Studies, and is the Coordinator of the Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies track at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Sharon Shahaf is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University.