Orphan Black: a TV global phenomenon?

Amandine Gros

Now recognized as an international TV series coproduction, the Canadian science fiction thriller Orphan Black presents a narrative with multicultural characters from different countries. Their particularities are that they are clones being because of genetic experimentation. All the different characters are interpreted by the same actress, Tatiana Maslany who plays twelve protagonists Sarah, Beth, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Rachel, Jennifer, Katja, Tony, Aryanna, Danielle, and Jannika.

This serie is produced for the channels: Space (Canada) and BBC America. Then thanks to a deal with BBC America and the BBC Worldwide (British public service broadcaster), Orphan Black’s audience grew rapidly both in Canada and the United States.

The showcase will have more and more success thanks to this funding cooperation and lots of devoted fans. I quote ‘ This partnership Orphan Black eventually debuted in March 2013 with 513,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated original series premiere for Space. Its simultaneous launch on BBC America garnered 680,000 viewers.7 The series rapidly grew audience ratings in both countries after being widely praised by American television critics and fans’ word of mouth across social media sites.” (media industry journal, 2015)

Regarding Orphan Black’s situation and position in the TV’s market is it obvious to note the diversity of the distribution and production of Orphan Black which is in relation to issues of global TV series.

At the time, In think it is interesting to mention Shanti Kumar who said in his book that it is important to understand that television’s global characteristic is “technology“, I quote “Television technologies shape and are shaped by industrial, audience, and textual negotiations as well as changing sociohistorical conditions. And the meanings of television technology are contingent and take different properties and practices in different part of the world.“ (TV Planet). In fact, Orphan Black can illustrate thanks to cultural and financing negotiations how national channels and issues of distribution are important strategies in the global TV.

The trailer show well all the issues that were mentioned on the blog before.


Tinic, S. Where in the World Is Orphan Black? Change and Continuity in Global TV Production and Distribution. Media Industrie. Available from http://www.mediaindustriesjournal.org/index.php/mij/article/view/106/151%5BAccessed 25 February 2017].

BBC America (2017). Orphan Black: about the show. BBC America. Available from http://www.bbcamerica.com/shows/orphan-black/about [Accessed 26 February 2017]

Kumar, S. (2003). Planet TV: a global television reader. London: new york University Press

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s