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Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2046-9861
  • E-ISSN: 2046-987X



The starting point of the critical discourse developed in the article is the current celebration of (a certain kind of) American series, which having gained huge cultural and aesthetic cachet due to a set of generic features, have turned into the epitome of ‘quality TV’ and monopolize scholarly attention and investigation. In this connection, I make the claim that television studies are at risk of validating processes of unilateral canonization which end up overshadowing the range of different conceptions and traditions of quality that exist in different televisual cultures. The Italian case is emblematic of the role assumed by American television in supplying the touchstone against which the value of domestic TV drama is tested, appraised and placed in the cultural hierarchy of contemporary media art forms. The enthusiastic embrace of US quality TV within academic and intellectual circles has in fact entailed disregard and rejection of the peculiar ‘tradition of quality’ that Italian TV drama has built over the years on the grounds of a public service ethos.


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