Dr Pia Majbritt Jensen
Assistant Professor, Department of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University
'Television Format Adaptation in a Trans-national Perspective – an Australian and Danish case study'
Local adaptations of foreign program formats such as Got Talent, Biggest Looser, Master Chef, Ground Force, The Block, Idol, Dancing with the Stars and Millionaire take up an expanding part of local TV schedules around the world. From a media scholarly perspective, these adaptations are interesting because, on the one hand, they are a result of the increasing globalisation of television whilst, on the other, they are often adapted in very different ways in different national markets making them appear local to the national audience.
The seminar will outline the main results of my PhD project, which was a trans-national, comparative study of format adaptation in Australia and Denmark.
The seminar uncovers how local media systemic conditions have considerable influence on (1) various and significant differences in the extent of format adaptations in the schedules of the two countries and (2) equally important differences between the concrete Australian and Danish adaptations of the four formats Ground Force, The Block, Idol and Nerds FC.
Additionally, the seminar explores the role of genre in local format adaptation processes and points to how and why genres such as reality and lifestyle are more common format genres than for example documentaries and drama.
The results show that media systemic (such as legislation, funding, competition etc.) conditions often have a stronger explanatory power when it comes to the differences between the two countries than socio-cultural concepts such as national mentalities and cultural taste.
Pia Majbritt Jensen, Assistant Professor, Aarhus University, has been a visiting scholar with the Department of Media and Communications in Semester 1, 2010.