Thursday, March 08, 2007

Global TV Formats, SCMS 03082007

Michael Kackman -- Unfortunately one of your respondents couldn't be here as Sharon Sharp had a family emergency.

MK - My paper has become engaged in biography, in particular that of Duncan Renaldo and The Cisco Kid. As multinational television nets grew, so many scholars developed the one-way street of media imperialism in the Global and Local grow. We are interested now in issue in post-fordist media cultures now, and this is shown in a number of scholars.

And something has changed materially and demanded new epistemologies. They convincingly show us that the one-way street metaphor doesn't necessarily work here. Perhaps older one-way street issues are at work as grand narratives. Some of the work by Schiller et al here is not only important but I want to look at micro areas where people tried different attempts at globalization in the early boom in the history of television.

Among the first of these shows that syndicators sold to TV writ large were B-westerns, among these are The Cisco Kid. Ziv TV wanted to use this to expand not only in the US but in Latin American cultures as well. By using Duncan Renaldo's questionable "nationality" and national identity we see a key. His origin was never quite well understood and he was adopted. Where was he from? Mexico or New Jersey.

I guess he was a gypsy, but we do know that he spoke English and Spanish fluently growing up. After a few years working as an actor, MGM acquired him to make him a Valentinoesque character. But his work ran into an number of complications. And I want to talk about the publicity surrounding one of these early films and all of the problems that it had.

Renaldo ran into some issues with immigration problems and was sentenced under a different set of names. He was then pardoned by the Roosevelt admin by lobbying Eleanor by Poncho Barns.

His racial ambiguity was, by all means, well known and well publicized.

Renaldo appeared in many B-Westerns that dealt with banditry on the Mexico/US border. Even when he was playing in many Zorro films he was trying to negotiate a number financiers to win box office receipts in global audiences that are connected to people's local experiences and lives.

These studios rejected many of his approaches. Paramount believed that they had more than enough "westerns" althought Renaldo always noted that he did not believe his pitches were Westerns.

Renaldo then was caste as the Cisco kid and this was something that would be key for the rest of his life. The central relationship between Cisco and Pancho was a key issue.

Renaldo offered a crucial point of mediation...

To be globalized Renaldo could be constructed as white for global distribution in some areas such south Africa he could also be constructed as Mexican in some way.

Renaldo is really trying to change new systems of representations yet could never get outside of his costume.

Chiara Ferrari -- To put this work in my context with my general work, I work on television translations and dubbing. When I think about why conteporary series I think about the conception of Italian tv and deregulation of Italian TV. The general thesis among Italian TV scholars is that this is something in the 1970s and 1980s. This is something that Berlusconi figures in on.

The presumption is that early TV is that it is National in content and you have an issue of high culture that is spread and must merge "mass education" with high production values. This would be the mission an goals of early Italian TV in the 1950s.

This thesis s made stronger as it is a way to unify the country in the 20 different regions and the idea was to make a nation . Quotes Giovanni Bechelloni "A Nation exists if it exists, amoung a group of individuals a sense of oneness a feeling of belonging to common nationality identified by at leas three factors: language, territory and memory" Early Italin TI is national because it offers these things

But starting in the 1950s, I believe, that there were American formats were imported from the US to create a sense of Italian Nationality. For me, it is the game show that does that work.

These were huge national hits and the TV execs modified the forms for something of an Italian taste... and songs and music are added, humor and celebrities were added for national flavor.

The hosts of some of thes shows of Lascia o Raddophi and Il Musichiere. Mike Bongiorno from New York hosted Lascia; Mario Riva spoke with a heavy Roman accent. The choice of the two main hosts says a lot here. Mike Bongiorno is still the icon of the quiz shows. Mario Liva passed away by falling from stage.

Let's see how these game shows gave these three elements -- they all speak Italian and not regional dialects. Also, dialects are ridiculed and proper Italian is respected as a sign of progress and modernity. Italian TV can see this in their homes and hear "proper Italian" spoken.

All Italians are in contemporary viewing patterns. Even in many movie theaters many people would watch Lascia o Raddophi on television (and bars) as many did not have a television set in their homes.

A Later show Campanile Sera in the late 1950s was often spoken about as a very Italian show. In this sense you had "cities" in competition with each other and the cities are in competition with each other. And the late 1950s and early 1960s we had the Italian economic miracle. The message that many wanted to show was that everyone throughout these cities could see the miracle and take place in it.

Also, the questions that were asked in these shows were about a common history and culture. Here Italians discover a historical memory that they share.

What are the practical consequences that resulted?

It was hugely popular and the game show "fever" put pressure on the Italian Government so that they could participate in these types of questions.

The Mandatory school attendance age was raised in 1962 to 14 years old, and the curriculum of the Junior High School system was revised by official governmental legislations.

Joe Straubhaar -- One thing I noted about these papers is that it is interesting that there are a couple of commonalities. And this has to do with the issue of Flow and how that doesn't necessarily work with the Telenovela. But let's look

In Television there is a way in which TV has a constant flow of ideas [ed. note, as this is a popular medium], there is a flux of ideas that is constant. And there is no way to think of these in terms of hybridity. The issue of Hybridity is key when we look at it. Think of the Cowboy, which really comes from the figure of the caballero.

There are other figures that are hybrids as well... Carmen Miranda. A figure from Brazil, who is originally from Portugal, who then takes afro-Brazillian songs and dance and exports them.

What people try to do is that they export their stuff. When we look at how global television and film we see that people produce and then export. They are trying to sell what they got and this is a key issue.

Let's think about what Chiara is doing and think about how she looks at local TV and see how it is adapted. There are lots of mainstream issues that are spun nationally, yet there is something else, a third force. Producers, exporters and then local producers. It takes the adaptation issue at work.

There is a movement of national and international ideas as well. Think of Berlusconi who looks at a systemic model that is US oriented and adapted throughout the US. Even at this level we underestimate hybridity as their are many ways of doing Capitalist Modernity. Let us not subtract the local influence that allows these systems and the shows that they produce form the formula with an across-the-board understanding of this as media imperialism.

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Anonymous said...

Duncan Renaldo's early years are shrouded in mystery.
He might be born in the United States, Romania, or Spain.
There are possible names:
Basil Coyanos, Vasile Cughiearas, Vasile Dumitree Coghieanas, Basil Duncan Conyanos Renaldo, Renault Duncan, Renault Renaldo Duncan, Renaldo Coghieanas

Anonymous said...

Also, his possible names are:
Vasile Dumitru V. Cogheanos
Renault Demetri Duncan
Vasile Dumitru Cogheanos
Vasile Cogheanos

His father's name is Demetri, Dumitree, or Dumitru. His mother's name is Theodora.