Conference objectives

“Global TV series : Cap au Nord” is the latest in a series of conferences organized by the « S.E.R.I.E.S » network (IRISSO-LCP CNRS), assembling  researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds from several research labs to work on the TV series. It follows a first conference which took place in 2014 on Turkish television as a rival to American exports in the Mediterranean region, and a second in 2015 on Latin American series whose imports service a vast domain of Spanish-speaking viewers. This edition will examine the success of Nordic series outside their local market, and question the very nature of the “Global Television” to which it belongs. 

2018 topic: The TV Series from the North...

The popular success of Forbrydelsen (2007-2012) and its iconic character Sarah Lund have focused attention on Scandi drama and stimulated the production (and the adaptation) of new series. Nordic series contribute to diversity on the television landscape through adopting a topographical approach that slows down the pace of the narrative, with charismatic characters who renew the crime drama (Wallander, Bron, Trapped), political fiction (Borgen, Occupied) and fantasy (Jordskott, Real Humans), and by depicting a national social reality through the prism of the welfare state and its flaws (Blue Eyes). They also benefit from transnational funding that encourages cultural and financial exchanges within Europe.

In previous years, Global Television has seen that American series have long been considered as the best example of exportation for audiovisual productions, while Telenovelas and Turkish series have gathered a cult following. What do Scandinavian series, whose pacing, settings, social interactions, and even narrative structures upend viewer expectations, bring to the flourishing international landscape of serial television? How should non-Scandinavian eyes perceive this “northern exoticism” and its novelties? Is the local flavour of these series the key to their success? What is the role of international co-production and European collaboration for screenwriters and producers now that these series are broadcast worldwide? What are the constraints and the specificities implicit in the various steps in audiovisual creation for Scandinavian television?

The conference held on January 15, 2018 will promote a critical look at Scandi drama through three round tables organized thematically around televisual analyses (1), genres (2), production (3), and an evening discussion about series adapted from Nordic literature. This event will gather academics from various Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland) and television professionals in order to understand the reasons for a continued success, considered as a source of inspiration for French TV producers as illustrated by the coproduction of Jour Polaire (Canal+, SVT1). 

   

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