Balancing Audience’s Needs and Producer’s Expectations in Television Serial Drama Programming


  • Collins Auta Wagumba University of Kenya
  • Michael M Kamau University of Nairobi



TV station executive, serial drama producers, urban audience, economic benefit


The study sheds light on how the TV station executives balance the entertainment needs of its audience and the producers' expectations within a changing digital broadcast environment. The study is anchored on uses and gratification and the encoding and decoding theories. The research employs a mixed-method design by using survey questionnaires (415), FGDs, and in-depth interviews with 5 TV station executives and serial drama fiction producers in Kenya. The results indicate that the station executive takes centre stage to fulfil the urban audience’s needs and the producers’ needs respectively. The station executives contextualize the viewers and the serial drama producers as “profit vessels” and any decision made towards them should culminate in economic benefit to the station


Download data is not yet available.


Abelman, R., & Atkin, J. D. (2011). The Televiewing Audience: The Art and Science of Watching TV. New York: Peter Lang Publication Inc.

Allen, R. C (1985). Speaking of Soap Operas. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina.

Ang, I. (1985). Watching Dallas: Soap Dramas and the Melodramatic Imagination.

Ang, I. (1991). Wanted: Audiences. On the Politics of Empirical Audience Studies. in E. Seiter, H. Borchers, G. Kreutzner and E. Warth (eds.), Remote Control: Television, Audiences and Cultural Power. London: Routledge.

Blumler, J. G., & Katz, E. (1974). THE uses of Mass Communications: Current Perspectives on Gratifications Research. Sage Annual Reviews of Communication Research, Volume III.

Brinker, F. (2015). On the Formal Politics of Narratively Complex Television Series: Operationalself-reflexivity and Audience Management Infringe and Homeland, in Katja Kanzler, et al. (eds,), Poetics of Politics: Textuality and Social Relevance in American Literature and Culture. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag, pp. 41-62.

Bruns, A. (2012) ‘Reconciling Community and Commerce? Collaboration between Produsage Communities and Commercial Operators’. Information, Communication & Society. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.680482.

Caldwell, J. T. (2008). Production Culture. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.

Communication Authority of Kenya (2016). Topline Report Local Content Analysis. Globetrack International Report.

Communication Authority of Kenya (2017). “Fourth-Quarter Sector Statistics Report for the Financial Year 2016/2017”, (April-June).

Davis, H. (2004). Understanding Stuart Hall. London; Thousand Oak, Calif.: SAGE.

Doyle, G. (2016). Television Production, Funding Models and Exploitation of Content. Icono, 14 (2), 75-96. DOI: 10.7195/ri14.v14i1.991

Ford, S. (2008). Soap Opera and the History of Fan Discussion. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. DOI:

Gray, J.. & Lotz, A. D. (2012). Television Studies. Cambridge: Polity Press

Hansen, A., Cottle, S., Negrine, R.. & Newbold, C. (1998). Mass Communication Research Methods. Houndmills: MacMillan.

Hall, S. (1980). Cultural Studies and the Centre: Some Problematics and Problems, in S. Hall (Ed), Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies. London: Hutchinson, pp. 1972–79.

Henderson, L. (2007). Social Issues in Television Fiction. New York: Edinburg Press.

Hoffner, C., & Buchanan, M. (2005). Young Adults’ Wishful Identification with Television Characters: The Role of Perceived Similarity and Character Attributes. Media Psychology, 7, 325-351.

Kenya Audience Research Foundation & Association of Advertising Practitioners (KARF, 2017).

Kenya Audience Research Foundation & Association of Advertising Practitioners (KARF, October-December, 2019).

Lallo, M. (2014). Who Killed the Soap Opera?. The Sunday Morning Herald. 20th March. Retrieved from

Mutunga, I M. & Wagumba, C. (2019). Developing Broadcasting Industry through Glocalization and Hybridization. Jurnal Komunikasi Islam. 9 (1), 1-20.

Newcomb, H. & Alley, R. (1983). The Producers Medium: Conversations with Creators of American TV Oxford. New York: University Press.

Nyabuga, G., & Booker, N. (2013). Mapping Digital Media: Kenya. A Report by Open Society Foundations. Edited by Marius Dragomir & Mark Thompson. Regional Editor, Aboubakr Jamai.

Okwuowulu, C. (2012). The Practice of Auteur Theory in Nollywood Directing: A Study of Teco Benson’s Techniques. The Crab: Journal of Theatre and Media Arts. 7, 233-246.

Opanga, K. (2015). Act Now or We Continue Filming Mediocrity. Sunday Nation. March 1.

O’Reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Communications & Strategies. 65 (1), 17–37.

Oxford Business Group (2014). The Switchover to a Digital Platform has been Delayed as a Result of Legal Challenges. Retrieved from

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Perse, E.M & Rubin, A. M. (1988). Audience Activity and Satisfaction with Favorite Television Soap Opera. Article in The Journalism Quarterly. (June 1988). DOI: 10.1177/107769908806500216

Thompson, R. J. (1990). Adventures on Prime Time: The Television Programs of Stephen J. Cannell.

Tully, M., & Ekdale, B. (2012). The Team Online: Entertainment-Education, Social Media, and Co-created Messages. Television & New Media. 15 (2), 139–156.

Serrano, V.O, Garcia, Uceda, E & Berne, C. (2013). Understanding the Consumption of Television Programming: Development and Validation of a Structural Model for Quality, Satisfaction and Audience Behaviour. International Journal of Marketing Studies. (January 2013), DOI: 10.5539/ijms.v5n1p142

Silverman, D. (2003). Doing Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Steemers, J (2014), Selling Television: Addressing Transformations in the International Distribution of Television Content. Media Industries Journal. 1 (1), 44-9.

Tully, M., & Ekdale, B. (2012). The Team Online: Entertainment-Education, Social Media, and Co-created Messages. Television & New Media. 15 (2), 139–156.

Tunstall, J. (2008). The Media were American-US Mass Media in Decline. Oxford University Press, Inc.

Ugangu, W. (2018). More Everage for the State? Kenya’s Experience with Digital TV Migration, in Andrea Czepek, Melanie Hellwig, Beate Illg, Eva Nowak (Eds.), Freiheit und Journalismus. pp. 141–158.

Wamuyu, M. C. (2018). The Convergence of Creativity and Marketing: A Case of Two Selected Drama Programs on Citizen TV. Thesis. Kenyatta University: Kenya.




How to Cite

Wagumba, C. A., & Kamau, M. M. (2020). Balancing Audience’s Needs and Producer’s Expectations in Television Serial Drama Programming . Jurnal Komunikasi Islam, 10(2), 173–197.