Drama for the Mass Audience
The broad field of drama was considered to be crucial in the equation, and within this field the most pressing question concerned the cultural ‘value’ of broadcast drama. One of the more fascinating aspects of this fluid period of television history is, precisely, the various and gradual ways in which audiences, producers, and critics came to assess the relative merits of different forms of drama programming. This chapter describes what drama for the mass audience was like in the 1950s. The first section describes drama at the BBC. The second section describes the developing television appeal of drama. The third section examines the fitness for screen and audience. The fourth section describes the industrial imperative and the search for content. The fifth section describes the discovery of popular genres. The last section cites contemporary anxieties.
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