Media Experiences: Engaging with Drama and Reality Television travels across people and popular culture, exploring the pathways to engagement and the various ways in which we shape and are shaped by the media landscapes in which we move. This exploration includes the voices and bodies, sights and sounds of audiences as they experience entertainment through television drama, reality TV, at live events, and within digital television itself as actors, participants and producers. It is about the people who create the drama, live events and reality entertainment that we experience. This book traverses the relationships between producers and audiences in shared places of a media imagination.
Annette Hill’s research draws on interviews and observations with over 500 producers and audience members to explore cultures of viewing across different genres, such as Nordic noir crime drama The Bridge, cult conspiracy thriller Utopia, and reality television audiences and participants in global formats MasterChef and Got to Dance. The research highlights how trends such as multi-screening, catch up viewing, amateur media and piracy work alongside counter-trends in retro television viewing where people relish the social ritual of watching live television, or create a social media blackout for immersive viewing.
Media Experiences bridges the divide between industry and academia, highlighting how producers and audiences co-create, shape and limit experiences within emerging mediascapes.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Pathways to Engagement; Chapter Two: An Analytic Dialogue; Chapter Three: Roaming Audiences: The Bridge; Chapter Four: Spectrum of Engagement: Got to Dance; Chapter Five: The Cool Heart of Nordic Noir; Chapter Six: Illegal Audiences: Utopia; Chapter Seven: Embedded Engagement: Reality Talent Shows; Chapter Eight: Authentic Reality TV: The Case of MasterChef; Chapter Nine: Warm Up Acts; Chapter Ten: Audiences as Pathfinders; Appendices
Annette Hill is Professor in Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden, and Visiting Professor at Kings College London, UK. Her research focuses on audiences and popular culture, with interests in media engagement, everyday life, genres, production studies and cultures of viewing. She is the author of eight books, including Reality TV: Key Ideas (2015).
Hill’s concept of a "Roaming Audience" navigates the reader through the ever-growing spectrum of genres, platforms and viewing environments, and ultimately brings a greater understanding to that eternal question that preoccupies the media industry, as to what makes audiences passionately engage with great TV content.
Doug Wood, EndemolShine
This is a book that will change the way you think about television audiences. In Media Experiences, Annette Hill offers a vivid and original account of audience agency in the internet age, focusing on everyday "push-pull" engagements between viewers, producers, and platforms.
Ramon Lobato, RMIT University, Australia
Annette Hill’s deep love for television, its makers and audiences make Media Experiences a thoroughly enjoyable read. Offering fresh concepts such as roaming audiences, emotional truth and life politics, this book provides insight in audience and production practices and how we engage with television. It easily proves that television in the digital age is the most exciting medium.
Joke Hermes, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands