Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Rodney Buxton, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rodney Buxton

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Henry

Fourth Advisor

Diane Waldman

Fifth Advisor

Rick Barbour


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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kacie Henderson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

222 p.


Film studies, Mass communication