The Crime Drama Genre

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The crime drama genre has endured many changes since the days of 'Dickson of Dock Green' (1955-1976) in the UK along with 'Dick Tracy' (1950-1952) in the USA. The natural progression within the crime drama genre saw them eventually displaying police procedural's. This was a first for television, the audience not only saw the crime and the apprehension of the criminal, but for the first time, the whole crime solving system was opened for the audience to see. Forensics and legal bureaucracy where presented within the dramas. This in turn evolved into crime dramas that focused solely on these other elements that were previously unseen. Shows such as 'Cagney and Lacey' (1982-1988), 'Hill Street Blues' (1981-1987), 'Law and Order' (1990-2010) and 'Miami Vice (1984-1990)' showed audiences and T.V executives the potential scope of the crime drama genre. This new style evolved for the digital age, with digital channels such as HBO pushing the boundaries as to what was possible on Television, the rest of the television studio's realised that they need to create shows that were as good as, or even challenge HBO's new standard for televised dramatisation. Mike Chopra-Grant discuss John Sumser and how this challenging new era in televised drama changed the format of the traditional cop show.

John Sumser argues that by the mid-1990s a profound change had taken place within the genre. According to Sumser earlier shows had employed a version of the mythology of the frontier, with the cop positioned as the ‘‘moral boundary of society ’’ and the private detective as the person whose actions might extend ‘‘ past the moral boundaries in order to bring a bit of personal justice to the frontier. ’’ 'The Law of the Father, the Law of th...

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