Online Italian fandoms of American TV shows


  • Eleonora Benecchi Institute of Media and Journalism Università della Svizzera Italiana



Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Fringe (2008–13), Global, Local, Lost (2004–10), Show runner, Supernatural (2005–), Transnationalism


The Internet has changed media fandom in two main ways: it helps fans connect with each other despite physical distance, leading to the formation of international fan communities; and it helps fans connect with the creators of the TV show, deepening the relationship between TV producers and international fandoms. To assess whether Italian fan communities active online are indeed part of transnational online communities and whether the Internet has actually altered their relationship with the creators of the original text they are devoted to, qualitative analysis and narrative interviews of 26 Italian fans of American TV shows were conducted to explore the fan-producer relationship. Results indicated that the online Italian fans surveyed preferred to stay local, rather than using geography-leveling online tools. Further, the sampled Italian fans' relationships with the show runners were mediated or even absent.

Author Biography

Eleonora Benecchi, Institute of Media and Journalism Università della Svizzera Italiana

Eleonora Benecchi got MA cum laude in Communication Sciences at University of Bologna (Italy). In 2004 she published "Anime, cartoni con l´anima" an in depth analysis of Japanese Animation programming and reception in Italy. From 2004 up to 2007 she was teaching assistant for the course of television and radio communication at the University of Bologna where she was also tutor of Labs activities for the MA "Compass". During these years she was involved in different research project both with University of Bologna and other public and private subjects such as: “Gender representation in the Italian television” (University of Bologna and Ancorpari National Association, 2003); “Social Scheduling of Italian Television” (Studio Vivaldi Comunicazione and Segretariato Sociale RAI, 2003-2005). She then enrolled as a PhD student at the Università della Svizzera italiana, and started a research on the phenomenon of Internet fandom in a socio-economic perspective, under the supervision of prof. Giuseppe Richeri. She also worked as research assistant for “Analysis of Radio and Tv scheduling and contents in Swizerland” (UFCOM, IMeG and University of Fribourg, 2007-2010) and for the research project “Mass Media and Religion” (IMeG, 2008). Since the start of her PhD, she published scientific articles and book chapters in the field of Internet fandom. She has completed her PhD and works at the Institute of Media and Journalism (IMEG) of Lugano as a fellow researcher.