#SaveOurShows: Join our armchair activist movement
Last year was especially brutal for television fans and bingewatchers. Seemingly safe in the knowledge that our favorite shows have secure second homes on streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, cancellation season was just as harsh as ever, with many examples of stellar TV receiving cuts from networks.
We’re standing with these shows this year in hopes of saving what deserves a second chance. The majority of these series have enjoyed viewing figures far beyond their initial Nielsen ratings, an outdated method of record-keeping that is totally archaic when considering the vast swathes of fans watching on catch-up services or binging entire seasons in extended weekends of Netflix-gazing.
Film Daily strongly believes network execs should make 2019 the year they finally straighten up and take notice of factors beyond the archaic viewership measures. Merchandise, live events, and conventions are proving over and over many series that have been unceremoniously sliced from the airways have fandoms in the multitudes whose dedication is not being considered when iconic series are slashed from schedules.
Just because an episode gets a viewing figure below that of a series premiere or finale, that doesn’t mean the viewership has fallen considerably. Networks now have a responsibility to establish a dialogue with streaming platforms to consolidate more accurate figures and finally find out for themselves which are the best performers.
What’s still being faithfully watched on catch-up a few days later? Which series are being binged in one go? Whose lives are being saved by that one episode they keep watching over & over?
In 2019, we want you to stand with us and make this the year we finally say “no more”. We started working to raise awareness of the shows that need to be saved with our #SaveSaturdays campaign, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We’ve decided to up the ante and work every day to save our shows. Our conservative days are over – let’s join together and take activist measures to keep the stories we need on our screens.
Join us every day as we do our best to get the decision makers thinking and prove to them fanbases are more than an overnight average. Here are the shows we desperately need back on our screens. If Veronica Mars can do it, we have faith at least some of these can make their deserved return in due time.
If we’ve missed your show, drop us a message and tell us why you think it deserves to be saved.
Into the Badlands (AMC)
Into the Badlands is the genre-bending martial arts show of our dreams. In fact, it’s loosely based on the classic Chinese tale, Journey to the West. It tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a dangerous journey through land controlled by feudal barons in their quest for enlightenment.
When Into the Badlands was not renewed past S3, no one was surprised, but the fandom was vexxed. The cancellation was a classic case of a network burying a perfectly good show based on their lack of enthusiasm for continuing its tenure.
While we do agree ratings have been steadily in decline, we have to point out AMC itself is the likely culprit. Developed by the team behind Smallville, Into the Badlands premiered to strong ratings back in 2015.
The main difference between the first and subsequent seasons was AMC heavily marketed the first season and gave it a great air time sandwiched between The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead. AMC withdrew their love for seasons two and three, hoping the show would go out with a whimper rather than a bang.
As usual, AMC didn’t bother to consider the legions of fans who found the show via VOD, and fan communities are now quite rightly angry and in formation, ready to do whatever they need to in order to save their show. The final episode airs on May 6th, which means it’s high time we started the fight to #SaveIntoTheBadlands.
S3 of Into the Badlands finds Sunny living off the grid and doing his best to provide for his baby, Henry, following Veil’s death. When Henry contracts a mysterious illness, Sunny must join forces with Bajie and journey back Into the Badlands, where the Widow and Baron Chau are entrenched in a drawn-out war that has destabilized the entire region. A mysterious nomad called Pilgrim then arrives and old enemies must unite to defend the Badlands.
Gotham is the innovative Batman origin story show based on DC Comics characters and produced by Warner Bros. Television. The Batman origin narrative helped rapt viewers understand how our favorite heroes (Batman) and villains (The Joker, Penguin) came to be the way they are. It also cast a light on just how Gotham City became the wretched crime-filled cesspool we all know & love.
Gotham is well loved by fans and critics alike, but ownership issues between Fox (the distribution company) and Warner Bros. (the rights owners) mean show isn’t such a lucrative property for Fox. So rather than duking out their problems, Fox messed with the timeslot, sticking Gotham S4 into an eyeball graveyard. Surprise, surprise – the ratings plummeted.
Fox then typically avoided consulting any data relating to catchup or streaming figures and used our favorite draconian rankings system, Neilsen, to analyze viewing numbers for the show. They made the decision back in 2018 to can the beloved series just as things were starting to heat up storywise.
As you can imagine, all these politics have left fans angry and demanding the extra two seasons of story they were promised.
Join the #SaveGotham movement on Twitter.
We’ve been rallying behind the #Shadowfam for some time now, as Shadowhunters is one of the shows that, for our money, has received the most unjust cancellation in recent memory.
Luckily, we are seeing a conclusion of plot threads and loose ends this year, with a continuation of season 3 including a two-part grand finale – but there’s so much content to wrap up it’s going to be hard for Freeform to satisfy all of Shadowhunters’s hungry fans.
Not only that, but the series features one of the most compelling and fully-formed fantasy worlds on TV right now, as well as a diverse range of cool, fascinating, and inspiring characters. We say: enough’s enough. Just give us that fourth season it deserves, and let Shadowhunters’s millions of fans experience the Shadow Realm for a little longer.
Shadowhunters offers diverse storylines and depictions of LGBTQI and female characters with a complexity unrivaled by other shows on TV right now. The fantasy genre provides escapism for its viewers, but it’s also educational – Shadowhunters has striven to move forward with acceptance & inclusivity where others are falling behind. That’s why the fandom refuses to put down its battle weapons and give up in the face of adversity.
Timeless follows historian Lucy Preston and a team of unlikely cohorts tasked with capturing a group of thieves who plan to rewrite American history after stealing an experimental time machine. Featuring one of television’s most likable casts and the most riveting time-travel plots of the last few years, we’re determined to #SaveTimeless, even if it means stealing an experimental time machine of our own.
For those of you who just a little bit let down by this latest season of Doctor Who or at least frustrated by the now two-year gaps between seasons, Timeless was the ideal successor, a fun, kinetic, and mysterious time-travel yarn led by one of our new favorite women of sci-fi, Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer).
Thankfully, like Shadowhunters, it was at least granted a blowout series finale, but a measly 28 episodes just isn’t enough. For science-fiction fans, it now seems their favorite genre has been taken over by the “prestige” stamp of misery and pretense (we’re looking at you, Westworld), so it’s saddening to say goodbye to a show we actually looked forward to tuning in for each week.
This family drama set within a dystopian sci-fi world under a repressive extraterrestrial regime was one of the most thrilling we’ve seen. With tight action and a harrowing plot progression, sure, it made us feel down, but the character arcs and suspense quickly made Colony compulsory viewing.
Despite one of the strongest fan connections in TV and a tease of big things to come in Season 3, this season actually served as its last and it was quickly rushed to series finale last summer. We don’t think that’s nearly good enough and there’s so much more to explore with that world, so we’re coming out in full force to save Colony.
Creator and showrunner Bryan Fuller has been adamant in the past that a revival is completely possible, but he and the studio execs have been umming and ahhing about it for so long it’s looking like it won’t be coming together until at least 2021. We’re just gonna go ahead and say we’re willing to take to the streets if that’s the support needed to see what Fuller could do with Silence of the Lambs and beyond. Get it done.
A number of factors made Fuller’s stunningly sinister adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novels so utterly brilliant. Fuller achieved a refreshing take on a story that had been explored to perfection already; it’s never an easy task to transfer narratives from the big screen to the small. Unfortunately, many fall into the trap of using a franchise name as a cash grab.
Avoiding this mishap completely, Fuller took the story to incredible new heights, respecting the source material while developing a unique path of his own. And the show stuck to its integral position too: even when ratings weren’t great, Hannibal continued to pump out twisted scenes, drawing characters into its homicidal world.
We’re just gonna go ahead and say we’re willing to take to the streets if that’s the support needed to see what Fuller could do with Silence of the Lambs and beyond. The stunningly dark, impeccably executed procedural-turned-psychological-drama was sadly cancelled by NBC back in June 2015, having struggled for ratings throughout its three-season run.
Bringing back Hannibal at a time when audiences are consuming content without even looking at their plates seems like a no-brainer. It’s a smart, sexy, sinister, singular show, the story of which deserves to be continued.
Yes, everything does indeed suck without another season of this inventive take on adolescence hitting Netflix this year. Brutally cancelled after just one season, the series was still finding its legs during the first ten episodes, but the characters and premise were enough to keep it going for at least ten more, and it’s featured one of the best coming-out stories we’ve ever seen in the mainstream, just beating Love, Simon to the punch by a month.
But the show also provided nostalgia via its wicked 90s soundtrack. We’re particularly fond of the moment freshman Luke O’Neil (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) recreates Oasis’s music video for “Wonderwall” in a bid to ask out his love interest, Kate Messner (Peyton Kennedy). The soundtrack also includes such classics as “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran, and the catchy ska punk number from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get”.
We’re begging Netflix (or any other platform with an eye to pick up a popular, topical teen drama) to reconsider their decision and give Everything Sucks! another chance.
With standout performances from a cast including Peyton Kennedy (American Fable), Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Proud Mary), and Patch Darragh (The First Purge), the show had a lot more potential. Netflix would have been smart to nurture and pursue Everything Sucks! for another season.
Like a fever dream fuelled by battery acid, Sense8 was the kind of visual kick in the teeth you might see once in a decade before the Wachowski Sisters came along. Proving the filmmaking partnership’s still got it years later, the duo took what they’ve learned from their stunning sci-fi invention in projects like The Matrix and Cloud Atlas and stretched it into two stunning seasons of television.
Fans of Sense8 were devastated when Netflix axed the sci-fi drama last year after just two seasons, having embraced it so lovingly for its dogged dedication to diversity, representation, and unique storytelling.
At the time, V.P. of Netflix Originals Content Cindy Holland declared: “After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end. It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable.
“Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world.”
As has become the norm, Sense8 at least received an extended series finale to wrap things up, but we think the Wachowskis still have another genre-bending season in there somewhere.
Based on Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie’s comic book of the same name, Dark Matter was pulled from Syfy after just three seasons. The amnesiac science-fiction series was a chance for the creators to flex their expertise after their deal with Dark Horse ran its course in 2012, but we still haven’t seen a satisfying ending to this amnesiac thriller. Fans were left in the dark following the show’s cancellation, which left the third and final series’s shocking cliffhanger in limbo.
Strangely, Dark Matter’s initial figures weren’t even out of line with other shows on the network, averaging around 600,000 live viewers each week without any significant dips in later seasons – a rarity for any network program. Syfy would be wise to give us at least one more season to tie up some loose ends.
Yet another project from Syfy prematurely pulled from our screens. A Canadian series produced for the Space channel, Killjoy’s signing with Syfy felt like a dream come true, until it was announced the upcoming fifth season would be the show’s last.
With only forty episodes and another season of ten on the way, we don’t think Killjoys’s world and characters have been explored nearly enough, so we’re campaigning for it to stay on the air. Luckily, SyFy’s decision to cancel Killjoys was made before the airing of seasons four & five, so there’s no fear of the show ending in a mind-melting cliffhanger. Still, some unexplored concepts and unanswered questions remain that we’re not confident a ten-episode season will be able to satisfy.
Given its broad sci-fi premise, and the fact that it announced Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as a star to watch out for, we’re justifiably let down the show will only get fifty episodes to explore its characters and setting.
One of the most recent casualties is Scorpion, with fans going so far as to start a petition to have it saved from cancellation. CBS scratched the show mercilessly from their schedule right after season 4 wrapped its best yet, leaving dangling plot threads, unanswered questions, and huge cliffhangers drifting in the ether.
13-year-old Riley B. Smith, who portrayed child prodigy Ralph Dineen, has been behind the fans all the way, rallying support with his Twitter feed and offering empathetic concerns for his fellow cast & crew members.
Elyes Gabel and Katherine McPhee are two of the best leads a show could ask for, and the series is rounded out by Eddie Kaye Thomas as the unpredictable Toby, Jadyn Wong as the tragically insular Happy Quinn, and Ari Stidham as the difficult but brilliant human calculator Sylvester. The cast is smart – hacking, quick-typing, eye-flickering, IQ-of-200 smart – but, despite the show’s heightened premise, they never feel like stereotypes.
This energetic celebration of all things hip hop was criminally given one fleeting chance at success and, despite rave reviews, was pulled from ABC after just one short-lived season.
Featuring an amazing cast including Brandon Michael Hall (Search Party) and Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), each episode was a protest against mediocrity and the series was on its way to becoming compulsive viewing until it was cancelled after just 13 episodes. We think it’s absolutely essential that The Mayor gets a chance at reelection.
Starring two of television’s funniest performers, Ghosted’s Craig Robinson (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) starred as two hapless agents of the paranormal.
Despite a strong start and a warm reception leading to a full series order, Fox pulled the plug just as quickly as they bumped up the episode run. We still think it’s about time two of our favorite actors got their chance at leading roles, and a Ghosted revival could be the show to do it.
Ash vs. Evil Dead
This comeback tour for Sam Raimi’s collaboration with Bruce Campbell started off great, and each episode just got groovier. A long-awaited sequel to Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy, Ash vs. Evil Dead largely ignores that overly serious reboot we got in 2013 and kicks things back into gear with the same exuberant energy and sly sense of humor exhibited in Army of Darkness.
The series finished on a high note, but surely its universal critical acclaim was enough to propel this nostalgia trip for a little longer than three seasons.
Letty is an addict-ridden con artist freshly released from her prison sentence for good behavior. Determined to regain custody of her son, she embarks on a determined struggle that leads once again down the path of crime and self-destruction.
While some considered the two seasons a little confusing to follow, the critical reception was very favorable and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) gives an absolute powerhouse performance as Letty. We have no doubt a third season would have aired out the cracks and delivered a suspenseful, sexy drama.
If Captain Marvel and Us stoked your passion for badass women on screen, look no further than Wynonna Earp. Melanie Scrofano reclaims the Western from overplayed escapades of boring cowboys, injecting a supernatural twist along the way. She plays the descendant of the infamous deputy marshal of the Old West, settling his feuds with the Peacemaker revolver when his long-dead rivals return from the grave.
This female-led sci-fi show from showrunner Emily Andras has been passionately embraced for its feminist spin on the superhero genre, following Wyatt Earp’s great-great-granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures.
We were as shocked as y’all when our gun-toting girl crush, #WynonnaEarp, began trending on Twitter – and not for a good reason. There’s a brouhaha going on surrounding the production of season four, which means no more happy endings in the demon-laden town of Purgatory for now.
While the future of Wynonna Earp isn’t totally dire yet, according to numerous sources the worries of the Earpers aren’t unfounded. Sources say the production start date for S4 has been pushed back – and it’s still unclear when the cameras will roll again. May as well show everyone involved in bringing it back to our screens just why the show is so perfect.
Another sexy frightfest from True Blood author Charlaine Harris: this time a young psychic is racing away from his troubled past and finds uncertain refuge in the spooky town of Midnight. Once there, he meets a strange group of supernatural new friends including a vampire, a witch, and a werewolf who assist his fight against threats from both the outside world as well as his new life of monsters & magic.
One Day at a Time
One Day at a Time seemed like the perfect show for our times. Distributed by Netflix, the feel-good dramedy hid serious issues in plain sight in a traditional sitcom format. The action centered on the Cuban-American Alvarez family in Echo Park, Los Angeles as they traverse the choppy waters of gentrification, sexuality, religion, repression, PTSD, alcoholism, and mid-life career changes.
This modern update of the 1975 Norman Lear sitcom under the same name has been heavily praised for its portrayal of Latinx culture and LGBTQI issues, but when faced with renewal this month it was swiftly given the old heave-ho by Netflix.