Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 5, No. 2 (2008)

Arresting Drama: The Television Police Genre

Margaret Rogers, CQU

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the television police genre in general. It is one of three popular television genres (the others are soap opera and medical drama) that have survived more than five decades of changing societal norms and new cultural imperatives. Strictly speaking the television police genre falls under the umbrella of television crime. However, while the television crime genre encompasses programs about amateur sleuths, private eyes, professional crime fighters, and real life crime-watch depictions, the television police genre deals specifically with the actions of police officers. Using examples of the genre from Australia, Britain and the USA, this paper argues that the television police genre is influenced by issues of historical moment, national attributes, and cultural context. In doing so, it utilises a new research approach to the television police genre and its impact in contemporary society.

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