The Power of Fandom: Indian TV Producers Cancel Show To Avoid Pissing Off Show’s Own Fanbase

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Fandom, when it gets organized, can do some pretty crazy things. From charity drives, to write in campaigns, to art exhibitions. Fandom’s gotten stuff made, saved lives, brightened days, and even made significant changes to their source by showing enough support to show a network that they shouldn’t cancel a show. But well organized fandoms can sometimes be unpredictable, frightening entities to the companies that control their object of passion. Take Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? or What Can I Call This Love?, an Indian soap opera starring Barun Sobti and Sanaya Irani.

Well, I say “starring,” but the show was cancelled last week because its production company decided that would be less dangerous than making a crucial decision that could annoy the fans.

It all started when Barun Sobti, the show’s leading man, decided to leave the production. From The Daily Dot:

Poonam Saxena, writing for The Hindustan Times, speculated that “neither the channel nor the production house had the guts to replace him,” and noted that IPKKND was one of the few Indian series to gain a widespread global fan following. IPKKND is a romance, with many fans tuning in for the epic love of main characters Arnav and Khushi—known as ArShi, in fansmush. Ultimately, the TV show decided it just wouldn’t do to replace the leading man mid-series. The Star Plus network ran a strange message during the broadcast of its final episode, essentially blaming Sobti for leaving and apologizing for the abrupt cancellation.

As Saxena says in her piece: actors leave soap operas all the time, and are killed off, coma’ed or otherwise written out of the show. Why did the entire show fall rather than retool the series’ main pairing of Arnav and Khushi? It appears that the ArShi fandom was too formidable for IPKKND’s producers. As far as The Daily Dot can tell, fans are taking the cancellation… well, better than the possible alternatives. Hopes are high for the future careers of Sobti and Irani, and other fans are pulling together in an organized rewatch of the series.

I’m finding it hard to imagine something like this happening in American fandom, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

(via The Daily Dot.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.