Complex TV: Transmedia Storytelling

It’s time for another chapter of Complex TV to go live on MediaCommons Press—this time, the topic is Transmedia Storytelling. It builds on work I have done in recent years about how television narratives expand into other media, especially around Lost and its ARGs, but very few of the chapter’s ideas have been published elsewhere. As always, the chapters are designed to stand on their own, so don’t feel you need to have read any of the other ones to dive in here. Here’s the abstract:

As television series have become more complex in their narrative strategies, television itself has expanded its scope across a number of screens and platforms, complicating notions of medium-specificity at the very same time that television seems to have a clearer sense of distinct narrative form. This chapter explores how television narratives are expanded and complicated through transmedia extensions, including video games, novelizations, websites, online video, and alternate reality games. With specific analyses of transmedia strategies for Lost and Breaking Bad, I consider how television’s transmedia storytelling is grappling with issues of canonicity and audience segmentation, how transmedia reframes viewer expectations for the core television serial, and what transmedia possibilities might look like going forward.

I’ve been a bit disappointed that very few people have offered feedback in the comments at the MediaCommons Press site. I know that a number of American academic readers have been waiting until the spring semester finishes, and I’ve heard from a few other people that they’re reading but not commenting. If you have any thoughts about ways to improve participation, please let me know.

And for bonus content, check out the video for one of the Breaking Bad transmedia extensions I discuss, Team S.C.I.E.N.C.E.!



Filed under: Complex TV, Fandom, MediaCommons, Narrative, New Media, Television, TV Industry, TV Shows, Videogames, Viewers Tagged: breaking bad, Lost, transmedia

Jason Mittell

Publication date (from feed): 

Mon, 21 May 2012 14:29:36 +0000