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A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, Mike takes a look at some of your favorite fandoms!

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Ladies and gentlemen, hello I'm Mike, this is Mental Floss on YouTube.

1. And did you know that in 1969 15 Star Trek fans called into a local Canadian television station to complain that their favorite show was being interrupted by another program? The broadcast that they were angry about was that of the Apollo 11. They didn't want their sci-fi show interrupted by the real first people ever landing on the moon.

And that is the first of many facts about fandoms that I'm gonna share with you today and I'm sorry if we don't get to your fandom, don't hate me, just leave it below in the comments and we'll put it in next time.


2. Fandoms may seem like a new phenomenon but they're older than you might think, like in 1813 Jane Austen's niece Fanny Knight wrote her a letter but addressed it to Georgina Darcy. Austen's response "I cannot pretend to answer it. Even had I more time, I should not feel at all sure of the sort of Letter that Miss D. would write." Clearly she'd never make it in the fanfiction world.

3. And Austen fans are still going strong. In 2014 550 of them set the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costume.

4. Another very old fandom, Sherlock. Nowadays Sherlockians can be found all over the internet but they weren't the first fans of the detective. In fact in 1891 Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to his mother that he was considering killing off the character. She responded "You won't! You can't! You mustn't!" Thanks Misses Doyle.

5. We don't need letter-writing campaigns anymore though we have Twitter. The writers of Covert Affairs on USA admitted to writing scenes in the second season finale based on the many questions they received about whether a blind character could get surgery to get his eyesight back.

6. Teen Wolf has also embraced its online fans. It's used music created by viewers in promos for the show plus fanart gets displayed during commercial breaks. Now if we could only get Tyler Posey to read my fanfics on camera.

7. It's actually Pretty Little Liars that wins for most tweeted show ever. These fans even get credit for the relationship between Aria and her teacher. They pressured show runners via Twitter into keeping that plot line which was established in the books.

8. PLL might be breaking records but it's not the first show to listen to its online fans. In the nineties Xena fans took to message boards to discuss whether Xena and her friend Gabrielle might have a developing romance. The producers actually listened to the feedback and started playing up the sexual innuendos in the show.

9. In 2014 Lord of the Rings fans did something unexpected. They wrote a petition to Peter Jackson asking him to change the plot of The Hobbit for the movie adaptation. Specifically they wanted the character Thorin to have more time time to shine than he did in the book.

10. According to Josh Schwartz who created Chuck, the show was on the brink a cancellation but fans saved it by buying Subway sandwiches. Subway was a major sponsor of the show so fans got NBC's attention by buying quote tens of thousands of foot-long turkeys. The shows star Zachary Levi even joined in accompanying a group of fans to a store. If that is not a beautiful illustration of modern life, tens of thousands of feet of a sandwich save a TV show from cancellation, I don't know what is.

11. Actually the Chuck fandom isn't the only one that gets to brag about saving their show. In 2007 Jericho fans sent 40,000 pounds of nuts to CBS to encourage them to keep the show on air. On Jericho the main character responded "nuts," when asked to surrender. So the fans mailed them in until CBS renewed the show. I bet they wished he said pizza.

12. In 2001 Roswell fans did the same thing with their favorite characters food of choice, Tabasco sauce. They sent around 6,000 bottles to the WB.

13. Although in addition to inundating them with food items it never hurts to prove to execs that shows can actually make money. Good DVD sales paired with cult followings brought back shows like Family Guy, Arrested Development, Firefly and Futurama.

14. And speaking of revived TV shows when a Veronica Mars movie appeared on Kickstarter in 2013, fans quickly started raising money. In fact the project became one of the highest-grossing Kickstarters ever with 5.7 million dollars.

15. Doctor Who fans managed to keep the show alive between 1989 when it was cancelled and 2005 when it got rebooted. The BBC gave the fandom a lot of control even letting them publish novels about the series and create CDs about it featuring voice-over work by the original cast. In early 2014 a fan even found some lost tapes of early episodes of Doctor Who in Nigeria. If you want learn more about that there is a link in the description.

16. Despite getting only around three million viewers per episode Supernatural manages to stay on the air thanks to its active fandom. It's the second most written about TV show on One of those avid Supernatural fan fiction writers is none other than the novelist S.E. Hinton who wrote The Outsiders. As he hinted if you're watching this crossover fic please.

17. And speaking of fanfiction I want to take this moment to remind you that Fifty Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fan fiction called Masters of the Universe. Its since sold over a hundred million copies. Author E.L. James's publisher has claimed that the fan fiction and subsequent novel are quote two distinctly separate pieces of work. But according to the website Dear Author the online plagiarism checker Turn It In found an eighty-nine percent similarity between Fifty Shades of Grey and Masters of the Universe.

18. Harry Potter fans have turned Quidditch into a real sport. It's currently played on over 1,000 college campuses and three continents.

19. One of the biggest groups of Star Wars fans is a nonprofit organization known as the 501st Legion. The group has a deal with George Lucas that they can use his character's likeness as long as they don't get money for it. So they do a lot of fund raising and they dress up in costume for charity events. The group became so popular that their name has been included in actual Star Wars books, toys and video games.

20. The readers of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire pay very close attention to the expansive fantasy world he creates. He once told The New Yorker quote "People are analyzing every goddamn line in these books, and if I make a mistake they're gonna nail me on it." It sounds a little paranoid but he's not. Fans have called him out on changing the sex of a horse between books, from a mare to a stallion, and they've also given him grief for accidentally changing the eye color of a minor character from green to blue. Man, I guess books really do belong to their readers. I miss John.

Bonus fun fact, fans that were fed up with George R.R. Martin taking so long between books have dubbed themselves Grrumblers.

21. And finally I return to the salon to tell you that in 2009 NASA let people vote on a name for an international space station module via an online poll. Stephen Colbert asked his fans to vote for the name Colbert which they did and it won by over forty thousand votes. NASA ended up naming the module Tranquility but they did name the station treadmill after Colbert, it is the combined operational load bearing external resistance treadmill.

Thanks so much for watching Mental Floss on YouTube which is made with the help of all these very nice people. My name is Mike Rugnetta. If you like my face you can find more of it on YouTube at PBS Idea Channel and if you like my voice you can find it on my podcast Reasonably Sound. Links to both of those things in the dooblydoo. And hey DFTBA.