January 2003, Polity
This is the first book to consider the soap opera within the
economy of broadcasting; it includes a chapter based on interviews
with leading broadcasting executives who give their analysis of the
importance of the soap opera to their industry. The perspective of
television producers as well as the views of audiences are also
taken into account.
Accessibly written, Soap Opera links the genre to both its media and its literary heritage, and argues that soap operas cross international boundaries through the universal appeal of their characters and their stories. It will be of particular interest to students of media and cultural studies, literary studies, sociology and television production courses, as well as to professionals in the television industry.
Preface: Why Soap Opera?.
Introduction: History and Theories.
Part I: The Soap Business.
1. Soap Opera and the Broadcasting Industry.
2. Elements of Production: Features of the Form.
Part II: The Content of Soap Operas.
3. Soap Stars: Actors and Icons.
4. Soap Opera and Everyday Life: Decades of Domestic Drama.
5. The Big Issues.
Part III: Soap Opera and its Audiences.
6. A Universal Form.
7. The Cultural History of Soap Opera and the Audience.
- A lively and accessible introduction to one of the most popular genres of broadcasting
Traces the form of soap opera from its beginnings on American radio in the 1930s to the international television genre it has become today
- Provides a comprehensive perspective, taking account of the views of television producers and of audiences
- This is the first book to consider the soap opera within the economy of broadcasting and includes interviews with broadcasting executives who analyse the importance of the soap opera to their industry
Written by one of the leading scholars in the field
Ellen Seiter, University of California, San Diego
"Dorothy Hobson understands soap opera’s power to involve
TV viewers better than any-one alive. This remarkable study is of
compelling interest to the soap addict, to the general reader and
to the student of mass media’s money magic. A rewarding
Jeremy Isaacs, Founding Chief Executive, Channel 4
"The art of TV soap opera has finally come of age and is
recognized by audience and critics as quality drama. This book is
the definitive to the genre, and will prove indis-pensable to fans
and academics alike."
Mal Young, BBC Controller, Drama Series