Life After Cancellation: TV Shows Saved by Fans
These days, content is king. What with digital video services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, and Netflix, there’s never enough gripping TV-style entertainment to go around. But, obviously, this wasn’t always the case.
Before the digital renaissance, censorship dulled the blade of great comedy, reality TV slashed the budget for scripted content, and the best shows were forced to duke it out, coliseum style. The winners would be showered with advertising dollars, royalty checks, and prime-time interviews. The losers were fired.
But there were outliers. Shows that refused to die. Rather, they inspired the masses to spend a Saturday afternoon writing letters, trolling major networks on social media, and (most importantly) buying DVD box sets and Nathan Fillion action figures.
Today on Filthy Rich, we dissect the underdog, back-from-the-dead TV shows that have earned the love of the masses. Let’s go!
Twin Peaks made quite the debut in 1990, pulling in an estimated 35-million viewers in it’s first showing. But a complicated plot and stiff competition resulted in a time shift and a cancellation before the second season even ended!
Fans sent letters, held rallies, and petitioned ABC to air the season’s final few episodes. The network relented, but ended up shelving the show after just two seasons. The show would return again, decades later for a final season with Showtime.
It really is difficult to imagine a world without Family Guy on TV. It’s unique cast of characters, brash sense of humor, spectacular musical set pieces, and unique style made it a hit with audiences all over the world. Unfortunately, Seth MacFarlane’s brain child had a high drop in ratings during the first three seasons. This continuous drop caused Fox to cancel the show to make room for other programming. But wait, there’s more.
Outraged fans looking to get their Family Guy fix put their money where their mouth was and bought up all of the Griffin content that they could get their hands on. DVD sales of the then cancelled show soared, forcing Fox to reconsider their stance on the show. Family Guy would return triumphantly to the silver screen a year later.
Widely recognized as one of the greatest TV comedies ever, Fox’s Arrested Development struggled to find an audience. Fox cancelled the show in 2006, but the story didn’t end there. The show would find its audience through DVD sales and Netflix subscriptions, and demand for more grew.
That’s when Netflix agreed to step in and reunite the Bluths for a fourth season. As of this writing, the Bluths are set to return again, announcing that a fifth, Netflix-only season is in the works. And I, for one, can’t wait.