This essay is designed to get you to look in some depth at the relationship between a specific television show, and the kinds of TV markets in, and for which, it is produced, and the ways in which it has a cultural resonance and/or serves a public interest. Put simply: how are TV shows shaped by industrial factors like network or platform brand, mode of viewing, imagined audience, and how the network or platform makes money? Examine your chosen show in terms of its structure, content, themes, pleasures, and televisual style. In what ways is the show SHAPED OR INFLECTED by factors including: distribution network, viewing mode, audience engagement and desire to serve public interests? Your essay must mention: 1. What kind of television platform and/or distribution network was the show primarily produced for (eg. premium or basic cable, public service broadcaster, subscription V.O.D.)? 2. How does this particular platform and/or distribution network know who is watching the show and how they are watching? How is this information used by producers? 3. How is this show funded? In what ways is it intended to bring value to its distribution network? Does it succeed in bringing value to its intended network? 4. What kinds of viewing engagement and productivity does this show inspire? What is your evidence for this? 5. Can you make a case for this show in terms of its value for public interest? Present your work in an essay format, using the above questions as a guide for your argument focus. Do not give each question equal weight, some can be answered in a few words, others will take time. Your essay must draw on the relevant readings from the course, as well as your own primary (eg. entertainment news, viewing figures, social media) and secondary research (eg. academic articles). Readings you can/must use if they fit the task: – Robinson, Mary Jane, Television on Demand: Curatorial Culture and the Transformation of TV, Chapter 3 “Who’s Watching? When? Why? Where? The Limits of Audience Quantification”, Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
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