Date of Award
Rodney Buxton, Ph.D.
Crime procedural, Romance, Screenplay, Shipper, Sitcom, Spec script
Network television writers often utilize ongoing romantic turmoil as a plot device to form loyal fan bases called "shippers," viewers who become deeply invested in the romantic relationships between their favorite television couples. For my thesis, I explored the shipper paradigm and the differences between network sitcoms and crime procedurals by creating one spec script The Big Bang Theory and another for Bones. I used research and my own personal experiences to analyze both series and write episodes that could fit within the established canons of both programs. Through the writing process I came to understand something very important about television: romantic storylines only succeed if hope, risk and obstacles are continually sustained enough to keep ratings high, which in turn sustains the longevity of programs by keeping shippers engaged. Characters may be exaggerated, but good writers use their own lives as inspiration and create characters through which viewers can see their own struggles and aspirations.
Henderson, Kacie, "Penning the Shipper-Worthy Screenplay: Exploration of Network Television Situational Comedy and the Crime Procedural" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 282.
Received from ProQuest
Film studies, Mass communication