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Waterloo Road Case Study

Rob Miller | Thursday April 26, 2012

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR AS, Advertising, Viral Advertising, Hot Entries, Television, Television Drama

Waterloo Road is a television drama broadcast first on BBC1 in 2006 between 6pm and 7pm and currently (November 2011) is in its seventh series – two new series (8 and 9) have been commissioned for April 2012 after an explosive end to series seven when Linda, who is Head of English deliberately runs over the male head teacher, Michael Byrne after he ends their brief relationship. Waterloo Road is set in a troubled 11-18 comprehensive school in a deprived area of Rochdale, Greater Manchester and depicts the lives of the students and teachers who work at the school.

Waterloo Road belongs to the sub genre of teen drama and is made by independent production company Shed Productions, commissioned by the BBC and has a 14-24, C2, D, mainstream target audience who identify with the realist representations. Although prime time, the programme contains implied sexualised, although not graphic representations and was awarded a 12 certificate for DVD release. The show has achieved a significant degree of critical success winning the ‘Most Popular Television Drama’ award at the 2011 National Television Awards knocking Dr Who off the top, another hybridised Television Drama that had scooped the award for five years running.

Waterloo Road has also consistently achieved commercial success in terms of ratings – Series 4 for example attracted an average of 4-5 million viewers which in a world of multi channel television and a primarily younger target audience is impressive. This is made more impressive when considering contemporary youth audiences are more and more seeking and finding increasing more online and new media entertainment. BBC Worldwide (the commercial arm of the BBC) has also successfully sold the show internationally; Series 1-3 was aired on BBC Entertainment in the Far East. An online spin off has ensured added value for youth audiences called Waterloo Road Reunited which ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ by following...

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