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Sending Stuff to Save the Show

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"What if we cancel Moonlight, and they send blood?"

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 (leading to the rise of generating social media buzz as a major method of campaigning), 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. Whether a work can be considered this or a "fail" depends on how intense and lengthy the fan campaign is, and if the studio or network has made an official statement in response.
  • 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 fan campaigns to save what they like doesn't have as active an outlet in other media. The long-form nature of television and the cost involved in making such programming means that work made for the format could be subject to being Cut Short before a Series Goal is reached or Driving Question answered, making fans eager to see a proper conclusion. For other media, fan campaigns like this generally don't involve fans wanting more installments; they usually concern wanting an alternate version of a preexisting work made available, such as the Director's Cut of a film, or for a No Export for You piece of media to be made legally available in their region. The actual impact that fan 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, as even if rights issues prevent the series proper from making a comeback, the creator can always use the money to fund a Spiritual Successor.


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Success Stories

  • 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.
  • 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 Toonami came back and has remained a constant of the Adult Swim schedule since.
  • 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 its Toonami block and the ratings skyrocketed, causing CN to also order English dubs of S and Super S, and hiring Cloverway to do them.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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 mailing list successfully convinced them otherwise; apparently they had no idea there was a demand for it.
  • In 1998, for its theatrical re-release in Germany, the original German-language dub of The Little Mermaid, circa 1990, was replaced with a brand-new dub, with different actors voicing the characters (save for Beate Hasneau, who reprised her role as Ursula). Fans disliked the dub, as they felt it wasn't up to the standards of the dub they grew up with. When the film was released on the Platinum Edition line of DVDs in 2006, it still did not contain the original 1990 dub, and as a result, sales were disastrous. Things got so bad that fans actually petitioned to have the 1990 dub available the next time the film was released. Surprisingly, it worked; the original German dub (in Dolby Surround with 2.0 mixing) was made available when the film was next released on Blu-Ray and DVD in 2013. However, when the film became available on the Disney+ streaming service, the 1998 redub was the one used for unknown reasons (even though the credits are actually those of the original 1990 dub).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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 problem-plagued production and 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 platform Vero as well as Q&As, Snyder eventually was able to release 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) on HBO Max in 2021.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series was saved by a letter-writing campaign, with 116,000 letters sent in four months (while the fact the show was a Killer App for color TVs also played a handnote , those letters also indicated higher-income fans, as they came from doctors, scientists, teachers, and other professionalsnote ). As many as a million letters may have been received, no one is sure of the exact figure, and they came from everyone — all ages and occupations. Cal Tech, MIT and NYU students began organising protest marches outside local NBC stations' offices. As far as sending stuff, fans had been producing zines — amateur publications featuring art, original stories and speculations about the Star Trek universe — almost from the beginning in '66. Copies of T-Negative, Spockanalia and others were mailed to the Star Trek studios; Roddenberry and the cast expressed surprised appreciation. Thus, NBC and Paramount were well aware of the level of fan interest, but it wasn't showing up in the Nielsen ratings — this was before Nielsen refined their demographic analysis.note  It can be argued that Roddenberry was also sending stuff to save the show, by providing gifts and trinkets to the fans; fan mail was answered with enclosed film clip frames from the cutting room floor and autographed photos. Fans also received lists of mail-order premiums (later Lincoln Enterprises) and a newsletter, Inside Star Trek. The show was saved for a third season, which allowed it to meet the threshold number of episodes needed at the time for a syndication deal,note  which helped lead to films and spin-off series, and eventually a whole franchise as time went 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 (2006) 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 (such as the Friday Night Death Slot), 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.
    • Another ongoing campaign is to get Paul McGann an entire series as the seldom seen onscreen but runaway audio adventure hit Eighth Doctor. Paul himself has been one of the supporters. One of the byproducts of the demands to bring him back was "The Night of the Doctor".
  • When Fox canceled Lucifer after the third season due to low ratings, fans weren't happy, 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.
  • After Syfy cancelled The Expanse after three seasons, a group of fans hired a plane to fly a "SAVE THE EXPANSE" banner around the offices of several major streaming services. Amazon Studios stepped in and gave the series a new home at Amazon Prime Video, where it got three more seasons.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • 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, it was eventually renewed because of its success on DVD and [adult swim]. In fact, the success of Family Guy allowed the creators to push for a series of Direct to Video movies that serve as a fifth season, followed by two additional 26-episode seasons on Comedy Central.
  • Gargoyles fans hoped that, even if they couldn't revive the show, they could at least get all the Weisman-episodes of the show on DVD (the third season did not have his involvement, and he's decried it as non-canon). However, Buena Vista wouldn't budge on releasing the remaining episodes of Season 2 for almost a decade. Disney offices would randomly get gobs of Celtic/Scottish-centric objects, pictures, what have you, every now and then over the next several years until Season 2: Volume 2 finally released for Disney Movie Club members in June 2013. It would see general retail release the following year.
  • Hey Arnold! got screwed out of its impending Grand Finale movie known as The Jungle Movie in 2002, when an intended television movie (Arnold Saves the Neighborhood) got retrofitted into a theatrical release and bombed at the box office. As a result, the series ended with two huge unresolved plotlines: Helga's feelings for Arnold, and the fate of Arnold's parents; the latter of which was the focus of one of the show's final episodes. 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. In November 2015, Nickelodeon would announce that the long-awaited Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie would be entering production as a television movie, and Bartlett would include a "Thank You" to the fans who never gave up hope 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 in 2012. 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). Nick and creator Jhonen Vasquez ended up having several talks in the years following both because of these efforts and the show's success in reruns, resulting in a comic book series being announced in 2015 (which began running later that year) and a television movie called Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus that can loosely be considered a Grand Finale getting announced in 2017 (and released on Netflix two years later).
  • 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 begun putting in place for all television programming starting in the late 1990s. The campaign ended up abolishing the rule for good, 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 continuous high ratings and merchandise sales. 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. This final season would see a proper conclusion to the seris, bringing the events of it up the very end of the Clone Wars and coinciding with the events of Revenge of the Sith.
  • 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: Outsiders for the DC Universe streaming service; the season did well enough on the service that there is now a fourth one in production for HBO Max.

Nice Tries

    Comic Books 
  • Scream: Curse of Carnage was announced as a dark, gritty continuation of the story of fan-favorite character Andi Benton, but was cancelled six issues in due to Marvel raising its sales standards in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting brick-and-morter comic stores. Outraged fans — who'd had to suffer through five years of Andi being sidelined and depowered — took to Twitter and to petition Marvel to renew the series. While that ultimately never happened, Marvel did give Clay McLeod Chapman leave to write a couple of one-shots for King In Black that hastily wrapped up as many dangling plot-threads as they could, and included Andi in Extreme Carnage.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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 hope was for the film to renew enough interest for the network to continue the series, while the others say that the film was intended as closure from the beginning.
    • Years after Serenity, Nathan Fillion jokingly told an interviewer that he would buy the rights to Firefly if he had the money. Their hopes reignited, the Browncoats rallied together and sent not letters, not postcards, but checks to make it happen. It got so heated that Fillion himself had to step in and calm the fanbase down, but not before expressing how proud he was of the fans.
  • 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.
  • After Sense8 was cancelled not long after its second season premiered, an intense backlash ensued on social media over how fans saw it as an unceremonious and tactless move on Netflix's part, especially since it happened on the first day of LGBT Pride Month 2017 (several main and supporting characters on the show are LGBT, as are some members of the cast and crew). The fans created petitions and a hashtag calling for the show to be uncancelled, as well as threats to cancel their Netflix subscriptions en masse. The pressure was enough to get Netflix to green-light a two-and-half hours long movie to conclude the main story and tie up the loose ends.
  • When The CW cancelled Veronica Mars, fans tried to change their minds by sending in thousands of Mars Bars. It didn't work, but as the above section shows, there was a later success story with a crowdfunded movie.
  • 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.
  • When Freeform cancelled Shadowhunters after three seasons, fans created petitions and the hashtag #SaveShadowhunters in an attempt to get the show uncancelled. There was some minor controversy when Freeform included a jab at the fan protests in a Pop'N Knowledge presentation of Toy Story. Eventually, Freeform compromised by green-lighting the production of two extra episodes to conclude the main story and tie up the loose ends.

    Theme Parks 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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 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, considering the fact that there's at least a modding community in which, they'll continue doing the support of this game.
  • 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 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Not just letters and posters of fan-arts, but a small group of fans actually held rallies located around the offices of major Nickelodeon-based networks for years to try and convince the big wigs to bring back the canceled Danny Phantom. After Butch Hartman left Nickelodeon in 2018, he also stated his passion for the series and a desire to see it return, telling fans to continue pushing for it. Eventually, the show has been announced to return... as a graphic novel, done by Gaby Epstein of The Baby-Sitters Club fame, taking place where Phantom Planet left off and set for a release in summer of 2023.
  • Final Space: After the show ended abruptly on a bleak cliffhanger, the show got axed as a tax write off due to the Warner Bros. Discovery merger. Many of the fans and series creator Olan Rogers were blindsided by this decision and refused to give up on the show. Olan in particular launched a Kickstarter campaign involving an animated short called Godspeed, saying that the short will not only be heavily influenced by Final Space but also incorporate unused ideas from planned future seasons into it. Olan also made several products available on sale in his online shop Star cadet that demanded for the show’s renewal, including t-shirts and caps. it was not until April 24th when Olan announced on his YouTube channel that he would get to conclude the show’s story in the form of a self-published graphic novel that is set to release in 2024.

Saving Throw Failed

  • There was a plan by The Big O fans to send tomatoes to Cartoon Network, but there wasn't much turnout for that.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Save our Voice Actors, an organization that tried to get the original 4kids English voice actors back once sent pasta to the new dubbing studio because the last episode to use the original voice actors prominently featured noodles. It failed.
    • Around the Pokémon the Series: XY, Brazilian fandom gathered over 10,000 signatures in a petition to not change the voice of Ash, as the dub producers was considering it due to the logistics of remote recording (the voice actor had moved to Portugal). It worked and he remained... for one more season, as in the next the producers moved the dub to another city and thus cast altogether, without even warning the old voices.
  • 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 an in-joke in the fandom for some time thereafter.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign sparked in the wake of the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League to globally positive reception, this time aiming at continuing from where the film left off. Then-WarnerMedia Executive Ann Sarnoff had made it clear in a press release that Warner Bros. had no intent to produce follow-ups. While Sarnoff lost her job along with Toby Emmerich and Walter Hamada in the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery, a newly appointed James Gunn (as the co-head of DC Studios) made it more or less clear that a Continuity Reboot is happening under his watch. The first major sign of this was Henry Cavill leaving the role of Superman, despite having reappeared in The Stinger of Black Adam at a time when Dwayne Johnson tried to have input on the direction DC Studios was taking (the mediocre results of Black Adam likely had a part in Johnson losing influence over DC Studios to Gunn).

    Live-Action TV 
  • A fan campaign for a Star Trek: The Original Series fourth season failed, along with fan efforts to have ABC pick up the show. Long after the show was off the air, fans were writing to NBC, Paramount and Bantam Books (which published the James Blish adaptions) to express continued interest, leading to Star Trek: The Animated Series, many more original professional novels, and the Phase Two project. Joan Winston, Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Sondra Marshak documented the history of the post-cancellation fan campaigns in their 1975 book Star Trek Lives!, which generated even more fan interest.
  • Cupid fans sent in letters, but were unsuccessful in saving the show. Years later, it 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 rented a banner plane to fly over the offices of UPN and The WB with a banner 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 in an attempt to get the show un-cancelled, to no avail. 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, 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's fandom was up in arms after it was confirmed by a cast member that there wouldn't be a third season. An online petition was started and many emails were sent, but to no avail. The show would have a proper finale, though The Stinger did open up the possibility for the third season that never happened.
  • 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 was a Pushing Daisies comic miniseries to wrap up the show, however.
  • 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 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 to the Sci-Fi Channel in an attempt to get the series renewed for a third season, but since this was during the anthrax scare these didn't get to the intended audience. The show ended up being cancelled.
  • 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 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.
  • Fans of the short-lived series Journeyman sent in boxes of Rice-A-Roni (a San Francisco-born product, as the show was set in the city) in an attempt to get the show renewed for a second season, to no avail.
  • Fans of Moonlight organized blood drives in an attempt to get the show saved, to no avail.
  • Fans of Kyle XY sent in Sour Patch Kids, the titular character's favorite snack, in an effort to save that show, in addition to an online petition. Unfortunately, since the show has been cancelled for two years, having ended on a cliffhanger, 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.
  • In addition to the usual letters and phone calls, one fan allegedly sent her broken TV to FOX to protest the cancellation of The Lone Gunmen.
  • The Dresden Files had a short-lived 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/wand.
  • An apocryphal story holds that fans of the GEICO Cavemen ad campaign sent in their own hair to protest the cancellation of the Cavemen TV series, apparently inspired by the nuts sent to save Jericho (2006).
  • 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 in candles with the message "Keep the light shining!" to convince CBS to reverse their decision to cancel the show, to no avail.
  • Fans of As the World Turns sent in bars of soap to CBS to protest the show's cancellation. After concerns that the soap might have contained anthrax (it didn't, by the way), the FBI was called in to investigate.
  • 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 planned 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.
  • After Caprica's cancellation, fans launched a campaign consisting in sending bags of apples to Syfy, in reference to the show's promotional images, to no avail.
  • Tower Prep fans sent in mass petitions, thousands of letters, fanart, and more and even went on a month-long boycott of Cartoon Network in its entirety in an attempt to get the show renewed for a second season, especially since its first ended on a cliffhanger. It's highly unlikely the show will return, given how the show ended in 2010 and Cartoon Network has long given up on original live-action programming.
  • Fans of the pre-Paul F. Tompkins multi-comedian version of Best Week Ever once discussed sending in cans of soup to VH1, the point being that after The Soup became a hit, they didn't need another one-host pop culture-mocking clip show. With Best Week Ever having ended in 2010, barring a short-lived 2013-14 revival, and The Soup being canned in 2015, aside from a short-lived 2020 revival, it's safe to say its unlikely Best Week Ever will return in any form.

    Theme Parks 
  • 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. Various online petitions attempted to avert the re-theme, but Disney simply ignored them and officially set its closure for January 2017.
  • Many fans around the world of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride were overwhelmingly infuriated over the Magic Kingdom version closing. Many of them made protests throughout the park trying to order Disney to cancel plans, and some of them sent angry letters to company officials. They even made T-shirts saying "Tell Me Why Mickey is Killing Mr. Toad". But despite their many attempts, Disney didn't budge and replaced the ride anyway.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 (2011) 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.
  • The Owl House: When it was announced that a Disney executive had cut the show's third season short before the first season even finished airing, fans took to social media and petition sites to demand Disney at least give the series a proper third season, if not a fourth season. However, efforts died down when showrunner Dana Terrace — who'd been blindsided by the decision herself and was also upset about it — said that Disney wasn't budging and it was too late to change anything. It later transpired that Disney executives were unaware of how popular the show was — having ignored the petitions and dismissed the series trending on social media — until the Season 3 premiere, by which point it was too late to do anything.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan fans were 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.

Fate Undetermined

    Anime and Manga 
  • 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.
  • Since spring of 2017, there has been a small effort by a group of fans on DeviantART and the dedicated wiki to demand Takara Tomy into creating a second season of Miracle Wanda and continuning the adventures of the protagonists, despite Episode 47 explicitly ending with a definite conclusion. A petition has been made as well, and one fan has sent multiple letters to the company. The release of the English dub recently has given hope that a continuation could be coming.
  • On 2021, there's a similar situation for the Filipino Dub of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card to get COMPLETELY done in a similar way to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut when it got Cut Short for political reasons or whatever after there's a History Repeats for Filipino Otakus who grew up with the series.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.) The first two seasons of the series were eventually picked up by Netflix in 2021, followed by them commissioning an entirely new season which was released in 2022. Whether this had anything to do with the campaigns seems dubious at best, though the continued fan presence for the series certainly coudn't have hurt.
  • Casualty and Holby City fans have attempted to get background extras converted into proper characters, e.g. in Casualty, Big Mac, the porter, is a slightly minor character, but sometimes gets major storylines.
  • 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 have been known to organize postcard drives to get a revival or reboot made from time to time ever since the last installment of the miniseries aired in 2003.

    Video Games 
  • Mother 3, as a capstone to its troubled production, is not likely to ever be localized abroad for a lot of speculated reasons, despite all of EB Siege's obssessive fan campaigns over the years. A very professional Fan Translation was finished and released in 2008, but the community still desires an official English localization. For Nintendo of America's part, they are fully aware of the demand and have even joked about it on numerous occasions, but continue to avoid giving a direct answer to this day.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 

  • Infinity Train. After Book 3 began airing on HBO Max, creator Owen Dennis revealed in interviews that the show was cancelled, starting fans efforts to spread the word out through social media, with some media outlets and even other fandoms helping to get the word out. Even more concentrated efforts to renew the series began when it turned out Book 4, which seemed like a win, was announced to be the last season, being part of the same production order as Book 3. Monthly Twitter trending campaigns started being organized; the first of which managed to become the top trend in the United States for several hours (plus a prize giveaway ran by the creator himself and contributed to by official brands), with later ones managing to trend as well. While neither CN or HBO has yet to respond, the fandom pushes on, only expanding its reach once HBO Max expanded globally, as overseas fans could once again watch the show legally.
  • 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 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 Disney said nothing about reviving it or otherwise bringing it back in other forms. McCracken himself quickly found himself at Netflix developing a new show, Kid Cosmic, but a small and passionate part of the fandom continues to fight on.

Wrath of the Viewership

  • In Finland, the dubbing studio Agapio Racing Team, also known as Nordic Agapio, were fired from the dub of Digimon after fans sent in enough complaints about the dub to the show's distributor, who fired the group about a season or two into the series and hired another company to finish the series.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A humorous example in Lunch with Soupy Sales, a children's comedy show. In 1965, Soupy Sales was miffed at being denied a day off for New Year's Day. In retaliation, at the end of that day's live broadcast, he 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. Kids sent in few dollars of legal tender and thousands in play money; Sales would state afterwards that any real money would be given to charity, but calls and letters from angry parents meant that he managed to get his original wish after all, in the form of a two-week vacation. (Okay, technically he was suspended, but who's counting?)
  • Peter Berg's Wonderland. While the network would claim the show was axed after only two episodes purely due to low ratings, the series had also been hit with attempts by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) to organize an advertiser boycott, and was also victim to general outcry from mental health professionals due to the show's sensationalism of mental illnesses.
  • 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, and he did. This in turn, resulted in an even greater deluge of letters demanding the show be brought back, with an apocryphal story claiming some of them were 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.
  • This method was used as an attempt at cancelling two former blocks on Nickelodeon-owned channels: NickMom on Nick Jr. and Nick Studio 10 on the main channel:
    • NickMom got flak for two reasons. One was a bit mundane: some parents of fussy children were frustrated that a good late-night option for preschool entertainment for their kids was gone. The other was bigger and more problematic: the channel's lack of an alternate feed meant that the block, which had shows with a lot of risqué humor would air as early as 4PM in some parts of the country. While NickMom didn't get cancelled until 2015 due to budget cuts, the campaign at least managed "Nice Try"-status thanks to Nickelodeon addressing the content complaints by cutting the more adult programming in favor of tamer parent-themed sitcoms such as Yes, Dear, Parenthood and See Dad Run.
    • Nick Studio 10 was complained about due to the hosts' skits often interrupting the actual programming that was airing during the block, rather than just being wraparounds. The Nick Studio 10 campaign was a proper success, with the block to end four months after it launched in response, save for a Labor Day special comprised of Sam & Cat-themed segments.

Fictional Examples

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Garfield once had Uncle Roy ("Everybody loves Uncle Roy") begging his audience to send letters to protect him from the "big green monsters who want to take Uncle Roy off the air".

  • 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.

    Web Video 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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).