2017

MEDIA MUTATIONS 9

The Format Factor.
Television Shows, Brands and Properties in the Global Television Scenario
Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti, May 23rd-24th, 2017

Organized by Luca Barra and Paola Brembilla, in collaboration with Andrea Esser, the Media Across Borders network and the ECREA Television Studies section

In the last fifteen years, following a long history that already started in the early years of the medium, television all around the world has been constantly and successfully broadcasting global formats: big brands and franchises, with a codified set of rules, sold at international audiovisual markets, distributed in many countries and on numerous networks and channels, and adapted and remade according to the tastes and needs of local audiences. Beginning with Big Brother, Survivor and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and later with The X Factor, Masterchef, Peking Express, In Treatment, The Bridge, Pulseras Rojas and many others, formatted shows have contributed to creating a shared television aesthetics, spreading best practice in production, distribution and marketing, and establishing similar consumption habits. At the same time, differences and national specificities are still at work, and the success of global formats in individual national markets depends on successful localization. The process of formatization is now used in both TV fiction and entertainment productions, and it is relentlessly expanding, both at the economic and cultural level, and in a convergent media scenario.

Some classic and more recent studies have established the field of format research over the past 18 years, defining various format dimensions and analyzing their ability to travel across different countries and cultures (e.g. Moran 1998, 2007; 2009; Oren and Shahaf, 2012; Chalaby 2016; Ellis, Esser and Gutiérrez Lozano 2016; Aveyard, Moran and Jensen 2016). The conference aims to expand the academic knowledge of this important phenomenon, establish new research perspectives in the field, and strengthen the understanding of national and transnational distribution and reception practices. The focus will not only be on cultural and linguistic format issues, but on the legal, economic and productive aspects of format development and format trade, and the different genres and types of formatted audiovisual products.

 ▶️️ Watch the conference video

PROGRAMME

Tuesday, May 23

9.30  Institutional Greetings
Giuseppina La Face, director, Dipartimento delle Arti, Università di Bologna
Introduction
Luca Barra, Paola Brembilla, Università di Bologna

10.00   Industry. Format Production and Distribution
Chair: Ed Vollans, Middlesex University
The Transnational TV Production Industry. A System of Connections and Exchanges
Jolien Van Keulen, Vrije University, Brussels
The U.S. Market for Television Formats. Repurposed Content and Industry Lifecycles
Paul Torre, University of Northern Iowa
Circulatory Histories of Canadian Television Networks in 1990s Latin America
Ira Wagman, Carleton University, Ottawa
Israel’s Global TV Creators. Industrial and Professional Narratives in a Format-Driven Industry
Leora Hadas, University of Nottingham

11.45   Unscripted/01. Formatting Talent Shows
Chair: Riccardo Fassone, Università di Torino
A Well-Oiled machine. Investigating the Italian Street Food Format Unti e Bisunti.
Marta Perrotta, Università Roma Tre
Levels of Production in Transnational Television Formats. The Global, Local and Hyper-Local Levels of Making Indian Idol
Lauhona Ganguly, The New School, New York
Art is a Format. The Challenging Story of an (Italian) Talent Show
Daniela Cardini, Università IULM, Milano

13:00   Lunch Break

14:30   Keynote Address
Beyond Television. Theorizing the Format in Cultural History
Jérôme Bourdon, Tel Aviv University
Chair and discussant: Peppino Ortoleva, Università di Torino

15.30   Scripted/01. Emerging Markets
Chair: Roberta Pearson, University of Nottingham
Bron/Broen, the Pilot Episode as Space between Cultures, and (Re)Negotiations of Nordic Noir
Tobias Steiner, Universität Hamburg
“Original Good, Adaptation Bad”. Investigating the Deeper Reasons behind Australian Audience Preference for the Nordic Versions of Forbrydelsen and Bron/Broen
Pia Majbritt Jensen, Aarhus University
Crossing the Western Borders. The End as the Beginning of New Television Flows?
Şebnem Baran, University of Southern California
Is There a Community in Umutsuz Ev Kadınları? The Reception of the Turkish Version of Desperate Housewives
Deniz Berfin Ayaydin, Vrije University, Brussels

Wednesday, May 24

9:30     Industry Spotlight (in Italian)
Chair: Guglielmo Pescatore, Università di Bologna
Distratta Italia. Perché importiamo i format e non li esportiamo
Massimo Scaglioni, Centro di Ricerca sulla Televisione e gli Audiovisivi, Università Cattolica
L’erba del vicino… Il format e la gestione del rischio
Federico Di Chio, Mediaset/RTI

10:45   Keynote Address
Here to Entertain Us. How TV Formats Changed Television
Jean K. Chalaby, City, University of London
Chair and discussant: Enrico Menduni, Università Roma Tre

11:45   Unscripted/02. Representation and Identity in Formats
Chair: Giovanni Boccia Artieri, Università di Urbino “Carlo Bo”
An Italian Franchise in Search of a Format. Creative, Productive and Representational Strategies in Real Time’s Italiani Made
Cecilia Penati and Anna Sfardini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
Your Andalusian Face Sounds Familiar. The Persistence of Regional Stereotypes in Original and Adapted TV Formats in Spain
Juan Francisco Gutierrez Lozano, University of Málaga
Poverty as Television Spectacle. Shaming Low-Income People in Reality TV Programs
Irena Reifova, Charles University, Prague

13:00   Lunch Break

14:30   Scripted/02. Between Standardization and Creativity
Chair: Jolien Van Keulen, Vrije University, Brussels
The Curious Adventure of the Failed Format. Sherlock and Elementary
Roberta Pearson, University of Nottingham
“The Way Forward”. Quebec’s New Narrative-Based Formats and the Search for a Global Audience
Stefany Boisvert, McGill University, Montreal
Excavating TV Formats. Using Multimodal Digital Tools for Comparatively Analyzing Adaptations of the Quebec Sketch Comedy Series Un Gars, Une Fille
Edward Larkey, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

15:45   Audiences. Transmedia Formats
Chair: Stephanie Janes, Royal Holloway, University of London
Winxology. Grooming the Future Female Consumer
Ellen Nerenberg, Wesleyan University and Nicoletta Marini Maio, Dickinson College
What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Food? The Evolution of Foodie Genre Storytelling
Alfonso Amendola and Novella Troianello, Università di Salerno
One World for All. Audiences, Exhibitors and United Worldbuilding
Bärbel Göbel-Stolz, Karlshochschule, Karlsruhe

17:00   Final Remarks
Andrea Esser, University of Roehampton

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