Television is everywhere. If you are like us, you are watching television. And we are like most people across the world. In the UK, people still watch on average more than two hours a day of live broadcast television; indeed during lockdown in 2020 it was closer to three. And when we are not watching live broadcast television, we might well be streaming something on one of the many platforms now available to us. Television is more complex, more part of our lives, and therefore more worth thinking about than ever before.
Television remains a dominant medium globally, and in the UK it remains a very significant part of the creative industries which are vital to the UK economy. Ideas of public service broadcasting remain central to thinking about television in many countries around the world, meaning the medium is mandated to have significant social and cultural roles often absent in other forms of culture. In its array of genres, formats, styles and programming television is awash with variety; it is ‘the best of everything’ as John Reith (the first Director General of the BBC) called it when he laid out his vision for the BBC. Television informs us, it entertains us, and it educates us.
As a research group, we are aiming to understand television better – in all its forms and varieties. This includes understanding multiplatform television, how television represents our traditions and histories and non-human animals, how it tells stories about our significant neighbours, and how it connects to other media, be that through generic similarities or because of personnel moving between the media. But we also want to understand how the television industries work and how the industries could work better by being more inclusive.
We showcase work in television studies in our department, in the United Kingdom and across the world. And we work with the industry that has enriched our department with talks, presentations and masterclasses, but which hopefully also learns and benefits from us.
To find out more about us and the work we do, explore these pages or follow the links we provide to events and other organisations.