TV Programs about Fans & Fan Culture

The following is Fan-Culture.org’s list of television shows/episodes to check out that are specifically about fans within pop culture and their lives (movie list is HERE), whether touching on this subject in a large or small scale. Link to the list will be posted in an update anytime something new is added. The list may include mild spoilers and because so many different TV shows/programs/interviews have talked about fanaticism or had fan stories, this will be a general list. The list comprises of scripted shows or reality programming – more listed after page break: 

  • Hannah Montana, scripted, series – a teenager balances real life and the life of a pop star, encountering many of her fans along the way who have no idea she’s living a double life.
  • True Life, reality, multiple episodes – “I’m a Fanatic” (2003), “I’m a Fanboy” (2009), “I’m Addicted to Video Games” (2010), “This is Me Now” (2007), “I’m a Sports Fanatic” (2009), “Respect for my Sect” (2014)
  • Rock the House, reality, series – Celebrities surprise one of their fans by making over a room in their house within less than a day. They also surprise them by meeting them at the end of the episode. Example: AJ of Backstreet Boys made over fan Ana’s living room.
  • MTV’s Becoming, reality, series – Big fans of certain musicians or music groups are brought to Los Angeles, given a makeover to look like their favorite singer(s) and they then replicate a music video from said group. The artists usually recorded messages for the fans to be played on a TV set before they went to film the video.
  • Syfy’s Ghost Hunter’s Academy, reality, series – Fans of the Syfy hit show Ghost Hunters had their chance to step it up and possibly become part of the paranormal team.  Ghost Hunters also had the 100th episode celebration filmed and aired live in March 2010 with Syfy’s first ever live studio audience filled with fans.
  • PanAm, scripted – character Maggie is a huge fan and supporter of John F Kennedy, while the plot also puts this PanAm flight crew in London at the same time as the Beatles, plus another character talks about being a fan of, then being photographed by Andy Warhol
  • The Amanda Show, scripted – recurring character Penelope wants to meet Amanda Bynes. “Amanda? Amanda, please!”
  • Saturday Night Live, scripted – countless episodes have touched on fanaticism. On one, Britney Spears befriends a homeless fan who wants her to sign his phonebook, while in another skit/episode, Joshua Jackson was the Local President of NSYNC’s fan club and wrote fan fiction about them (my memories of this one are fuzzy and there aren’t any detailed descriptions of that skit online, but that’s what I remember). Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake appeared on a Season Finale where they played the game show “What’s That Name?” where Justin couldn’t remember a fan’s name that he slept with a few weeks ago, yet Gaga remembered one her fans from one encounter. “Alphonse!”, anyone?
  • American Dad“My Morning Straight Jacket” episode, scripted cartoon – Stan forbids his liberal daughter to go to rock concerts, and when he tries to pull her out of one, he becomes infatuated with the band and lead singer of My Morning Jacket.
  • The Simpsons, scripted series – Many episodes focus on the fan and celebrity fascination. Example: on May 20th 2012, pop star Lady Gaga visits Lisa Simpson to help lift her self esteem, and those of her fellow citizens in the town of Springfield, in “Lisa Goes Gaga”.
  • Family Guy, “Road to Europe” episode, scripted cartoon – Peter and Lois attend KISS-fest, a festival for the iconic shock-rock band, and many hilarious fan-themed events pursue. Also, Stewie is steadfast on making it to England so he can live with the residents of Jolly Farm Revue, even though he doesn’t realize it’s just a TV show.
  • Big Bang Theory, scripted – constantly mentions what Leonard, Sheldon and their friends are fans of, typically comic-related culture.
  • King of the Nerds, reality – a house full of very intelligent kids prove their expertise in pop culture, video game and comic-related culture, as well as science and other skills, to see who reigns supreme
  • Gene Simmons Family Jewels, reality – Gene and his family often come in contact with KISS fans. Most memorable is Season One, episode title “Fan…tastic”.
  • Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, reality – Guy Fieri often includes Super Fans of the show in his segments on highlighted restaurants
  • Ghost Adventures, reality – Zak, Nick and Aaron often include fans on screen, whether it’s filming with large groups of them before lock downs, or when they held their Video Mash Up Contest, bringing Dakota Laden and his dad on to join in the investigation
  • Kell On Earth, reality – a show highlighting fashion PR company People’s Revolution often has moments where the subjects gush about favorite designers or photographers, but assistant Andrew’s vocal love for designer Rick Owens comes up multiple times.
  • Lindsay, reality – an Oprah original show, the docu-series follows troubled actress Lindsay Lohan as she tries to regain her career after yet another trip to rehab. Interviews with regular folks, as well as genuine fans, are featured in between clips of her daily life.
  • Criminal Minds, scripted – particularly Episode 7 of Season 5 focuses on a singer who fashions himself as a gothic vampire has a failing career, so right before his album comes out, there are mysterious deaths happening at the same time. Ironically, the deceased who are found to be fans of the star, are drained of blood and have what look like two bite marks in the neck.
  • My Big Fat Geek Wedding, reality – this Syfy series focuses on the bridge and groom who have pop culture themed weddings stemming from interests that brought them together in the first place.
  • Total Divas, reality – this show focuses on the female wrestlers in the WWE and their fans are often featured or come up in conversation. There are also many B Roll scenes where they show arenas being set up, but fans filling up arenas, buying merchandise, or even waiting outside of events in the back entrances trying to get autographs.
  • Comic Book Men, reality – the dudes who run the Secret Stash comic shop are featured, being fans of pop culture themselves, the fans who come into the store to buy or sell items, and the fans of the actual dudes themselves all appear on the show.
  • The Talking Dead, talk show – a special series that airs after new “The Walking Dead” episodes play on AMC. Often featuring cast members of the show, or famous fans of it, the inclusion of fans is imperative. Tweets are read on air, fan calls are taken and fans in the audience during taping come up to the microphone to ask questions.
  • My Crazy Obsession, reality – this show focuses on people with unusual collections or devotions to odd things. Such stories include a man who recreated the inside of a PanAm plane in his basement with original collectable pieces, a family that “adopted” a house full of Cabbage Patch Kids & a lady so obsessed with carrots, she eats more than three times the amount that Americans on average consume per year, has carrot tattoos and eats with carrot themed utensils.
  • Parks and Recreation, scripted – aside from an entire episode being about one citizen’s crazy effort to get the book “Twilight” buried in the town of Pawnee’s time capsule, the show often touches on pop culture and fan culture in a comical way.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, scripted cartoon – the pony characters of this show often become fanatics about other ponies for one reason or another (mostly Rarity), and the show has many obscure pop culture references blended into the plot.
  • Full House, scripted – This show from the 1980’s and 1990’s often had real life pop stars or fictional pop stars in the plot when the little girls of the show found themselves enamored with them. In two big instances, one of the girls gets in trouble for skipping school to go to an autograph signing and several of the girls get in trouble when Uncle Joey lets the girls stay up late to watch Tiffany, who is famous for “I Think We’re Alone Now,” do a concert from Asia on TV.
  • Bob’s Burgers, scripted cartoon – Bob’s girls get mixed up in some very spoofy moments of modern pop culture. Louise and Tina go to a boyband concert where they predictably get into some good trouble, and there is a hilarious episode that pokes fun at the Brony fandom about The Equesticles.
  • Scream Queens, scripted – One of the main characters of the first episode of this campy horror show is a deaf fan of Taylor Swift. In a nutshell, the show is ridiculous and not for the butthurt or the faint of heart.
  • WWE Culture Shock, reality – Corey Graves explores different subcultures for this fun side-show set of videos for the WWE Network and often includes fandoms.
  • Holliston, scripted – This somewhat autobiographical show with ridiculous plots of Adam Green’s path to making horror films has many examples of fanaticism. Since the main protagonists are big horror films and are seeking to make their own horror films, they often come across their horror genre idols in the process. Plus, Dee Snider plays a cable station manager in a cover band, severly poking fun at himself.
  • King of the Hill, scripted cartoon – From Hank Hill’s obsession with Willie Nelson (who voiced himself in one of the earlier episodes), to “Peggy’s Fan Fest” with many country music star cameos, and even Hank Hill winning a contest to go to the Super Bowl, there are many instances of pop culture fanaticism in this amazing cartoon.
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About Amanda Rosenblatt

I have always been obsessed with fan stories, the origin of fanaticism and pop culture in general.
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