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Title: Authorship, creativity and personalisation in US television drama
Author: Steward, Tom
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 0374
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines the impact of writers, producers and directors on programming and production in several periods of US television drama history. I address the role authorship plays in shaping US television drama aesthetics and how creativity functions within its production cultures. I also address the personalisation of programmes through media and textual visibility and the place of authorship within the commercial and industrial contexts of US network television. My methodology involves textual analysis of a large viewing sample of programmes and a combination of archival research into original production documentation and analysis of US TV coverage in newspapers, magazines and trade journals. The thesis is divided into four case studies, each looking at the spaces for authorship, creativity and personalisation in key historical moments of US TV drama production and programming: early 1950s anthology writers, producers and directors (e.g. Paddy Chayefsky, Fred Coe, Delbert Mann); anthology producer-hosts of the late 1950s (e.g. Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock); executive producers of the 1980s-2000s (e.g. Steven Bochco, Jerry Bruckheimer); and guest writers and secondary producers in the 1980s-2000s (e.g. David Mamet, David Chase). The thesis aims to debunk the critical notion that authorship is present only in boutique quality television or that authorship is purely an invention of branding strategies and suggests new formulations of US TV authorship specific to historical production contexts. The thesis extends the author paradigm to include multiple authorship and a range of production roles and also revises several historiographical assumptions about authorship, programming and production. The thesis offers a model of authorship studies in television studies which frees authorship from quality prescription. It addresses the issue of industrial collaboration and incorporates it into our understanding of TV authorship. I relocate authorship studies from cultural mythology to aesthetics and production analysis, and provide more medium and industrial specificity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1990 Broadcasting