Crime Watching: Investigating Real Crime TV

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In recent years reality TV formats have proliferated on television. One of the most significant and controversial strands within this has been the growth of 'real crime TV'. Encapsulating everything from crime appeal shows to reconstruction programmes and actuality footage shows, real crime TV now plays a major role in our television schedules, filling countless hours of air-time every week.

Crime Watching examines the spectacular growth of real crime TV, arguing that the birth of the BBC's Crimewatch UK in 1984 was a key transitional moment in the emergence, expansion and subsequent popularity of these programs both in the UK and internationally.

Looking closely at the social and political context of the period in which Crimewatch UK first appeared and examining the aesthetics, address and appeal of a range of other shows appearing in its wake, including Police Camera Action, America's Most Wanted and World's Wildest Police Videos, this book investigates the conditions that have enabled and advanced the ubiquity of real crime programming on contemporary television and the anxieties that surround it. Examining critiques that real crime TV has increased fear of crime while legitimising a surveillance culture, and that it serves to stifle debate about criminality and policing, 'Crime Watching' also reflects on the pleasures of these programmes and the enduring nature of our culture's seemingly endless fascination with real crime stories.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Her treatment of the show is breathtakingly encyclopaedic…each avenue of inquiry is almost astonishingly well-informed and confident across a range of fields…A useful resource and impressive piece of scholarship." -- Critical Studies in Television

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845112387
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/26/2006
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.61 (w) x 8.73 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Jemyn is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, Digby Stuart College, Roehampton University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     vii
Introduction     1
The Birth of Crimewatch UK: Contextualising the rise of real crime TV     19
From 'Public Service' to 'Fear of Crime': Television, anxiety and crime appeal programming     49
The Persistence of Vision: Photography, temporality and the TV crime appeal     81
Someone to Watch Over Me: CCTV and surveillance in real crime TV     109
Pleasure, Fear and Fortitude: Women watching Crimewatch UK     141
Conclusion: Negotiating boundaries in real crime and reality TV     171
Works Cited     181
Index     195
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