OTW Fannews: Fans front and center

  • Television is increasingly turning to fandom to find viewers. The Los Angeles Times put a spotlight on AMC’s The Talking Dead. “Broadcast directly after the phenomenally successful ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘The Talking Dead’ has taken on a life of its own, evolving from a half-hour companion show into a full-fledged, hour-long monster mash whose ratings in the coveted 18-49 demographic surpass a host of prime-time shows on the major networks.” It seems likely this recipe will be copied since “Even more significantly, ‘The Talking Dead’ is one of the least expensive series on AMC’s prime-time slate — the set is spare, there’s no band and the production is low-frills. While declining to say how much the show costs, Stillerman said ‘it’s a good business model. We get a nice return on our investment.'”
  • In a 2-part interview on Henry Jenkins’ blog, several academics address the future of television, focusing in part on the Veronica Mars kickstarter campaign. “Fans are now Studios. Advertisers are Studios. Amazon is a studio. Netflix too. So, the roles are not only changing, they are blurred and the winner is the story. Because generally we don’t know what we want until a story is in front of us and we say: I want more of that. And I will pay with my time, my emotions, my network of friends and my money.”
  • Other shows aren’t just for fannish audiences, fans are the content as well. Articles about shows in development mentioned AMC’s “Geek Out” and SyFy’s “Cosworld” and “Fandemonium”. “‘Cosworld’ will…follow some of the top people in the cosplay world as they come up with new and ever more imaginative and intricate costumes in an effort to win a cash prize and bragging rights” while “‘Fandemonium’…will follow a group in Los Angeles as they try to balance their lives and their obsession with their heroes.” However, people are more likely to want to appear on “Geek Out” which “aims to make the dreams of real-life Number One fans come true and give them an ‘awesome, otherwise unattainable experience related to their obsession.'” The show will be taking a broad fandom approach, as “fans tracked down for the show will be of the sci-fi lover/videogame player/comic book reader/George Lucas-opinion-haver variety [but]…will also include aficionados of athletes, celebrities, and authors.”

Have you been tracking the development of fan-focused shows? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. Rebecca Tushnet commented:

    Of possible interest, this new bill https://www.eff.org/document/hr-1892-unlocking-technology-act would amend the DMCA to require that circumvention be in aid of copyright infringement to be unlawful, which would fix the need to go get an exemption for vidders every three years. US fans might want to contact their representatives in support of the bill.

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      Will add to a post draft in progress.