17 Great TV Shows Saved by Fans, From 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' to 'Arrested Development'
Way too many great TV shows are canceled before their time. But sometimes, intrepid fans join forces to make their voices heard and pester network suits until they cave and bring these shows back. Here are 17 times hardcore fans saved their favorite shows from oblivion.
While always a critical darling, "Arrested Development" was never a huge ratings smash on Fox. The series flirted with cancellation after its second season until fans went on the rampage. And while Fix did ultimately give the show the ax after Season 3, it's now found a new home on Netflix.
Despite being a mainstay of Fox's comedy lineup for several years, the network abruptly canceled "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" after its fifth season. Fortunately, the outrage from fans and celebrities alike was so great that it was only a matter of days before NBC announced it had picked up the series.
Sometimes fans have to get a little creative if they want their favorite shows to live. When "Chuck" faced cancellation after its second season, a massive campaign was launched that enlisted the aid of corporate sponsor Subway. Who would have thought a few five dollar footlongs would be the difference between cancellation and TV success?
"Community" flirted with cancellation pretty much every year from Season 2 onward, though its passionate fanbase managed to keep bringing it back to life. The series even wound up migrating to Yahoo for its sixth and final season. At this point, fans are only one feature film away from making #SixSeasonsAndAMovie a reality.
When Syfy canceled "The Expanse" after three seasons, fans immediately looked to Amazon as the next logical home for this cult hit. And after a massive protest campaign, Amazon execs relented and added the series to the Prime Video lineup.
Hard as it is to believe now, there was a time when Fox deemed "Family Guy" worthy of cancellation. The series was canceled after three seasons. But after strong DVD sales and the success of reruns on Adult Swim, "Family Guy" was given another chance. 14 seasons later, it's still going.
This cult-favorite sci-fi series was basically DOA, with Fox neglecting to even air the entire 13-episode first season. Fans were never successful in convincing the network to rethink that decision, but strong DVD sales did ultimately help the spinoff movie "Serenity" find a home at Universal.
'Friday Night Lights'
Despite the widespread critical acclaim, NBC flirted with the prospect of cancelling "Friday Night Lights" after its second season,. But thanks to a massive fan campaign, the network instead opted to partner with DirecTV for future seasons, helping ease the burden of what was, admittedly, a pretty expensive series.
This post-apocalyptic drama may have been slightly ahead of its time, hence why CBS opted to cancel it after one season. That wound up fueling an infamous fan protest where fans sent in tons of nuts to studio executives. The network relented, but only in the form of a truncated second season.
'80s sci-fi fave "Quantum Leap" was circling the drain in its third season, with NBC essentially sentencing the show to death by shifting it to Friday nights. Thankfully, the fan outcry was immediate and strong enough that the show was saved and continued on for two more seasons.
This alien-themed high school drama found it difficult to earn a foothold on The WB. Devoted fans managed to keep it alive for three seasons, even resorting to mailing studio executives bottles of Tabasco Sauce. And while the series was canceled after three seasons and a brief move to UPN, it is due to be rebooted on The CW in 2019.
Even Netflix has been known to cancel a fan-favorite show or two. This divisive series only made it two seasons before being canceled. However, Netflix threw fans a bone by later green-lighting a special finale episode, allowing the Wachowskis to wrap up some loose ends.
"Sliders" never found the foothold at FOX enjoyed by other sci-fi dramas like "The X-Files," resulting in its cancellation after three seasons. However, dedicated fans protested until the Sci-Fi Channel picked it up for a further two seasons.
"Star Trek" is the first major example of hardcore fans helping a struggling series stay alive. Decades before the Internet was a thing, fans sent in hundreds of thousands of letters demanding CBS save the series. That only resulted in a final, third season for the show, but who knows if we'd have all the Trek goodness we do now if not for those trendsetting fans?
Sometimes it's not enough for fans merely to write letters or make phone calls. They have to put their money where their mouths are. That's what happened with "Veronica Mars," as the series returned to life in the form of a crowdfunded movie. And now a revival is in the works at Hulu, meaning that investment really paid off.
"Young Justice" was always going to be a tough sell for the corporate bean counters, given its emphasis on mature, serialized storylines and its less toy-friendly nature. The series was canceled after two seasons in 2013. However, strong DVD sales and Netflix numbers eventually compelled WB to give the series another shot. The series is now exclusive to the DC Universe streaming app.
Thanks to fans' petitions, via both letters and online campaigns, Disney granted this delightful series a third season. Nice work, fans.