[Air-L] Family in the 21st century on TV

Holly Kruse holly-kruse at utulsa.edu
Wed Sep 16 20:19:59 PDT 2009

On 9/16/09 8:02 PM, "Jason Mittell" <jmittell at middlebury.edu> wrote:

> At the level of programming, there's no doubt that the full-family hit is a
> rare exception today (*American Idol* is often pointed to as a hold-out, but
> even that's fading), and advertisers are less interested in mass appeal
> across broad audiences than dense homogeneous segments that can be more
> easily sold specific goods.

FWIW, I understand that ABC Family is trying to expand its audience, with
some success, into adult demographics.  A few months ago NPR's "All Things
Considered" did a story about how ABC Family and Nickelodeon have been
positioning themselves as the homes for family sitcoms that would have once
been on the networks; and that, in fact, many writers who used to write for
network sitcoms are now writing for shows like "iCarly" and "The Secret Life
of the American Teenager."  Although I've only watched bits and pieces of
the latter, I gather that it tackles some fairly serious material.  I know
that several of these shows, like "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," do not
feature traditional "intact" families, however; but as I recall they feature
use of cell phones, etc.  And, on a meta level, they are available for
viewing online.


Holly Kruse
Faculty of Communication
The University of Tulsa
800 S. Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
holly-kruse at utulsa.edu or holly.kruse at gmail.com

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