Fi Çi Pi Series: the story of a big failure
One of the leading Turkish Internet platforms Puhu TV, following the example of international companies such as Netflix, decided to start producing its own TV series in 2017, starting with the adaptation of the popular novel Fi Çi Pi. Ay Yapim, which is part of the same holding as PuHu TV, took over the project.
On March 31, the first three episodes of Fi Çi Pi were released, featuring Serenay Sarikaya, Mehmet Günsür, and Ozan Güven. At first, the audience was delighted: they received a good picture, high-quality music, and explicit sex scenes, as they expected for the Internet. The leading actress Serenay Sarikaya was quite bold in the series that attracted a youth audience.
The first three episodes received a good response in social networks: 17,800 messages were left. An impressive announcement of the Fi Çi Pi results on the Puhu TV Internet platform followed: for the first ten days, the first three episodes scored a total of 10 million views, that is 3.3 million views per episode.
Note that Puhu TV is a free platform that can be watched without subscribing to the service. Therefore, the platform cannot determine the exact number of viewers of the entire series (every time a significant part of viewers access the Internet, the IP address changes and it looks like another person in the eyes of the algorithm), so each episode is counted separately, as it was viewed from the same IP in one session. Thus, the total number of views should be divided by the number of published episodes.
Inspired by the premiere success, Ay Yapim TV company brought the leading actors to the Cannes Film Market MIPTV2017. They were to sell the series to foreign buyers. However, here the company was overtaken by the first disappointment: foreign buyers did not appreciate the series, even considering that it was sold in a package with other hits of the company. Despite the fact that Fi Çi Pi was positioned as a “European” product, it did not impress the western buyer, which is understandable. From the Turkish TV series, originality and uniqueness are expected, and not a repetition of what has already been shown much more effectively in Western TV shows.
The audience in Turkey quickly became disillusioned with the proposed product. The story seemed rather tedious to them, the leading lady Serenay Sarikaya did not look convincing as a ballerina. An attempt to strengthen the cast of the talented actresses Nur Fettahoğlu and Yasemin Kay Allen was unsuccessful. The viewer is gone. The announcement of the results of the broadcast of the 15 episodes of the series sounded not so convincing: 17 million viewers and 100 million views. That is, each episode had 1.13 million viewers, that is equivalent to a television rating of 1.40%. The views meant the repetition of some scenes of the series, usually erotic content. Thus, the number of viewers in each episode has decreased by more than 3 times.
On December 23, 2017, the author of the trilogy, on the basis of which the series was created, Azra Kohen officially announced that the platform management decided not to renew the show for the third season. Recall that originally they intended to release a season for each part of the book. However, the apparent loss of interest in the series made the management of Puhu TV abandon these plans. The series was completed on the 22nd episode.
In March 2019, the platform’s management announced the results of the broadcast: a year after the end of the streaming, the 22 episodes reached 200 million views with 22 million viewers. That is, each episode was viewed by 1 million viewers, which is 3.3 times less than the first three episodes. And this despite the fact that Puhu TV decided to open the series for the whole world (previously it could only be watched in Turkey). For comparison, only on Youtube the series Our Story / Bizim Hikaye has 1 billion 335 million views, the average number of viewers on each episode on television is 5 million 250 thousand, the most popular episode on YouTube have 18 million views.
The number of Fi Çi Pi subscribers on the Puhu TV platform is currently 655 thousand, which is almost two times less than the viewers of the series. For comparison, 1.9 million subscribers follow the Youtube channel of the Hazal Kaya and Burak Deniz series Our Story / Bizim Hikaye.
Immediately after the series finale, the Puhu TV management sold the rights to broadcast Fi Çi Pi on Show TV, that launched it on the air on Thursday. Thus, the Serenay Sarikaya series turned out to be in direct competition with the Hazal Kaya series. However, the rivalry lasted not long. While Our Story / Bizim Hikaye demonstrated the excellent performance of 7.42% and 6.65%, Fi Çi Pi was at the bottom of the ratings, dropping below the 1% mark. After three episodes, the channel took off Fi Çi Pi from the air and launched it again in the summer. However, the second attempt led to disaster, the series was taken off the air for the second time on the 8th episode.
The fate of the series outside of Turkey was also unsuccessful. It was shown in the Baltic countries, in South Korea and on the Internet TV channel in Chile. However, it made no sensation anywhere.
The failure of Fi Çi Pi, as well as the subsequent failure of the series The Personality, which received excellent critics, but did not attract an audience, had a serious impact on the content policy of the Puhu TV platform. While the management of the platform does not want to engage in the production of its own series, preferring to purchase finished television products. By the way, his rival Blu TV continues to produce TV shows and sells them to Netflix, which praised the quality of the products on offer.
The leading woman in the TV series Serenay Sarikaya has not yet been able to find a suitable project on television, preferring the safer option: she works in a musical. However, the actress has no hits for four years, in order to the audience would remember her. The only solo hit in her career is the Tide / Medcezir series, the success of which was the work of the established team. Curiously, many of the actors who starred in Tide / Medcezir, including the lead star Çağatay Ulusoy and co-star Hazar Ergüçlü now are working in the new Netflix Internet series, Serenay’s colleague for Fi Çi Pi Mehmet Günsür also works on Netflix along with Beren Saat. However, so far Serenay has not received such an offer yet.