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"The Structure, System, And Style Of Television." How Is Television Generally Structured?

1716 words - 7 pages

The Structure, System and Style of TelevisionTelevision is structured and systemic. Stylistic measures are also made which affect the meaning viewers associate with a show or segment. I have recorded twenty minutes of programming on September 9, 2003. The channel is MTV. The shows featured are Dismissed and Total Request Live. In addition, there are several commercials. To this chunk of programming I will apply concepts of the course so that we better understand television's structure and system and how style influences meaning.Television is organized into a sequence of diverse fragments of narrative, information, and advertising. There are also interruptions in television's flow. The combination of this flow and ebb is consistent in the TV world. If we look closely, we can see how the two are related and how they work together. In the twenty minutes of programming I have selected, it is apparent that ebb is carefully inserted in the flow. Before I go on, it is important that I note the general audience of the programming. Because it is MTV, we can assume that the viewers are young (teenagers). Programmers are aware of their viewing audience and they keep that in mind when selecting the commercials to air. They want to incorporate advertisements that viewers can relate to. For instance, MTV chose to air a commercial for "ZeroGX", a game for Nintendo Game Cube. Many teenagers today play video games, therefore this appeals to them. Also, many young people value physical beauty and look at the celebrities they see on MTV as having the ideal look. Therefore, a Moore's Fitness commercial is an appropriate selection to break the television's flow. The trailer for the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Television 3Child Star is a good commercial choice because young people enjoy comedy as well as going to the movies. Programmers seem to carefully select the commercials according to both the channel and the individual programs. They want to maintain viewer interest so that they will continue watching the show (opposed to switching the channel). Continuity segments, packages that are incorporated to keep the viewers closed in, are also implemented to encourage the audience to watch the rest of the program. For example, right before the commercial break there is segment in which there is a preview of what is "up next on Dismissed". Also, after a commercial break, before the last five minutes of Dismissed, there is a preview of what will be included in the next show to air: Total Request Live. The purpose of these segments is to keep viewers engaged. Television programming is divided into narrative and non-narrative. Narrative programs are those that tell a fictional story. Non-narrative television represents reality. The programs I videotaped are non-narrative. They are not fictional and they rely on "social actors"- actual people who "perform" to present themselves to...

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