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Against all odds: Here’s how ‘Shadowhunters”s Shadowfam won the PCAs

There’s a mixed reaction the day after the People’s Choice Awards among the Shadowfam. While the dedicated fandom banded together to give Shadowhunters a big sendoff at the People’s Choice Awards, E! did not air the acceptance speech on its televised broadcast. 

Shadowhunters was nominated for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2019 against competition from Stranger Things, The Flash, Supernatural, and The Umbrella Academy. It’s worth noting that historically this category result has not aired a live acceptance in the past – fandom friends the Earpers (Wynonna Earp fandom, if you’re nasty) being similarly disappointed last year.

We’ve already talked about how E! changed the terms and conditions of their voting in 2019, which meant thousands of fan votes went unrecognized. We do understand that the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show category isn’t usually screened, but considering the PCAs maximizes views, advertising revenue, and word of mouth from fandom voting, we can’t help but feel a little peeved for the fandoms of the untelevised categories. 

Come, on E! It’s 2019. Sci-Fi/Fantasy is cool and one of the most profitable genres in entertainment. Time to bring your awards ceremony into the 21st century before next year.

The Shadowfam banded together in order to make sure that those involved with the series knew how much love and support was still in the community and how valuable Shadowhunters is as a show. Let’s recount how Shadowhunters and the Shadowfam won the PCAs, despite the best efforts of network interference and that one final snub for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre.

Fans went above and beyond to secure a win.

When the Shadowfam has a mission, they go to work. Right now, their mission is the #SaveShadowhunters campaign. Currently, all efforts to save the show are comprehensively documented on A Fandom’s Heartbeat. Other great places to learn about Shadowhunters and its fandom are the sites ShumDario News and Basic Shadowhunters Stuff.

A Fandom’s Heartbeat houses everything from the data (ratings/Twitter analytics) to campaign achievements. The website describes efforts to save the series “the biggest in history”. Based on how dedicated the fans are to the cause, it’s not wrong. 

This year’s efforts to secure a win for Shadowhunters at the PCAs were focused on voting like mad for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2019. The series dominated the lone category that it was nominated for. Shadowhunters even beat Show of 2019 winner Stranger Things and multi-PCA winner Supernatural

The reason why Shadowhunters only secured one nomination was due to what happened in 2018: when the series was originally announced for the sole category of Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series, fans amassed a massive write-in campaign that secured nominations in four other categories. 

In 2018, Shadowhunters won Female TV Star of 2018 (Katherine McNamara), Male TV Star of 2018 (Harry Shum Jr.), Bingeworthy Show of 2018, and Show of 2018. Ironically, the category it didn’t win was Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018. The effort and the wins garnered a lot of attention from media outlets. 

From The Alliance here’s a summation of the #SaveShadowhunters activities so far.


  • over  21 million #SaveShadowhunters tweets
  • 196.433 signatures on the #SaveShadowhunters petition 
  • over $40 000 for charities, including Trevor Project 
  • Stunts for #SaveShadowhunters around the world, including billboards in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Munich, Berlin, Madrid, Seoul, London and now Santa Monica






The steps the PCAs took to make sure 2019 was different for Shadowhunters

This year, however, it looked like E! took steps to make sure something similar couldn’t happen. One line from NBC Universal during the voting window that got fans incensed was “decision as to who will become the nominees eligible for selection as a potential winner during the Official Voting Window.” 

Basically, fans’ votes only counted where the network wanted them to count. They didn’t want a repeat of the Shadowhunters takeover of 2018. The awards show went from being “the people’s choice” to “their choice”. Kind of goes against the brand, don’t it, E!?

The Shadowfam were not discouraged, however, and decided to create a fandom stunt for #SaveShadowhunters in order to make a bigger splash at the award show. 

The Shadowfam PCA stunt of 2019

Even if Shadowhunters did not get the nomination love its voters deserved, the Shadowfam is a crafty bunch. A moving billboard was commissioned to drive past the PCAs by The Alliance advocating for Shadowhunters to be saved. Film Daily writer Nikki Hudson witnessed the campaign for herself and described seeing the stunt in person:

“The truck was blasting one of the Ruelle songs from the show and the artwork on all three sides were very clearly Shadowhunters: angelic runes, etc. One of the sides also had ‘SaveShadowhunters Campaign’ written on it just in case people weren’t familiar. 

“We know for certain that Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, and Luke Baines all saw it. I ran into the boys right after they filmed it themselves and they confirmed that they saw it. Then I saw it on Luke’s Insta. The likes I got yesterday broke my phone. My Twitter feed exploded, my phone spazzed out three times, and I had to turn it off and restart it. The ShadowFam doesn’t play!”

Speaking of the stunt’s costs, it appears to have been about $1500 (USD) for the truck. As for those involved: “There are 11 members of that account from all around the world. They said they chipped in individually and the rest came from fandom donation.”

The atmosphere on the red carpet was electric when the fans saw the van drive past them. Hudson reported all sorts of industry people must have seen the van, given the layout of the venue. 

“There was only one way in and out of the venue and the truck was driving up and down the street in front of the main entrance to the hanger where the event was held, so I would think that a lot of people saw the truck. From the second it drove down the street up off the main road, people noticed it immediately. 

“They were yelling Shadowhunters right off the bat. I don’t know if people knew it was going to be there but it was pretty awesome to see such a quick response. In terms of actors and industry folk, unless there was another way in the back they were using, they would have seen the truck at some point throughout the night. It was there till 11 pm.”

The stunt just proves how dedicated the Shadowfam is for Shadowhunters to return to the screen. Over a year after the cancellation and just months after the series finale aired, the campaign to save the show has not calmed down one bit. 

How the cast reacted to the stunt – and the win

Cast members Katherine McNamara (Clary Fray), Dominic Sherwood (Jace Herondale), and Luke Baines (Jonathan Morgenstern) were on hand last night to represent Shadowhunters. Like all the cast involved with the series, they remain grateful and humbled by the dedication of the fans.

Baines and Sherwood took over the PCA Twitter for a moment in order to record a special message for the fans, thanking them for the nomination and their continued support. The duo also did an interview with Access Hollywood and only had words of praise for the fanbase.

Sherwood opined, “To have people say that they enjoy it as well is an extra blessing.”

Todd Slavkin, showrunner:Congratulations to the fandom! From the campaign to save the show to the thousands of dollars raised for @TrevorProject and now this. You all should be so proud of yourselves #allacrosstheglobe #ShadowhuntersLegacy’ 

Darren Swimmer, showrunner: “Thank you #Shadowfam for showing the love. And above all, thank you for continuing to keep Shadowhunters alive.’’

John Rakich, location manager: ‘’Again it just shows the power of the #ShadowFam and how they are truly #bestfansever #ShadowFamDelivers #shadowhunters’’  

Taylor Mallory, writer: ‘’WHAT!!! By the Angel, the @ShadowhuntersTV fans are my HEROES. I’m seriously moved, y’all. You’re incredible. Thank you thank you thank you!’

'Shadowhunters' is gone but not forgotten thanks to the committed Shadowfam. Here's why they deserve your votes for best fandom in our Bingewatch Awards.

Baines said, “The fans have really got behind the show in the most wonderful way. I joined the show later on and it was such a weird experience jumping into it because they are so passionate. They still are, which is so amazing.” 

McNamara, who currently stars on Arrow as Mia Smoak, took to Instagram to share her thanks. 

“Thank YOU, angels!!! We know how rare this is. How incredible it is to win two years in a row! This is a testament to you, angels This show-this fandom – this family is lightning in a bottle. 

“This award is a celebration of what YOU have built. You have taken Shadowhunters beyond a story and created a community of love and acceptance for all. This award is for you. This is your legacy, angels! Long live the ShadowFam! #PCA #TheSciFiFantasyTVShow #ShadowhuntersLegacy”

How Shadowhunters won the night (not that you heard the acceptance speech)

The great news of the night was that Shadowhunters took home Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2019. The bad news was that E! needs to change their policies to make the whole PCAs experience fair for the fans that dedicate time and money into voting.

But the Shadowfam won more than the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show award at the PCAs. This fandom has actively disrupted a system that was created to disregard them. This fandom have made their voices and their votes heard so loudly that a media institution had to change their voting policies. This fandom has raised over $50k for The Trevor Project. This fandom has inspired international friendships, support groups and events.

As The Alliance’ recommended: “Keep on fighting for the people and things you believe in, no matter how difficult it may seem.”

There is so much for the Shadowfam to be proud of that we’re sure someone will #SaveShadowhunters soon.

Why E! needs to televise all categories from the mouths of the fans 

Sharing her thoughts about the skipped speech, Film Daily’s Nikki Hudson was disappointed.

“So I was not surprised at all. I actually had a sneaking suspicion that they were going to do that. I was annoyed, but I expected it. As for the rest of the ShadowFam, it garnered mixed responses. Some were just happy that our efforts paid off and we won the category, and others were salty that they didn’t get a chance for an acceptance speech. 

“We threw ourselves into that voting period and even though we knew there was a chance that E! was going to screw us over anyway, we did everything we could to secure that award. 

“We also know (at least we think) it was probably a response to what we managed to achieve last year and they didn’t want that to happen again with a canceled show, so we’re also a little proud of the fact that we were able to achieve a response like that from the industry. It proves how powerful we are and how dedicated we are to this show.”

@MorganaLFay pointed out that genre shows still really don’t get their due in awards shows.

“We knew this since the nominations announcement, because it was the same last year – only TV Shows winners had their acceptance. Fantasy/SciFi is still totally underrated genre by many of those awards organizations. Must also admit that I am really satisfied that it was a real flop for many of their favoured shows nominated even though almost nobody cares.?#Shadowhunters #SaveShadowhunters.”

@elizabethl36 related that the skipped acceptance speech should have been about the fans.

“I would have liked to see them accept it because if it is truly the last award for Shadowhunters, then the cast members should have had the opportunity to speak to the fans in that moment.”

With 'Shadowhunters' now officially off our screens for the foreseeable future, the Teen Choice Awards offer another chance to make our voices heard.

@VVitch8 agreed that speech was more about the fans than anything else.

“We deserved to see another acceptance speech on that stage. The amount of times we tweeted & voted, plus the media stunts. They could have placated us just this last time. I’m disappointed but not surprised.”

@enthusiasm85 pointed out that E! appears to be rigging the system.

“Disappointed but not surprised. I mean, they did us dirty with nominations this year and I’m pretty sure they changed the whole structure due to how we won last year.”

@echele78 made the point that historically the category was not usually televised. It was good that, at least, fans learned that the series won.

“Fine with it because historically that category is not given time for an acceptance speech.  I’m glad it was announced on TV and we didn’t have to wait until this morning to pour through the list of winners.”

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