Ever since television has been around, it has become increasingly popular in the public’s everyday life. We look to it as an entertainment source through fictional stories and an information source through documentaries and game shows. However, researchers are becoming increasingly interested in the idea that fictional stories can also be an avenue through which the public retains information, particularly medical dramas and crime shows. With the increase of popularity in these types of programs, the idea is becoming a more important one that may need to be addressed. Medical dramas were a hit from the very first episodes (Davin, 2003). Grey’s Anatomy is about 5 medical interns and their personal and professional journeys at a fictional hospital, Seattle Grace. House M.D. is based on a male doctor who has undergone some medical issues himself and follows his lack of moral and ethical values when it comes to diagnosing patients. He has a general mistrust in human beings and will do whatever he has to treat his patient. From 2006 -2007, these two shows ranked 7th and 9th respectively in the top primetime television shows (Czarney et al., 2008). Looking at these results and more, it can be seen how popular medical dramas are becoming. With both types of shows, medical and criminal, the increasing popularity has led to the increase in similar shows being aired. CSI, one of the most well known and most watched criminal dramas on television first aired on CBS in 2000 (Brewer & Ley, 2010). The show is about a team of forensic scientists that use DNA evidence to solve crimes. During its 9th season, it was the 2nd highest rated show on television. The enormous initial popularity led to two spin-off shows, CSI: Miami, which premiered in 2002 and CSI: New York, first shown in 2004. CBS has also released a number of other crime shows including, Without a Trace (2002), NCIS (2003) and Cold Case (2003). Other networks have jumped on this bandwagon, such as FOX debuting Bones in 2005 (Brewer & Ley, 2010). With an increase in the number of medical and criminal dramas currently on television and the enormous popularity of these shows, it has been wondered whether the public gather information from this particular source, if they retain it and the effect it may have on everyday life.
- The transfer and retention of information by the public through medical dramas and crime shows on television.
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