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How the importation of global television in the United States affects the nature of programming

Global Television

Co-Producing Culture

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Barbara J. Selznick

"Global Television is well focused, disciplined, imaginative, and original; the global outlook and free ranging expertise across borders are signature virtues. It looms to be a blueprint for the emergent field of globally-centric media studies."
Thomas Doherty , American Studies Department, Brandeis University

The face of U.S. television broadcasting is changing in ways that are both profound and subtle. Global Television uncovers the particular processes by which the international circulation of culture takes place, while addressing larger cultural issues such as identity formation.

Focusing on how the process of internationally made programming such as Highlander: The Series and The Odyssey—amusingly dubbed “Europudding” and “commercial white bread”—are changing television into a transnational commodity, Barbara Selznick considers how this mode of production—as a means by which transnational television is created—has both economic rewards and cultural benefits as well as drawbacks.

Global Television explores the ways these international co-productions create a “global” culture as well as help form a national identity. From British “brand” programming (e.g, Cracker) that airs on A&E in the U.S. to children’s television programs such as Plaza Sesamo, and documentaries, Selznick indicates that while the style, narrative, themes and ideologies may be interesting, corporate capitalism ultimately affects and impacts these programs in significant ways.

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Excerpt

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).

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Reviews

"An interesting treatment of this phenomenon. Summing Up: Recommended."
— Choice

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Contents


Introduction: McTelevision in the Global Village
1. History without Nation: Global Fiction
2. Clear, Strong Brands: British Television as a Marketing Tool
3. The Three C's: Children, Citizenship and Co-Production
4. Global Truths: Documentaries for the World
Conclusion: Transculturation or the Expansion of Modern Capitalism
Notes
Works Cited
Index

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About the Author(s)

Barbara J. Selznick is an Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts, The University of Arizona and author of Sure Seaters: The Emergence of Art House Cinema.

Subject Categories

Mass Media and Communications
Cultural Studies
American Studies


In the series

Emerging Media: History, Theory, Narrative, edited by Daniel Bernardi.

Moving beyond the reductive and ambiguous conclusions that new media is either utopian or dystopian, this series will situate emerging media in the context of history, art, and theory. Books in the series will address the fact that new media is shaped by specific historic currents, from the history of communication technologies, to the history of mass entertainment, to the tradition-bound practices of multimedia design. These historical underpinnings of new media forms will also engage the insights of artists, storytellers, and theorists.

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