When a show is perceived by fans/viewers as being in danger of being Screwed by the Network, and ending up relegated to the sad brotherhood of shows that couldn't last, fandom mobilizes.
They pool their resources and organize a campaign to write letters, convincing the executives at the network that the show is worth saving, and that they should Uncancel the show.
In the earlier years of television, viewers simply sent in letters to the network to extoll the virtues of their favorite program. However with the arrival of the 21st century and the advent of the internet, fandom has become a lot more organized, active, and creative.
Letters are no longer all that gets sent in, partly because although the internet makes communication easy, the general consensus is that the networks will take tangible mail more seriously. Taking that simple fact to an extreme, fans will, en masse, send in items that are significant to the characters and/or situations found in the show they're trying to save. After about a decade, networks and the like now treat sending food or snack items en masse as an automatic Circular File.note As such, despite such tactics working during the 1990s and 2000s, a show is not likely to be saved by fan effort directed this way anymore.
Depending on how the powers that be respond, programming that see renewal or resurrection campaigns such as this can fall into three categories.
- Success Stories: It worked and the executives give the show another season. Sometimes this new season does well enough that the show actually continues for even longer than anyone expected.
- Nice Tries: These didn't quite manage another full season, but the fans still get something close to what they wanted; usually a Grand Finale (be it a handful of more episodes or a film) that grants some closure.
- Saving Throw Fail: Maybe the fandom isn't actually as large as everyone thought* , or Executive Meddling has overridden the devotion of the fans. Either way, their decision didn't change.
Related categories are include:
- Fate Undetermined: Ongoing fandom efforts, meaning success or failure can't be yet determined. How long a work stays here depends on how intense and lengthy the fan campaign is, and if the studio or network has made an official statement regarding the issue.
- Wrath of the Viewers is the inverse of this trope. It can occur if a show is offensively bad enough; viewers will write in requesting the program be yanked off the air altogether, rather than asking the network to keep it on.
Most frequently a trope for television, as fans campaign to save what they like doesn't have as active an outlet in other media. Its actual impact that movements have is often unknown unless someone close to the production speaks up about it. It's very much possible that some cases of this are an example of a network already planning on renewing the show anyway, but keeping quiet about it so that the fanbase will give it free marketing and publicity.
Following the crowd-funding boom of 2012 (see Kickstarter), another form of this emerged in its wake: fans sending their money to the original creators of the series they want to save. Some spectacular successes have been achieved, to say the least.
- Macross Plus and Macross II got across the Pacific in large part because of this. The Macross series in general is an almost memetic example of Screwed by the Lawyers, with no less than four companies all holding some part of the series' distribution rights and most of those companies hating each other. Despite this, pressure from both fans (who wanted a good series to make it across the Atlantic) and the rest of the industry (who wanted an awesome product out there to strengthen the anime market) managed to get the Japanese side of the pileup to agree to play nice and share the revenue, at the same time that Harmony Gold (the U.S. end of the crossfire) was in the middle of a major reorganization and not minding the store. This is probably not happening again for any future Macross series, however, at least until 2022, when the Macross international license problem will come to an end.
- Gundam is a very unusual, and very famous, example. The original series suffered from low ratings and had its episode count cut from 49 to 39 (though the staff begged for an extension and ended up with the odd number of 43 episodes). After this, creator/director Yoshiyuki Tomino had the idea to recut the series into a trio of Compilation Movies; thanks to positive press from anime magazines and word of mouth, the trilogy was a colossal success, and the rest is history.
- After [adult swim]'s 2012 April Fools' Day prank of unexpectedly reviving Toonami for a night garnered explosive results, they let fans know that they were seriously considering reviving the block and encouraging them to make their voices heard by contacting Cartoon Network and using the "#BringBackToonami" hashtag on Twitter. One month later, licensing deals were struck, and just like that Toonami is Back Bitches.
- Dic's English dub of Sailor Moon got this after initially being cancelled in 1996 due to poor ratings in syndication(which largely stemmed from the morning and afternoon timeslots it had been given which meant the show's target demographic was not watching it)fans of the show circulated a petition which got over 12,000 signatures and USA Network decided to air reruns of the show and ratings were good enough that Dic dubbed the remaining 17 episodes of season two. Then after USA cancelled the show following the conclusion of season two, Cartoon Network started airing it in it's Toonami block and the ratings skyrocketed, causing CN to also order English dubs of S and Super S and hiring Cloverway to do them.
- When Buena Vista put out their release plans for the home video and DVD release of Princess Mononoke fans were upset that the DVD would not include a subtitled Japanese track. A letter writing campaign and petition mobilized by the Nausicaa.net mailing list sucessfully convinced them otherwise; apparently they had no idea there was a demand for it.
- The 2001 restoration of Superman: The Movie brought interest within Warner Bros. about what Richard Donner had managed to film before he was removed from Superman II by the Salkinds (a large part of the theatrical film was made by Richard Lester instead). A fan campaign with letters and WB themselves convinced Donner to work again on the film with what could be salvaged of his filming in WB's vaults. The result, while not 100% the film he originally planned to make due to the impossibility of filming new scenes, is known as Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.
- A fan movement arose after the theatrical release of the infamously Executive Meddling-riddled version of Justice League, with the aim of getting Warner Bros. to release a director's cut of the film with all the scrapped footage that Zack Snyder filmed (plus the soundtrack of Junkie XL, who was replaced by Danny Elfman in the theatrical) and devoid of the Joss Whedon additions. It started with letters and phone calls aimed at WB executives. Then some fans started a fundraiser and advertisement campaigns for the "Snyder Cut" with 50% of the proceeds going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention that Snyder supports since the death of his daughter Autumn, and said campaign was present at the San Diego Comic Con 2019. Further fundraising was used to rent Times Square billboards, alongside letters sent to then-new Warner Bros CEO Ann Sarnoff and an ample and sustained use of the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut on social media month after month. Eventually, Warner's new parent company AT&T noticed the fan interest when said hashtag peaked with hundreds of thousands of tweets in November 2019 upon the second anniversary of the release of the theatrical version, and they made a deal with Snyder. After over two years of teasing with screenshots, stills and behind-the-scene photos on the social media Vero as well as Q&As, Snyder eventually revealed that his version of the movie, Zack Snyder's Justice League (on which he was allowed a budget for the finishing touches and a few additional scenes), would come out on HBO Max in 2021.
- The original Star Trek was saved by a letter-writing campaign. Fans got rewarded with only one season before it was canceled again, and said season is almost universally considered to be the worst of the series. The third season took the show past the threshold number of episodes needed at the time for a syndication deal. Without it, there'd have been no syndication and likely no further movies or series. But this is only a very common misconception, since Gene Roddenberry made that story up to cover up the real reason a third season was greenlit: because Star Trek helped sell more color TV sets, which RCA, NBC's parent company, had the patents on.
- Hill Street Blues was saved by a letter-writing campaign and went on for several more seasons.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 is both a success story and a saving throw failed. When Comedy Central took it off the air, both a letter campaign and an ad in Variety saved it and brought it to the Sci Fi Channel. However, after three seasons there, the powers that be yanked it again and not even a letter campaign would save it. Then it was revived on Netflix.
- Apparently, Reaper was renewed for a second and final season because fans sent in socks, standing for the character Sock.
- Jericho managed to get a second season after fans sent crates full of Nuts to the Producers, in reference to Jake Green's "Nuts!" reply to the New Bern attackers' demand to surrender. Unfortunately, the ratings went down even further post-renewal and it didn't last very long, but did reach a conclusion of sorts.
- Joss Whedon fans began sending in letters to save Dollhouse months before the first episode even aired. While they had their reasons, Fox politely asked fans to wait until the series aired to start saving it. Ultimately, however, it did get renewed for another season.
- When asked what to send, Chuck producer Josh Schwartz suggested Nerds candy. One savvy fan decided it would be better to enlist advertisers. Playing off an especially shameless Product Placement, the "Finale and a Footlong" campaign had fans buy Subway sandwiches. Wanting a piece of the action, Nestle sent Nerds. The show managed to survive for a fifth and final season.
- Roswell fans sent Tabasco sauce and the show got two more seasons.
- Fans of British sitcom Not Going Out successfully got the show Uncanceled in 2010 after a petition and letter-writing campaign.
- Fans of Nikita tried sending lipstick (Nikita once hid the detonator of a bomb in her lipstick) into The CW around May 2011, when the network held up on telling of its fate. In the end, it turned out the network were trying to draw out the process to entice fans. Regardless, the show returned for a second season.
- Veronica Mars came back in movie form thanks to its fans almost literally throwing piles of money at its original creators and later got a revival on Hulu.
- Believe it or not, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had actually been cancelled during its fourth season. Thousands of fans sent in letters to NBC and Will Smith in response, and the campaign ultimately convinced the higher-ups to go back on its decision, uncanceling the show and allowing it to run for what would be two more seasons.
- Though Doctor Who had a bad incident with Michael Grade in control of The BBC, it was ultimately taken down by another controller because the show's future was on shaky ground. Philip Segal brought it back for one TV movie, but it didn't go anywhere beyond giving fans a new incarnation of the Doctor. For years, fans devoted themselves to making their own pet projects to honor the series, and the DW magazines kept going even when it had been almost 10 years without any new material. Nothing significant took place until Russell T. Davies succeeded in pitching a new format for the series to the BBC when it had given up on a family demographic. He immediately got support to start the revived series, and restored not just a whole culture from where it had left off, but on top of that, restored the family audience.
- When Fox canceled Lucifer after the third season due to low ratings, fans were extremely pissed off, because it ended in a major Cliffhanger that has been set up the entire series, and raised hell (no pun intended) to bring it back. A massive online petition was started, with the hashtag #SaveLucifer trending for weeks. This got Warner Bros. to take action and shop the series around. A day before the deadline for the series' contract expiration (which would have canceled it for good), it finally got a new home in Netflix, which renewed the series for a further three seasons.
- The now famous Operation Rainfall was an attempt to get Nintendo to localize their Wii RPGs The Last Story, Xenoblade and Pandora's Tower in North America. They sent letters to Nintendo's North American HQ trying to convince them to bring these games to North America. After their first attempt failed, they tried again with an even bigger letter-writing campaign. After a while, Nintendo eventually released Xenoblade Chronicles and licensed the localizations of The Last Story and Pandora's Tower to XSEED Games.
- When EarthBound was announced for the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console but nowhere else, fans posted on Miiverse pleading Nintendo to release it in the west. In a later Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced an international release for EarthBound, citing everyone's responses on Miiverse as the reason.
- Wasteland was revived 25 years later thanks to the fans sending their money directly to inXile Entertainment to make a sequel.
- Family Guy fans sent diapers (for Stewie) to Fox to save the show. Though it didn't work initially, the show did come back a few years later due to good DVD sales and a strong performance on [adult swim].
- Futurama fans tried this with anchovies, though it never really caught on. However, like Family Guy, it was eventually renewed because of its success on DVD and [adult swim] (not to mention how popular Family Guy was after its renewal).
- Gargoyles fans bought what they could of the first half of season 2 to try and bring the second half to DVD, but Buena Vista still won't budge. Strangely enough, unlike other canceled examples here, it still airs...but in the dead of night, as filler. Also, series creator Greg Weisman has gotten involved to try and revive the property through comic book sales, as well as continue the story away from the Canon Discontinuity season made after he left. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason, or even an organized effort, so their offices randomly get gobs of Celtic/Scottish-centric objects, pictures, what have you, every now and then. On June 25, 2013, they released the second half of season 2 for select members of a group and later a general retail release October 14, 2014. This is 7 and a half years and nearly 9 years of effort, respectively from the release of the first half.
- Hey Arnold! got screwed out of its impending Grand Finale movie known as The Jungle Movie back in 2002, when the first film, Hey Arnold! The Movie flopped on the box office. The series ended with two huge unresolved plotlines: Arnold's response to Helga's Anguished Declaration of Love, and the fate of Arnold's parents, which was the focus of the hour-long episode "The Journal", which ends on a cliffhanger. For over a decade, it seemed that The Jungle Movie being made was an impossible dream; even creator Craig Bartlett had accepted it. Despite this, fans sent mail to Nickelodeon and wrote online petitions hoping the movie would get made. They also continued to support the show's reruns on Nick's 90s block The 90s Are All That. Long story short: in November 2015, Nickelodeon announced exactly what Hey Arnold! fans had been fighting for: a new Arnold movie written by Craig Bartlett that would bring closure to the series, tie up loose ends, and reveal the whereabouts of Arnold's parents. Later, Bartlett himself announced that the new TV movie was indeed the long-awaited Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie. When the movie finally aired, it featured a Thank You to the fans who encouraged its production in the ending credits.
- Invader Zim campaign group Operation Head Pigeons and convention company Wasabi Anime joined forces for a letter writing campaign titled Project Massive. Invadercon II: Doomcon attendees sent letters to Nickelodeon with proof of donations to New York based charity Toys of Hope in lieu of physical items. Subsequently the mailing address went online for a second phase not requiring a donation, with visible Twitter-based support from Richard Steven Horvitz and Rikki Simons (voices of Zim and Gir respectively). The show cancelled midway second season, contrary to popular belief, solely due to Viacom's budget cuts after their stock fell. It remained out of production all these years because an enthusiastic (once again contrary to popular belief) Jhonen Vasquez wants the show to return in its full budget glory and no less than that. OHP awaits results from Viacom AND further minor updates from Nick New York press department's Katelyn Balach, who allegedly agreed to collect and present the letters to the powers that be. In 2015, a comic series was announced, and the show enjoys syndication on Nicktoons fairly regularly. In April 2017, the movie Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus was announced.
- Kim Possible fans organized a letter-writing campaign to save the show, which despite its popularity, was being cancelled due to a strictly enforced "65 Episode Rule" that Disney had for all television programming starting in the late 1990s. The campaign ended up abolishing the rule and the show got a fourth and final season.
- PAW Patrol had a rare example of this trope that wasn't concerning the show's cancellation, but over the fact that the merchandise lacked Skye. Disappointed parents and fans used the hashtags "#IncludeTheGirls" and "#WheresSkye" to express their anger. This resulted in Spin Master putting out a line of Skye and Everest merchandise in North America, as well as more boy products with Skye on them. Overseas, this would count as "Nice Tries", since merchandise released there still does not have any girl characters on it.
- SpongeBob SquarePants fans sent in letters and petitions to Nickelodeon to save the show from getting the can, from 2001 to 2004. It played a huge part in the show's 2005 revival, but what really convinced the network executives to bring it back was the success of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (even though it was intended to be the show's finale). What happened after 2004, however, is somewhat controversial.
- After Star Wars: The Clone Wars was cancelled in 2013, fans organized letter writing campaign with beads attached to the letters, in reference to the character Ahsoka Tano, who departed from the Jedi Order in the season 5 finale, which aired just a few days before the announcement. Dave Filoni stated in the announcement that some episodes were still going to be finished, and although it's unclear how much affect the campaign had in the completion of season six, both him and various others involved in the production claimed that they wouldn't have been able to finish without the support they got from the fans. Support for saving the show still continued past season six, and in 2018, The Clone Wars was renewed for a seventh season, which premiered on Disney+ in February 2020.
- One major reason for the original cancellation of Young Justice was because of how sales of tie-in merchandise for the show were underperforming. When reruns of the series premiered on Netflix three years later, interest in the series was revived and fans began creating new petitions demanding a third season of the show. In November of the same year, all that hard work paid off with the announcement of Young Justice: Outsider.
- Infinity Train. After the show's third season began airing on HBO Max, the creator admitted that there was no fourth season in production, with much of the crew having already disbanded and himself due to leave the studio that November. Concentrated efforts are currently underway to spread the word out through social media, with some media outlets and even other communities such as the Glitch Techs fandom helping to get the word out. Strategies include purchasing what little merchandise exists for the show (a T-shirt, and the Season 1 DVD and soundtrack), playing the entire series repeatedly on HBO Max to boost viewership statistics, getting it to Twitter trend on the following two Thursdays that new episodes premiered, and just contacting HBO and Cartoon Network about the desire for more episodes. Thankfully, a fourth season was announced in Feburary of 2021.
- Firefly's fans, the Browncoats, sent in postcards, rather than letters. While they were not successful in getting the show Uncanceled, they did manage the unprecedented result of getting the Series Finale as a theatrically released feature film. Accounts vary what Joss Whedon himself wanted and anticipated. Some say that the film was hoped to renew interest enough for the network to continue the series, while the others say that the film was intended as a closure from the beginning.
- Farscape fans' effort to save their show was called BraScape, wherein they sent bras to Sci-Fi Channel. They did not successfully get the show Uncanceled, but did get a Made-for-TV Movie wrapping up the series. 'Scapers also sent in boxes of crackers (for the episode "Crackers Don't Matter"), but since this was close to 9/11 it was a serious hassle for the network to screen that many packages, so instead they started sending in postcards made from cracker boxes.
- La Femme Nikita fans sent in many things, most notably sunglasses, after the title character's favorite accessory. Their efforts were rewarded another half a season to wrap things up.
- Back to the Future: The Ride: In 2006, when Universal Studios announced their decision to replace the attraction with The Simpsons Ride at both the Hollywood and Orlando parks, fans immediately went to work doing everything they could to save them; posting online petitions and writing letters to make the parks reconsider, but to no avail. However, the Hollywood park at least decided to hold a ceremony a month before the official closing in 2007. Notably, Christopher Lloyd and BTTF co-creator Bob Gale were in attendance and a contest was held for the grand prize of a classic 1981 DMC-12 DeLorean alongside other memorabilia. As a kind gesture, Universal later made the ride videos available to the public on the 25th Anniversary home media re-release of the Back to the Future trilogy in 2010. The last operating iteration of the ride closed at Universal Studios Japan in 2016.
- The efforts to revive Disney Infinity following its cancellation in May 2016 have been quite a roller coaster ride, with the game's devoted fanbase's efforts to get the game Un-Cancelled seemingly being for naught until the pay-off came in an unexpected manner well over a year after Infinity was cancelled. Back when the game was originally and quite abruptly announced to be discontinued, the fanbase was enraged and began fighting to save the game. Their efforts ranged from just rallying to out-right uncancel the game (if not for years to come, then at least to the end of the fourth quarter of 2016 so Infinity could have its last hoo-rah for Christmas), to licensing the rights to the game and figures to someone else (Square Enix and Electronic Arts being popular candidates), to at least releasing the promised Peter Pan figure (who was hand picked to get a figure by some of the game's big name fans) or even the heavily teased figures of Dipper and Mabel (Mabel won a Player's Pick poll shortly before the announcement) and/or Darkwing Duck (who had been teased since the game's 2.0 release) as a final thank-you to the fanbase. The hashtag "#SaveDisneyInfinity" gathered some steam on various social media websites, and this online petition gathered more than 10,000 supporters in less than a month. Nonetheless, considering that Disney wrote down a financial loss on the day of its cancellation, and they later laid out their end-of-life plans for the game, these fans' efforts seemed pretty much fruitless to begin with... or at least it seemed that way for a very long time. October 2017 came with the surprise announcement of a new action-figure toyline based directly on Infinity's beloved figures/designs. Later, the characters' Infinity designs were also reused for a personal greeting program included with Samsung S9 phones, and a tribute to the series was very nearly included in Ralph Breaks the Internet before being replaced with the Oh My Disney crossover sequence. While Infinity as a video game is unlikely to return* , fans can rest assured that Disney Infinity has not been forgotten and that its legacy will live on.
- When MÚSECA was excluded from the 7th Konami Arcade Championship that ran from late 2017 to early 2018, fans immediately surmised that Konami was planning to retire the game and launched social media campaigns to save the game, such as using the hashtag #SAVE_MUSECA in Twitter posts. While Konami eventually retired the game in mid-2018, they at least had the courtesy to distribute offline kits so that fans can keep playing it.note
- Code Lyoko fans campaigned for years over a fifth season after the series ended in 2008. After some years of deliberation, MoonScoop eventually made a completely new show instead. A sequel series titled Code Lyoko: Evolution premiered in 2013, and was a live-action/animation hybrid that had no creative input from the original production team and which received mixed response from the fanbase, lasting a single season.
Saving Throw Failed
- There was also a plan by The Big O fans to send tomatoes to Cartoon Network, but there wasn't much turnout for that.
- Save our Voice Actors, an organization that tried to get the original 4kids English voice actors back for Pokémon, once sent pasta to the new dubbing studio because the last episode to use the original voice actors prominently featured noodles. It failed.
- The Sailor Moon "procott" is a strange example for a number of reasons. Instead of the network, it was targeted at the advertisers. The plan was to buy a whole bunch of unfrosted strawberry Pop-Tarts on a single day, creating a sales spike that would demonstrate the fans' buying power and prove that the series was a good investment. Whether or not this Zany Scheme could have worked in the first place is debatable, but the really interesting bit was that the fandom was against it. The original DiC dub of Sailor Moon was notorious for questionable scripting and some significant edits. A number of fans wanted the North American dub dead so that they could keep their fansubs. The split killed any chance of the stunt succeeding, and the fact that the chief organizing fan-group had a reputation for spreading false rumors and disinformation didn't help. The series was later brought back anyway after reruns did surprisingly well on Cartoon Network. But Pop-Tarts were a in-joke in the fandom for some time thereafter.
- Cupid fans sent in letters, but were unsuccessful in saving the show. Years later, ended up Uncanceled for other reasons. Unfortunately, the new version suffered the same fate, as ABC aired it in the 10:00 pm hour on Tuesday nights, and repeatedly preempted it for another ultimately failed show, The Unusuals.
- Before Veronica Mars was renewed for a second season, its fans organized a campaign to send in fake $2 bills with the words "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" written on them. Before it was renewed for a third season, a group of fans called Cloud Watchers organized a freakin' plane to fly over the UPN and The WB buildings saying "Renew Veronica Mars! CW 2006!" Before the third season aired, fans even spread around flyers for the show. When it was finally canceled at the end of the third season, some fans sent Mars Bars (and after they ran out, Snickers) to The CW. It didn't work that time, unfortunately, though the series did eventually got a movie and a revival on Hulu many years later.
- Fans of The 4400 sent in letters and sunflower seeds as well, but this appears to have been unsuccessful. NBC owns USA Network, and the now-defunct show has more than a passing similarity to their then-fair-haired child show, Heroes, so The 4400 may be a case of Screwed by the Network when all is said and done.
- Star Trek: Enterprise was going to get canceled on UPN after its fourth season, when it was just getting good (which says many things about the show and the fans), so fans actually organized a money-raising campaign to essentially reimburse UPN for its losses. They actually succeeded in raising several million dollars, but it was canceled anyway.
- Phil of the Future had the fandom up in arms after it was confirmed by a cast member that the third season was being canceled so Disney could make The Replacements instead, so it ended on a cliffhanger. An online petition was started and many emails were sent, but to no avail.
- ABC canceled Pushing Daisies as of November 20, 2008, despite a daisy sending campaign from the fans. They dangled the show in limbo for a while before airing the last few episodes. There will, however, be a Pushing Daisies comic miniseries.
- Fans of the Witchblade TV series sent in Pez dispensers (as in Sara Pezzini, the lead character). However, as the series was canceled because of the lead actress's being entered into a detox program, no amount of fan goodwill could avert the cancellation.
- Fans of The Invisible Man sent in confetti and other sparkly stuff, but since this was during the anthrax scare these didn't get to the intended audience. The invisible man hasn't been seen since (sorry!!!)
- Fans of VR5 formed a group called "Virtual Storm" whose letter-writing campaign did get the studio to green-light a TV movie to tie up the storyline. Unfortunately, the cast had moved on to other things by then, the scriptwriting foundered, and the whole thing fell apart before it got very far.
- ABC Family Channel only purchased 1 season of The Middleman. Although fans sent in M&Ms chocolate candies (because right side up they invoke the Middleman himself, and upside down, they look like Ws, invoking Wendy Watson), the show was still canceled.
- The first season of 10 Things I Hate About You ended on more than one Cliffhanger, but that didn't stop ABC Family from pulling the plug on it. Fans sent in postcards and letters, made phone calls, swarmed the feedback option on the website and started a Facebook fan movement to get it back for at least one more season in order to get some closure. No dice.
- Fans of Journeyman sent in Rice-A-Roni, to no avail.
- Fans of Moonlight decided to go a different route and organize blood drives. Their efforts did not save their show.
- Sour Patch Kids, Kyle XY's favorite snack, were sent in an effort to save that show. There is an online petition floating about, as well. Unfortunately, since the show has been cancelled for two years and the actors have all moved on to do different things, it seems unlikely that it will be renewed for another season, or given a movie finale like Firefly. Intensely irritating, since the series ended on a cliffhanger.
- In addition to the usual letters and phone calls, one cheeky fan sent her (broken) TV to FOX to protest the cancellation of The Lone Gunmen.
- The Dresden Files had a shortlived Save Dresden Files campaign in 2007 which consisted primarily of sending in drumsticks engraved with "SAVE DRESDEN FILES". Drumsticks were what Dresden used in the series as a blasting rod (or a wand, to those of you who aren't Dresden-savvy). Which is amusing since the show was under fire for They Changed It, Now It Sucks! for most of its short run...
- Cavemen fans (and yes, they did exist) sent in their own hair to protest the show's cancellation, apparently inspired by the nuts sent to save Jericho.
- Women's Murder Club fans sent Hershey's Kisses (because the Big Bad was named the Kiss-Me-Not Killer). The show was granted a few extra episodes to finish the season, but was canceled after that when ratings didn't improve.
- Guiding Light fans sent candles with the message "Keep the light shining!", but, by that time, the decision had already been made not to renew the show.
- Fans of As the World Turns sent in bars of soap to CBS. After concerns that the soap might have contained anthrax (it didn't, by the way), the FBI was called in to investigate.
- Some Heroes fans began to worry about the show's falling ratings during the third and fourth season, and started sending waffle mix to the network in a plea for them not to axe the show. It hung on for a while longer but was canceled after season five.
- Fans of The New Adventures of Old Christine sent in wine corks, unfortunately the ratings of the fifth season weren't high enough for the execs to justify renewing it.
- For Awake some fans sent red and green rubber bands. The show didn't end up getting anything past the first season, but creator Kyle Killen did once mention the possibility that he'd continue the story in book form at some point.
- Everwood: It was Cut Short so that the network could produce another show, past its prime days. Everwood fans rented a Ferris wheel outside of Dawn Ostroff's offices, attempting to help renew the show, but to no avail.
- Fans of Forever sent scarves — the main character's Iconic Item — to ABC, but the network ultimately didn't renew the show for a second season, leaving the finale rather open-ended. Similar writing campaigns to convince other networks and digital services to pick up the show yielded similar results.
- Ever since Girl Meets World got canceled by Disney Channel, fans have been endlessly requesting that Netflix would pick up the rights to the show to continue it (complete with its own hashtag for the campaign, #GirlMeetsNetflix), asking Disney Channel to release the rights so it can be continued there, and some even ask Hulu to pick it up.note Some even plan to send paper airplanes to the three companies involved as a Shout-Out on the transition scenes where Riley throws the paper plane. Even some internet sites noticed the big efforts the fandom is doing just to have the show continue. Even Netflix customer service representatives encouraged them to keep up the fight. Sadly, when all was said and done, the ploy failed as creator Michael Jacobs took to Twitter to proclaim that he wasn't able to get another company (Netflix included, presumably) to pick up the show.
- Fans were completely appalled in 2016 when Disney Theme Parks announced that The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure was going to be re-themed to an attraction based on the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film (despite how Guardians of the Galaxy has virtually nothing to do with the theme of the park section the ride is located in). Various online petitions attempted to avert the re-theme, but Disney simply ignored them and officially set its closure for January 2017.
- Fans of Pleasure Island's Adventurer's Club at Walt Disney World tried sending in maps and masks in their efforts to save it from closure with the rest of Pleasure Island. Sadly, Disney didn't budge; the Club was removed and Pleasure Island eventually became The Landing section at what is now Disney Springs.
- Not just letters and posters of fan-arts, but a small group of fans actually held rallies located around major Nickelodeon-based networks for years to try and convince the big wigs to bring back the canceled Danny Phantom. No dice. But they haven't given up yet. Now that Nickelodeon has fired Butch Hartman, it's unlikely Nickelodeon will ever bring the series back. If Nickelodeon does bring the series back, the new series will be made by someone else.
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The strategy included sending in blue flowers for GLTAS, receipts for merchandise, keeping the episodes selling steady on iTunes, letters, e-mails, getting the show to trend on Twitter, and buying toys to donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Of course, Green Lantern: TAS toys were practically nonexistent due to the Box Office Bomb that was the Green Lantern live-action movie, so movie toys or general DC Green Lantern toys were to be sent instead. Fans were able to gain enough buzz for Cartoon Network and DC to issue a joint statement reassuring them that they appreciate their support for the [DC Nation block, and Cartoon Network even started advertising the show on their Facebook account again for a while, but unlike fellow DC Nation show Young Justice, renewal never happened. The final nail in the coffin for any hope was the announcement years later that while HBO Max would have a new, original Green Lantern series, it would be a live-action one that has nothing to do the cartoon.
- Sym-Bionic Titan fans have been exhorted by the brother of one of the cast members to send purple shirts to Cartoon Network. But the network didn't bite and Sym-Bionic Titan's single season is all there is.
- The US dub of Doraemon has been on hiatus ever since its second season ended. Fans have sent in tons of letters and messages asking for a third season. The fate of the US dub is still undetermined. However the surprise localization of Doraemon: Story of Seasons shows that the franchise has given some fans hope that the franchise hasn't totally abandoned the US.
- There was a "Waffles for Stephanie" campaign, but Dan DiDio claims to have only received ten or so. The tumblr maintainer disputes this, and there are plans for a second campaign, "The Halloween of Missing Batgirls," focusing on not just Stephanie Brown, but also Cassandra Cain, Helena Bertinelli, and Renee Montoya. Stephanie, Cassandra, Renee and even Helena (reimagined as a spy) were all eventually brought back into the new continuity at staggering points. It's largely due to fan support, but it's unclear it it had anything to do with any sort of "send stuff to DC" thing.
- There was also the Cassandra Cain Fan Campaign, an effort to get a concentrated group to buy the first issue of Cassandra's Batgirl series on Comixology, to prove she still has selling power.
- The Mole had a "Save the Mole" campaign in 2008, after ABC said halfway through the 5th season that they won't renew the show for a 6th season unless the ratings improved for the second half of the season. They sent in "lemonheads" (not the candy, but actual lemons with faces painted on them, after Paul's unofficial mascot for the season.) So far, the show has not been declared canceled, nor has it been renewed for a 6th season.
- Fans of the pre-Paul F. Tompkins multi-comedian version of Best Week Ever have discussed sending cans of soup to VH-1, the point being that we already have The Soup, we don't need another one-host pop culture mocking clip show.
- Casualty and Holby City fans attempts to get background extras into proper characters, e.g. in Casualty Big Mac, the porter, is a slightly minor character, but sometimes gets major storylines. (See the articles on Casualty and Holby City for the Fandom involved.)
- After Caprica's cancellation, fans launched a campaign consisting in sending bags of apples to Syfy, in reference to the show's promotional images.
- Tower Prep fans have been trying to get the series a second season ever since the last episode's infamous cliffhanger ending. So far, they've sent in mass petitions, thousands of letters, some very impressive fanart, and more. One of the "Tower Prep Riot" group's more impressive feats was a month-long boycott of Cartoon Network in its entirety. The show's fate is still undecided.
- Fans of The Hour organized a letter writing campaign to the BBC (or rather postcard writing, imitating postcards sent by Freddie to Bel between series 1 and 2) to protest the show's cancellation. They also have an online petition, a #savethehour twitter tag, a charity drive in the name of the cause, and have sent production company Kudos a yellow desk lamp having been informed that the BBC can't accept gifts.
- Hornblower fans (mostly fan girls) are known to organize postcard drives from time to time. Unfortunately to no success, but hope never dies. (The last installment of the miniseries aired in 2003.)
- Mother 3, a game which, despite surviving one cancellation and eventually releasing in Japan, is still not likely to ever be localized abroad. This in spite of Starmen.net's obsessive EB Siege fan campaign. A very professional Fan Translation has been finished and released.
- On August 31, 2012, in a "realignment of company focus," NC Soft shuttered Paragon Studios and announced that City of Heroes would also shut down by November 30. In response, the player base (noted for setting up its own charity drive) organized "Save CoH" with the intent of convincing NCSoft to sell rights to the game and its IP to investors, or to keep the game running. Efforts have included a petition with over 20,000 signatures, letter-writing and cape-and-mask-sending campaigns to NCSoft, and a Unity Rally held on September 8 that included at least 6,000 participants and completely filled up the primary server designated for the rally. The player base also showed solidarity with the former Paragon Studios employees by raising $1,000 to buy them dinner. Big names like Neil Gaiman, Felicia Day, Scott Kurtz, and Mercedes Lackey have also shown their support for the cause—and Mercedes, who is a City of Heroes player herself, sent a proposal to NCSoft to advertise their games free of charge if they don't shut this game down.
The player base has received a ton of media attention, and the Unity Rally was streamed live by Joystiq's MMO subdivision Massively. "#SaveCoH" was also trending on Twitter during that day. On October 2nd, NC Soft released a statement claiming they had "exhausted all available options on selling the rights of the studio" and would be shutting the game down anyway. However, some investors have said anonymously that NCSoft completely refused to negotiate sale of the game with them. In response, Titan Network released a statement resolving to fight on all the way to the shutdown date.
Although the game shut down on November 30 as announced, the player community continued its efforts to save the game—compounded with mounting negative attention paid to the handling of the game's closure by online media outlets. Mercedes Lackey organized "Task Force Hail Mary," a business proposal sent to Disney in hopes that it may convince them to purchase the City of Heroes IP from NCSoft. The Korea Times also interviewed Mercedes in light of City of Heroes' closure, detailing just how poorly NCSoft handled the shutdown of the game.
- Like with MÚSECA above, Reflec Beat was excluded from the 7th Konami Arcade Championship, leading to #SAVE_REFLEC_BEAT campaigns. The series remains online, but ceased to receive content updates...with the exception of a series of Konami 50th anniversary tracks that were added in March 2019, about a year after the last such update. Konami has not announced any further updates regarding the series, but do note that they have been supporting the same version of the game, Reflec Beat: The Reflesia of Eternity for over 2 1/2 years when most BEMANI games get new versions roughly once a year.
- Infinity Train. After the show's third season began airing on HBO Max, the creator admitted that there was no fourth season in production, with much of the crew having already disbanded and himself due to leave the studio that November. Concentrated efforts are currently underway to spread the word out through social media, with some media outlets and even other communities such as the Glitch Techs fandom helping to get the word out. Strategies include purchasing what little merchandise exists for the show (a T-shirt, and the Season 1 DVD and soundtrack), playing the entire series repeatedly on HBO Max to boost viewership statistics, getting it to Twitter trend on the following two Thursdays that new episodes premiered, and just contacting HBO and Cartoon Network about the desire for more episodes.
- Wander over Yonder fans launched the #SaveWOY campaign. They bought episodes on iTunes, wrote letters and emails, and they sent a ton of petitions to save the show. One devoted viewer even tried to get the execs' attention by writing and performing an original song. Craig McCracken actually respectfully honored the fans' commitment, as did the cast and crew of the show, but there was no 11th hour save. The last episode of Wander Over Yonder aired June 27, 2016, and there has been no word from Disney about reviving it or otherwise bringing it back in other forms. But the fans continue to fight, and reruns have been shown in subsequent years.
Wrath of the Viewership
- In Finland, the atrociously bad voiceover group Agapio Racing Team, also known as Nordic Agapio, had their doors shut down for good after angry Digimon fans sent in enough complaints about their Digimon dub to the show's distributor, who fired the group about a season or two into the series and hired another, much more competent group.
- Apparently this was the reason the anime version of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo got canned as parent groups claimed the show promoted bullying.
- Soupy Sales, miffed at being denied a day off for New Year's Day, asked his juvenile audience to go into their parents' purses and wallets, find the "little green pieces of paper", and mail them into the show. They only sent a few dollars and lots of play money and Monopoly money, but he got his wish — a two-week vacation. (Suspension, technically, but who's counting?)
- Peter Berg's Wonderland is part this and part Screwed by the Network. The show only lasted for two episodes, even though the pilot won its timeslot (against an ER repeat). Its short lifespan is often attributed to protests by mental health advocates of a spree-killing storyline.
- Doctor Who: Several examples.
- Large numbers of Doctor Who fans sent in acerbic letters complaining about the various scientific inaccuracies and how the show wasn't nearly as good as when they were children. They thought they were being "helpful", trying to restore their beloved show to its former glory. Unfortunately, Michael Grade (who, so the legend goes, was looking for an excuse to can the show anyway) interpreted the complaints as demands to cancel the series. So he did.
- Rumors suggest that Grade's vendetta against the show was personal, seeing how Grade dated star Colin Baker's ex.
- This in turn, resulted in an even greater deluge of letters demanding the show be brought back. Some of which were, reportedly, written in blood.
- It also resulted in a protest song titled "Doctor in Distress", which starred four Doctor Who regulars and a bunch of other celebrities. Unfortunately, it was so poorly received that even the BBC itself refused to air it on its radio stations.
- This method was used as an attempt at cancelling two former blocks on Nickelodeon-owned channels: NickMom on Nick Jr., which was because the channel's lack of an alternate feed meant that the NickMom block, which had shows with risque humor, could air as early as 4PM in some parts of the country, and Nick Studio 10, which was complained about for interrupting the actual program that was airing. While NickMom didn't get cancelled until 2015 due to budget cuts, the block did address the complaints by adding tamer parent-themed sitcoms such as Yes, Dear, Parenthood and See Dad Run and cutting down on the more raunchier programming. The Nick Studio 10 campaign, on the other hand, was far more successful, ending four months after it launched, save for them airing a Labor Day special in September that was comprised of Sam & Cat-themed segments.
- Viewers asked ABC to cancel Capitol Critters with a letter-writing campaign decrying the show's portrayal of any vermin that wasn't a mouse as a nonwhite race. Though some argued that the show was cancelled more due to low-ratings then anything else and ABC just wanted an excuse to get rid of it and letter-writing campaign was a convenient scapegoat.
- Gaston Lagaffe's antics end up getting him fired from the Dupuis Editions publisher. Then said publisher receives a massive amount of fan letters asking for Gaston to be rehired. He gets rehired, and his first job is to sort out the mountain of letters and answer to every one of them to thank his fans.
- In a comic book adaptation of The Powerpuff Girls, a villainous show host of a kids' show asked its fans (including Bubbles) to send in money without telling their parents. In this case, it wasn't so much to save the show from being cancelled, as it was a villainous plot to get money. Also, instead of threatening to cancel the show, all the characters would die if they got no money. The Animated Series also has an episode like this. He indicates the world will end for the show's cast if they don't get money. So Bubbles robs the banks herself.
- In 30 Rock, Kenneth tries to save TGS by sending sugar cubes. Unfortunately, the cubes got crushed in the way and were mistaken for anthrax, and Kenneth was tackled by Homeland Security.
- The Castle episode "One Life to Lose" has an inverted example; a group of internet fans all agree to send axes to the producers of their favorite soap opera as part of a campaign to get the head writer fired.
- The webcomic Save Hiatus is about this phenomenon. In it, the main cast, who are the fans of the fictional TV series Hiatus, send in red thongs.
- In episode 16 of The Jerry Seinfeld Program, after a very critical letter made Jerry and George realize how far the show had fallen, they ask the audience to mail ideas for new episodes. This backfires when the following episode, written by someone named Josh Kantor, turns out to be absolute audacity (such as having Jerry and George declare their love for whores and exclaiming, "Fuck the cops!"). Episode 18 focuses on fallout of that episode as Jerry and George realize the "fans" aren't taking the low-quality state of the show seriously.
- In one episode of Arthur, D.W. organized a petition at her preschool to get the network to uncancel Mary Moo-Cow. It didn't work as expected: The show wasn't brought back due to the lead getting a new role as a business news anchor, but it did end up in syndication on another channel when a Fictional Counterpart of Batman: The Animated Series was unexpectedly cancelled (much to Arthur's chagrin).