Impact: Studying the economic social and artistic contribution of the TV crime drama series

An Australian television audience sweltering through a summer heat wave is transfixed by the vision of arctic ice floes and a man being eaten by a polar bear (Fortitude).

An acclaimed British crime drama featuring the Jurassic cliffs of West Dorset (Broadchurch) is a hit in France and is remade in Northern California where the cliffs are computer generated (Gracepoint).

Meanwhile, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, an Australian period crime drama set in the 1920s with a distinctly feminist twist, has found a global audience fascinated by frocks.

Always concerned with law and order issues, and in particular, social settings, the crime drama series is one of the most enduring and popular genres of television. What kind of value are generated by the creative industries, and the crime drama series in particular, as it crosses national borders?

Building on the themes presented in her recent book, which explores the history, themes and variations in the crime drama series genre over time, Professor Sue Turnbull from the School of the Arts, English and Media, is using a case study approach to investigate this question.

As well as the kinds of monetary value that accrue through the financing, production, licensing rights and distribution deals of the crime drama series, Professor Turnbull is examining the perceived value of the enterprise to the creative team from writers to producers, actors and crew.

The significance to the various audiences across the globe is also being explored. This includes the criteria of aesthetic value used to judge these series, as well as the forms of armchair and cultural tourism they may inspire. 

    Professor Sue Turnbull
    A/Professor Anne Marit Waade
    Dr Pia Majbritt Jensen