The Post-Networking Era: Saved by the Narrowcasting!

Saved by the Bell is a classic television show that ran through the 1980s until the early 1990s. The show takes place at Bayside High School in California and is about a group of teenagers and their high school lives. Plots in the show revolve around the group of friends weaving their way through typical high school issues such as relationships, tests, school dances, and things of the sort. The main theme of the show is that the friend group always ends up making up and putting their friendship above everything else. The theme proves the show to be episodic since none of their issues carry into the following episodes.

Saved by the Bell is a prime example of Post-Network Era television, not only due to the years that the show was active, but also due to themes of the show. During this time in television history, the rise of hundreds of channels and the cable boom affected television forever. It was in this time period that producers and companies began to narrowcast or target specific groups or demographics with their productions and channels.

The show itself is a great example of narrowcasting since it appealed to high schoolers in the eighties and nineties. It was full of plenty of drama and it had a high school setting that would catch the eye of young adults, but not older family members. Teenaged girls would probably watch this show for the relationship drama and to see current fashion trends. On the other hand, teenaged boys probably watched more for the comedy and absurdity of the show. The show is narrowcast, and it is easy to see this simply by the setting of the show.

The clip I chose for this assignment is a great example. In this clip, we see that two of the main characters have gone through a high school breakup. Through my short clip, there is only one small scene change but all of the characters still remain in their school. There is also some witty humor, but it is easily understood by high schoolers and young adults. There are also snarky comments made towards both male and female characters in the show. We also see an awkward classroom scene where the teacher cannot understand her students. Overall, Saved by the Bell is a solid example of Post-Network television due to its narrowcasting through its humor and setting.

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