The Global Rise of the Danish TV Drama

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

With its small population of only 5.6 million inhabitants, its public service broadcasting dominance, and no recent history of world colonization or immigration, the near global success of Denmark’s television drama series – including titles such as The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge – over the last five years is as unprecedented as it is impressive.
In this talk I will investigate the success of Danish television drama from the perspective of the series’ international reception. I am currently leading an eight-country audience study that constructs international audiences in a novel way by visioning ‘audiences’ not only as regular viewers or as statistics extracted from ratings, but instead as a more complex “three-leaf clover” formation of interacting agents. This three-leaf clover formation corresponds to (1) buyers and distributors, who act as gatekeepers to international markets, (2) journalists and TV critics, who act as arbiters of taste, and (3) regular viewers. These three types of audiences are all considered critical players in the global success of Danish TV drama.
By investigating the specific characteristics of each type of audience and considering their close and complex interrelationships, the study aims to understand the transnational qualities of Danish drama series from multiple angles and to convey how transnational media reception may not only rely on regular viewers but also on buyers, distributors and critics. By doing so, both the methodology and our findings may develop preeminent theories on media reception and media distribution and geography and, also, address the theoretical challenges of researching phenomena in an increasingly de-territorialized world, where audiences may be paradoxically characterized as both ‘national’ and ‘transnational’.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year6 May 2016
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016
EventTransnational Audiences - University of Wollongong, Centre for Cultures, Texts, and Creative Industries, Wollongong, Australia
Duration: 6 May 20166 May 2016


ConferenceTransnational Audiences
LocationUniversity of Wollongong, Centre for Cultures, Texts, and Creative Industries
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