Law, Urban Violence and Order: Cop Shows as a Brazilian TV Genre


  • Luiza Lusvarghi Universidade de São Paulo



Latin American Cultural studies, TV Genres, Interculturalism, Cop Shows


A new type of Brazilian drama series has taken place on local  TV -  the cop shows. Although they are not popular as the telenovela (soap operas), definitively they came to stay.  International channels like Fox and HBO are benefited by Tax Benefits Rule which provides financial conditions for the production of those home market, and are now competing with the two greatest media Brazilian  groups – Record and Globo.  The worldwide success of “Cidade de Deus” (City of God, 2002, Fernando Meirelles), released abroad like a gangster movie, and “Tropa de Elite” (Elite Squad, 2005, Jose Padilha), Berlin Golden Bear Award 2008, which sequel “Elit Squad: The Enemy Within” (2010) became the biggest box office record of Brazilian Cinema, could be partially contributed to motivate that new kind of production, which mix up social exclusion, urban violence with the very known old formulas of American serials, as the franchise “Law and Order” and its various spin-offs.

Author Biography

Luiza Lusvarghi, Universidade de São Paulo



CANCLINI, Nestor Garcia (2008), Latin American Cinema as Industry and as Culture: its trasnational relocation. Keynote presented in Transnational Cinema in Globalising Societies Conference, Puebla, Mexico, September 29-31. 2008

CHANDLER, Daniel (1997): 'An Introduction to Genre Theory' [WWW document] URL [Date of Visit]

LUSVARGHI, Luiza Cristina, (2007). “Cidade de Deus e Cidade dos Homens.Pós-Modernidade, exclusão social e novas tecnologias na produção audiovisual brasileira”, tese de doutorado: Escola de Comunicação e Artes (ECA-USP). São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo.

MITTELL, Jason (2004), Genre and Television. From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture. New York and London: Routledge.

MOYA, Alvaro, Glória in Excelsior (2004). São Paulo: Imprensa Oficial do Estado.

NEALE, Steve (ed.2002). Genre and contemporary Hollywood. London: BFI, 2002.

STAM, Robert (2003). Introdução à teoria do cinema. Campinas: Papirus, 2003.

SHAW, Miranda (2005). “The Brazilian Goodfellas: City of a God as a Gangster Film” in VIEIRA, Else. (Org.) City of God in several voices: Brazilian social cinema as action. London: CCCPress, 2005.

CARVALHO, Gilmar (2004). A Televisão no Ceará (1959-1966). Consumo, Lazer e Indústria Cultural. Fortaleza: Omni Editora.

FOLHA ONLINE. Coluna Outro Canal: Série só vai mostrar Rio de cartão postal.




How to Cite

Lusvarghi, L. (2014). Law, Urban Violence and Order: Cop Shows as a Brazilian TV Genre. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 3(1), 107–125.