Many TV Shows end up getting cancelled for a variety of reasons. But some shows are destined for greatness because they have the fans’ support. The TV Shows we are talking about were saved by the fans, quite literally.
Star Trek: The Original Series
NBC had no plans to continue this legendary science fiction show after its two season run. Rumors of cancellation were growing stronger and stronger. The network wanted to move on to “better things”. But the show was saved by a letter writing campaign organized by sci-fi lovers Bjo and John Trimble. The barrage of letters and fan mails NBC received were enough to reconsider their stance. They knew the flak they would get had they cancelled Star Trek: The Original Series. The series ran for one more season. And the massive fan campaign was enough for convincing Paramount to make a Star Trek movie in 1979.
Unlike the other TV Shows on this list, Family Guy did not have an active fan protesting campaign. Instead, the actions of fans post its cancellation was what drove Fox to reconsider bringing it back. In 2002, Fox cancelled Family Guy after its third season. The first 28 episodes of the show were released via DVD. The DVD sales soon hit more than 400,000 copies. To top it off, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim picked up the show and Family Guy’s syndication ratings jumped 239%. Fox renewed the show in 2005 and even released a TV movie titled “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” the same year.
This post-apocalyptic drama thriller had a lot going on its first season. But viewership ratings kept dropping. After a hiatus that lasted for 11 weeks, Jericho was cancelled by CBS network. The show ended with the main character shouting “Nuts” as his town was being pressured into surrendering. As a form of protest, fans sent 20 tons of peanuts to CBS headquarters. The higher execs heeded the protest and renewed it for one more season. the Nielsen reports did not take into account DVD sales and online streaming. The show was cancelled after its second season. The third season came in the form of a six part comic book series.
When Quantum leap first aired, it enjoyed incredibly high ratings. Then the network tried to throw the fans a curveball by moving the show to the abysmal Friday 8 pm time slot. That is every TV Shows’ death sentence, being moved to that particular time slot. The network was trying to improve that time slot’s ratings by moving a good show into that section. The scheduling change did not go well with the fans as well as the show’s producer. He spearheaded fan-letter writing campaign that forced the network to move back the show to its regular prime time scheduling. The plan worked and Quantum Leap ran for five successful seasons. It remains one of the best TV shows ever made.
Joss Whedon wanted to make a space cowboy-esque series. And from that brainstorming session came the story concept for Firefly. From the very beginning, Fox made Firefly’s tenure miserable. It regularly changed the show’s time slots and even pre-emptively aired episodes out of order. The show was cancelled even before it could air its 13th episode. Firefly built a strong fan base and it accounted for its humongous DVD sales. Firefly DVDs sold like hot cakes. Universal saw the potential in a Firefly movie and gave us Serenity. The movie did not do as well when it was released but remains a cult-classic for a variety of reasons. The Browncoats lost the battle but won the war. people still talk about Serenity and Firefly in hush-hush circles.