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Often television shows will gain a large following, causing dedicated fans to choose to participate in supporting their particular favorite show in various ways. Recently, the idea of bringing a show back after it has been cancelled, in one form or another, has been rising in popularity, gaining support from fans all over the world. Fans of a television show have certainly changed over the years, owing to the new ability to watch TV online, via DVR, and to support their shows via online forums and message boards. Certain shows have been able to generate a large amount of interest and have been able to develop quite a following, A recent example of the abiliity of a show to return with the right amount of fan support is Arrested Development, a popular show that aired previously on Fox.
While the show was a hit with critics at the time it originally aired, fans took a while to catch on, and as a result the show only lasted for three seasons. Since the show’s cancellation, those three seasons have become immensely popular for people to watch and re-watch with friends. With enough support from fans, the show has been resurrected as an original series on Netflix, making it available only to Netflix users. Many people watched the show’s first three seasons for the first time after it became available on Netflix anyway, and with a rise in the overall number of Netflix users, it appears that Netflix is hoping to capitalize and offer up shows that are not available anywhere else. Audiences are also anticipating the release of a film after fans have some time to enjoy the fourth season, which just became available on May 26th. I know I and many others were very excited to hear news about the show’s return, but anytime a show is resurrected, even a beloved one, we can certainly assume that it will receive mixed reviews. Especially after a long hiatus, there is the likelihood for high expectations once the show returns.
Family Guy is another show that was on for a brief time but did not seem to be generating high ratings; the combination of low ratings mixed reviews from critics caused its cancellation. Since its return, Family Guy has become one of the most successful animated shows in the history of television, along with The Simpsons, which airs on the same network, and it has since gained a large fan base. It is hard to believe that such as show would not have been popular in its first season, but sometimes people simply need some time to get invested in a show, and shows sometimes get cancelled too soon and then become cult favorites year later. Fox also seems to cut a number of shows short; there are many examples of quality shows that aired on Fox and were subsequently cancelled too soon. It is important for fans who love a show to be sure to make it clear that they care and support the show in any way they can, because there is no telling what the support of a large group of fans can do for a show’s future; we have proven that with Family Guy and many other shows.
In addition to shows coming back for more seasons, some shows have recently been resurrected as feature films following long hiatuses. Just recently, fans of Veronica Mars came together and were able to support a Kickstarter in less than 24 hours that turned the popular television show starring Kristen Bell into a film. Entourage, another popular show that aired on HBO for eight seasons but seemed to lose some traction after a while, is being made into a film. The announcement was made shortly after the show ended in 2011, but after the film was delayed multiple times, we’re anticipating the release of the film by next year. We know that the film has finally been confirmed after an announcement on June 4th that Entourage was among the winners of the California tax credit production lottery. Vince and the gang will be back for a feature length film thanks to the continued support of certain fans, and those fans of the show will certainly want to keep an eye out for the release of the film. The show centered around Vincent Chase, an actor trying to make it in Hollywood with his agent and friends.
It is important to note that these few shows are just examples and that there are several other instances of this happening as well. Someone enjoying a show may think that they do not have much power and influence over the direction and outcome of that show, but the trajectories of Family Guy, Arrested Development, etc., have proven otherwise. There is no telling what simply keeping up with a show on a message board or sending a letter to the creator of the show can do when it comes to helping the show in some way. Even when a show goes on hiatus for a long time, enough viewership and support from fans in the time that it is away can result in the show’s return. Keep that in mind next time you enjoy a low-rated show or discover a show a few years too late.