Rethinking the Format as a Theoretical Object in the Age of Media Convergence


  • Serafina Fusco Freelance Format Consultant
  • Marta Perrotta Università Roma Tre



format, television, convergence, hybridisation, IPTV, global tv market


This paper aims to analyse the notion of the television format as it emerges in the contemporary literature on television. It also gives several definitions of format, considering it as a legal and economic production technology, as a medium of exchange for the television industry and as a tool for designing narrative experiences in mediated programmes. Focussing on media convergence, this article discusses the role played by the format in the development of new forms of entertainment in the world of cross-media communication. Repensando o formato enquanto objecto teórico na era da convergência de Media Este artigo pretende analisar o conceito de formato televisivo como descrito na bibliografia contemporânea sobre televisão, não apenas fornecendo diversas definições do conceito, mas também considerando-o enquanto tecnologia de produção legal e económica, como um meio de troca da indústria televisiva, e como uma ferramenta de concepção de experiências narrativas em programas. Centrando-se sobre a convergência de media, este artigo discute ainda o papel do formato no desenvolvimento de novas formas de entretenimento no mundo da comunicação cross-media.

Author Biographies

Serafina Fusco, Freelance Format Consultant

Serafina Fusco has been working for Endemol Italia Format Department between 2000 and 2007, where she was involved in research and development of international formats. Also, she has been developing original Italian formats within the creative unit at Endemol Italia. Currently she is freelance for several production companies, she follows the start-up of small companies, and she is a consultant for national networks.

Marta Perrotta, Università Roma Tre

Marta Perrotta is a post-doc fellow at Dipartimento Comunicazione e Spettacolo, University Roma Tre, Italy. In the same University she is Lecturer in Television Formats. Her research interests range across the aesthetics of television genres, global formats and local adaptations, the uses and languages of contemporary radio. She is the author two manuscripts, Il format televisivo (Quattroventi, 2007) and L’ABC del fare radio (Audino, 2003). Her writings appear in such journals as Media, Culture and Society and The Radio Journal (forthcoming).




How to Cite

Fusco, S., & Perrotta, M. (2008). Rethinking the Format as a Theoretical Object in the Age of Media Convergence. Observatorio (OBS*), 2(4).