"Proximity" Television Series, Vol. 4, No 1 (2018)


SERIES is dedicating a journal issue to “proximity” television series. “Proximity” series refers to fiction programs produced by regional broadcasters, offering content related to the immediate geographical and cultural environment. Series like these are produced in local regions with their own languages, such as those found in Spain, Belgium, Canada, and the UK, as well as in communities with a strong identity. Over the course of its history, which is relatively recent depending on the country, proximity television has become a point of reference for shared cultural, linguistic and social features of a particular community, which foster a sense of cohesion and identification among spectators (De Moragas, 1999). In this respect, this type of fiction plays a key role as an articulator of these social points of reference that brings audiences to the television screen, while also transmitting particular values to the community (Fiske & Hartley, 2003).

 For the television industry, this proximity fiction can prove highly profitable because in many cases it provides the network with high ratings and loyal followings. In fact, this content allows regional or local channels to compete in a way with mainstream channels. There have been cases where series featured on these channels have garnered higher ratings than mainstream networks in the region of influence in question.

This proximity fiction covers a varied range of genres, from mildly dramatic content like the Bavarian soap opera Dahoam is Dahoam (2007- Bayerisches Fernsehen), thrillers like the popular Flemish series Cordon (2014- VTM), Scottish Gaelic television soap opera like Machair (1992-98, STV), or more experimental offerings like Polseres Vermelles from the Catalan network Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (2011-). The key is to establish a connection with regional audiences and to build a significant following. Many of them have also been exported and/or adapted to other countries with notable success with audiences.

In the current media ecosystem, all the technological advances and the ability to access television content on different devices have expanded the possibilities for distribution of these fiction products. This proximity phenomenon includes the creation of online series which the spectator can view asynchronically (Majó, 2012), while the new subscriber platforms also feature proximity fiction as a means of connecting with local audiences.
The purpose of this edition is thus to offer an in-depth analysis of the different aspects of proximity fiction:

-       Development and evolution of proximity fiction;
-       Common themes and elements in proximity fiction;
-       Spectator/proximity fiction identification processes;
-       Keys to the success of proximity series: specific cases;
-       Proximity fiction as a transmedia product;
-       Audience profile of proximity fiction;
-       The influence of social networks on proximity series;
-       The production of proximity series: profitability and new markets;
-       New concepts in proximity series programming in the current media ecosystem;
-       The future of proximity fiction: subscriber platforms, new distribution channels, etc.

Submit your abstract and article to seriesjournal.org@gmail.com
Author Guidelines: http://series.unibo.it/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

Time line:  

June 1st 2017: Deadline abstracts (3-400 words)
July 1st, 2017: Feedback to the authors 
December 1st 2017: Deadline for submitting the article.

June 1st 2018: Publication

Contact persons: Nadia Alonso (Coordinator), lecturer at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia. naallo1@har.upv.es