Take a Look at the Lawman: Interrogating Critical Responses to the US Version of Life on Mars

Hogg, C. 2016. Take a Look at the Lawman: Interrogating Critical Responses to the US Version of Life on Mars. in: Aveyard, K., Moran, A. and Jensen, P.M. (ed.) New Patterns in Global Television Formats Intellect.

Chapter titleTake a Look at the Lawman: Interrogating Critical Responses to the US Version of Life on Mars
AuthorsHogg, C.
EditorsAveyard, K.
Moran, A.
Jensen, P.M.
Abstract

We are living through active and exciting times for television format flows, in terms of both the rich global spectrum of programmes being created and the flourishing of television format studies as a focus of academic enquiry, necessitating correspondingly reformatted critical and theoretical approaches. It is crucial that television format researchers continue to develop new understandings and to shed light upon currently underexplored or overlooked networks of televisual exchange and enterprise. Yet, it is equally important to review more familiar areas of investigation and debate but from a renewed perspective.

Bearing these matters in mind, this chapter (re)turns to a well-worn yet enduringly complex route of cultural and commercial interaction, by examining what the author has referred to previously as UK-to-US television drama translations (Hogg, 2013). The long-standing 'special relationship' between the United Kingdom and the United States in televisual terms has already been extensively and profitably explored (e.g. Miller, 2000; Rixon, 2006; Hilmes, 2011; Weissmann, 2012). Moreover, an edited collection from Carlen Lavigne and Heather Marcovitch (2011) has made some useful inroads towards a better understanding of US versions of UK television formats specifically.

With US translations of UK television dramas becoming ever-more prominent in the global marketplace, the primary aim of this chapter is to reflect further upon critical perceptions surrounding the so-called 'Americanization' of British dramas, by relating these perceptions both to the enduring debates around global power imbalances of culture and economy, and to the more recent developments of television format research. In addition, the chapter will draw on the previous lessons of Adaptation Studies in understanding such processes of creative and cultural transformation. In addressing these aims, the chapter centres upon the production and reception of the US version of the television drama Life on Mars (ABC, 2008-2009).

Book titleNew Patterns in Global Television Formats
Year2016
PublisherIntellect
Publication dates
Published2016
ISBN9781783207121

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