Modern TV series have long got rid of the definition “a spectacle for housewives” and have become the main entertainment for the masses. A huge number of different series are released today, and you can find an attraction for every taste and intellectual level among them. Another collection of interesting facts is dedicated to this phenomenon of contemporary culture.
The idea of popular TV series really comes from the world of radio. In 1930, the first serialized stories appeared in Spain, the USA, and Latin America; they were broadcast every day. As a rule, those were radio plays based on the popular literary works and voiced by only one or two actors.
Many people are familiar with a disparaging “soap opera” name attributed to TV series. It also goes back to the time when people listened to the radio. Radio series were broadcast mainly in the afternoon and were intended for housewives. Therefore, the advertising used in these programs was focused on soap, detergents, and cleaning products for the home.
Some series have been produced for many years and even decades. But the longest of them is the “Guiding Light,” which was first released back in 1930 as a radio show and then safely moved to television. 18262 episodes have been released during 57 years.
Shooting the first episodes was amazingly cheap for the creators. One needed some inexpensive decorations and several provincial actors to create a love story of some Juan and Maria. However, with time the series turned into a favorite pastime of the masses, who demanded new experiences. Today, the five most expensive series (according to the price of production of one episode) include:
- “ER” (1998-1999) – 13 million dollars.
- “Rome” (2005-2007) – 10 million dollars.
- “Friends” (1994-2004) – 10 million dollars (the final season).
- “Marco Polo” (2014) – $9 million.
- “Camelot” (2011) – $7 million.
Some actors are quickly tired of uniplanar roles and strive for diversity. American actress Helen Wagner is not exactly one of them. She had been performing the role of Nancy Hughes in the soap opera “As the World Turns” for 54 years. This was the longest role in the history of television, which resulted in the appropriate entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The favorite “Law & Order,” “House,” “The X-Files,” “Doctor Who,” and many other television productions should not be called soap operas. They are rather procedural dramas, a kind of TV series, where the plot is constructed around each separate episode. Their main difference is the opportunity to watch any episode of the TV show and understand the plot without any problem.
Harmless-looking soap operas can have a large and sometimes unpredictable effect on viewers. For example, the research conducted in 2008 in Brazil showed that the distribution of TV series reduced fertility and increased the number of divorces. Scientists have come to the conclusion that television inspires people to new standards of behavior, which, in turn, leads to a change in the demographic situation.