The Format AgeTelevision's Entertainment Revolution
The Format Age
Television's Entertainment Revolution
Few trends have had as much impact on television as formats have in recent years. Long confined to the fringes of the TV industry, they have risen to prominence since the late 1990s. Today, they are a global business with hundreds of programmes adapted across the world at any one time, from mundane game shows to blockbuster talent competitions, from factual entertainment to high-end drama. Based on exclusive industry access, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the complex world of the TV format from its origins to the present day.

Chalaby delivers a comprehensive account of the TV format trading system and conceptualizes the global value chain that underpins it, unpicking the corporate strategies and power relations within. Using interviews with format creators, he uncovers the secrets behind the world’s most travelled formats, exploring their narrative structure and cultural meanings.
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  • December 2015
  • 216 pages
  • 158 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9781509502585
  • Paperback $26.00
  • 9781509502592
  • Open eBook $21.00
  • 9781509502622
Table of Contents
Tables and Figures
Part One: Birth of a New Trade
Chapter 1 TV Formats as an Anglo-American Invention
Chapter 2 The Making of an Entertainment Revolution
Chapter 3 The Advent of The Super-Formats
Part Two: Production and Globalization
Chapter 4 The Formation of the Global Format Trading System
Chapter 5 Nations and Competition: Upgrading Strategies in the TV Format Commodity Chain
Chapter 6 A Globalized Intellectual Property Market: The International Production Model
Part Three: TV Formats: Structuring Narratives
Chapter 7 Journeys and Transformations: Unscripted Formats in the 21st Century
Chapter 8 Talent Competitions: Myths and Heroes for the Modern Age
Chapter 9 Drama without Drama: The Late Rise of Scripted Formats
Conclusion: Trade, Culture and Television
Personal Communications and Interviews by the Author
About the Author
Jean K. Chalaby is Professor of International Communication at the Department of Sociology, City University London
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"The Format Age is the most exhaustive analysis yet undertaken of a modern TV phenomenon. It explores both the economy and the culture of a global entertainment business which delivers local value. And it explains why and how it came about."
Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England

"With his customary élan, Jean Chalaby has done a great service to our understanding of the international flow of culture. The Format Age is a judicious theoretical and empirical intervention. Bravo!"
Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside

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