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Global Television Formats by Sharon Shahaf, Tasha Oren

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4

A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FORMATTED PLEASURES

Eddie Brennan

Despite all their apparent diversity and difference, most successful television formats1 are very similar. They offer a very limited palette of audience pleasures2 by concentrating, for the most part, on entertainment rather than information or education. Formats are about fun. Moreover, formats promote a particular kind of fun. This chapter argues that, by promoting audience pleasures based in the pursuit of individual and materialistic goals, most television formats are consonant with a dominant orthodoxy which sees markets as the only way to organise society.3 This elective affinity between format pleasures and free market ideology, however, does not come about through any deliberate ...

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