Autobiographical adaptation in NBC’s Love Is a Four-Letter Word

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This article analyses the adaptation process from the Danish relationship drama television series ‘Nikolaj and Julie’ (2002-03) to Love Is a Four-Letter Word, the NBC pilot and remake attempt (2015). This comparison is a prime example of autobiographical adaptation, in which the adaptation process can be closely intertwined with a desire to tell autobiographical stories. Using production studies and textual analysis, the article illustrates how Diana Son, the showrunner responsible for adapting the original format into the NBC version, rewrote the original script using a location, themes and characters largely inspired by her personal life and surroundings. The article ultimately argues that in format adaptation, research combining established theoretical frameworks and approaches with the idea of autobiographical adaptation is likely to be a fruitful endeavour in a great many cases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Scandinavian Cinema
Pages (from-to)113-131
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • autobiography
  • production studies
  • remake
  • showrunner
  • television series


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