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Although situation comedies (sitcoms) are a staple source of entertainment in America, their content is controlled by "gatekeepers" in all three phases of production. Gatekeepers are those individuals who are able to control the content of material that appears in the sitcom. Production occurs in three phases called, pre-production, production, and post-production. Gatekeeper influence starts in pre-production. Pre-production starts many months before any studio set is built, or actors are hired. The first gatekeeper is the production company. They have the right to decide which ideas are worth sending in to production. They decide if the premise and context of the proposed show will resonate with audiences. Pushing the boundaries of…show more content…
As the cast assembles for the first read-through the script, the producer listens to the dialog and makes decisions to remove or change parts of the script. He or she also has the authority to decide wardrobes and set props that will create a certain perception on the show. The same dialog for a scene can be filmed on a bus station set or a living room set to create very different perceptions of either public humility or a personal family moment. After filming, the show moves in to post-production. Post-production involves taking all of the short segments of the show and editing them to suite the original script. Here, the line producer and editor are gatekeepers. The line producer is a producer assigned to a specific episode of a sitcom. Their job is to ensure continuity of the episode from pre-production through to final cut. Even with all the planning involved in production, several different camera angles, set props, dialog changes are made on the set during the filming. The line producer and editor have the power to pick and choose which elements will make the final story line which may or may not fit exactly with the executive producers original vision. Finally, the network production company that airs the show acts as a gatekeeper again. They reserve the right to not air the show if it is deemed too controversial. An example of this occurred shortly after September 11, 2001. Networks chose not to air episodes of shows where the Twin Towers were

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