Return of the talking heads - Entering the third wave of television news dramaturgy
The present article suggests that the brief history of Western television news dramaturgy can be expounded as three major waves: from the early days of the talking heads in the studio, over the narrativization of the field report to a (re-)current studio- and field-based talking heads format. In order to analyze the latest development entering the third wave, we propose a theoretically based dramaturgical model for the television news item. The analysis concludes that, with the current ‘return’ of the talking heads format, the pre-produced and pre-packaged bulletin program about past events is dissolving and transforming into an evaluative present- and future-oriented update format that resembles the 24-hour newsonly channels. Production time merges with broadcast time so that the uncertainty of live spreads to the dramaturgy.