Cracking the USA? Interpreting UK-to-US TV Drama Translations

Hogg, C. 2012. Cracking the USA? Interpreting UK-to-US TV Drama Translations. New Review of Film and Television Studies. 11 (2), pp. 111-132. doi:10.1080/17400309.2012.708266

TitleCracking the USA? Interpreting UK-to-US TV Drama Translations
AuthorsHogg, C.
Abstract

For well over half a century, British TV drama production has both inherited from and aimed to appeal to nations and cultures beyond the UK, particularly the lucrative (yet notoriously tough) US TV market. However, in the context of mainstream American broadcasting, British-produced imports have never been anything more than a peripheral presence on US small screens. A currently prominent production strategy aiming to counter the mainstream US TV market's aversion to foreign-sourced drama, in an attempt to access prime-time broadcasting positions, is a process which can be labelled as UK-to-US TV drama ‘translation’: the ‘recreation’ of British-based dramas within an American cultural framework. Whilst the cultural reconfiguration of game show and reality/lifestyle TV formats has received heightened critical attention in recent years, investigation into the international translation of TV drama remains less developed. This paper investigates both the internal textual operations and the external production dynamics involved in the process of UK-to-US TV drama translation, drawing on direct interview material from industry professionals. The UK and US versions of the crime drama Cracker constitute the core translation case study, utilising the close analysis of text and production context as a lens through which to examine the mechanics of UK-to-US TV drama translation.

JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Journal citation11 (2), pp. 111-132
ISSN1740-0309
Year2013
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/17400309.2012.708266
Publication dates
Published01 Aug 2012

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