98810 - Forms of Contemporary TV Seriality (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Luca Barra
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: L-ART/06
  • Language: Italian

Course contents

The course is divided in two parts. In the first one, lectures will be aimed at defining contemporary TV seriality and providing tools to deepen their analysis. The notions of “quality tv”, “prestige tv”, “complex tv” e “peak tv” will be explained, and a systemic overview will be observed, where serial products will be placed into broader dynamics in terms of production, distribution, promotion and consumption.

The second part of the course will then propose thematic paths among contemporary TV series. In this case, sitcoms (as well as contemporary US television comedies) and original production by on-demand platforms (as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime) will be analysed.


For the first part of the course, students must choose a reading among the following:
- Jason Mittell, Complex tv. Teoria e tecnica dello storytelling delle serie tv, minimum fax, Roma 2017.
- Amanda D. Lotz, Post Network. La rivoluzione della tv, minimum fax, Roma 2017.

Per la seconda parte, il testo di riferimento è:
- Luca Barra, La sitcom. Genere, evoluzione e prospettive, Carocci, Roma 2020.

Teaching methods

Traditional lessons supported by slides, audiovisual and digital materials, shared with students. The course will also host seminaries with experts in the TV and media industry.

Assessment methods

The exam is different for attending and non-attending students. Students who have attended at least 80% of the lessons (8 lessons out of 10) will be considered attending students.

Attending students will prepare a ppt / pdf presentation (max. 15 slides) on a single case study, related to the course and previously agreed with the professor, then completing orally the exam, in dedicated sessions, with questions regarding topics addressed in class and in the readings (parts indicated in class).

Non-attending students will face a written computer-based test with six open questions, aimed at evaluating the appropriate study of the bibliography.

The achievement of an organic vision of the themes, the use of specific language, the ability to show knowledge of contemporary television series, as well as the ability to link single productions and the media, social and cultural context will be evaluated with excellent grades. Knowledge that is too much based on the readings, a non-articulated ability to synthetize or analyse, or a correct but not always appropriate language, like a school domain of the discipline, lead to average evaluations. Gaps in knowledge or inappropriate language, such as a lack of knowledge of readings and contexts, allow the student to obtain grades on the threshold of sufficiency. Knowledge gaps, inappropriate language, lack of familiarity with the bibliography and inability to analyze are evaluated negatively.

To take the exam it is necessary to register via AlmaEsami. The exam for non-attending students is held in equipped computer rooms: in order to rationalize their use, it is necessary that the students, if they decide not to show up, cancel themselves from the exam list. Please note that it is necessary to show up for the session with UniBo credentials and to have an ID on you.

Teaching tools

Presentations, audiovisual material, videos, links and online resources, meetings with TV and media professionals.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Barra