Year 11 AS Media Studies Transition Unit – Zach GoodchildRESEARCHING INTO...EASTENDERS
Contents History Writers and notable directors Notable actors Fascinating storylines Viewing figures Personal views Present marketing campaigns TV spots and trailers Print Media adverts Specialist advertising
Writers and notable directorsSince first broadcast on 19 February 1985, the long running soap opera of EastEnders is one of themost popular shows in the UK. To run for so long EastEnders has needed many writers and notabledirectors such as: Julia Smith and Tony Holland – Together these two created EastEnders, hence being an important part of its history. Julia Smith was the producer and has played two crucial long lasting changes to EastEnders, one of which was giving it a second capital E, as she thought it looked better on paper. A second influence she still has on todays show is when a different theme tune plays for a big episode that is called ‘Julia’s theme’ in memory of her. Screenwriter Tony Holland, was Julia Smith’s partner in crime. He laid down the foundation for EastEnders with creating families such as the Beale’s and the Watt’s. After establishing EastEnders to the UK both Smith and Holland left the job in 1989. Mike Gibbon – Following the departure of Julia Smith, Mike Gibbon became the new director in 1985. Gibbon will be more remembered for off-screen antics, such as wanting to kill off 10 major character to boost viewing figures. This eventually caused him to lose the job. Simon Ashdown – Ashdown has been writing for EastEnders since 1995, and is one of the unique writers as he makes a character around the actor, rather than the other way around. He has had a hand in many key storylines such as a Christmas storyline of ‘Max and Stacey’s affair’. Diederick Santer – Santer took the post of director in 2006 and left it recently in early 2010. He brought controversial issues to grip the viewers such as ethnic minorities and homosexuality. He thought this made the show feel ‘more 21st century’. Also Santer was behind the shows’ first live episode, in which the conclusion to the ‘Who killed Archie’ saga was concluded. Click me to go back to the contents!
Notable ActorsEastEnders have had many memorable actors, which most people in the UK would recognise. So naming all notable actors would not be possible, however here are the top five people who have had ‘duff duff’ moments as the end of the show. 5 – Pauline Fowler (122 duff duffs) was played by the late actress Wendy Richard between the long period of 1985-2006. Pauline Fowler was one of the original characters created and there is only original actor that has lasted longer than her. Most of the stories surrounding Pauline were to do with her large family, and long marriage with on screen husband Arthur Fowler. 4 – Grant Mitchell (131 duff duffs) was played by well-known actor Ross Kemp and kept up a solid role for 9 years, although has not been killed off so appears every now and again still. He was famous for being the leather jacket wearing, bald headed brother of Phil Mitchell. Together the got into all sorts of trouble. 3 – Sharon Watts (138 duff duffs) was played by actress Letitia Dean and onscreen has had three surnames, Watts being her well known one. Sharon made her first appearance in the 80’s in the most recent one in 2006. Like Grant her character is still alive. She was the adopted daughter of extremely well known couple ‘Den and Angie’. 2 – Ian Beale (141 duff duffs) is played by the actor Adam Woodyatt and has appeared on the show since it was created, making him the longest running actor doing over 2000 episodes and counting! Ian now lives in Pauline Fowler’s old house with his family. Ian is known for being a family man, yet with many weaknesses causing big storylines. 1 – Phil Mitchell (206 duff duffs) is played by the actor Steve Mcfadden and has had this role since 1990 with a small break in 2003-05. The fact he has got to the top of the leader board proves how many big roles Phil Mitchell has had. One of his big storylines was the portrayal of him being an alcoholic, and also was shot which caused a ‘who shot Phil’ scenario across the nation.Click me to go back to the contents!
Fascinating storylines Like its actors, EastEnders has had so many storylines that have gripped the nation it is not possible to name them all, so here are 5 which I feel are memorable: 1 – Angies Illness (1986) was a unique storyline for the amazing record it set. When the story culminated on Christmas day it pulled in a whopping audience of 30.1 million! In a bid to keep Den from finding another woman, Angie came up with the lie that she had a terminal illness. When Den found this out he filed for divorce, which was the episode which pulled in so many viewers. 2 – Mark’s HIV (1990-1992) storyline was very controversial at the time, helping the nations views towards HIV. At the time the character of Mark Fowler came out with having HIV the nations views were uneducated towards HIV, but the show helped in educating. Mark’s farther did not accept it which made it even more interesting. 3 – Sharongate (1992-1994) was a love triangle played between Phil, Grant and Sharon who were all mentioned as notable actors, this shows the storyline would have been special. While married to Grant, Sharon slept with Phil. The episode in which Grant confronted the pair is known as one of the best ever. 4 – Who shot Phil (2001) was an extra special storyline as everyone was talking about who shot Phil in the real world. It almost became a game of national cluedo, the conclusion eventually drawing in millions. 5 – Archie whodunnit (2009-2010) will be remembered as the conclusion to the story was the first ever EastEnders live episode. The story of Who killed Archie actually made the news, which shows how big it was at the time. Click me to go back to the contents!
Viewing FiguresViewings could not get much better for EastEnders, as it is the most watched soap. As previously mentioned, the most viewed episode ever was watched by 30.1 million people! The success is said to be down to its believable plots and great characters, and is regarded as family viewing which is very important. Although, it hasn’t all been good. In 2004 ratings stooped to the lowest ever of 6.2 million. Despite this tough time after a change of staff and a bit of a reform EastEnders had gradually pulled itself back mass viewing by 2008. Internet has helped EastEnders popularity as thousands of people actually catch up on there episodes online. Plus, in 2003 EastEnders was the 2nd most searched thing on the internet in the UK – and the 10th the whole world which shows world domination.Click me to go back to the contents!
Personal OpinionIn my life, I tune into to EastEnders every weekday evening (except Wednesday as the show does not air), and feel if I miss one I must catch up. But what is it which keeps me coming back? I feel that as the storylines can be prolonged, while this is annoying, it keeps me coming back time after time. I also think that people could find it therapeutic to look at other people’s problems and take their mind off their own! Another thing which I think keeps EastEnders popular is there are characters of every age, to keep the audience large. In addition to all of this, EastEnders is so widely watched I think if you don’t watch it now, you can lose out in social conversation which is a factor to keep people coming back for more and more.Click me to go back to the contents!
TV spots and trailersEastEnders has the advantage of constantly being in mainstream UK tv. Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday it airs, and sometimes specials can be one hour long. In addition to this it replays every day at 10pm on BBC 3, so you can catch it if you miss it – plus there is an omnibus on Sunday where you can see the whole weekends action. The clear domination every week proves crucial for advertising the problem. It regularly make trailers to play on the BBC in between programs to advertise it. These trailers are usually quite subtle and make out something big will happen but doesnt say what, to entice you into going to watch the show.Click me to go back to the contents!
Print media advertsEastEnders regularly promote there big storylines on all sorts of magazine covers. For instance a magazine such as ‘inside soap’ commonly has EastEnders on the front which is a good way to get into peoples mind. Most gossip magazines have pages in the book about Eastenders storylines, sometimes true or sometimes speculation. They also have a place in the ‘radio times magazine’ and other tv schedule magazines which is good so the viewers no when it is on.Click me to go back to the contents!
Specialist Advertising EastEnders has recently released a spin off show called E20. In which Diedrick Santer hopes to give the young actors chance to progress in be involved regularly. The series plays online which is a good play to advertisement in the form of a spin-off. Often on BBC 3 there are shows revealing things like behind the scenes cameras and how things were d0ne. EastEnders also regularly does things for charity such as cast songs on Children in Need day, which is good advertisement as to be seen doing something for charity.Thanks for viewing my powerpoint, here are my sources: http://tv.sky.com/eastenders-25-top-storylines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EastEnders#Spin-offs www.google.co.uk/images www.bbc.co.uk/eastendersClick me to go back to the contents!