Types Of TV Dramas
Pamela Douglas (Screenwriter) gives expert video advice on: How many different types of dramas are on the air today? and more...
What are the different types of TV dramas?
Dramatic shows are usually of three kinds. There are anthologies, which are free standing, for example something like Twilight Zone. There are serials, where you have continuing storylines, such as Sopranos, Lost, or West Wing. There are also serials with closure that end in each episode, such as the CSIs.
What is an 'anthology' in TV drama?
An anthology is a series that has episodes that tell stories each week that do not continue in the following week, except for, perhaps, the appearance of a host that introduces them. It's really short story telling where there is a complete little movie each week. They're not a series in the same way because the casts change each week.
What is a 'serial' in TV drama?
Serials are shows that have storylines that do not end each hour, but evolve over the entire season or even over the life of the series. Serialized storytelling has become high-quality drama, where you have great depth in relationships and revelations that continue over years.
What is a 'series with closure' in TV drama?
Series with closure, sometimes also called modular shows, finish their stories in each episode. At the end of the hour, the quest of the characters is complete. The cast continues from week to week, and they may have continual relationships, but as in CSI, where there's somebody who's committed a crime, they go from clue to clue to figure out who did it, and at the end they've got the bad guy and that bad guy is not going to turn up in the next episode, although the continuing cast will be back.
What is a 'series franchise' in TV drama?
A franchise is a term used for a category of show. Sometimes it relates to a genre. For example: police, medical, high school, family, at one time was westerns, and, to a lesser extent, political or journalism. The franchises usually have expectations of the kinds of stories that will be told. If you had a lawyer franchise, for example, you would expect that each week someone would bring a law case to your main character, the lawyer, who would than spend that episode dealing with it.
What is a 'dramedy'?
A dramedy is a drama that has comedy in it. Also, the word is used in the reverse: a comedy that has drama in it. There was a time when some half-hour dramas were tried. Some of them were dramedies, though they were dramatic in intention. In prime time right now, a show like Ugly Betty is on the borderline between drama and comedy. It's actually categorized by the Television Academy as a comedy, but it has so many dramatic elements that it may be considered a dramedy.
What is a 'teen drama'?
Teen drama is a broad description of any series that has characters who are young. Usually the kinds of issues that they have - and this applies most especially to shows on networks that emphasize teen drama, such as CW - are romantic issues or sometimes parent issues or self-empowerment issues or friendship issues. These are all things that teenagers go through. There's no reason that a teen drama cannot have the depth, sincerity and meaning of any other show. They are sometimes, however, played so light that instead of really dealing with what teenagers cope with in their lives, which are very serious to them and sometimes to others, they tend to be easy fare that frankly is a merchandising excuse for selling fashions in some cases.
How many different types of dramas are on the air today?
We now have five hundred channels really, of which many do some drama, even if it is not their primary focus. Everybody is reaching for a freshness, which is why many new shows don't want to be confined to traditional forms. Except CSI, for a perfect example, absolutely has a format; things have to go the same way every week, and it's loved because you can count on it to do that.