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Television in Transition: The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero




Television in Transition: The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero

Shawn Shimpach

ISBN: 978-1-405-18535-6 April 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages


Combining an exciting methodology alongside high-interest case studies, Television in Transition offers students of television a guide to a medium that has weathered the challenges of first-run syndication, a multi-channel universe, netlets, major media conglomerates, deregulation, and globalization--all in the space of twenty years.
  • Examines a return in television programming to action narratives with individual (super) heroes intended to navigate this new, international, multi-channel universe
  • Explores how television programming "translates" to new spatial geographies: different nations, cultures, broadcast systems; and different formats, distribution outlets, and screen sizes
  • Looks at the value of a program's "afterlife," the continued circulation, repackaging and repurposing of programming beyond its initial iteration
  • Blends institutional and textual analyses in case studies of Highlander: The Series, Smallville, 24, and Doctor Who

Introduction: The Time and Space of Television in Transition.

1 Television in Transition.

2 The Hero.

3 How to Watch Television.

4 Highlander: The Immortal Cosmopolitan.

5 Smallville: "No Flights, No Tights": Doing Business with Superman.

6 24: In Real Time.

7 Doctor Who: Regeneration through Time and (Relative Dimensions in) Space.

Conclusion: Do We Need Another Hero?




"Shawn Shimpach's Television in Transition is a timely and original study of the complex industrial and textual dynamics of contemporary televisoin production. . . Like the industry it examines, Television in Transition's thesis is multifaceted, but Shimpach does an excellent job in guiding the reader through the new narratives and spatio-temporal configurations of TVIII." (Popular Communication, 12 July 2011)