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Television’s Paradigm (Time)Shift

Television’s Paradigm (Time)Shift

Production and Consumption Practices in the Post-Network Era

Chapter:
(p.27) 1 Television’s Paradigm (Time)Shift
Source:
Time in Television Narrative
Author(s):
Todd M. Sodano
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617032936.003.0002

This chapter explores temporal differences between yesterday’s linear television viewing and today’s post-network consumption practices. As modes of content distribution have evolved, so too have serial narratives and viewer discourses, a paradigmatic shift from the broadcast networks’ carefully orchestrated flow to individualized viewer control that has complicated how viewers draw meanings and pleasures from programs. Viewers can now time-shift and/or binge on favorite series through DVD, DVR, on-demand, and online viewing. Consequently, the standard gap (traditionally the week between new episodes) that used to predominate TV discourses now has shrunk, increased, or been eliminated altogether. Meanwhile, paratexts, which include “previously on” segments, previews, commercials, spoilers, and water-cooler discussions that surround the main text, have become critical pieces in TV conversations, due to the proliferation of online communities and social media. As digital platforms continue to grow in number, viewing audiences are sure to fragment into smaller pieces, further complicating these conversations.

Keywords:   television programs, television viewing, viewer control, television audiences, viewers

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