A TV show needs an audience — but it works both ways. And sometimes fans need shows more than their network does. Luckily, over the years TV fans have mounted campaigns that have saved shows from oblivion and even resurrected them from the dead. Here are five that were fanned back into consciousness.
Fans saved Fox’s outrageous animated sitcom, not through an organized protest, but by watching re-runs upon re-runs and buying DVDs. It was proof that even the laziest action from the most (literally) armchair of fans can rescue a show from cancellation. The network will never hear the last of it from creator Seth MacFarlane.
‘Cagney & Lacey’
When CBS tried to cancel the gender-shattering cop show after a poorly-watched second season, creator Barney Rozenweig initiated a letter-writing campaign with the help of fans (and the women’s movement) to keep it on. Some shows are just too important to be canceled. Four more seasons and TV movies ensued.
The time-travel adventure series was never cancelled as such, but it was obvious what NBC was doing when they buried the show in a Friday night timeslot. More than 50,000 letters from fans put the show back on Wednesday nights.
Creator David Lynch read out the ABC President’s address on ‘Letterman’ to get fans to convince the network to air the remaining six episodes of the surreal drama series. The aptly named COOP (Citizens Against The Offing of Peaks) helped get the show to a finale, and to eventual legend status.
Fans of this teen sci-fi show petitioned the WB to put it back on the air by sending bottles of Tabasco sauce (the featured alien’s favorite condiment) declaring ”Roswell is Hot!”. Maybe the WB Frog was sick of spicy food, or maybe it was just too bulky a protest to ignore.