CCPR Research Seminar 'Media Experiences: Engaging with drama and reality television'

CCPR Research Seminar with Guest Speaker, Professor Annette Hill, Lundt University, Sweden.

Media Experiences: Engaging with drama and reality television

Time: Wednesday 5th May, 12 noon - 1pm

Join Zoom Meeting


Media Experiences 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. And this exploration is about the people who create the drama, live events and reality entertainment that we experience. Thus, the 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 five hundred producers and audiences 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.

Key themes include roaming audiences, a metaphor that captures the dynamic practices of people as they experience storytelling that takes place across dispersed sites of production, distribution and reception, and a spectrum of engagement that includes positive and negative modes of engagement and disengagement with screen culture. Other themes include the crafting of emotional engagement with Nordic noir crime drama; illegal audiences and the many faces of piracy for television drama; the significance of time in embedded engagement with reality television in everyday life; authentic reality television and food culture for transnational audiences; and the hidden labour of warm up acts for live reality entertainment. Media Experiences bridges the divide between industry and academia, highlighting how producers and audiences co-create, shape and limit experiences within emerging mediascapes.

Annette Hill is a Professor in Media and Communication, Lund University, Sweden and Visiting Professor at Kings College London. 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 nine books, and many articles and book chapters in journals and edited collections, which address varieties of engagement with reality television, news and documentary, television drama, sports entertainment and live events. Her latest books are Media Experiences (Routledge 2019), and The Handbook of Mobile Socialities (Routledge 2021).

First published: 22 April 2021

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