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Who Killed Utopia? : Cult Conspiracy Drama and a Television Imaginary

Hill, Annette LU (2021) In International Journal of Cultural Studies 24(1). p.56-71
Abstract
This article focuses on the production and reception of television drama, specifically the case study of conspiracy thriller Utopia. The empirical research is based on 21 production interviews with the makers of the drama and 56 interviews with audience members and fans of the drama. The concept of the television imaginary is used as an analytical lens for investigating the various ways television itself, and audiences and fans, are imagined and implicated in the cancellation of a cult drama series. In particular, Barthes’ early writing on a cultural imaginary is used to underscore the contrariness, the contra positions which creative producers, audiences and fans take, in the conspiracies and judgements surrounding the cancellation.... (More)
This article focuses on the production and reception of television drama, specifically the case study of conspiracy thriller Utopia. The empirical research is based on 21 production interviews with the makers of the drama and 56 interviews with audience members and fans of the drama. The concept of the television imaginary is used as an analytical lens for investigating the various ways television itself, and audiences and fans, are imagined and implicated in the cancellation of a cult drama series. In particular, Barthes’ early writing on a cultural imaginary is used to underscore the contrariness, the contra positions which creative producers, audiences and fans take, in the conspiracies and judgements surrounding the cancellation. Utopia conspiracies within and outside the television industry serve to legitimise and penalise the drama as a cult form; these conspiracies energise the subjective processes that shape an future imaginary for Utopia and drive its afterlife.
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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
cult television, media audiences, cultural imaginary
in
International Journal of Cultural Studies
volume
24
issue
1
pages
16 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85092086685
ISSN
1367-8779
DOI
10.1177/1367877920960153
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8ac0ed3f-3e85-4d87-ab46-75e63cd9922a
date added to LUP
2020-10-06 18:17:06
date last changed
2021-04-09 10:34:35
@article{8ac0ed3f-3e85-4d87-ab46-75e63cd9922a,
  abstract     = {This article focuses on the production and reception of television drama, specifically the case study of conspiracy thriller Utopia. The empirical research is based on 21 production interviews with the makers of the drama and 56 interviews with audience members and fans of the drama. The concept of the television imaginary is used as an analytical lens for investigating the various ways television itself, and audiences and fans, are imagined and implicated in the cancellation of a cult drama series. In particular, Barthes’ early writing on a cultural imaginary is used to underscore the contrariness, the contra positions which creative producers, audiences and fans take, in the conspiracies and judgements surrounding the cancellation. Utopia conspiracies within and outside the television industry serve to legitimise and penalise the drama as a cult form; these conspiracies energise the subjective processes that shape an future imaginary for Utopia and drive its afterlife.<br/>},
  author       = {Hill, Annette},
  issn         = {1367-8779},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {56--71},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {International Journal of Cultural Studies},
  title        = {Who Killed Utopia? : Cult Conspiracy Drama and a Television Imaginary},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877920960153},
  doi          = {10.1177/1367877920960153},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2021},
}