#Fringe, Audiences and Fan Labor: Twitter Activism to Save a TV Show From Cancellation

Mar Guerrero-Pico


This article describes how TV fans make strategic use of Twitter as a tool for activism to launch “Save Our Show” campaigns and highlights a shift toward a collaborative relationship between fan activists and producers in the context of these campaigns, shaped by deep transformations in the media ecosystem and viewing measurement techniques. Based on participant observation and qualitative content analysis, I explore the case of the Twitter campaign led by a fandom dedicated to FOX’s science fiction television series Fringe (2008–13). In my examination, I argue that fans’ expert understanding of Twitter’s affordances and the audience measurement market are crucial for a series to achieve renewal. In parallel, I suggest that the power negotiation between fans and networks can be substituted by a direct cooperation that indirectly might benefit both creators’ labor for the show and advertisers’ investments. However, despite this scenario where fans enjoy a better position to influence networks’ decisions, their labor on social media may be yet another device for self-commodification and exploitation.


fan activism, social media, fan labor, television, Twitter

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