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E20 Case Study

Rob Miller | Monday August 20, 2012

Categories: GCSE, Eduqas (WJEC) GCSE, WJEC GCSE Media Studies, Hot Entries, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, Internet, New Technologies, Synergy, Web Based Drama, Television, Television Drama

For the exam students will need to know about the key differences and similarities between TV Drama and Web Based Drama so they can originate and develop their own ideas. Web Based Dramas are increasingly being produced as a result of funding issues – broadcasters are struggling to finance new ideas (produce and distribute new programmes). Production costs are increasing and for commercial broadcasters advertising revenue is falling. For many years as a result of channel proliferation, new digital media and the internet has meant television ratings have been falling; TV Dramas like Waterloo Road, The Tudors and Doctor Who remain banker programmes for the BBC while stand alone dramas like Downton Abbey and Titanic have ensured critical and commercial success for ITV. Increasingly however there has been a need to diversify into more interactive, digital media to broaden the target audience and maintain interest in the programme. E20 is an example of this as a spin off from Eastenders.

Web Based Dramas can generate revenue in more traditional ways (like advertising) but have the added advantage of Product Placement with is not permitted on British television (look carefully at Eastenders to see if you can identify any brands just from the colour and packaging as the labels will be covered up). The intention of Web Based Dramas is also to change the viewing habits of audiences by convergence and interactivity with audiences having the opportunity to develop their own characters, make suggestions as to existing character development or even devise their own drama. Fundamentally there are two types of Web Based Drama – spin offs like E20 and Waterloo Road Reunited or stand alone lower production value Web Based Dramas like LG:15 (Lonely Girl 15), The Guild, Dr Hoo, Dirty Bomb Diaries and many, many more. Investigation into the genre reveals the significant range and often global success of this new form of Drama. American spin offs from...

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