Special Issue no. 19
European TV series
Call for Essays
This monographic issue of Cinéma & Cie will deal with the audiovisual serial production within the European Union.
In the past years, television serial narratives have gone through some severe changes in the way they are organised from a narrative point of view, as well as in the way they are perceived and “used” by audiences. This new wave of serial production has been quite well analysed by scholars from different countries; several books and essays focused on different aspects of serial productions, from the narrative construction to audience reception. However, the main focus of these studies seems to always be on US productions. This issue of Cinéma & Cie aims to draw attention to EU TV series, trying to answer the following question: does a European television market exist?
The European Community is nowadays working in the direction of a more inclusive society, a goal that implies the understanding of the social transformations in Europe through a variety of tools, not least the study of the circulation of audiovisual cultural products in Europe. Since technological advances in the field of audiovisual media are affecting the consumer and user behaviours, as well as the structure of production, it is quite relevant to focus on the role and influence of cultural products from a transnational perspective.
Several factors warrant the focus of this issue on television series produced in Europe.
First, serials have become one of the most successful formats among transnationally distributed media products, benefiting both producers and distributors. Second, these cultural products appeal to a wide range of consumers: they are a common factor across European markets (otherwise differing in many significant aspects) and are designed to be enjoyed through different devices (from conventional broadcast television to the Internet). These factors make audiovisual serialized formats suitable for investigating potential transformations/trends and the construction of the cultural imagery of media convergence in Europe. The digital production, distribution and consumption of contemporary television series permit a continuous reshaping of content; this modularity, flexibility and fast-paced adaptation offers the opportunity for serialized content to engage directly with European communities, and to better suit their needs and values.
In a media landscape characterised by an overabundance of entertainment offers, audiovisual serialized products and formats must deal with problems arising from information overload and the “attention economy”. Today, Europe is facing an important paradigm switch: the prominent role taken by consumers and users in the media industry has put them in the first position in the value production chain. The scarcity of spectators’ attention has become a crucial factor in the creation of the value connected to cultural products, as well as in the creation of products capable of exploiting all the possibilities of the newly converged media landscape. Finally, serialized audiovisual contents now represent a large percentage of media industry production, so that they might constitute an urgent opportunity for European audiovisual industries.
Essays on the following topics are welcome:
- State of the Art – How is the situation of the scientific literature on this topic in EU countries? Are research and studies on the production of European TV dramas and series only popular within the context of national studies? How much of the scientific production on TV series is monopolized/dedicated to studies on US productions?
- Circulation of European TV dramas within the EU as well as outside of the EU
- Case studies: national productions of TV dramas and series mostly relevant (with regard to their production modes, narrative, themes, style…) to enlighten the features of the European TV market
- Domestic and American characteristics of EU TV dramas (formats, genres…)
- Does a European identity exist within the narrative construction of EU serials? Can European series contribute to the creation of a European identity, and how? Are there exemplary case studies with reference to this topic?
- European production modes: different productions for different channels (free, pay, broadcasting, narrowcasting). How relevant is the production of TV dramas in each national entertainment market?
- Serial formats for the WWW: do web series aim to go beyond the national borders to reach a wider audience, and how is that achieved?
- Consumption modes: do transnational modes of consumption exist? How much are they affected by the TV scheduling and programming pattern of each country? Does file sharing contribute or prevent this kind of circulation?
- Do cult series exist within the European context? Are these national or transnational phenomena?
- Does European quality TV exist? If so, does it coincide with TV drama productions or with other formats? Do common indicators for quality definition and evaluation exist?
- How do co-productions with the US or among different EU member states work? What are features of runaway productions (America in the EU)? How co-productions affect training of professionals and can contribute to the creation of a domestic production/market? What are the institutions involved in the training of professionals?
Please send your abstract (300-500 words in English, French or Italian) and a short bio to email@example.com by May 31, 2012.
All notifications of acceptance will be emailed no later than June 15, 2012.