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State of PlayContemporary 'High-end' TV Drama$
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Robin Nelson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073106

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073106.001.0001

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Introduction: aims, scope, methods and standpoints

Introduction: aims, scope, methods and standpoints

(p.1) Introduction: aims, scope, methods and standpoints
State of Play

Robin Nelson

Manchester University Press

The study reviews the output of ‘quality’ TV drama between the mid-1990s and 2006 and assesses the ‘state of play’ in television cultures at a time of significant technological and market change. It aims to offer a measured, self-reflexive, assessment of ‘high-end’ drama on contemporary television, offering insights into TV drama as a cultural form, both noting how provision has changed and sketching the force-field of influences which has given rise to new product. It reveals a mix of cultural studies and arts approaches, setting analyses of compositional principles of specific TV dramas against a broader context of production and, to some extent, reception. New accounts of the pleasures of television are required and these are considered in respect of the specificity of the medium. Though not uncritical of contemporary television culture, this study expounds the view that the current state of play in TV drama gives perhaps more ground for hope than for despair.

Keywords:   quality TV drama, state of play, television cultures, high-end drama, contemporary television

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