Genre Over the Decades Genres Research Paper

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(Sapprkuhl, 2010) This is significant, because it shows how the ripped from the headlines format has become increasingly popular in addressing the interests of the general public. Yet, it has also served as tutorial for criminals, where they will often distort fiction with reality. As a result, this highlights how the overall formats of the crime drama has continued to evolve, while reflecting the various interests and tastes of society at large.

The above information underscores, how the crime drama has continued to change as time went by. Where, it embraces the basic format of showing the inner workings of an investigation and the judicial process. However, over the years the layout of these kinds of genres has continued to evolve. Recently, the common themes have changed, where the victims are shown to be taking personal responsibility for being victimized. At the same time, these people are often depicted as females, who are attacked by complete strangers. This is important, because it shows how the underlying characters have changed, with the victim no longer being from an upper middle class family. Instead, they are now more than likely to be women, who are accepting responsibility for what happened. That being said, the format deviates slightly from the real world, as most crimes occur to a variety of people by people they know. Then, many different shows will often use technology and the ripped from the headlines format, to create that realistic feeling. This is important, because the reality-based layout, is attempting to address changes in the interests of the public, which have a fascination with anything that appears to be realistic. As a result, this highlights how the overall formats of the crime drama will embrace the same basic layout, while adapting to the changes that are taking place in society and the world around us.

Analysis of the Findings

When you analyze the different findings, it is clear that the basic format of the television drama has continued to remain the same. Yet, they have also evolved with the various changes that are taking place in society. Where, the format would follow: the standard, realistic behind the scenes, inner workings of a criminal investigation. This layout has continued because it highlights the basic foundation of these shows, as they will often focus on key aspects of criminal investigations (such as CSI focusing on forensics and Without a Trace focusing on tactics / technology). At the same time, these shows will often incorporate the elements of teamwork and the interactions between the different personalities. This is different from the format that was used on shows such as Dragnet, where there was an emphasis of the actual investigation and the personalities working together. However as time changed, the introduction of: various teams, technology and science; are designed to give these shows that real world feeling. In many ways one could argue that this is from, the voyeuristic point-of-view that many people have, with what happens in daily life. Where, a variety of people would have to stop / slow down and watch the events unfolding. In this aspect, it would not be difficult to draw a direct parallel between this format and the views of society in general. With most people interested, in television shows that are entertaining and have that touch of reality. This is significant, because it highlights how the overall formats of the shows, have changed over the years and the changes are reflections upon, the interests of society. At the same time, the information helps to answer some of the different questions of the study. This is accomplished by showing how viewer demographics have changed, where broadcasters are more concerned about reaching out to a larger audience. The ripped from the headlines format and the use of various technology, shows how these techniques are designed to provide certain aspects of realism to the program, while addressing the needs of society. When you put all of these different elements together, they are highlighting how most shows are maintaining their standard format, yet they are also changing to reflect the tastes of the viewing demographic.

Limitations of the Research

The research took a limited focus by: examining how the different formats are presented (by showing a realistic view), the changes in the different formats over the years and how these changes are a reflection upon society itself. Where, they would answer certain aspects that were an important part of the crime drama. However, when you look further, the overall scope of the study was limited by: not focusing on key demographics, finding specific changes that have occurred in the crime drama, not examining how the genre has evolved from the early days, by looking at a variety of formats and comparing them with what is being utilized. This information is important, because it highlights how a general aspect of the crime drama was identified by: the research and analysis that was conducted. Yet, when you look beyond the different generalities, it is clear that there are a number of variables that is causing the layout of this particular genre to change. In order to have a full understanding of what is taking place requires: looking at how these specific changes occurred, what was successful / unsuccessful and how they have changed the world entertainment. If these different variables could be examined in future research, it will provide a number of insights, as to the underlying trends that are occurring in the genre and what the crime drama in future will more than likely look like.


Clearly, the crime drama is continuing to evolve with the changes that are taking place in society. Where, these genres would often depict the inner workings of an investigation and the personalities behind them. As shows such as Dragnet would establish the basic layout, for the how the underlying story will be told each week. While, this basic theme has remained the same, the changes in the attitudes and tastes of society, have meant that more television shows would evolve. The most notable changes included: the way the different characters were presented, the use of science / technology and the ripped from the headlines format. These are important, because they would underscore the changes in the views of society and the viewing demographic. Where, more people were interested in watching crime dramas that would depict what was happening in the real world. While, having that touch of excitement to: keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. This is because the viewing demographic has become interested in voyeuristic type of viewing. Where, they want to comfortably watch realistic or loosely based on fact events occurring. At the same time, these shows have served as a mini tutorial for criminals (such as the North Hollywood shootout).These different viewpoints are significant, because they show how society and the world have changed. As more people are interested in seeing events unfolding that are as realistic as possible, while highlighting the values of society. As a result, this type of genre is a reflection of the good as well as bad in society and the world that we live in. With these shows, depicting events that are a reflection of: ourselves and who we will become. It is through examining the genre in this light that provides the greatest insights, as to how these programs are evolving, to reflect the changing attitudes and ideas of the viewing demographic.


Cheatwood, J. (2010). Images of Crime and Justice in Early Radio. Criminal Justice Review. 35 (3).

Collins, C. (2009). Ripped from the Headlines. Journal of International Studies. 9.

Duetsch, S. (2008). CSI and Forensic Realism. Retrieved from

Rader, N. (2009). A Typology of Victim Characterization. Retrieved from

Sapprkuhl, K. (2010). Shoot.…[continue]

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