New Article on Statistical Analysis of Television Style

A new piece I wrote on the statistical analysis of television editing has been accepted by Cinema Journal and is forthcoming in its fall 2014 issue:

  • Butler, Jeremy G. “Statistical Analysis of Television Style: What Can Numbers Tell Us About TV Editing?” Cinema Journal 54, no. 1 (forthcoming). Update 2015, full citation: Cinema Journal 54, no. 1 (2014), 25-44.

A companion Website with full-sized, color illustrations and the data sets used in my analysis is now online:

Here’s the article’s abstract:

This article assays the value of splicing together humanities-based analysis of television style with digitally generated statistical data. The editing style of the situation comedy, Happy Days (1974-1984), provides an intriguing test case for such analyses’ utility as it made a radical shift in its mode of production after its second season—switching from single-camera to multiple-camera (with a studio audience). Using data collected on ShotLogger.org, this article measures the cutting rates correlated with each mode of production and finds there is a statistically significant difference between the two. Additionally, this article examines the general acceleration of cutting rates on American television since 1951 and it comes to a perhaps surprising conclusion about the impact of individual editors upon television style.