Paying particular attention to the ways in which lesbian consumers and programming are co-constituted, this article examines lesbian programming on cable TV as a strategic method for attracting audiences and branding networks. Drawing on interviews with TV industry practitioners and market researchers, I examine the impact of institutional beliefs and practices on the production of lesbian programming. Based on these interviews and investigation of the contemporary cable and marketing industries, I consider the use of lesbian programming as a method for targeting cable's increasingly fragmented audiences. I use the basic cable network Bravo and the premium cable network Showtime as case studies, positing an emerging trend in television: cable channels use lesbian programming to tap into multiple markets. What I have termed multicasting, targeting several distinct audience demographics, provides a framework for understanding why lesbian images are commodifiable in the postnetwork cable TV landscape.
- cable TV
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts