The comedy web series: Reshaping Australian script development and commissioning practices

Publisher:
Intellect
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 2019, 8 (1), pp. 71 - 84
Issue Date:
2019-03-01
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This article argues that, for Australian comedy series creators, the web platform has opened a new space in which the ‘rules’ of script development are being expanded, enhanced or otherwise refashioned through having direct connection with and input from their audience. With the audience’s potential as a ‘comedy gatekeeper’, the web series audience becomes integral to the ways in which these texts are developed, namely skipping the erstwhile second-guessing of demographic tastes by more traditional broadcast development executives and commissioners. Referring to a range of well-known Australian comedy web series, such as Bondi Hipsters (2011–2017) and The Katering Show (2015–17) – including what their creators, writers and audiences have said about them – we investigate the processes behind the success of these series to argue that a new form of script development has emerged: namely, that development is both facilitated and influenced by the direct line that exists between comedy creators and their viewers. Furthermore, we suggest that through such a collaborative and open-access process of script development, comedy writers and performers might also benefit from an expanded form of talent development.
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