Between global and national

Robin Nelson

in State of Play

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780719073106
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701119 | DOI:
Between global and national

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This chapter considers developments in television dramatic form and style in the context of ‘cultural discount’. Any simple binary difference between American and British television cultures is ultimately unsustainable, but the two cultures do betray different tendencies. Where, even in the new circumstances of TV3, ‘high-end’ American television can afford to be more experimental, a strong disposition to be primarily entertaining remains. British TV drama output, in contrast, retains traces of the legacy of British social realism even where, as in Spooks, it strives towards the production values of ‘American Quality TV’. British culture, though influenced by that of the USA, is perhaps still less upbeat and feelgood, more prepared to be reflectively self-critical, but, in TV3, there have been shifts in television culture on both sides of the Atlantic.

Keywords: cultural discount; 24; Spooks; Buried; Oz; high-end American television; American Quality TV

Chapter.  16613 words. 

Subjects: Television

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