This special section of SERIES — part of Vol 5 No 1 (2019) — aims to develop, and promote discussion of, qualitative and quantitative methods for studying television series. We are looking for contributors to explore under-utilized tools for building both qualitative and quantitative models of serial television. One of the challenges of studying long-running television dramas can be to capture a clear “picture” of textual trends, production issues and audience response over time. Like studying an extended corpus of fiction, such as the body of work that comprises a national literature, long-running television series provide much more material than a close-up view can incorporate.
Qualitative and quantitative models are a potentially fruitful way to answer this challenge. By making models of textual form, audience response, production practices, commercial conditions, and networks of creative personnel — among other possible lines of inquiry — we might reveal aspects of the contemporary serial television that have previously been invisible or overlooked.
We welcome any contributions that employ the use of qualitative and quantitative models to study textual and/or contextual aspects of contemporary serial television. Essays might focus on adoption of modelling approaches to the study of individual programs, or particular sites of production, consumption, and reception or audience response. Essays might consider how such models might help to identify textual and contextual features that correlate with the persistence of particular programs over time; the ability of particular shows to adjust their form or market appeal in response to changing contextual conditions; and the ways in which different production, distribution, or exhibition contexts influence textual form and/or audience response.
Call for essays