`Most cultural analysis focuses on the spectacular and the unusual. Frances Bonner has done us a great service by insisting on - and demonstrating - the importance of everyday TV. Ordinary Television breaks genuinely new ground' - Toby Miller, New York University In this book, Frances Bonner provides a distinctive angle on a key area of research and teaching across media and cultural studies - the content of television and the relations between television genres and audiences. Hitherto most books on television have focused on drama, or news and current affairs. In other words, they tend to ignore 'ordinary' television - lifestyle programmes and 'reality TV', just the sort of programmes which increasing dominate the schedules. In Ordinary Television, Frances Bonner makes a distinctive argument for regarding these disparate shows as a whole. By examining a substantial range of these programmes, Frances Bonner uncovers their shared characteristics, especially through a consideration of the dominant and disguised discources which pervade them. In addition, the comparative nature of her study enables the author to launch a powerful critique of conventional theories in relation to the globalization of television. This book will be invaluable reading for anyone interested in television and the media in general.

What is Ordinary Television?

What is ordinary television?

Considering the programmes which are the concern of this book only in terms of their genres, as in the previous chapter, makes it difficult to discuss their commonalities and also complicates the way one can discuss some of the changes in television in recent years. In this chapter I will introduce the way in which I believe we can conceptualize these programmes as linked, and in so doing explore the changed televisual world in a way that complements other work on recent developments like that on tabloidization of news and current affairs television (see, for example, Langer, 1998; Turner, 1999) or on changes in the ambit of the term documentary (see Corner, 2000a). One of the key points ...

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