Screenwriting for children, tweens and teens: The use of audience input, co-creation and junior editors in the Danish public service hit serials Klassen and BaseBoys

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With competition from YouTube, Netflix and a number of other platforms and screens in the 2010s, Scandinavian public service broadcasters such as the Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR are finding it still harder to attract children and young audiences for the national productions on traditional broadcast television. This challenge has led to a new focus on how to develop innovative ways of creating popular fictional content that can appeal to this important target audience, not only on traditional linear TV, but also in a cross-media context. In the 2010s, the long-running school serial Klassen/The Class (2016–) and later the music-based children’s drama Base Boys (2018–) made for the channel DR Ultra (targeting 7–12-year-olds) have become major national hits that are now also sold for remakes In several other countries. Based on material
from industry seminars and qualitative interviews around the DR Ultra production strategies and the making of the serials, this paper draws on screenwriting literature on television development and writing as well as cross-media literature on co-creation and audience engagement when analyzing how an important reason for this recent success is linked to a number of new screenwriting and production practices that are based on an active dialogue with
and input from a wide range of young audience members throughout their development and production. The paper ends by presenting the framework for a proposed research project that plans to explore and compare current screenwriting practices for film and television targeting children and young audiences in different national contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date12 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2019
Event12th Screenwriting Research Network International Conference: Screen Narratives: Order and Chaos - School of Arts, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 12 Sep 201914 Sep 2019


Conference12th Screenwriting Research Network International Conference
LocationSchool of Arts, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Internet address

ID: 227568660