Fifty Years of Drama on Israeli Children’s Television

From Teaching to Competing

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 Sapir Academic College yuvalg@mail.sapir.ac.il
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Abstract

This article analyzes the changes in drama series in the first five decades (1966–2016) of Israeli children’s television. Based on interviews with 27 central producers, this cultural-historical study seeks to explain the significance attributed to children’s drama over the years. Early children’s drama series in Israel were instructional or educational, but they also sought to control the representation of childhood under the direct supervision of the state. The neo-liberal privatization process in Israeli society led to the creation of locally produced, Hebrew-speaking daily dramas on private channels for children. In the multiscreen environment created by the age of multichannel television and digital media, original Israeli daily drama shows functioned as a central branding tool for children’s channels. The article contends that these shows became one of the producers’ key answers to the changes in children’s viewing habits and, more particularly, linear television’s strategy for success in a world of multiple online screens.

Contributor Notes

YUVAL GOZANSKY is a cultural studies researcher and teaches children’s media, culture, and production at Sapir Academic College and Tel Aviv University. He has published articles on children’s television, and his book on the cultural history of the first five decades of Israeli television for children will be published in early 2019 by Open University Press (in Hebrew). Prior to his academic career, he was a director for numerous children’s television programs. E-mail: yuvalg@mail.sapir.ac.il

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