In recent years, television series have gained both economic and cultural relevance, proving to be versatile products adaptable to diverse contexts. The project aims to consider serial audiovisual products as narrative ecosystems (Pescatore 2018), that is, as complex structures that organize textual elements, production models, and varied consumption practices. In this perspective, we will also assess the impact caused by the pandemic context on production, narratives, and consumption of these texts. The investigations will be conducted on a sample related to products belonging to the medical drama genre of North American, European and Asian origin. The two main objectives are: (I) building and validating a multi-methodological and transdisciplinary framework (NEAD framework) necessary for the development of dynamic models of television seriality; (II) investigating the relationships between serial narrative production and social discursiveness in the hypothesis that fictions are fully-fledged actors of discursive production.
The project will be divided into four work packages (WPs). The first one (WP1) will be dedicated to literature review activities, and will yield a threefold result: (I) it will allow to investigate the formulaic and genre aspects of contemporary seriality, (II) it will allow to identify traditional and innovative theories and methods to be implemented in the NEAD framework, (III) it will identify the survey sample. The second work package (WP2) will be aimed at the implementation of the Multimethodology strategy and therefore at the treatment of textual objects, the analysis of social discourse, production and consumption, and will allow to define a shared interoperable analysis protocol that will allow to extrapolate data and identify the variables of interest. The third work package (WP3) will be dedicated to modeling investigations and will allow, through the identification of heterogeneous variables, links and inputs, to experiment, adapt and test the application of qualitative and quantitative modeling techniques to the study of contemporary television seriality. The fourth work package (WP4) is aimed at assessing how the Covid-19 pandemic has possibly interfered in the narrative, production and consumption spheres of audiovisual production of the medical genre.
The project intends to make a significant contribution to the scientific knowledge related to contemporary television seriality by testing the ecosystem approach and investigating the role played by TV series, and in general by narrative products, in the diffusion of discourses, judgments and values related to sensitive issues. Modeling tools and qualitative/quantitative analytical practices will be developed, promoting the use of software and algorithms hitherto little used in media studies. The outcomes of the project can then be concretely exploited also for the evaluation of production/industrial strategies.