Defining a national brand: Australian television drama and the global television market

O'Regan, Tom and Ward, Susan (2011) Defining a national brand: Australian television drama and the global television market. Journal of Australian Studies, 35 1: 33-47. doi:10.1080/14443058.2010.541928

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Author O'Regan, Tom
Ward, Susan
Title Defining a national brand: Australian television drama and the global television market
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-3058
Publication date 2011-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14443058.2010.541928
Volume 35
Issue 1
Start page 33
End page 47
Total pages 15
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
One option for television drama producers confronted by rising production standards and increasing costs is to become more international in orientation, leading to speculation that national and cultural boundaries may become less important at the higher end of drama series production. Television drama would then become the ‘decontextualised space for universal modes of storytelling’, with lifestyle and reality television formats the more likely vehicles for expressing ‘cultural specificity’. But national and cultural boundaries do matter. The particularities of national television cultures – local policy configurations, historical and cultural influences, technology uptake, the size and wealth of national economies – all impact on the ability of television producers to engage with the global trade in television fiction. This article examines the way in which this global trade internalises and works with national particularities through the sense of a national brand that locates Australian content within a certain value hierarchy. The following discusses three successful examples of internationalised television programming – McLeod's Daughters (2001–2009), Sea Patrol (2007–), and the children's series H2O: Just Add Water (2006–) – that have worked within international perceptions that differentiate Australian content according to perceived cultural sensibilities and national image.
Keyword Australian identity
Television drama
Nation as brand
Cultural hybridity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Created: Fri, 27 Jan 2012, 11:58:20 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts