HomeNewsTV in the hands of the fans: Inside the #Save Campaigns of 2018

TV in the hands of the fans: Inside the #Save Campaigns of 2018

TV in the hands of the fans: Inside the #Save Campaigns of 2018

Fan campaigns aren’t anything new to the TV landscape. We all gleefully remember the successful crowdfunding efforts achieved by Veronica Mars fans to make a film after the popular teen show was cancelled ahead of its rightful time. But 2018 has officially become the landmark year fans found their voice to get cancelled shows saved.

In the past many shows were saved thanks to the efforts of fans who rallied against cancellation. Roswell ended up running for two more seasons after fans bombarded The WB with 6,000 bottles of Tabasco sauce (preferred condiment of the sexy young aliens of the show) in protest of the show’s cancellation in the early aughts.

Meanwhile, Friday Night Lights fans lobbied for the beloved teen football drama to be renewed for a third season in 2008 by sending light bulbs (for the show’s title) and eye drops (for the show’s motto “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”) to the network. It did the job – NBC struck up a deal with DirecTV and kept the show on our screens for another five seasons.

These fans aren’t waiting for networks to realize the error of their ways and stride in like a shining knight to save them. In 2018 the efforts of these fans are getting louder and more organized, and demands to save their shows are being heard loud & clear by audiences and networks alike.

Here are all the shows fans have fought for this year, along with a glimpse inside their respective campaigns.

 

The Expanse

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

#savetheexpanse & http://savetheexpanse.org

Efforts to save the show

Fans put together a campaign video urging for the show to be saved, and a petition that suggested Netflix or Amazon save the show managed to accumulate over 138,000 signatures. Fans also raised money to hire a #SaveTheExpanse banner around Amazon HQ.

Why it should be saved

Fans are crazy about this cleverly written, visually attractive show boasting some of the best worldbuilding on TV. As the title suggests, The Expanse is expansive in the characters and world it explores, leaving plenty of opportunities for new and exciting plotline depths to be plumbed.

What the network says

President of Entertainment Networks for NBC Universal Cable Entertainment shared that the decision to cancel the show after “three brilliant seasons” wasn’t simple. “Everyone at SyFy is a massive fan of the series, and this was an incredibly difficult decision. We want to sincerely thank The Expanse’s amazing cast, crew and all the dedicated creatives who helped bring James S.A. Corey’s story to life. And to the series’ loyal fans, we thank you most of all.”

What the fans say

Celebrity fan of The Expanse Patton Oswalt reflected the overall vibe of fans when he tweeted a letter of support for the show. The actor and comedian reached out to Amazon specifically, imploring: “You guys do some serious, quality shows and this is some of the smartest science fiction to appear in a long time.”

How’s it looking?

The fan campaign paid off. In May, The Expanse became an Amazon Originals property with Amazon CEO (and self-proclaimed fan of the show) Jeff Bezos announcing the decision at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles.

I was talking to the cast half an hour ago, before the break for dinner started . . . . I was telling them that we are working hard at Amazon to save The Expanse but it wasn’t a done deal yet. During dinner, 10 minutes ago, I just got word that The Expanse is saved.”

 

Timeless

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

#SaveTimeless & https://www.savetimeless.com/

Efforts to save the show

Originally fans had planned to to procure a billboard in LA, but they decided to go much bigger in their bid to save the show. On July 3, the #SaveTimeless fan campaign rerouted their energy into a fundraising effort to fly two helicopters (affectionately dubbed “heliCLOCKters” by fans who call themselves Clockwatchers) over San Diego Comic Con with a message urging support for the show.

The campaign raised $23,000 in under a week and the #SaveTimeless campaign took to the skies above the SDCC. Other current initiatives include a petition (currently featuring 10,000 signatures and aiming for 100,000), a paper clip campaign (for which fans send the clips to various SVOD services in a bid to sway them to save the show) and a similar postcard campaign to target networks of interest.

Why it should be saved

Not only is Timeless one of the most entertaining shows on television, featuring a captivating and diverse ensemble of characters and a talented cast, it’s also one of the most unique in terms of plot. Steeped in historical intrigue while appealing to a niche sci-fi audience, Timeless remains a family-friendly time-travel show as fun as it is educational. It’s unlike any other show currently on TV, a critical addition to today’s programming.

What the network says

NBC has yet to comment on the cancellation of the show, but it’s worth remembering they did reverse their initial cancellation of S2 of Timeless after the enormous fan outcry.

What the fans say

“One of the most important things about Timeless is that it is an educational show. There are countless testimonies from fans discussing how Timeless has inspired them or otherwise helped them with various projects and papers, as well as reports of teachers utilizing the show’s various episodes as a part of lesson plans . . . .”

How’s it looking?

The future of Timeless is currently undecided, but fans are pushing for that third season – or at the very least a movie to tie up all the loose ends (and that jaw-dropping cliffhanger of the S2 finale).

 

Lucifer

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

#RenewLucifer and #SaveLucifer

Efforts to save the show

Fans got #SaveLucifer trending on Twitter worldwide and efforts to promote the show meant the Lucifer S3 finale overtook a Game of Thrones episode as the most highly ranked TV show episode on IMDb. A petition to save the show managed to rack up almost 33,000 further signatures.

Why it should be saved

Put simply, Lucifer is a show like no other. It’s dark and dramatic, but also absurd and wickedly witty. It’s part police procedural and part comedic fantasy. Once you start watching Lucifer, it’s impossible not to be drawn into the singular devilish charisma of the show.

What the network says

Fox chairman Gary Newman told Deadline the decision to cancel was “ratings-based”, adding, “We felt like performance-wise, we needed to make that change.”

What the fans say

I’d sell my soul to the literal Devil to save Lucifer.”

How’s it looking?

The collective efforts of the Lucifam meant the show was eventually picked up by Netflix. The Vice President of Original Series revealed the decision was made because it’s “a fantastic show that has really resonated with audiences in parts of the world where we licensed it, so we felt it was important to help that show continue for those fans.”

There’s just one catch: The new season of Lucifer will be comprised of ten episodes rather than 22 – but it’s a small price to pay.

 

Brookyln 99

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

#Brooklyn99 & #RenewBrooklyn99

Efforts to save the show

One single devastated evening of fan outrage over Fox cancelling the popular comedy was all it took for NBC to sweep in and save the day, picking up the show just a day later. 1.4 million tweets stormed the social media site in support of saving the show in the 36 hours between its cancellation and pickup.

Why it should be saved

The comedy is perhaps one of the most beloved currently on television, boasting a diverse cast bringing unique representations of women, LGBTQI characters, and characters of color. Brooklyn Nine-Nine offers a shining and cathartic thirty minutes of heartwarming hilarity every episode.

What the network says

Fox chairman and CEO Dana Walden gave a piss-poor excuse as to why the network decided to ditch the show. “Ultimately we felt like we didn’t have the exact right place to schedule it this year. It performed best in our Sunday night lineup. We wanted to give Bob’s Burgers an opportunity to have a plum time period and really grow. It really limited the opportunities to schedule Brooklyn.”

Meanwhile, upon picking up the show NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt made this adorable statement: “Ever since we sold this show to Fox I’ve regretted letting it get away, and it’s high time it came back to its rightful home.”

What the fans say

Everyone from Mark Hamill to Seth Meyers shared their genuine upset on Twitter that their fave show had been axed. Hamilton creator Lin Manuel-Miranda was such a celebrity fan who shouted into the Twitter fire: “RENEW BROOKLYN NINE NINE. I ONLY WATCH LIKE 4 THINGS. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS.” Everyone agreed.

How’s it looking?

The Nine-Nine is safe for another season – we can’t imagine NBC would be dumb enough to dare cancelling it for a while yet given its palpable popularity.

 

Everything Sucks

Rotten Tomatoes: 71% (91% audience)

#RenewEverythingSucks

Efforts to save the show

So far over 23,000 people have signed a petition to save the 90s-set teen comedy. Fans have also been bombarding Netflix with letters encouraging the SVOD behemoth to save the show.

Why it should be saved

The show has an admittedly slow start, but once it gets going it’s apparent Everything Sucks is more than just a quirky love letter to a bygone trendy era. The show deals with complex coming-of-age topics exceptionally well while showcasing authentic LGBTQI storylines rarely seen in young adult programming.

What the network says

Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland expressed that Everything Sucksdidn’t have a broader audience” and failed in terms of streaming figures. Reportedly, people turned the show off in the middle of the show’s short first episode (just 23 minutes long), while many others who persevered didn’t stick around that much longer.

What the fans say

Everything Sucks portrays an authentic young lgbtq+ storyline. It not only beautifully touches on coming to terms with sexuality, but growing up, supporting your peers, identity, and more. This is the show our generation needs.”

How’s it looking?

While it currently seems unlikely Netflix will renege on their decision to cancel the show, there is still some hope it could be given a platform elsewhere. Crowdfunded streaming platform Seed & Spark registered an interest in help to save the show back in April, but there’s been no more news of further developments.

 

Shadowhunters

RT: 66% (audience 82%)

#SaveShadowhunters

Efforts to save the show

The Shadowhunters fandom has fought the cancellation of their show to the last. Accumulating over 149,000 signatures on a petition to save the show thus far, they’ve also managed to raise funds for a billboard campaign in Times Square, subway posters in Seoul, raised money for charity, and hired campaign-boosting pedicabs at SDCC. Kind of a big deal, ladies and gentlemen.

Why it should be saved

The overwhelmingly passionate fan base should be enough to convince anyone this is a show more than deserving of saving. But to deeply understand how important this show is to fans, one needs must put in the time to dig deep into their world.

Shadowhunters is more than just an entertaining thrill of a supernatural show to these teens (though it definitely is that); it’s is brimming with LGBTQI representation and strong female characters. It also gives fans a sense of community and chosen family that deserves the opportunity to be continued.

What the network says

Freeform’s EVP of Programming and Development stated that despite being “very happy creatively” with the show, they simply “couldn’t make the economics work” after Netflix put an end to their deal with co-production partner Constantin Film.

What the fans say

“For many of us, Shadowhunters has been what kept us going in whatever battle we were fighting. Let’s take that inspiration and put it into the battle we are fighting now.”

How’s it looking?

Currently no signs of a network or SVOD service picking up the show have arisen. It seems ludicrous not to serve such a large and passionate fan base by saving Shadowhunters. Somebody has to come through and save this one.

 

Colony

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

#savecolony & #renewcolony & https://savecolony.org/

Efforts to save the show

Fans have organized tweetstorms and sent letters to TV executives of various networks urging them to consider saving the dystopian series. A petition to save the show has just started and currently has over 5,000 signatures.

Why it should be saved

Colony benefits from being enjoyed as a long-form sci-fi story. That means (to fans, at least) the past three seasons of the show have provided a setup for a meaty fourth season (and many more) that fans are desperate to see.

Aside from that, Colony also features a timely narrative drawing on many sociopolitical issues sadly all too relatable right now. Additionally a plethora of complex characters highlight the best and worst qualities about humanity, providing compelling character arcs and insights into the nature of good & evil.

What the network says

USA very sneakily cancelled the show and has given no comment on it yet – as shady as it is sneaky.

What the fans say

“After three great seasons, Colony has set a starting point in the storyline from where any network could benefit. Three seasons that set a story, a world, excellent characters, a great developed plot. That was seedtime, now comes the harvest. It’s insane to leave it like that . . .”

How’s it looking

No news yet, but it’d be sad to leave the show hanging with so many juicy but incomplete plotlines. As one fan suggested to us on Twitter, You can’t end a show with humanity in the balance – come on, really!!!”

 

Sense 8

Rotten Tomatoes: 84% (audience 92%)

https://renewsense8.com/

Efforts to save the show

Fans of the show sent over 800 emails to Netflix pleading them to reconsider their decision to cancel the Wachowski sisters’ sci-fi series. They also arranged an Amazon email party in which fans sent emails to the SVOD service and suggested Netflix’s loss could be their gain.

Why it should be saved

The show left a lot of loose ends at the end of its second season and fans deserved some closure. But also – as many fans pointed out on Twitter – Sense8 is one of “the gayest” shows on television and to take it away is devastating for LGBTQI audiences who may be looking for more representation on screen.

What the network says

Netflix Original Series VP Holland revealed the decision to scrap Sense8 was purely business, suggesting the show didn’t attract enough viewers to support the high production cost. “At some point if you don’t have the viewership showing up to justify the expense of the series, you’re going to want to end it.”

What the fans say

SENSE8 HAD: diversity, lgbtq representation, cinematography, good plot, amazing acting. AND YALL CANCELLED IT??????”

How’s it looking?

Netflix acknowledged the fan outcry and the campaign to renew the series and gave fans a two-hour farewell special in June.

 

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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer who occasionally moonlights as a hapless punk musician. She’s written about pop culture for websites like Bustle, i-D, and The Mary Sue, and is the co-creator of Clarissa Explains F*ck All. She likes watching horror movies with her cat and eating too much sugar.

amy@filmdaily.co