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Since the late 1990s, when broadcasters began adapting such television shows as Big Brother, Survivor and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? for markets around the world, the global television industry has been struggling to come to grips with the prevalence of program franchising across international borders. In TV Format Mogul, Albert Moran traces the history of this phenomenon through the lens of Australian producer Reg Grundy’s transnational career.
Program copycatting, Moran shows, began long before its most recent rise to prominence. Indeed, he reveals that the practice of cultural and commercial cloning from one place to another, and one time to another, has occurred since the early days of broadcasting. Beginning in the late 1950s, Grundy brought non-Australian shows to Australian audiences, becoming the first person to take local productions to an overseas market. By following Grundy’s career, Moran shows how adaptation and remaking became the billion-dollar business they are today. An exciting new contribution from Australia’s foremost scholar of television, TV Format Mogul will be a definitive history of program franchising.