Follow TV Tropes

Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope.
Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.


Win Back the Crowd

Go To

Ah my, was it glorious. It was a franchise unlike any other. The fans loved it. It caused fangirls to Squee with delight. Even those who weren't fans grudgingly respected its brilliance. There were books, TV shows, movies, video games, comics, lunchboxes, T-shirts, and a thousand fan-fics. It was magnificent, but then, something went wrong. Author fatigue set in. Or maybe the author failed to exist. Or perhaps their ego overshadowed the work. Maybe the executives meddled too much. Or the work or its creators got caught up in some sort of controversy. Or the work tried Growing the Beard and instead ended up Jumping the Shark. Maybe, the author simply dared to change something about it.

Whatever the cause, the result was the same. The show's ratings slipped, the movie gave way to cornier sequels, and folks stopped buying the T-shirts. The franchise lost the crowd it worked so hard to win. So sad.

But is there a way to restore the massive franchise we all know and love?

Sometimes, the crowd can be won again! Even though the fanbase has revolted against a franchise and declared it "played out", the creator (or maybe even a new one) can actually make the franchise fresh and new and relevant (and profitable) again, and change the minds of these so-called former fans who claimed they will never come back to the franchise again.

The creators realize that the franchise simply has to be adjusted for new changes in society. Or they remake it with new actors, who are [gasp!] as good as the originals. Maybe they cut out the Narmtastic parts of the original. Or fix the visual effects. Or maybe the franchise just needed to rest for a little while. Maybe they changed it back now that it sucked. Perhaps a newly Promoted Fanboy is now Running the Asylum. Heck, maybe the execs were right after seeing a couple of outings where the old team gets their restraints taken off and decide to put the meddling back in. Whatever it is, the result is the same. The fangirls are squeeing again, folks are buying T-shirts again, and the Fan Fics are back.

It's magnificent (again).

Compare And the Fandom Rejoiced (when a preview reassures fans by showing the producers are being faithful to the source material), and Author's Saving Throw (when a creator confirms that the new direction is a response to negative feedback on an earlier instalment). See also Career Resurrection and Genre Relaunch. If a company is trying to invoke this, it's a case of We Don't Suck Anymore.

No Recent Examples, Please! You can't say a work has won back its crowd if it hasn’t been released yet. Six months after release should be enough to allow for enough people to experience the work to make a proper judgement on it. And remember that this isn't a place to Gush About Shows You Like either.

Examples (Note: Some of these franchises are multi-media, examples are of the specific work that won back the fans.)

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan:
    • A meta example. Many people who weren't into anime (or had since grown out of it) have checked out the show thanks to its growing popularity, and it's caused the anime fandom as a whole to be back in the game on social media sites like Tumblr.
    • Complaints that the story moves too slowly seems to have been answered by everything after Chapter 50, with most of the proceeding chapters being a Wham Episode of sorts.
  • Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, with its combination of thrilling, violent action and a tragic, emotional story of Star-Crossed Lovers, helped out by Studio TRIGGER's visually impressive animation, won praise from critics, fans (of Cyberpunk 2077 and the original RPG), and even the RPG's creator Mike Pondsmith. This revived interest in the Cyberpunk franchise as a whole after 2077 had become the subject of derision and mockery due to being absolutely riddled with bugs on release. The popularity of Edgerunners, by contrast, brought many new players to 2077 and the RPG alike, and the videogame's fortunes have been further improved by positive reception to the release of the Phantom Liberty DLC, accompanied by a major overhaul update.
  • Digimon: Digimon Adventure tri.'s announcement to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the franchise excited numerous longtime Digimon fans. The release of the first movie (or first four episodes) not only earned a lot of money, but it was favorably received by the fandom. Many fans are looking forward to future movies.
  • Gundam:
    • After the near Franchise Killer that was Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Gundam Build Fighters has revived faith in Gundam as a whole and proved that a series like Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G can work as an actual series.
    • A good chunk of the fandom considered the Build Fighter shows to be side-stories due to their Lighter and Softer nature and for being based on just the model kits, while the franchise "proper" (i.e. the shows where mobile suits are actual giant robots) continued to flounder by following AGE with the pretty but ultimately confusing and disappointing Reconguista in G, leaving the Build Fighter series as more of a "hold the line" effort. Luckily Iron-Blooded Orphans seems to be bringing back a lot of the enthusiasm dampened by AGE and G-Reco.
  • After the poor reception of Jewelpet Kira☆Deco!, the fifth season was made more similar to the general feel of the third season in order to win back the Periphery Demographic.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Many fans dropped out partway during the Johto arc due to it being packed with filler, as well as potentially interesting storylines being scrapped, most infamously the GS Ball. note  However, Hoenn won many fans back, due to better animation, characterization, and pacing.
    • After Sinnoh, many dropped out during the Unova arc, due to what was perceived as bad characterizations for the main characters. But the Kalos arc, with Ash's Character Rerailment, a new director, and certain announcements exciting the fanbase, a lot of people came back.
    • The Alola arc had a hard time gaining fans due to its Denser and Wackier nature (the fact that the games it was based on were actually Darker and Edgier compared to their predecessors didn't help), the redesigns of the characters, and the school setting. But then came the announcement that Misty and Brock would be making a guest reappearance for the show's 1000th episode, and interest was regained with the lost crowd.
  • Pretty Cure: Doki Doki! PreCure was an attempt by Toei to win back the fanbase. This one has quite a story behind it. Three years before Doki Doki, the precure of the year was HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, which was almost completely different from its predecessors. It was both Darker and Edgier and at the same time Denser and Wackier, and the main characters are just plain badass. The change enticed a lot of people, mostly from the Periphery Demographic. The next two precures after that adhered to the older formula (read: made for little girls), and this put off the new fans. Doki Doki is an attempt to create something that replicates the success of HCPC while still keeping the primary audience. The result is something that can be described as either Made of Win or a total Cliché Storm. Because of that, HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! is attempting to try again, this time mixing elements of the older ways and the ways pioneered by HCPC while adding some new ideas of its own (like deliberately trying to make the blue Pretty Cure be the main character instead of the pink one)... at least, at first, because it ended up crashing and burning in its second half even worse than Doki Doki did. This has since lead to a major change in the higher-ups that produce the series, leading then-current producer Hiroaki Shibata to be Kicked Upstairs to Toei's Tokusatsu department. This has ironically made Go! Princess Pretty Cure take this mantle instead, to a much more degree of success than the past two seasons.
  • Studio DEEN was once one of the most respected animation studios in the industry during the '80s and '90s, being responsible for big hits like Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½, and Rurouni Kenshin. Around the mid-2000s, though, their quality generally plummeted and they developed a major reputation for poor animation and mishandling of source material (due in large part to their poorly-received adaptations of Fate/stay night, Log Horizon, and the infamously bad Pupa), and became generally mocked among greater anime fandom. The phrase "DEEN finds a way" became shorthand for poor quality all around. Their fortunes began to reverse in January 2016, however, as DEEN animated the breakout hit KonoSuba (where their usual dodgy quality actually enhanced the show's humor) as well as the critically acclaimed Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, and now DEEN is ironically being hailed as the next savior of anime. Furthermore, both Kono Suba and Rakugo have been greenlit for second seasons. The former was not unexpected, considering it was the best-selling anime of Winter 2016 by a country mile, but the latter was a real shocker, especially as it is a Josei show which historically does not sell well.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. The previous series of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL was derided for being more childish than other series and neglecting older summoning methods. ARC-V addresses these points by having a darker, complex plot that incorporates all summoning methods, and making the characters unique, but retaining a lot of the humor and quirks that fans loved about ZEXAL.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • After years of quieting down and declining in popularity, the show became famous again with the season Mighty Little Defenders. Many people who had stopped watching the show came back to watch the season Mighty Little Defenders because it was the most exciting and unique season in years.
    • When the Dunk for Victories season was put on iQiyi, originally the episodes beyond around episode 6 were restricted to VIP, but the season later had the VIP removed, and the entire season was free to watch for a while. But due to the factor of the season's dwelling popularity, the VIP restriction was put up again as Creative Power Entertaining's strategy of this trope.

  • Mercedes-Benz did this twice with the E-Class (sedan and stationwagon models only):
    • The 2009-2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212, the fourth-generation wasn't a bad car, indeed it was an improvement over the great 1995-2002 E-Class W210 and good 2002-2009 E-Class W211 models, but some owners felt it had lost its way in terms of build quality and model choices; during this era, build quality wasn't awful, but wasn't 100% bulletproof either. The 2013 facelift brought back owners who would otherwise have bought an Audi A6, or even the Lexus IS sedan, partially due to engines like the E400 with its 3.0-liter 328hp V6 that offered a good alternative to the gas-guzzling 4.7-litre 302hp V8 engine, and also the E400 4MATIC model. Also, trim levels in European markets such as the Dutch specifications of Edition, Ambition and Prestige - or SE, SE Premium, Elegance and Avantgarde in the United Kingdom were popular. Downplayed in that the E-Class's popularity hadn't declined totally, it had just been seen as weaker than previous years. However..
    • The W213 model launched in 2016 as a 2017 model year brought back some owners to the Mercedes fold due to the then-new hybrid model which was an improvement over the earlier 2013-2014 model, and if you were rich enough, the E450 with its 3.0-liter 357hp bi-turbo V6 engine. The addition of fleet-focused Business Solution models won back business customers who went for the Ford Mondeo as a fleet car, despite the substantial size and price gap between them. However, Americans could not get these models; for 2017, only the E300 (with a 2.0-liter 241hp V6, not a 3.0-liter as the badge denoted and E400 with a 3.0-liter 329hp V6 were offered; Canadians could get it only as all-wheel-drive with the same engines.

    Comic Books 

Marvel Comics

  • At one point Fantastic Four and The Avengers were dwindling properties at despite the fact that they were the company's flagship super-teams and in the case of the "FF", the oldest series. With not particularly stellar talent working on each book, The Dark Age of Comic Books seemed to be making idealistic super-hero teams irrelevant. After the mixed-reception of the Onslaught crossover, the two teams were thrown into an alternate reality, leading to the reviled Heroes Reborn. This ended up being setup for Heroes Return and Status Quo Is God, returning the titles back to their former glory with very popular creative teams.
  • Spider-Man:
    • The comic hit a massive creative nadir with the anti-climactic conclusion to the four-year-long Hobgoblin Saga, which was blotched by behind the scenes drama and the decision to kill off Hobgoblin in his civilian identity in an unrelated story, denying fans a final confrontation and sticking a third-string villain in the costume to keep the character around. But Marvel managed to pull their asses out of the fire with the decision to FINALLY marry Peter and Mary Jane off, which resurrected interest in the character, along with the acclaimed storyline Kraven's Last Hunt, the hiring of Todd McFarlane as artist for The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) and the introduction of Venom. The Reveal by Hobgoblin creator Roger Stern that the man who had been killed off was NOT, in fact, the real Hobgoblin, but rather his brainwashed stand-in, allowed the final confrontation between him and Spidey that the fans were initially denied.
    • The title hit this again in the mid-'00s after the disaster of his unmasking in Civil War and the universally-reviled One More Day storyline as new writers were brought in who kept trying to replace Spidey's supporting cast and rogues gallery by creating their own set of third-string villains and characters. It hit its own nadir when they had the Lizard cross the Moral Event Horizon and later undid the Sacred Cow that was Kraven's Last Hunt. Enter Dan Slott, who took over the title as the sole writer and generally made the series enjoyable again, though the run has not been without its detractors, and his Superior Spider-Man (2013) story was fairly controversial, though it enjoyed the best sales for the series in quite some time.
      • After several years of being consigned to just the newspaper comic strip, Peter and MJ's marriage was brought back to the forefront for the summer of 2015 during the Secret Wars event, with Dan Slott penning a five-issue story called The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, focusing on an alternate version of Peter and MJ raising a young daughter called Annie and taking on a dictator called The Regent. The series proved very popular and a year later it was given its own ongoing title where the Parker family all fight crime together as a superhero unit, not unlike The Incredibles.
      • Following the events of Superior Spider-Man, Black Cat underwent a shock Face–Heel Turn, turning violent against Spider-Man, almost killing Aunt May, and set her sights on becoming a ruthless crime Queenpin. Fans of Felicia were understandably livid at this. Writer Robbie Thompson attempted to give Felicia a sympathetic motivation for her turn in the pages of Silk and developed a frenemy relationship between her and Cindy Moon, but that only lasted until Felicia found out Cindy was spying on her. Finally, after three years of dissatisfied fans crying foul, Felicia was quickly set on the path to redemption in both Venom Inc and the pages of Defenders, where she lost her crime empire and was given a motivational speech (by Venom, the creature that once shattered her nose) to be a force for good again.
    • In mid-2018, Nick Spencer took over as head writer of the Spider-Man title. His writing is often cited as a much-needed return to form for Spider-Man, with many fans who abandoned the series years ago returning. Early issues are quick to address the most frequent criticisms of Slott's writing, and one decision in particular that received praise is the reunion of Peter and Mary Jane, who resumed their relationship for the first time since One More Day ten years ago.

DC Comics

  • The concept for the original Justice League International was a "Win Back The Crowd" moment after the disastrous Detroit era of the franchise. Similarly, in the post JLI era when the League books seemed directionless, Grant Morrison was brought back and was allowed to do what many thought was impossible: bring back the Big Seven JLA line-up.
  • Batman (Grant Morrison) was seen as this too, as an overdose of crossovers, questionable storylines (Hush, War Games, and War Crimes) and fans getting sick of the modern "Bat-God" take on the character had soured fans on Batman. Enter Morrison, who rejected the Bat-God formula he created in favor of a run built around the much-reviled 1950s era Batman, introduced a fresh new element into the book in the form of Damian Wayne and giving fans stories such as "The Club of Heroes" and "Batman RIP".
  • Convergence was DC's attempt to win back fans who are upset at losing their favorite status quos due to the Flashpoint reboot. The wave of books after the events continued this, bringing back certain parts of the old continuity (Cassandra Cain, the original Teen Titans, a book featuring Superman and Lois together again, etc.) that fans had been clamoring for.
  • DC Rebirth was another attempt by DC to win back fans as Convergence was a mixed bag that did win fans over some with its tie-ins, the storylines that followed afterwards, such as Superman: Truth and Batman: Superheavy, did nothing to help the company and sales dipped back down to where they were before The New 52 hit. Rebirth's main draw was refocusing on "legacy", trying to repair holes that were yanked out when the titles rebooted.

Other Comics

  • After the lackluster reception to Tirek and the Sirens, Nightmare Moon's issue of My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic got a bit of a warmer reception, and then Chrysalis' issue ended the miniseries on a high note, most consider it as good as Sombra's if not better. Goes doubles for writer Katie Cook; after "Reflections" "The Good, The Bad and the Ponies", and "The Root of the Problem" in the main series received mixed to poor reception, her return with Chrysalis' issue proved she's not washed up.
  • A possibly-accidental one for Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). By the mid-00s, the comic was knee-deep in its Audience-Alienating Era, bleeding readers as they got tired of the Romantic Plot Tumor that Karl Bollers tacked on and the Creator's Pet that was Ken Penders' Echidna society. After the two writers left due to them headbutting over directions, Ian Flynn, originally a simple starting back-up writer, was asked to take over. He spent his first year or so cleaning up the messes the two made, fixing up all of the plot threads left behind, making bland characters more interesting (such as turning Evil Counterpart Evil Sonic into Scourge the Hedgehog), introducing characters who should have been in the series much sooner (like Bean and Bark) and generally making it a fun series again.

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 and has managed to regain its relevance in the animation industry. First with small steps like Meet the Robinsons, and continuing with Bolt, followed by a throwback in the form of The Princess and the Frog which came very close, but still fell somewhat short in the box office. After which they finished the job with an experiment on their classic formula in Tangled, and proved they could speak to the modern audience with Wreck-It Ralph which were both staggering successes not seen since The Lion King. Finally, with the 2013 release of Frozen, which took the lessons gained from the prior two princess films and ran with them; having been nothing short of a spectacular critical and box office smash hit, there's little doubt amongst critics now that the old giant has reaffirmed its legacy and is back on its feet.
  • DreamWorks Animation
    • Kung Fu Panda: The sequence of Master Oogway's death up till Po's despairing confession to Master Shifu about his deep self-loathing that the old red panda feels helpless to counter. In that sequence, DreamWorks showed that it had recovered from its post-Shrek 2 creative nadir that drove away its partner, Aardman Animations, and learned how to make stories with profound emotional depth with a skill rivaling Pixar. That, in turn, made the blistering Wuxia action to follow all the more powerful now that you have grown to care about these characters.
    • Two years later, and How to Train Your Dragon would help to more or less finish the rise that Kung Fu Panda started, proving that even if it couldn't quite beat out Pixar for the awards, it certainly had finally gotten a strong roll going. HTTYD would become their best-reviewed film up to that point, being a massive critical success, and managed to pull one of the best Sleeper Hit runs in animation.
  • After Miraculous Ladybug accumulated a massive Broken Base regarding its overall quality following season 2, a significant portion of the fanbase found themselves won back by Ladybug & Cat Noir: The Movie, which was seen as a return to form for the franchise and addressed a lot of the complaints fans had about the show (most notably the ultimate fate of the Big Bad).
  • The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water was this for the series as a whole, with the return of creator Stephen Hillenburg as a creative force resulting in a movie that received great amounts of praise from a fanbase who had spent the past several years lamenting the show's Seasonal Rot. Following Hillenburg's unfortunate passing of ALS in November 2018, winning back the crowd again will probably be even tougher.
  • Sony Pictures Animation: Movie fans had low expectations after the highly negative (or, at best, lukewarm) reception of The Emoji Movie, The Star, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. This changed after the smashing success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The positive reception of Wish Dragon and The Mitchells vs. the Machines would also reaffirm fans that what they saw in Spider-Verse wasn't a one-time deal.
  • Interest in South Park was waning by the time the third season arrived in 1999. Luckily, the feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was critically acclaimed for its risk-taking satire and wonderful score and songs (including the Oscar-nominated "Blame Canada") and it made a decent amount of money, thus giving the show more fans and helping it live on to this day.
  • Turtles Forever, putting aside some controversy where some fans believed the '87 Turtles were badly flanderized, managed to be this for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) cartoon. After two seasons of what fans perceived to be some serious Seasonal Rot in Fast Forward and Back To The Sewers, many felt the 2003 Ninja Turtles show was on life support thanks to Executive Meddling leading to the series' deteriorating quality. However, what came next was that the writers pulled a massive Crisis Crossover out of their hats where the 2003 Turtles teamed up with their 80s and Mirage counterparts for the fate of the then-TMNT multiverse, leading to an iconic teamup between different Ninja Turtles incarnations against the Utron Shredder and the movie giving final resolution and closure to many plot points and character arcs that had been floating around since the first three seasons. While the film itself might not fully live down criticisms fans of the '87 Turtles have given it, it's still seen as a redemptive work by fans of the 2003 Ninja Turtles which redeemed the series as a whole after it looked like it would go out on a whimper and gave the show a truly fitting Grand Finale.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman: After the dismal failure of Batman & Robin, The Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan rebooted the film franchise in order to win back Batman fans. All three films have been resounding commercial successes and the second an unprecedented critical success, raising the prestige of comic book movies as gripping drama films. After The Dark Knight came out, it became the highest-grossing comic book movie ever. It also became the first comic book film to ever win an acting Academy Award with Heath Ledger posthumously winning Best Supporting Actor for his highly regarded performance as The Joker.
  • Child's Play:
  • The DC Extended Universe was on shaky ground after the mixed reception of Man of Steel in 2013 together with the poor reception of both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, with a number of accusations of Warner Bros. and DC trying too hard to be Darker and Edgier at the expense of good storytelling. Then Wonder Woman proved to be a critical and commercial smash, offering a serious but still uplifting Coming of Age Story for the titular heroine, breathing new life and interest into DC's films. Following the Justice League hiccup, the largely positive reception of both Aquaman and SHAZAM! further improved this.
  • The Friday the 13th series is generally agreed to have steeply declined in quality following the release of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives in 1986, leading to a much-maligned Audience-Alienating Era that lasted a full 15 years. While Jason Lives is widely considered to be one of the best entries in the series (if not the best), the subsequent films struggled to keep its momentum going, partly due to issues with low budgets and censorship by the MPAA, which forced the filmmakers to tone down the series' characteristic violence to keep the films in theaters. Unable to rely as heavily on cheap gore effects, the Friday films released between 1988 and 2001 tried a variety of new gimmicks with severely mixed results at best, resulting in films where Jason faced off against a psychic, visited New York, and became a body-hopping demon, with the series ultimately devolving into blatant self-parody with Jason X (Friday the 13th IN SPACE!). Against all odds, though, the Intercontinuity Crossover Freddy vs. Jason—which was first teased at the end of Part IX, and which the filmmakers originally wanted to do for Part VII—was received by fans as the best entry in the franchise in well over a decade, winning back the series' lost goodwill and then some. While it wasn't a big hit with critics, moviegoers loved its unapologetically schlocky tone and gleefully over-the-top Monster Mash premise, which carried it to a respectable box office haul of over $100 million—making it the highest grossing film in the series by an exceptionally wide margin.
  • Godzilla: Gareth Edwards and the rest of the film crew have made a special point of emphasizing how Godzilla (2014) is faithful to the Godzilla spirit. Critical response was much the same, and Godzilla helped to bring giant monster movies back into the spotlight for Western audiences.
  • Halloween: After many years worth of sequels and a remake that tried too hard to explain the evil behind the killer, thus demystifying the original origins of pure evil, Halloween (2018) won back many fans of Halloween (1978) by retroactively retconning all the past sequels and making it a much closer followup to the original. Having key players John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis back, along with Nick Castle returning as The Shape, helped too.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom divided a lot of fans and caused Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to take a lot of flak for ruining the Indiana Jones saga. The two of them hit back with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade which won over everyone, and among some fans is considered better than even Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • James Bond: Being a Long Runner, the films regularly have resurgences in fan appreciation:
  • Jurassic World revived the Jurassic Park franchise 14 years after the poorly received Franchise Killer, Jurassic Park III, was released. It broke box office records, became the third highest-grossing movie of all time (behind Avatar and Titanic). It has since spawned two sequels.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Marvel had some critical bombs in theatres with movies like Ang Lee's Hulk, which was mostly reviled, and things got worse with Ghost Rider. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 did well, with the latter long being considered one of the best superhero films of all time, but Spider-Man 3 was poorly received, and combined with the X-Men movies of the timenote , it seems like the Marvel license was tainted with bad luck. Marvel eventually decided they could do better, and opened their own movie studio to try to cash in on the characters they still had. Iron Man was then released to stunning critical and commercial success, and while The Incredible Hulk didn't do quite as well, the relative success of both movies pushed Marvel into creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to consistent and growing critical acclaim from all corners, going from nought to by far the highest-grossing film franchise of all-time on $15 billion and counting, with second place, Star Wars, on $8 billion, in barely 10 years.
    • After the mixed reception of The Amazing Spider-Man Series, Sony decided to share the rights with Marvel Studios and reboot the character again. Many fans were unsure whether Spidey still had a future in movies even with the MCU getting involved. Then when Captain America: Civil War came out, he was cited as one of the film's highlights, with many calling Tom Holland's performance of the character the best so far, and his solo outing, Spider-Man: Homecoming, being rated as one of the best in the MCU and matching (if not topping) the classic Spider-Man 2.
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol became the best-reviewed film of the series, even going as far as to do a lot to redeem both the Mission: Impossible film series and Tom Cruise in the eyes of the public. Subsequent films in the series have consistently received glowing reception from both critics and audiences and, with the exception of Dead Reckoning Part One, have all been huge box office hits.note 
  • The Muppets reached a nadir with Muppets from Space, which failed both critically and financially. After a few years of disliked TV specials, and modestly popular commercials and viral videos, 2011 brought a new big-screen movie, The Muppets, with a script and sense of humor recalling Jim Henson's Muppet movies. The script also counts as an in-universe example of this trope, as the Muppets try to win back an audience that has grown to favor cynicism in the years since they last performed together. This became one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of the year, and the Muppets' highest-grossing movie ever (not adjusting for inflation).
  • Planet of the Apes: Rise of the Planet of the Apes brought hope back to the seemingly dead franchise. While not a masterpiece, it was still a surprisingly enjoyable film. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes cemented it, as it was considered a masterpiece, having almost everyone anticipating the next one in the series.
  • The first four Rocky movies range from genuine classics to cult classics remembered for their absurdity, but in general they're well-liked. Rocky V alienated fans, disgusted critics, and catastrophically failed at the box office, putting the series into a coma. Sixteen years later, Rocky Balboa won the fans and critics back with its return to what made the early films work, and nine years after that, the spinoff Creed got an even better reception, earning Sylvester Stallone his first Oscar nomination since the original Rocky and landing on many "Best Movies of the Year" lists.
  • To say that the Sonic The Hedgehog movie was hated when it was first unveiled would be one of the greatest understatements of the decade. When the first trailer hit, a combination of unfunny jokes, the hilariously bizarre choice of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" as its song, and a downright hideous rendition of the Blue Blur made the film one of the most despised things ever to come from the Sonic franchise (and considering the Sonic fandom is one of the most infamous examples of a Broken Base, that is quite an achievement). The film would be delayed after massive outcry convinced the studio to take Sonic's design back to the drawing board. When a new trailer unveiled Sonic's new design (by Tyson Hesse, no less!), it was received much more warmly, with praise being heaped upon the studio for not only listening to the criticism surrounding Sonic's appearance but creating a new design that was recognizably Sonic. As a result, the film had a strong box office in the weeks prior to movie theaters shuttering due to the global pandemic.
  • If there's one thing the Star Trek franchise is known for, it's the ability to rise anew like a phoenix and win back movie-going audiences (multiple times over) after underperforming or dismal films:
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture left a lot of folks thinking Trek was only for the geek crowd and would never be a big Space Opera franchise (like Star Wars). Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan proved otherwise as it's almost universally deemed the absolute best of the Star Trek movies mainly from fans.
    • Star Trek III, while not "terrible" was generally seen as mediocre at best and was met with a collective "...meh". Star Trek IV, however, won over audiences being the funniest of the Trek movies and was the highest-grossing Star Trek film at the time (until 2009). Its success propelled the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
    • After the dismal showing of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (which was, at the time, the lowest box-office earning entry of the franchise and a critical disappointment), Paramount Pictures made a point to bring back fan-favorite director Nicholas Meyer (who had helmed The Wrath of Khan) to helm Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Star Trek VI was seen as a valid return to form and a good sendoff for the TOS crew.
    • Star Trek: Generations was hyped as it brought together Kirk and Picard for the first time, but left audiences sort of disappointed, but then Star Trek: First Contact amped up the action and showed audiences that the TNG crew could carry the torch for the film series.
    • After Star Trek: Insurrection was deemed more-or-less an "extended, boring TNG episode", many had high hopes for Star Trek: Nemesis. However, Nemesis turned out to be the worst-performing Trek film in more than 13 years as it was a critical and commercial bomb. It broke the Star Trek Movie Curse in the worst way possible by being an awful even-numbered Trek film.note  The announcement that the franchise would be rebooted was met with much discontent from long-time fans ... until it was also announced that J. J. Abrams would be directing it (along with Michael Giacchino composing), and focused on an alternate-universe plot that would bring back the spirit of the original series. The resulting film is currently the most critically acclaimed Trek film of all time (even more so than Wrath of Khan) and was a massive hit with both hardcore fans (apart from a few holdouts) and general audiences.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness, while entertaining, didn't feel as "fresh" as its predecessor to many and the plot seemed somewhat muddled, but the series rebounded greatly with Star Trek Beyond who many consider being the best of the "Kelvin timeline" movies.
  • Star Wars:
  • With the Transformers Film Series in serious danger after the financial and critical disaster of Transformers: The Last Knight, Bumblebee achieved renewed interest and nearly universal critical approval, breathing enough new life into the franchise that the producers planned for a sequel.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • After the bashing that X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine received, X-Men: First Class was met with a much warmer reception.
    • The Wolverine discarded the previous Wolverine film and basically started from spin-off scratch, adapting one of the most famous comic arcs for the character and going for a smaller and more personal scale for the character. The result was far more well-received than X-Men Origins: Wolverine, enough for Fox to kick the tires on a follow-up with Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold returning. The resulting Logan was universally acclaimed not only as one of the best films in the X-Men series but as one of the finest superhero films made.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past. With the success of The Avengers (2012), fans began clamoring for the X-Men characters to return to Marvel Studios; aside from the obvious crossover potential, fans thought that Fox wouldn't be able to do the series as much justice as Marvel would. It was then up to Fox to prove that they could. Word of God from the creators was that the film was specifically conceived as an "apology" to everyone who was disappointed with X-Men: The Last Stand.
    • The Deadpool (2016) movie was essentially made as an apology for Fox's last attempt at bringing the character into a movie. It's also seen as an attempt to redeem Fox's Marvel movies in general that aren't X-Men, after the critical failure of Fantastic Four (2015). Given the glowing reception and commercial success for Deadpool, along with a well-received sequel, it worked!

  • The GONE series dipped a little in the third book, which didn't seem to be going in any particular direction, made formerly beloved characters (like Astrid) unlikable and annoying and the Big Lipped Alligator Character that was Nerezza confused and infuriated fans. Many fans lost respect for heroic characters, and a lot of things weren't explained, to the point were a few scenes made little sense and more were monotonous and out of character. The lack of action and mystique that was all part of the appeal was lacking somewhat too. Thankfully, this was just a temporary low, and the next book PLAGUE heavily won over critics and fans alike, and was even claimed by many to be when the series Grew the beard. It kept the quality at a steady high with FEAR and the last book LIGHT has gripped universal acclaim, and is regarded by many to be the best Michael Grant book ever written.
  • Many Warrior Cats fans grew tired of the series after The New Prophecy, due to the increased focus on the supernatural elements of the series, the disappearance of the Anyone Can Die factor of the series, the increasing number of continuity errors, the increased focus on characterization over plot, and a perceived Romantic Plot Tumor. Then came Dawn of the Clans, which is not only a perfect starting point for new readers, but also contained fresh themes, a faster pace, witty dialogue, plenty of death, a whole new crew of likable characters, tighter continuity, a protagonist vastly different from Firestar, an antagonist who wasn't a rehash of Tigerstar, Brokenstar, or Scourge, and a perfect combination of lighthearted scenes and darker scenes. The reception has been almost entirely positive.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The sixth season of 24 was heavily panned, making many, even hardcore fans, think maybe the show ran its course. The seventh season, beginning with 24: Redemption has won back the old fans and even a fair share of new ones along with the highest ratings ever for the series.
  • The Academy Awards ceremony had to do this after the 1989 show opened with a notoriously campy production number "highlighted" by Rob Lowe singing a rewritten duet of "Proud Mary" with Snow White. Things didn't much improve from there, aside from several witty presenters, and the show was pilloried both within and without Hollywood as a disgrace. The following year, one of those witty presenters — Billy Crystal — was tapped to host the whole show, and largely thanks to him the result was a much-acclaimed ceremony. Crystal has hosted eight more times since then, such as in 2012 to win back the crowd after the poorly-received 2011 ceremony that James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted.
  • In its first two seasons, Arrow was beloved by the fans and was seen as revolutionizing superhero television for its era. However, with the third season, many felt the series was beginning to dip in quality. Still, fans held on to hope but it wasn't long before the fourth season was seen as being an even bigger Audience-Alienating Era for the show, with Oliver and Felicity's relationship being seen as a Romantic Plot Tumor, Oliver's secret son William bringing in a lot of needless drama, and Laurel Lance being killed off in a controversial manner. By the end of that season, expectations for the show were quite low and many felt Arrow was on its last legs. The fifth season, however, managed to reverse this trend by scaling back on the amount of Felicity shilling, introduce some new blood in a new batch of young heroes Oliver would train, give Oliver some truly interesting flashbacks with his time in the Bratva, present a truly frightening and charismatic villain in Prometheus, and generally bring back many of the elements fans loved in the first two seasons. While the sixth season was hated nearly as much as the fourth and the seventh season got a middling reception, it was because the fifth season of Arrow breathed fresh air back into the show and gave it new legs to stand on that it managed to go on for a lot longer and even now, Season 5 of Arrow is seen as pretty much the blueprint for how one can redeem a once-beloved superhero show that had fallen into disrepute.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Season five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is generally seen as an improvement over season four thanks to the unpopular Riley being written out and Glory being a far more entertaining Big Bad than Adam.
    • As divisive as the seventh season was, it addressed the issues that plagued the previous year - the pacing was much better, it boasted an actually intimidating big bad, the much-hated magic addiction arc was retconned, Buffy and Spike's Destructive Romance was replaced with something much more amiable and respectful, the tone was much less depressing, Xander and Anya were back together, Dawn grew the hell up, and Angel made an appearance (the issues with two shows on different networks having been cleared up).
    • Season four of Angel is widely regarded as the low point in the franchise due to its convoluted story arc and character assassinations of both Cordelia and Connor. Season five effectively re-tooled the show into a supernatural legal drama, added Spike and Harmony to the cast, and fixed the damage done to Cordelia and Connor. The result was a resounding success which is regarded as one of, if not the, best seasons in either series.
  • Community: Creator Dan Harmon left the show after season 3, and the next season was roundly criticized for being far weaker than the rest of the series. Harmon returned for season 5 and made a major course correction, going so far as having the characters themselves note how weird everything had become of late.
  • When it was announced Daredevil (2015) would be adapted as a Netflix TV series, many people who only knew the character for the mediocre 2003 film were cautiously skeptical, to say the least. When it came out, it received almost universal acclaim for its clever and tight plotting, well-choreographed and brutal fight scenes, and in-depth character development and acting, and is regarded by many as the single best TV series entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This had the effect of almost completely redeeming the character in the mainstream public's eye.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The original series rebounded from a highly divisive season 5 with season 6, which has been one of the most acclaimed seasons of the show to date. It probably helps the creators that fans no longer have source material to compare the show with, but it also helps that the creators seem to have learned from their mistakes by improving the characterization of the female characters (in particular, using them more as fully realized human beings rather than plot devices) and reducing focus on the parts of the plot that weren't working (Dorne in particular). Several of the most acclaimed episodes of the show to date have been from season 6. That its final two episodes were among those episodes only cemented its return to form.
    • The first season of House of the Dragon, a prequel series after the divisive final season of Game of Thrones, was widely praised for recapturing the feel of the original show's early days. Ratings likewise surged for HBO on levels comparable to the original series, despite a significant amount of the show's viewership coming in through streaming. It helps that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are not at all involved, and there's no chance of Overtook the Manga since it's based on one already-published book.
  • After a weak third season that focused on personal drama, House of Cards (US) came back strong in Season 4 with a re-focus on Frank Underwood's administration, political scheming, and the follow-up of plots from the first two seasons.
  • When the iCarly special iStart a Fan War was announced, Seddie shippers got excited that after Season 4's lackluster quality, it would give them some Seddie moments and reboot the show's glory. Unfortunately, when it turned out to be an Author Tract against the shipping concept, shippers were not pleased, and when they took it to Dan Schneider's blog, they claimed he crossed the Moral Event Horizon when their comments were being erased and that the show was dead. That is until his next blog explained his true intention, and that he only meant that to the obsessed shippers. He also promised them something that would make them quite pleased, which left most fans forgiving him. And that something came in the form of iOMG, which was seen as a Moment of Awesome by many fans.
  • Quite a few fans were redrawn to Kamen Rider by Kamen Rider Double following the debacle of Kamen Rider Decade, though this likely applies more to the non-Japanese Periphery Demographic.
  • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger was an attempt for Super Sentai as a brand and as a franchise, since Toei decided to recruit big names outside of Tokusatsu and newcomers like Junpei Yamaoka (the man who wrote Majisuka Gakuen) and Kazuya Kamihoriuchi (the man behind the success of Ex-Aid and Build) in an attempt to bring Sentai back to its former glory after nine consecutive years of TV ratings decline. This also extends to the franchise's toy sales too due to Lupinranger vs. Patranger doing horrible in toy sales and its earnings are just as bad as (or even worse than) the likes of Fiveman and Timeranger. Bringing back the dino theme was also attempt at this. Dinosaurs are always a big seller, and as mentioned before, recent series, even the ones the internet likes, aren't sending toys flying off the shelves back home. Unfortunately, it didn't work out in the end: with an average rating of 2.6% in TV viewership, the series has the dubious honor of having the worst rantings of the entire franchise. It only earned 6.5 billion Yen in toy sales as well, which is way worse than its preceding Sentai season.
  • Law & Order wins back its fans at regular intervals. But then, after nearly 20 years on the air, that should be expected.
  • Orphan Black also seems to have rebounded from a controversial season with season 4, which has renewed its focus on the show's central mysteries and, unlike previous seasons which frequently seemed to introduce more new questions than they answered, has actually answered many of them (including one that has existed since the very first season of the show, namely why Beth committed suicide). The show seems to have returned to its roots while introducing a number of memorable new characters (particularly M.K., the Hidden Villain Evie Cho, and Ira, who finally gives Ari Millen a chance to portray a character who is radically different from any of the other Castor clones). Thus far, a common opinion seems to be that it's the best season since the first.
  • Police, Camera, Action! had a lackluster Series 7, but Series 8 which aired in July 2000 and Season 9 in May 2001 were seen as far better, after a good Season 5 and Season 6 (although Season 5 and 6 did have two standalone episodes that were Filler) and fans enjoyed how it seemed to be Revisiting the Roots.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers in Space won back old fans of Power Rangers lost after Power Rangers Turbo, as well as new ones.
    • Many years later, Power Rangers RPM won back fans that had been dissatisfied with the previous succession of mediocre to bad seasons, as well as being Darker and Edgier, making it enjoyable for the intended, younger audience and older viewers.
    • The rights then reverted back to Saban, resulting in Power Rangers Samurai and Power Rangers Megaforce. Both of them were major disappointments for fans for various reasons, though Samurai has been given some minor leeway because it was eventually revealed to have been a very rushed series, and basically translating Sentai plots directly. Megaforce lost even more fans because it lacked interesting characters, relied heavily on action scenes, and was an incredibly disappointing 20th Anniversary series. note  Then came Power Rangers Dino Charge and took all the lacking parts from Megaforce, making those things great. It won the crowd back with its first episode (entirely lacking Sentai footage) and gave the characters personalities and depth.
  • Saturday Night Live has had several periods where everyone hated it until new talent (most notably Eddie Murphy in the early '80s and Will Ferrell in the mid-'90s) brings it back into the public's good graces.
  • Scrubs is widely agreed to have steadily declined in quality around its midpoint for a multitude of reasons: most of the main cast became caricatures of themselves, the show started to rely more heavily on cartoonish humor, and some of the major storylines (most notably Elliot and Keith's engagement, and the birth of J.D. and Kim's baby) were disliked by many. But when the show was unexpectedly picked up by ABC for an eighth season (despite the cast and crew initially assuming that the seventh season would be the last), the showrunners pulled out all the stops to ensure that Season 8 would end the show on a high note—resulting in a season that's considered a massive improvement by nearly everyone. Compared to the previous few seasons, it features more nuanced and complex characterizations of most of the main cast and a far more deft balance of drama and humor, it moves most of the main characters forward in interesting ways (particularly concerning J.D. stepping into a mentor role, and Dr. Cox becoming the new Chief of Medicine), and it ultimately builds up to a universally loved Tear Jerker of a Series Finale. While the ninth season, which features an entirely new main cast (and was originally intended to be Spin-Off called Scrubs: Med School) isn't nearly as well-regarded, most fans prefer to pretend that one just doesn't exist.
  • The first post-SG-1 Stargate-verse movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth was considered by some to be blah at best. However, it seems everyone loved Stargate: Continuum.
  • Star Trek: While Star Trek IV was winning the box office, Star Trek: The Next Generation almost permanently won back the Trekkie crowd, for good. Its success triggered an almost continuous 20-year run of Trek series being produced.
  • While seasons two and three of Stranger Things were popular, season one proved to be a Tough Act to Follow for many fans, who criticized the increasingly Summer Blockbuster tone that the show was taking on. Season three especially came under fire for Hopper (going from a troubled Jerk with a Heart of Gold to simply a Jerkass, its underuse of fan-favorite Max, its cartoonishly over-the-top Soviet villains, and its jarring overuse of Product Placement and nostalgic '80s references. Season four responded to these criticisms by introducing a terrifying new villain in Vecna, bringing the horror elements back to the forefront, returning Hopper to his original characterization, giving Max an important arc central to the plot (and one of the best scenes of the season), giving a more morally cloudy depiction of the Cold War, and boosting the length of the episodes to give everyone more Character Development. The result was acclaimed as an Even Better Sequel that rivaled season one as the show's best.
  • While the seasons of Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen still get criticized, many fans of the show feel like Season 11 seems to have won everyone back for real, with the introduction of Charlie's daughter Jenny, who has received a considerable amount of praise, due to her personality being almost exactly like Charlie's.

  • Accept: A lot of people had a lot of doubts when the band replaced Udo Dirkschneider with Mark Tornillo. And then, they release Blood Of The Nations. It turns out to be one of the best Metal albums of 2010.
  • One of the most famous examples in musical history is Aerosmith. They were among the defining hard rock bands of the 1970s and had a massive influence on the then-fledgling heavy metal scene. However, the early '80s were anything but kind to the band, as nasty drug addictions and a string of mediocre albums temporarily doomed them to "has-been" status. But, in 1986, the tides turned. They collaborated with Run–D.M.C. for a re-recording of "Walk This Way" (one of the first notable fusions of rock and hip hop), and 1987's Permanent Vacation further paved the way for a comeback. It finally happened with 1989's Pump, which is widely considered to be their big comeback album and one of the greatest hard rock albums of the late '80s.
  • After spending most of 2013 and 2014 as a laughingstock, Justin Bieber managed to win back many of his former teenage fans in 2015 with two top-10 hits. The first hit was "Where Are U Now", an EDM track by Jack U that featured Bieber on lead vocals. The second and most career-reviving song was "What Do You Mean". It got surprisingly good reviews from Bieber's haters and debuted at #1 on the Hot 100, and his next two hits "Sorry" and "Love Yourself" also hit the top. His album Purpose was widely hailed as his greatest work ever, and debuted at #1 by selling a career-high 500,000 copies, stopping the very band whose meteoric rise was the catalyst to his fall from tying Metallica, Disturbed and Dave Matthews Band's streak of #1 albums.
  • Celtic Frost had lost fans after the release of Cold Lake. Their next two albums tried for a differnt sound, but the fans weren't won back until Monotheist, their final album.
  • New York DJ duo The Chainsmokers had been seen as a quintessential 2010s One-Hit Wonder for "#Selfie", which became a hit through sheer Memetic Mutation. Given that song was wildly reviled, and it was too much of a left-field novelty to be taken seriously, it was thought they would fade into complete obscurity afterwards. This was not the case. The next year they released "Roses" (featuring vocals from Rozes), a kind of dirty song that was still surprisingly well-received. It quickly climbed up the charts and reached the Top 40, ending their one-hit wonder status, and became a massive EDM crossover that far eclipsed "#Selfie" in the public's eye. The top 5 follow-up "Don't Let Me Down" and #1 smash "Closer" proved that the success of "Roses" wasn't a fluke and that the Chainsmokers were finally able to be taken seriously.
  • Dismember had success with the album Indecent and Obscene, but a series of divisive albums had turned fans away. This turned around with their 2006 release, The God That Never Was, their most acclaimed album since Indecent and Obscene.
  • Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001, which featured then-rising Aftermath artists like Eminem and Xzibit, also revived interest in his career after several years out of the limelight.
  • Eminem has had two instances of taking a five year hiatus from putting out studio albums, then putting out an album reviled for being behind the trends and having strange vocal affectations (Relapse (2009) and Revival (2017)), then following the album up less than a year later with a much more acclaimed one adapting his sound to the present (Recovery (2010) and Kamikaze (2018)).
  • Florida Georgia Line, with their breakthrough smash "Cruise", became the Trope Makers and Trope Codifier of the "bro country" subgenre of Country Music in The New '10s. Defined by songs about hot girls, drinking beer, trucks, partying, and the like, the genre is widely derided for its sheer lack of substance. However, their second album showed signs of moving away from this with more substantial singles such as "Dirt" and "Confession", while the third album moved even further away in favor of impassioned ballads such as "H.O.L.Y." and "May We All".
  • The music company Jamster started gaining a lot of flack with people in the mid-2000s due to the animated character Crazy Frog gaining too much attention with the public mainly due to his songs. As a result, Jamster ended up retiring the character in early 2007 and created a new character named Schnuffel (Snuggle Bunny) who debuted in the song "Snuggle Song" which became a big hit in Germany and Europe. Unlike Crazy Frog, Schnuffel actually gained a lot more positive feedback with the public which resulted in Jamster creating a few music albums starring the character and a few music videos featuring him. The popularity of Schnuffel resulted in Jamster gaining back more fans in Europe and English speaking countries. Jamster later created a second rabbit character named Snuggelina in 2010 who is Snuggle's girlfriend and has also had songs of her own. This caused Jamster to create a few albums called "Schnuffel und Schnuffelienchen" which stars the duo going on various adventures and their daily lives.
  • Elton John took a break from touring and recording in 1977, at the height of his fame as the biggest-selling solo performer of The '70s, and not long after his coming out as "bisexual" lost him fans in Middle America. A creative and financial slump followed. He bounced back as an MTV star on the strength of his 1983 album Too Low for Zero, a solid, critically and commercially successful effort which reunited Elton with the classic lineup of his "Elton John Band" (Davey Johnstone: guitar; Dee Murray: bass; Nigel Olsson: drums) and saw Bernie Taupin back as full-time lyricist. Two tracks from the album, "I'm Still Standing" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues", were Top 10 hits and had popular music videos.
  • The band Judas Priest experienced three comebacks.
    • After the massively ridiculed Turbo and Ram It Down, the album Painkiller furiously roared into fans' ears in 1990 and instantly won everybody back on Priest's side.
    • Rob Halford left the band after the success of Painkiller. After the late 90s and early 2000s had passed with the "Ripper" Owens era, Rob was brought back and the Band recorded Angel of Retribution. The name is everything that you think they were implying with that whole controversy.
    • The band produced the nearly universally shat upon Nostradamus, which they had warned everybody that for those who may not like power metal should maybe skip the album, people bought it anyway expecting something different and hated it anyway! After that whole mishap and with K.K. Downing leaving the band, the pressure was up against Priest like never before. But with the once again appropriately titled recent 2014 album Redeemer of Souls they once again imply that Priest is back and better than ever before! Their 2018 album Firepower continued the upward trend, to the delight of fans and critics alike.
  • Korn, a Nu Metal band, has experienced two successful comebacks.
    • Take a Look in the Mirror began an Audience-Alienating Era during the mid-to-late '00s. However, 2010 saw the release of Korn III, a "true successor" to Korn's earlier '90s work such as their self titled debut album and its follow-up Life Is Peachy. The album was very well received by fans for returning to the dark and gritty style that made the band famous in the first place.
    • Korn's next album, Path of Totality, went in a highly experimental route by trying to fuse nu-metal with dubstep (even getting Skrillex involved). Opinions were highly divided, to say the least. The next album, The Paradigm Shift, went back to the nu-metal sound again, downplayed the dubstep and included the return of one of the band's founding guitarists, Head. Audience opinions, while not as favorable as Korn III, were still much higher than Path of Totality. Their 2016 album The Serenity of Suffering actually invoked this. They described it as the heaviest album they've put out since their self-titled, with the dubstep elements being completely removed, and more prominent influence from their '90s-era material was added while still sounding modern. It was a massive success, with fans both old and new being very happy with the result.
  • Machine Head faced a nasty Audience-Alienating Era with their turn-of-the-millennium releases The Burning Red and Supercharger. Through the Ashes of Empires re-introduced elements of their classic thrash sound with a warm welcome, and The Blackening went even further, going in a Progressive Metal direction. The band/Rob Flynn still has a mountain to climb, though, as they/he still have both the shadow of Nu Metal and the high standards set by Burn My Eyes to live up to.
  • Metallica's Death Magnetic helped bring back quite a few fans after St. Anger with a return to their '80s sound. They did it again with Hardwired... to Self-Destruct, which helped rehabilitate their image after the universally-reviled Lulu.
  • Brad Paisley's 2013 album Wheelhouse was a major Broken Base for his fans. First off, it was the first album that he produced by himself instead of using longtime producer Frank Rogers. Those who liked the album found it a wonderful change of pace for its more varied songs and heavier production; opponents found it a massively overproduced mess that tried way too hard to be "different" (although consensus was that the LL Cool J duet "Accidental Racist" was a huge misstep). The divisive nature of Wheelhouse was also evident on the charts, as the third and fourth singles ("I Can't Change the World" and "The Mona Lisa") were his lowest-charting since his debut album back in 1999. Moonshine in the Trunk and Love and War seem to have lessened the complaints of "trying too hard to be different" that Wheelhouse had, but they have also been met with diminishing returns on the airplay charts (in fact, Love and War's original lead single "Without a Fight", a duet with Demi Lovato, bombed so hard that it didn't even make the final cut).
  • After Rascal Flatts' albums Me and My Gang, Still Feels Good, and Unstoppable were panned for their weak songs and Dann Huff's bombastic production, Rascal Flatts seemed to get the message, as most critics felt that Nothing Like This (their first album for Big Machine Records after their previous label, Lyric Street, closed) and Changed had better songs and production even though Huff was still on board. This culminated in the band finally ditching Huff on Rewind, which was equally lauded for its quality... However, its second single "Payback" became the band's lowest peaking single to date.
  • Cliff Richard's career had been in apparently terminal decline for some years until his 1976 New Sound Album I'm Nearly Famous re-positioned him as more of a rock artist and broke him into the US market.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Invoked at ECW Hardcore Heaven 95. There was a tag team match with Chad Austin and The Broadstreet Bully (Tony Stetson) vs. Donn E. Allen and Dino Sendoff that featured blown spots, with the crowd turning on it and Joey Styles even saying, "This match isn't very good," and, figuring that the match probably wouldn't make TV, using it to take a shot at WCW Slamboree, a PPV which, from 1993-1995, would feature Ring Oldies along with wrestlers from the regular roster. Then "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group hit, bringing out Paul E. Dangerously and 911. 911 chokeslammed all four guys to the cheers of the crowd.
  • Impact Wrestling:
    • After the Hogan/Bischoff era, TNA's resurgence came with Bobby Lashley's return to the company in 2014, which was this for Lashley himself, as his earlier run had not been too well received. This time, however, the crowd really got into his matches as MVP talked them to the television sets, and even when MVP was putting over Lashley he had Kenny King to interact with.
    • Post-Spike TV, the TNA brand's absolute last grasp was yet another feud between Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy in 2016, for the same reason they almost always feud: Matt being envious of Jeff. Fans were not at all that excited for this, especially since it took a lot more effort to find TNA programming without Spike TV or even regular pay per view. Then Matt went crazy, he became "Broken", and everyone wanted to know exactly what they missed. Though it's not without its detractors, the "Broken Saga" was undeniably the most interesting thing to happen to the product in years.
    • Even after its acquisition by the Canadian-based Anthem, and a complete re-brand that retired the TNA name, the newly-christened Impact Wrestling, under a returning Jeff Jarrett, was unwatchable in 2017, culminating in a near-universally panned Bound for Glory PPV that October. Fast forward to 2018, with the return of Don Callis and Scott D'Amore severing as Executive Vice Presidents. In the years since, Impact has been collaborating with both small independent promotions and even major competitors (such as MLW and Ring of Honor), they've expanded their streaming reach with their Twitch partnership (which also kept their weekly show afloat after Pop TV dropped them in January 2019, note ), and even managed to mend fences with Ohio Valley Wrestling for the latter to become their developmental territory again. Reception to the product has greatly improved, with Slammiversary 2018 receiving critical acclaim, and the inter-gender feud between Sami Callihan and Tessa Blanchard in 2019 even gaining positive comparisons to WWE's Attitude Era.
  • Jay Lethal's second run with the Ring of Honor Television Title won back the crowd who had been disinterested in the belt ever since Matt Taven, who was viewed as a Creator's Pet and a Replacement Scrappy in the House Of Truth to Roderick Strong, had won it off the ever-popular Adam Cole.
  • WWE
    • The WWF became the undisputed top promotion of the wrestling world in the 1980s, but by the time the '90s rolled around, their top name (Hulk Hogan) was gone, nobody else was grabbing the audience's interest, and the booking had become ridiculous, predictable, and lame. The WWF found themselves trailing behind WCW and staring down the barrel of bankruptcy. Then came the Attitude Era, a Darker and Edgier reinvention focused around "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and the rest is history.
    • Survivor Series 2008, namely during Vladimir Kozlov and Triple H's match for the WWE Championship. Originally the match was supposed to include Jeff Hardy as a third man, but he was reportedly found unconscious earlier that day and thus taken out of the match. HHH and Kozlov did not work particularly well together, becoming so maligned as to earn chants of "boring" and "TNA". Then Vickie Guerrero came out and announced that "He's here!", getting the crowd to finally show some life as they believed Hardy would be appearing. Then... "You think you know me." And the crowd was off their feet, as EDGE returned with his comeback beard and wrestling gear on and speed-walked his way into the ring. Then, before he could capitalize on the situation... Jeff Hardy indeed came rushing out with a steel chair, wildly swinging at Edge (presuming that Edge was physically responsible for his earlier condition). Some swings and Spears later, Kozlov, Hardy, and HHH all sprawled out on the ground, and Edge became WWE Champion to a hero's welcome.
    • 2014 saw WWE pull this off on more than one level. First, in the Royal Rumble, the crowd waited anxiously during the entire Rumble for Daniel Bryan to make his appearance. When number 30 was revealed to be Rey Mysterio, once the crowd realized that Bryan wasn't in the Rumble at all, the boos could be heard loud and clear - Mysterio's elimination was actually cheered. The world title match at WrestleMania XXX was quickly made a triple threat match by including Bryan and having him win the title to the massive approval of the crowd... which earlier that night had been practically deflated when The Streak came to an end.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • As covered in Defunctland's video, Disneyland Paris's opening was quite lacklustre to say the least. In fact, the park was practically rushed to completion (resulting in an entire zone essentially being empty). However, Space Mountain (one of Disney's most popular rides ever) was added, and given a unique Jules Verne-inspired twist. It more or less saved the park.
    • California Adventure was seen as an absolute failure at launch - owing mostly to the fact that it didn't really bring anything "new" to the tablenote , most of it was covered in gift shops, and its mixture of "boardwalk amusement park" and "California history" was seen as ill-fitting for Disneyland. Even during the early parts of The New '10s, people saw the park as an Obvious Beta, as most of it was still under construction even a decade after opening. However, once World of Color (California Adventure's answer to Fantasmic) debuted, as well as the ever-popular Cars Land, the price of park-hopper tickets became seen as more "worth it" and attendance slowly but surely rose. This also allowed some of its rides, such as Soarin' Over the World (formerly Soarin' Over California), to truly pick up an audience—in fact, Soarin' remains one of the park's busiest attractions.
  • Universal's Islands of Adventure was initially a borderline-disaster upon opening in 1999, attracting less than half of its projected guest attendance. The failure of the park ended up putting the entire resort over a billion dollars in debt for more than a decade. It was the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 that caused the park to finally become profitable and more recognized among tourists, as well as finally dragging the resort out of debt.

    Video Games (Franchises) 
  • Ace Combat: After the infamy that was Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, the (long awaited) return to Strangereal for a full-fledged title in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown won hearts back in record time, boasting critical reception and commercial success not seen since the highly acclaimed PS2 era of the series.
  • Alien: About a year and a half after the broken mess that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, Alien: Isolation restored many peoples' faith in the idea of Alien video games. As opposed to taking inspiration from the second movie like almost every other game did, it went back to the first movie, where the main character is being stalked by an unstoppable force that they have no adequate defense against. Despite a good deal of padding, the Alien's remarkable A.I., and its expertise in building palm-sweating tension and just being legitimately terrifying, made it worthy of the Alien name. Some even consider it the best Alien product to be made since Aliens nearly three decades before.
  • The Baldur's Gate series enjoyed success for many years, with beloved main entries including Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II as well as positively received spinoffs including the Dark Alliance games. Things took a turn for the worse with Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance' in 2021 which was a live-service co-op Action RPG designed as a thematic successor to the Dark Alliance spinoff games. Critics were lukewarm towards it at best and many fans reacted negatively at how the game wasted the potential of beloved characters like Drizzt Do'Urden and the Companions of the Hall as well as making it a live-service game. It also didn't help that the launch was extremely buggy and lacked promised features — as a result it's considered a low point. Fortunately the franchise came roaring back in 2023 with the full (out of early access) release of Baldurs Gate 3 which received glowing reception from critics, won back the entire fandom and smashed sales records. Many now consider Baldur's Gate 3 to be superior to even the highly-rated first two mainline games and one of the greatest roleplaying games ever made.
  • BioWare
    • 2003's Knights of the Old Republic, which became not just a breakout property for the company, but for Star Wars Legends, which was, at that point, mired in controversy over Attack of the Clones.
    • Mass Effect 3: While the overall game was generally seen as very good, its ending was almost universally despised. While there will always be some who will never forgive for it, the "Citadel" DLC earned about as much kudos as the furor was over the original ending. Crossing over with Author's Saving Throw, there was also the Extended Cut, a free release that attempted to make the ending actually make sense and provide closure; approval rose to around 50%, which is fairly impressive given that the original ending had an estimated approval rating of 8%.
    • Dragon Age II completely splintered the entire fanbase for a number of reasons, due to its limited world, players' lack of effect with their choices, glitches, Cut and Paste Environments, and overall rushed feel. There are many who consider it a decent game for elements such as its excellent companions, but a significant step back from its predecessor Dragon Age: Origins. Its follow-up, Dragon Age: Inquisition, despite complaints about problems with different versions, has been far better received for its much more epic story that successfully took many seemingly unimportant elements from Dragon Age II and incorporated them in big ways, highly varied wide-open worlds and the choices having a far greater effect on the story and characters. By extension, quite a few see Inquisition as a return to form for BioWare after the widespread disappointment with Dragon Age II and the ending of Mass Effect 3.
  • Command & Conquer entered its darkest period after Tiberium Wars. While some people still loved Red Alert 3, nobody was happy when Electronic Arts released Tiberium Twilight, which abandoned the core elements of the series in a poor attempt to make a full instalment out of what was meant to be a spin-off attempt to try new elements. Many believed that the progenitor of Real Time Strategy was dead, until 2018, when it was 'revived' as a mobile game titled Rivals, drawing immediate backlash. Ignoring some of the regional titles for the Chinese market and projects cancelled in development, the series seemed well and truly dead. Then the Remaster for the original game and Red Alert was announced, and there was cautious optimism at the news that the original creators would be consulted, and the team working on it were communicating with the community. The released game not only stayed true to the original in many ways, but included bonus material rescued from the archives and some new soundtracks from the series' main composer, and just this once, EA did NOT hamfist their questionable business practices on the remaster: No online-only, no microtransaction, no 'surprise mechanic', it's just a normal remaster trying to recapture the magic of old school C&C. It has sparked some hope that if this level of care is maintained, EA could not only remaster other (Command & Conquer) titles, but possibly bring the series back successfully.note 
  • Destiny 2 in a massive way. The stale two primary meta and lack of Post Game content aside from Leviathan left the game lacking in content, with Curse of Osiris NOT helping things in the slightest and causing many to quit the game. Warmind took strides to get players to come back but it wasn't until Forsaken when most of the player base came back. With a larger story focus and a trailer full of wham revealing Fan Beloved Character Cayde 6 at his deathbed. However, even after Forsaken brought most of the playerbase back, Activision wanted Bungie to make a third game. Bungie broke off on their own in 2019 and in September they released Shadowkeep and the game went Free To Play bringing in new players. More players were won over with Beyond Light in 2020 adding Darkness Subclasses for the first time.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution struggled to win any fans from its conception — a fanbase already disillusioned by Invisible War was less than thrilled when they discovered that the third game in the series would include Regenerating Health and cover-based combat. However, when a disgruntled ex-employee leaked the press demo, previously unenthusiastic Deus Ex fans were pleasantly surprised by what they found - so much so that even the notoriously pessimistic /v/ was genuinely impressed and looked forward to the game's release with far more excitement than before.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • The first game was universally hailed and anticipation was high for the second one. However, what fans got was a lackluster sequel that was laughably easy and stripped Dante of his rogue charm. Understandably, many were wary come news of the third game, which was developed by the same team behind DMC2. However, Capcom rectified all the problems of the second game, ratcheting up the difficulty, reverting Dante back to his old self, and even giving him some new toys to play with. Then came the announcement of Special Edition, which offered an Easy Mode and allowed players to play as Vergil.
    • DmC: Devil May Cry was a ham-fistedly gritty reboot (sort of) that many DMC fans found unnecessary due to a myriad of plot points still unaddressed and DmC's largely lackluster and uninspired gameplay (particularly by DMC standards), resulting in the game flopping and the future of the series being uncertain. Capcom would eventually do damage control by releasing a Special Edition of the far more favorable Devil May Cry 4. While it didn't fix all of DMC4's problems, particularly the excessive backtracking that bogged down the second half of the game, it did expand on the story to a degree and included Vergil, Trish, and Lady as playable characters alongside Dante and Nero, each with their own quirks and unique moves. Hope was born anew that a true sequel would be made in the wake; hope that was realized at E3 2018 with the reveal of Devil May Cry 5.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns was this for the Donkey Kong series in general. It was riding high in the Donkey Kong Country days, and Donkey Kong 64 did well too. But once Rare was bought out by Microsoft, the series was basically orphaned for a few generations, with nothing but spinoff games to show for it. But when Retro Studios revived it, Donkey Kong was back. Donkey Kong Country was back. The game sold a ton, was well received and ended up introducing a whole new generation to the series, eventually getting an enhanced remake on the 3DS, as well as a sequel on the Wii U in 2014 in the form of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which in turn got an enhanced remake on the Nintendo Switch.
  • Doom (2016) had a notable case of the "Tainted by the Preview". The last game in the series was Doom³, which was a rather Contested Sequel, with a Sequel Gap of over a decade, and "modern" shooters were still the norm at the time (even though they were starting to decline), so people were concerned it would be a "bringing back a dead IP with a mediocre revival for some quick bucks" situation. While the initial trailers did show off some of the game's return to roots, it toned down how the game actually felt to play in the final product, and the beta for the multiplayer (which was outsourced to a different company) didn't give people the best impressions on the gameplay, as the feel of it didn't match the single-player. All this on top of Bethesda not releasing review copies didn't give people high expectations for DOOM. But once players actually got their hands on the game, they were sucker punched by the fast-paced, visceral gunplay that brings in the old school shooter charm, and the game became a huge success and a testament that modern FPS titles don't need to be multiplayer-focused in order to be successful.
  • The 2019 Unity Doom I and II ports for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices were met with negative reception stemming from the poor quality of the ports rife with broken lighting, slower audio, and a stretched out aspect-ratio among other problems compared to previous console versions, and the nail on the coffin was implementing an always-online DRM on the games for Bethesda's Slayer's Club bonuses that many felt wasn't worth the problem. The developers of the ports, however, took the criticism to heart and rectified the port's issues and removed the mandatory log-in procedure to even play the games. Rather than leave the games at a competent state, the developers went on to further improve the ports by adding new features to the classic Doom games by giving these games official 60 FPS gameplay, 16:9 widescreen presentation, variable frame-rate limits, and the ability to download curated mods for free, including both halves of Final Doom, No Rest for the Living, and SIGIL, giving players an experience comparable to playing Doom on a source port. The 2019 Unity ports later made its way to PC through and later as a free update for Steam and owners of Doom and Doom II as well as releasing on Epic Games Store, providing a modern and convenient option over using DOSBox.
  • Jagged Alliance: The series has had several ups and downs over the years.
    • The first sequel, "Deadly Games", was well-received enough, but was ultimately a Mission-Pack Sequel and recieved some flak for removing things like the overworld map.
    • "Jagged Alliance 2" won the fans back in style, improving on everything that made the original great, with better graphics, more variety and detail, improved combat mechanics and more focus on the RPG elements, which in turn, really helped bring the setting to life.
    • "Unfinished Business" was nominally an expansion, but in practice a much more linear and limited sequel.
    • "Wildfire" was much the same, but with vastly inferior production values, and also committed the cardinal sin of removing several fan-favorite characters.
    • "Back In Action" and "Crossfire" handled the transition from isometric to 3D with the grace of a pregnant rhino in a bodycast, swapped the turn-based gameplay to real-time-with-pause, dumbed down several of the core mechanics the devs deigned to keep around and were in general just not fun to play.
    • "Rage!" was the first installment since "2" that wasn't universally slammed by the fanbase, but reactions were mixed, ranging from "So Okay, It's Average" to "In Name Only".
    • "Jagged Alliance 3" won the fanbase back again, ignoring the inferior reboots and sequels and looking to "Jagged Alliance 2" for inspiration, keeping much of what made it great while adding modern graphics, UI, controls and quality-of-life improvement.
  • Kirby:
    • The 2000s was when the franchise started to slip. After the release of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, there were no mainline Kirby games released on consoles, limiting them to portables. There was also Kirby & the Amazing Mirror and Kirby: Squeak Squad, which were equally just as divisive for multiple reasons (the former due to the switch from the tradition level format to a Metroidvania-styled platformer, and the latter due to, in spite of the return to the traditional format, its shorter levels, reusage of assets from the Game Boy Advance games, and tepid responses to the story and Final Boss (the former for having Kirby go on a rampage and nearly cause the end of the world because the Squeaks stole his cake, though some people tend to point at the game's developers, Flagship, for not fully understanding Kirby's character, and the latter for being easy and quick compared to the boss that came before it). Even more, a new mainline Kirby game was about to be released on the Nintendo GameCube, but was unfortunately scrapped after three prototypes. And after a Video Game Remake in 2008 which lead to no mainline game for 3 years, Kirby's Return to Dream Land came out in 2011, bringing the series back into relevancy.
    • Kirby Star Allies was met with mixed reception upon release, stating that the game feels like a letdown when compared to the previous three games, which were all seen as better than the last, due to the more steamlined level design, easy bosses, and the overwhelming return of multiplayer making the game too easy. The final update released at the end of November made up for these complaints by introducing a new post-game mode titled "Heroes in Another Dimension", which takes use of all of the Dream Friends added to the game after release, introduces more challenging levels, and introduces stronger and more deadly versions of Whispy Woods, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Kracko, Hyness, and the Three Mage Sisters as bosses, a more powerful version of Morpho Knight which turns the original version from just some Anti-Climax Boss Underground Monkey into a force to be reckoned with, and a new difficulty in The Ultimate Choice called Soul Melter EX which ends with fighting Void Termina's ultimate and final form as one of the toughest and greatest final bosses in the entire series.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The huge success of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time made it an incredibly Tough Act to Follow. It overshadowed the next two series installments, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker, and many fans of the series wished Nintendo would just make another game like Ocarina of Time again. note  The release of Twilight Princess was considered to be more true-to-form for the series, with its announcement still considered one of the best crowd reactions to happen at E3. While the game has come under its fair share of criticism in the years since, at the time, it won back a lot of series fans by featuring an "adult" Link and a darker story, as well as introducing new characters (including one of the franchise's most beloved partner characters, Midna).
    • A Link Between Worlds did this for the handheld installments in the series, after the more divisive Nintendo DS games (Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks). The title ditched the experimental stylus controls to return to traditional button controls and presented a more open-ended campaign that harkened back to the earliest games in the franchise.
    • In response to criticisms surrounding the linear nature of Skyward Sword, as well as the series' overall progression from open-ended exploration to linear gameplay, Nintendo produced Breath of the Wild. Not only did the game bring the series back-to-basics by emulating the open-world setting of the NES original, but it also became the first Zelda game to rival Ocarina of Time in success, outselling both the original release and the 3DS remake combined within two years to become the most successful installment in the franchise.
  • Mega Man 11's announcement and subsequent release was this to longtime Mega Man fans who had turned on Capcom after seeing no official releases (barring compilations and re-releases) since Keiji Inafune left the company nearly a decade prior, leading many to write the franchise off as dead. The fact that the game has a modern graphical style and a higher budget as opposed to being an NES-style retro throwback like Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 also did a lot to get people excited, and the game ultimately became the best-selling entry in the Mega Man franchise as a whole.
  • While Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty didn't turn everyone away from the series, it did cause a serious Broken Base with many worried as to what the next game would bring. Cue Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater which had a much more straightforward and powerful character-driven plot, a main character who looked and sounded exactly like Snake, solid gameplay that expanded on the Metal Gear Solid 2's gameplay, new outdoor jungle environments (which hadn't really been done before in the series since the original 2D games), spectacular boss fights, and a memorable ending. While debate still goes on as to the overall quality of Metal Gear Solid 2 in relation to the rest of the series, Metal Gear Solid 3, along with the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, are considered to be the franchise's crowning achievements.
  • The entire Metroid franchise was in a very precarious position for several years. Metroid: Other M released in 2010 and sold well but became a low point for the series due to extremely polarizing fan reaction to Samus' characterization and the writing. Whether it was the result of Other M or not, the series entered an extended dry spell broken up only by the contentiously received (to say the least) Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Fans of the franchise were left largely unsatisfied, a situation not helped by Nintendo completely ignoring the series' 30th anniversary and their DMCA takedown of Another Metroid 2 Remake. Things seemed bleak until E3 2017, where Metroid came back with a vengeance and saw not one, but two new games announced: the long-desired Metroid Prime 4 (for the Nintendo Switch), and an official remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, entitled Metroid: Samus Returns (for the Nintendo 3DS). While the former has yet to release, the latter debuted later that year to critical praise and positive fan response, with those who were more lukewarm on the game's quality expressing that Samus truly had returned. Any remaining fans who hadn't been won back were won over with Metroid Dread, which greatly expanded upon what worked so well with Samus Returns. Dread received critical acclaim and went on to sell three million copies, making it the bestselling game in the series to date.
  • After the dedicated server fiasco in the PC version of Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops was advertised to have dedicated servers. And its sequel, Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Near future setting, missions with multiple paths, Strike Force missions that can alter the story based on success or failure (and the player can even play these missions like an RTS if they want), and a story written by the writer of The Dark Knight Saga, even those who hated Modern Warfare 3 for being "too much of the same thing" felt that Black Ops II was truly the change of pace the series needed.
  • Mortal Kombat had a rough time with 3D installments in the years following Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Attempts at other gameplay genres likewise proved unsuccessful. 2002's Deadly Alliance was to found to be a better transition to 3D than the 2½D MK4 and featured a bold (if not contentious) new direction for the series wherein the titular Big Bad Duumvirate kill Liu Kang in the game's opening. However, any new momentum generated was brought to a complete halt with the next two installments, replete with unbalanced gameplay, a slew of new characters deemed to be uninteresting if not outright terrible additions to the cast (though a handful would go on to become fan favorites), and a story building up to what was ostensibly the Grand Finale but without much to show for it in terms of emotional investment. Next came a crossover with DC Comics where the trademark over-the-top violence was infamously toned down; though by no means terrible, the general consensus is that MKvsDCU ultimately failed to live up to the pre-release hype. It's telling that the best received MK entry during this period was Shaolin Monks, a Beat 'em Up retelling of MK2. When Midway went under and was eventually reborn as NetherRealm Studios, their first plan of action was to wipe the slate clean with Mortal Kombat 9. The 2011 game, with its tournament-worthy gameplay and deep, fully cinematic story, finally ended the series' downward spiral, ensuring that players' fond memories of the Mortal Kombat brand weren't just exclusive to the 90s. NRS would continue the trend with Mortal Kombat X, which was just as critically and commercially successful as its predecessor, if not more so.
  • Ratchet & Clank had a rough time throughout the 2010s after riding high in the 2000s. The original game was acclaimed for having a unique twist on the mascot platformer genre with its emphasis on action combat and over-the-top weapons, and was followed up by multiple massively successful entries on the PlayStation 2 and 3. After the critical and commercial success of A Crack In Time the series entered something of a slump, with a string of games that received mixed reception and which began a hiatus for the series that coincided with a decline for the mascot genre platformer as a whole. Starting from 2013 there were no new entries in Ratchet & Clank at all aside from the 2016 remake which did well enough. Finally in 2021 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was released to glowing reviews from fans and critics alike and was widely considered a return to form as well as one of the best games in the franchise, going on to sell four million copies.
  • Shadowverse:
    • The Starforged Legends expansion is seen as this. After three months of the dominance of Neutral-oriented decks in Wonderland Dreams, the cards introduced in Starforged Legends expansion is seen as an expansion of re-establishing unique class and traits identities that have long been forgotten (particularly for Swordcraft's Commander/Officer synergy and Forestcraft's identity as a combo class), on top of legendary cards that are not as blatantly overpowered as those in the past couple sets. Combined with the nerf to Alice's buffs to the Neutral package in September 2017, the Starforged Legends expansion was seen as a way to opening up different and diverging playstyles for each class.
    • The introduction to Rotation format in the Chronogenesis expansion is this, mainly because the Rotation format only allows players to use cards from the latest five expansions, thus allowing a more dynamic and diverse meta as well as reinforcing class strengths and new mechanics for existing classes. The Rotation format is seen as a welcoming edition for control players as well, mainly because two combo decks that prey on control decks, Dimension Shift and OTK Roach, will be rotated out in Rotation, along with many aggro cards from Standard and Darkness Evolved expansions that will not be available in Rotation.
    • A portion of the playerbase first learned about Cygames and Shadowverse thanks to the global Steam release. Upon knowing of a highly-popular JRPG called Granblue Fantasy, these players migrated their playtime from Shadowverse into Granblue and might have spent a good amount of time and money in that game (given that Granblue Fantasy never runs out of events) that they might've also taken a break from Shadowverse. During those times, there were a lot of "Returning Player" posts where a former Shadowverse player returns into the game, eager to know the changes to the meta. When the "Brigade of the Sky" event hit, many of those who migrated into Granblue returned to the card game, thanks to the shared characters featured by the expansion. It goes to the point where some players admit that they play both games at manageable times.
  • Stellaris: The 3.0 Dick launch was highly contentious among players due to its buggy state, contested pop growth mechanics, and enemy AI now being incapable of managing an economy let alone posing a challenge. The fact that the last 3.0.x patch addressed only bugs and allowed an option to modify the growth mechanics was met with concern. Then Paradox announced the creation of the Custodians, a new team at the studio whose job will be to update old content, make quality of life improvements, fix bugs, and take suggestions from the community while the main team works on new content. As the lead-up to that, they announced the next free update would introduce new Traditions and allow players to swap them around as they please. The reaction was universally positive.
  • Street Fighter:
    • The series was seen as being repetitive and boring after Capcom went to the well one too many times with their update editions of Street Fighter II. And then lost the mainstream gamers completely with Street Fighter III and its update editions. Thanks to the Fighting Game Community, they were able to bring attention to how great a game Street Fighter III: Third Strike really was, and eventually brought enough attention to the game for Capcom to make Street Fighter IV. The game was a huge success, and not only did it help revive the fighting game genre as a whole, it made the FGC popular as well, especially when it came to EVO, the biggest event for the pro community. Not to mention that some fans no longer mind Capcom's update edition concept with the Street Fighter series anymore, as evidenced by the latest version, Ultra Street Fighter IV.
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3 had helped win back gamers that had been turned off by Street Fighter III. While III was heavily criticized for getting rid of the entire cast of II except for Ryu and Ken, Alpha 3 brought back all 18 characters from the first two Alpha games and added in an additional four veterans from Street Fighter II. The fact that Alpha 3 ran on the CPS-2 hardware rather than the CPS-3 like III also meant it could be more easily ported to consoles (where it included even more characters from II), and the game consequently sold a million copies on the PlayStation. For comparison, III was notable for being the first Street Fighter entry since the original to not be able to sell at least a million copies.
    • After Street Fighter V proved to be a highly contentious title due to several divisive approaches to game mechanics, presentation, and content rollout, Capcom had their work cut out in regaining the confidence of its fanbase with SF6. Astonishingly, they largely managed to pull it off — the new art style received praise on sight, the updates to gameplay and the many new features it (re-)introduces to combat have been well-received, as well as having much new and exciting high-scope content right out of the gate, including the World Tour mode. The game sold over a million copies within its first week, and has gained near-unanimous praise from critics and players alike as an excellent entry in the series.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • After Ubisoft's Tetris exclusivity contract coupled with their disastrous Tetris Ultimate damaged the reputation of the Tetris name ("How were they able to mess up TETRIS of all things?!"), the Western release of Puyo Puyo Tetris and Tetris 99 seem to have renewed people's faith in modern Tetris games, the former featuring a colorful cast of characters including Tetris-representative characters and the butter-smooth gameplay that comes with a lot of Sega Tetris games and the latter being a unique Battle Royale-style 99-player twist on the multiplayer formula.
  • The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise had grappled with Sequelitis for years, eventually hitting a nadir with Tony Hawk's RIDE and SHRED, two games built around an atrocious skateboard peripheral. Activision, finally seeing where this was going, released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, a revamped collection of levels from the well-reviewed first and second titles. However, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 came out, looking to maintain the upswing... But it was less than what the fans were hoping for, being a bland, bug-riddled product. This eventually led Vicarious Visions to take up the mantle with their remake of the first two games, releasing it to critical acclaim.
  • The Perfectionist difficulty in Splinter Cell: Blacklist seems to be this as it is a return to classic stealth play, removing melees from the front and Mark & Execute, features from Conviction that may have deterred hardcore fans of the earlier games.
  • Contra 4, Contra ReBirth, and Hard Corps: Uprising, three Contra games that came out after four consecutive installments that sat poorly with fans of the series (two lame PlayStation games, one of which is also a Sega Saturn game, and two average PlayStation 2 games) which whipped the series back into what it should be.
  • Due to declining sales from Fire Emblem titles, Fire Emblem: Awakening was originally going to be the final game in the series if the game didn't reach 250,000 sales. Fortunately, Awakening managed to save the series from cancellation with 242,600 units sold during its opening week alone. And after a decade of the franchise failing to gain significant traction outside of Japan, the title greatly expanded the fandom, with the game going on to sell almost two million copies worldwide over the next two years. A figure that the following installment, Fire Emblem Fates managed to surpass in less than a year.
  • Atari was very clearly attempting this with Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers and Rookie Rush, which featured no licensing from any major sports brands and tried to be more than just another year of the same game. Unfortunately, it didn't pull the series out of its Audience-Alienating Era very well (as a matter of fact, it only solidified the issues most longtime fans took), and it flopped to the point that no new games in the series, one that's been milked to death with two to three games every year for a decade, have since been announced.
  • Fallout 3 was a very popular game overall, but it was controversial among the original fans of the first two games. Fallout: New Vegas, done by a descendant studio of the original Black Isle, was well-received by both sides and generally seen as a sign that Fallout hasn't quite lost its magic.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. won back popularity of console Video Games in North America, after The Great Video Game Crash of 1983.
    • New Super Mario Bros. reinvigorated and repopularized the entire 2D Platform Game genre, after most studios had either gone 3D or abandoned the genre altogether.
    • Following the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2 in 2010, the series gradually became increasingly accused of stagnating creatively. While Super Mario 3D Land was well-received, critics and fans generally felt that it was underwhelming after the Galaxy games and the release of two new 2D installments in the same year gave further credence to this. Super Mario 3D World seemed to be heading towards this as well, but its second trailer revealed a large amount of unique content and well-designed levels that piqued interest, and the game met near-universal acclaim and large sales a month later.
    • When Super Mario Maker was announced, it seemed to have a lukewarm (at best) reception, leaving a few people to mostly shrug it off. However, when it appeared in the Nintendo World Championships 2015, the reception was greeted with more enthusiasm due to the insane things you can create being shown off almost going into Kaizo Trap levels.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King. Having learned from their past mistakes with Sticker Star and Color Splash, all the game's trailers time focused on all the improvements the game made compared to the past two. In addition, the game fixed a flaw many fans had complained about-the lack of an original story. Not only is the story not "Bowser kidnaps Peach, go save her!", there is a brand new villain in the form of King Olly, every NPC is not based on a Toad, partners return (in a way) and several of the new characters such as Bobby and Olivia quickly rose into fan favorite territory. While the gameplay is still a bit of a base breaker, many fans admit the game is a step in the right direction, with some even saying it's on the level of the original three games.
    • Super Mario Odyssey won back the crowd on several different levels. First off, it brought back the open-ended and environment based gameplay of 64 and Sunshine that had been previously replaced with more linear gameplay starting from Super Mario 3D Land, winning back many fans of the older 3D Mario games. This came at the cost of alienating those who preferred the linear gameplay; they were won over by the innovation and new gameplay mechanics. Finally, the game brought creativity to the Mario series many people had accused it of lacking throughout the 3DS / Wii U era and revitalised the series in general.
    • Super Mario Bros. Wonder was considered an excellent return to form after many fans felt that the prior console 2D games, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U, reused too many ideas from previous games and introduced too few new ones, not changing the core gameplay, artstyle, and soundtrack from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Wonder introduced a plethora of new creative ideas with its Wonder Effects, vastly expanded the gameplay with its Badge system, featured varied Video Game Settings alongside an entirely new artstyle and soundtrack besides intentional callbacks, excellent level design, and a diverse playable character roster.
    • Mario Party:
      • The NDcube era of games was viewed as significantly inferior to the original series by Hudson Soft; besides trending toward low-budget, uncreative, short games, the vehicle-based gameplay of Mario Party 9 and 10 is divisive at best, Mario Party: Island Tour and Star Rush are considered So Okay, It's Average with a few bright spots, and The Top 100 was controversial for its questionable selection of minigames and lack of any real board game mode. Then came Super Mario Party, which was widely regarded as a step up compared to the previous NDCube games, returning the series to its original gameplay after the widely-derided "car-style" of 9 and 10 and the middling reception to the 3DS games, in addition to featuring creative modes like Sound Stage (whose minigames are rhythm-based, not unlike Rhythm Heaven) and River Survival (whose minigames operate under 4-player cooperation instead of competition). The only major criticisms were the lack of alternative control schemes and the low number (as well as short size) of boards.
      • ND Cube then took another crack at The Top 100's formula with Mario Party Superstars, and with it came a more concerted effort to address criticisms of the modern Mario Parties—improved graphics and sound design, a varied selection of boards from the franchise's N64 heyday, and a more balanced selection of minigames (including fan favorites like Mario's Puzzle Party and Dungeon Duos). Fans were much kinder to Superstars as a result, and many declared it the game Top 100 should have been.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Hardcore fans generally took a "once bitten, twice shy" approach to Wii U/3DS after Brawl, and the early build displayed at E3 2014 and subsequent promotional events that suffered many of the same problems as Brawl didn't help matters. Then, the finished game was released, which altered the mechanics from the demo build completely, along with doing things like adding onscreen tips that explained details and tactics previously hidden to most players, fans started to warm up to the games. And since the game's release, there have been updates and patches to fix balancing issues and improve the speed.
    • Most if not all fans shared at least one gripe with the release version's final roster, including Dr. Mario of all characters being brought back from Melee and there not being quite enough star power. It seems like Sakurai took this as a challenge, as almost every piece of character DLC was designed to, if not make you cheer for the character, marvel at what on Earth Sakurai can pull off next. Mewtwo, Roy, and Lucas all returning as fan-favorite veterans (who could actually return). Ryu adding another crossover to his list. Cloud Strife being added because Sakurai knew it has been a long-running joke with the fanbase for characters like Goku or Cloud to be in Smash. Finally, the eponymous protagonist of Bayonetta being added (allegedly) by fan demand through the Smash Fighter Ballotnote , plus Corrin to promote his/her then-upcoming game.
    • And then came Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which brought back every single character that has ever been playable in the franchise (and yes, this includes Pichu, shown alongside Jigglypuff after Snake's return), along with newcomers like the highly requested Ridley and King K. Rool (whose inclusions were confirmed due to their high standing on the Smash Ballot from 3DS/Wii U), and many others such as Inkling, Daisy, Simon Belmont, Chrom and Isabelle, to name a few. Also, the gameplay has been improved compared to that of 3DS/Wii U, and it featured a new story mode. Then, after the unexpected addition of Piranha Plant as DLC, along came the Fighters Pass with its first fighter, Joker, the return of Stage Builder and a new area to view online content by the players, and the E3 2019 reveals of the hugely-influential Dragon Quest Heroes and the grand return of Banjo & Kazooie to a Nintendo platform. It says something when, as of April 2019, it became the best-selling fighting game of all time, let alone the best-selling Super Smash Bros. game. Then after a series of a mix of unexpected, mid, and one very divisive DLC characters, the final character would be someone who was once seen as a truly impossible addition: Sora from Kingdom Hearts.
  • Some Pokémon fans felt turned off by Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire due to a large number of changes from previous installments, including unavailability of Generation I and II Pokémon. But when Generation IV came out, especially Platinum and the long-awaited remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, it brought back many old fans, along with some new ones. All subsequent generations have done something to put this trope in effect as well.
  • After hearing their fans being rather disappointed and even somewhat annoyed at the Lighter and Softer tones that the latest Tales of... games had been following (starting with Tales of Graces and persisting up to Tales of Zestiria), Namco decided to bring out Tales of Berseria, a much darker entry that is seen as a true return to form the series desperately needed. It has received massive critical acclaim from a majority of fans.
  • The original release of Final Fantasy XIV back in 2010 was seen by many as the nadir of the entire MMORPG genre and the Final Fantasy franchise, to the point where a major investor sold every last share of his Square Enix stock in protest. Three years later, the game was rebooted as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, having undergone enough changes to make Cataclysm look like a minor patch. This time, the game was a critical and financial success far beyond anything Square Enix expected. (How successful? It is now the second most profitable game in the franchise, next to Final Fantasy XI, and got that way in a fraction of the time, and by 2021, due to some (un)fortunate events from the rival game, it stood strong enough to become the most preferred exodus for the other game's players, boosting the number of subscribers in unprecedented levels.) The game and its expansions have become such a major hit that in PAX West 2019, the main scenario writer for the Shadowbringers expansion was given a standing ovation by the fans, causing her to happily cry in response. That's how you know you won the fans back.
  • After the unpopular and poorly received mess that was Call of Juarez: The Cartel, Ubisoft realized that they were losing fans of the series at an abysmal rate. It seems they got the message why fans didn't like The Cartel and went on to release Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, a game that plays like an Affectionate Parody of the whole Spaghetti Western concept, gently poking fun at the cliches and storytelling conventions of the genre while providing blazing-fun action and an engrossing story at the same time. It didn't hurt that it was also less expensive than The Cartel and that its characters ended up more well-liked by the Call of Juarez fans.
  • Starbound proved to be extremely popular around the time of its release, but fervor for the game died down not long after due to stagnating updates. The massive update released for the game in January 2015, however, managed to win back some of that popularity by adding many promised features, including the new Novakid race, ship customization, customizable UI windows, and oodles of new items to collect and planets to explore.
  • Star Trek Online hit a major snag during 2014, when then-EP Stephen D'Angelo allowed a number of changes to hit the game, increasing the grind exponentially, leading to the infamous Tau Dewa incident Explanation. Come 2015, D'Angelo stepped down and Stephen "SalamiInferno" Ricossa, a former dev, took over, quickly winning over many players with his quick and prompt responses over incidents and getting them hyped for what was coming next.
  • When X: Rebirth launched to almost universal poor reviews due to the Obvious Beta state and a plethora of bizarre design decisions, the development team, EGOSOFT, admitted that they goofed up, and spent the next year refining the game to be playable and indeed fun; first with the massive "2.0" update and again with "3.0", which coincided with the release of the game's Expansion Pack, The Teladi Outpost, which was free for every owner to pre-order until the day of release as an apology. Critics and fans praised the decision and were more in favor of the game after all the changes. EGOSOFT has a history of this, with their games being released as buggy, often unplayable messes which are rectified about a year after release and with features expanded via free Downloadable Content, but winning back the crowd after the Rebirth fiasco — whose level of bugginess was an order of magnitude worse than previous games — was make-or-break for the company.
  • After it was revealed in May 2015 that KLab had fuddled with the English localization of Love Live! School idol festival to strip out references to same-sex relationships and change the Featureless Protagonist's implied gender from female to male, fans were very angry at the whitewashing of the characters' sexualities, with many refusing to buy any more Love Gems (if they were buying them) or outright uninstalling the game. One month later, KLab apologized and put out a patch that retranslated the Bowdlerised lines; many fans were elated to see the revised script and came back to the game.
  • Resident Evil fans were heavily disgruntled by Capcom management with some of the later games in the series, with the fifth game being considered a poor man's the fourth game and 6 being absolutely hated by many fans because it was too much of an action game compared to the franchise's roots in Survival Horror. However, both games in the Revelations series were seen as a solid approach to the franchise's origins, an announcement to the widely requested remake of Resident Evil 2 in a similar style to the REMake had the fandom rejoicing and the reveal of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was one of the highlights of the PlayStation conference at E3 2016.
  • No Man's Sky was the subject of serious backlash around the time of its release, with critical reception being overall low, stemming largely from disappointment over the lack of features discussed during the game's hype cycle and overall lackluster gameplay. Since its launch in 2016, however, Hello Games continued to work on the game and released updates that improved its quality of life, such as the "Foundation" update, which added base building, a creative sandbox mode and freighters that eased inventory restrictions; the "Pathfinder" update, which introduced terrestrial vehicles for planetside exploration; and the "Atlas Rises" update, which improved the story questline and procedurally-generated side quests that added more variety to the gameplay. The July 2018 update, "NEXT", gave the game a much-needed shot in the arm with one very important addition: multiplayer. Other additions and improvements included the ability to create and remake the player's avatar freely, an expanded base building that lets players set up shop anywhere they wish, streamlining resources to make grinding less tedious, and a graphical overhaul that improved the overall look of the game. Many who dismissed the original release of the game were convinced to return with the release of "NEXT", with the update pushing the Steam version to the top of the sales charts.
  • After two average games in-a-row (F1 2014 and F1 2015), Codemasters' F1 2016 brought back many fans to the franchise (as well new ones) with an extensive revamp in the game, bringing back the career mode with new features and a way better damage model.
  • After the player base's decline Evolve switched to a free-to-play business model on the PC, as well as making plans to do the same on consoles. The player base exploded, as a result, reaching numbers higher than even its initial launch.
  • After alienating their fans and losing the respect of the entire gaming community over the course of 2015 and 2016, the way that Konami treated Super Bomberman R left the company's former fans dumbfounded yet impressed. Rather than simply throwing the game out in the wild and forgetting about it and burying the gameplay under micro-transactions (both criticisms of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain), Konami continued to keep an eye on the game and even quickly addressed technical issues the game had with free patches and later gave out free DLC (consisting of new maps and characters). These moves not only played a factor in putting the long-dormant Bomberman franchise back on the map, but had many believing that Konami was serious about trying to clean up their act, giving the fans what they actually want, and regaining their fans' respect. It proved to be enough for them to release Super Bomberman R2 later in 2022.
  • Soulcalibur VI deserves a mention aside of the turnaround of Japanese games explained in the Consoles section. Soulcalibur V's middling sales and shaky standing among critics and fans alike dragged down the series to so low a point (not helped by spin-offs of questionable quality following SCV's release) that Bandai Namco was actually afraid to touch the franchise seriously again. Enter new director Motohiro Okubo, having previously served as a producer for Tekken 7, giving the statement that Project Soul would make one final game for the Soul series. Okubo was not shy about the possibility that, if it failed, there might never be another Soulcalibur entry. Taking on all criticisms given to the near Franchise Killer that was V, Okubo's team went all out with nothing to lose, focused on bringing the series back to its roots and reminding people why it was beloved in the first place. The principle of the game's design was "make a good game first, e-sport sensation later" — almost a complete 180 from its predecessor. The result was a resounding success, bringing Soulcalibur back into the mainstream and even earning the game a spot at EVO 2019. note  The question of "Does your soul still burn?" was answered with an emphatic yes.
  • For years, the Ultramarines chapter had been the butt of jokes due to their being a Creator's Pet who interpreted them as Lawful Stupid and overshadowing other armies. But with Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, the fans are finally starting to appreciate them again (it doesn't hurt that the game has a few Take Thats towards the by-the-book aspect, and by extension the author who presented them as such). The story also called for exactly what they excel at: being generic action heroes, with no tie-ins to ongoing stories or complex Chapter characterization to confuse players new to the IP.
  • The X-COM series had a strong run and developed an enthusiastic fandom during the 1990s. The original game was well-received for its approach to strategy and was followed by the similarly praised X-COM: Terror from the Deep and X-COM: Apocalypse.The first signs of trouble started with X-COM: Interceptor which received less positive but generally above average reviews from fans and critics, and the general consensus was that the series was stagnating and could use some innovation and fresh energy. This wish perhaps worked too well — in 2001 X-COM: Enforcer ditched the strategy elements entirely in favor of being a third person shooter. This did not go well with fans who were vocally upset and disappointed at the abandonment of the strategy aspect in favor of what was considered to be a very average shooter. Enforcer also disappointed sales-wise, which lead to the XCOM series being put on ice for over a decade as the rights shifted between various companies. In 2010 2K Marin announced a then-untitled Continuity Reboot that would make XCOM into a first person shooter. The fandom's response to this was so negative that Firaxis Games was tasked with creating a true spiritual successor to the original XCOM as a Hail Mary for fans. XCOM: Enemy Unknown was released in 2012 to glowing reception and rejoicing from the community who felt that XCOM was finally back. It exceeded sales projections, causing 2K to greenlight both an expansion pack and a full sequel four years later, XCOM 2, which also enjoyed critical and commercial success. Ironically the FPS reboot was retooled into a third-person tactical shooter with some light strategy elements, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified which received lukewarm reception and came and went with very little fanfare.

    Video Games (Consoles) 
  • The PlayStation 3 had incredibly bad PR before and shortly after its launch in 2006, thanks to its complex architecture resulting in an exorbitant price at launch along with a lack of games. Sony also came across as extremely arrogant and hostile towards its customers, thanks to a combination of the console's advertising consisting mostly of Dada Ads that didn't really promote the system or its capabilities, tech demos and trailers that were completely fabricated, and dismissing any of the aforementioned criticisms with statements like telling people to get a second job if they couldn't afford the high price. After the system finally launched and was trounced in both sales and public perception by its competition of the Xbox 360 and Wii, Sony began to clean up their act. They brought the price of the console down, finally making it competitive with the Xbox 360 with the release of the slim model in 2009. The produced new advertising that was much more on the nose, such as acclaimed "It Only Does Everything" campaign starring fictional Sony executive Kevin Butler. Most important of all, they ensured that the console had a much better lineup of games, thanks to both strong first-party titles from Sony and its subsidiary studios as well as providing better support for third-party developers working on the system to mitigate the difficulty of programming the PS3's complex hardware.
  • The PlayStation 4 was where Sony decided to look at their past consoles and learn from the issues that plagued them early on. Notably, instead of using purely custom hardware in the pursuit of raw power, Sony chose the much more widespread x86-64 architecture along with an AMD Radeon based GPU. This also allowed basic devkits to be shipped using off-the-shelf PC hardware before the actual hardware was finalized. The decision to go with something more common led Lead architect Mark Cerny to comment that the time to get the game equivalent of a "Hello World" program took weeks on the PS4, whereas it took months on the PS3. This helped convince developers that the PlayStation 4 was something they could look forward to working on. With this, by the time E3 2013 rolled around to formally announce the console, not only did Sony have plenty of games and footage to show, but the backlash of Microsoft's presentation gave Sony even more of an opportunity to convince gamers that the console was something to look forward to. The result? The PlayStation 4 became one of the fastest-selling consoles in history, and the best selling console of that generation.
  • The Xbox One had an extremely negative reception following its initial reveal in 2013, with many angry with the console being presented more as a TV and sports box rather than a game console, every console coming with a Kinectnote , no compatibility with used games due to the DRM implementation, as well as the console not working if it could not connect to the Internet every 24 hours. In response to the backlash, Microsoft removed the online connectivity requirement in time for launch, as well as removing the Kinect requirement, though the damage was already done. Eventually, Phil Spencer would be put in charge of the Xbox division, and though the Xbox One's sales would never catch up to the PS4, he and his team were focusing on rebuilding the brand's reputation by releasing a Kinect-free model within its first year, releasing new models such as the Xbox One S and especially the Xbox One X, adding backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, and making innovative services for playing games such as Game Pass.
  • The Wii U's popularity was the definition of "flash in the pan": while the system sold well upon release, fervor died down quickly and the system was discontinued after only four years (most systems live for five or more years in the market). The system's tragically short lifespan, along with declining sales figures, had many concerned about Nintendo's future going into its next system, the Nintendo Switch. Such concerns were laid to rest, however, with the system's release, which provided gamers with a gimmick that anyone could enjoy, being able to play it both on the TV, as well as playing it as a handheld. Alongside a strong lineup within its first year and support from third parties and indie developers alike, the Switch helped to revitalize Nintendo as a credible force in the industry.
  • The Japanese console gaming industry managed to pull this off starting in late 2016.
    • After enjoying almost completely unchallenged market dominance throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s, Japanese games started losing ground to Western developers starting in the mid-2000s, which lasted throughout all of The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games and the first half of The Eighth Generation of Console Video Games. For a roughly 10 year period from 2006-2016, it seemed like WRPGs (such as those developed by Bethesda, Bioware, and Rockstar Games/2K Games), shooters, and mobile games were taking over the entire video gaming market, and many Japanese game developers were caught flat-footed on how to respond. Western audiences' demands for "realism" (in both graphics and character design) and massive competitive multiplayer modes grew to dominate the market, which crowded out Japanese games that were known for single-player narratives and whimsical or fantastical characters & settings. While there were a few standout hits in this timeframe such as Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and the Dark Souls series (which partially owed its success due to looking very much like a Western game), one gaming news publication after another was consistently declaring that Japanese games' glory days had long passed and that the whole industry was headed into Cult Classic status, at best, with only handheld consoles enjoying sustainable success. note 
    • However, things started to turn around in late 2016, with Final Fantasy XV leading the charge at the end of November and shipping over 5 million copies on release day. The momentum continued into 2017: in a span of less than 6 months, Japanese developers enjoyed a rapid-fire release of games that achieved massive critical and commercial success in the West like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Tales of Berseria, Yakuza 0, NieR: Automata, Nioh, Persona 5, and most significantly of all, the smashing success of the Nintendo Switch and its launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 continuing to bolster the massive success of the Switch later on throughout the year. Also in 2017, Japanese mobile games managed to break into the Western market with two megahits in the form of Fire Emblem Heroes and Fate/Grand Order. This momentum would continue on in 2018, with such acclaimed hits such as Monster Hunter: World, Octopath Traveler, Soulcalibur VI, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Mega Man 11, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and would grow in 2019, with titles like Resident Evil 2 (Remake), Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Astral Chain, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout, Code Vein, and Death Stranding all being hits. The incredible turnaround of the Japanese gaming industry in Western popular opinion is discussed in this video which features interviews with developers from major Japanese studios like Atlus, Square Enix, and Sony Computer Entertainment.
    • An article discussing another success story, Lost Judgment, also touches on this in September 2021 with Atlus localisation producer Scott Strichart.
      When talking about the recent global renaissance of the Japanese games industry, it's hard not to consider Sega (and its subsidiary Atlus) as an integral part of this comeback — after all, what two game franchises better encapsulate modern Japanese culture than Yakuza and Persona? As a veteran in localisation for Japanese companies including Atlus, Square Enix and Level-5 before returning to Atlus and then Sega leading Yakuza's localisation efforts, how does Strichart explain this renewed appeal in Japanese games? Has it just been a matter of timing that Japanese culture is no longer seen as too weird and exotic, better quality localisation, and better marketing?
      Strichart: "It's a combination of all those things. When I started at Atlus in 2007, I think there was an industry-wide stigma attached to Japanese games, maybe driven by a sense of inferiority or being a niche interest that caused a lot of Japanese developers to attempt to make games specifically with the larger AAA Western market in mind. Over time though, that mindset has changed. There's been a realization that to have global appeal, Japanese developers just have to be themselves, and Western publishers of that content have to let them do that. In a nutshell, that's what you’re seeing with the success of Yakuza. We're giving it the localization it deserves, and the marketing is no longer spinning it like it's some kind of Japanese GTA, it's, "Get in, gamers, we're going to Japan'!"

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Season 16, The Shisno Paradox was considered a low point of the show by those who didn't like the Denser and Wackier approach. Season 17, Singularity, managed to win those dissers back even by being a direct follow-up, with approval to the comedy, exploring unused characters and pairings, and story directions. Helps that after a whole season of build-up, Singularity started with its stakes and antagonists already set.
    • Season 18, Zero, was considered an even lower point with very weak writing. Hence, the announcement of a spin-off starring the cast of Zero, Family Shatters, received intense vitriol from the fans, but once it actually came out, viewers considered Family Shatters a step in the right direction, especially for returning to comedy after an Actionized Sequel season that lacked the laughs and characterization that drove people towards the show in the first place.

    Web Video 
  • The Yogscast Minecraft Series appears to have won many fans back with the new Cornerstone series. It's generally agreed by many that series, which introduces mass collaboration and everyone working together and tasks being delegated out, is a good series, partly due to it stirring up old memories of the Tekkit series, where collabs were frequent enough. The effects have been fairly positive for individual members, too- Strippin has gotten a fair amount of love for his good chemistry with Hat Films.
  • The second season of the Rooster Teeth show The Gauntlet appears to have won over many fans that were not happy with the first season. With a shift away from all-community teams (which led to a huge case of Broken Base) to one community team, a Rooster Teeth team, a team composed of various internet celebrities and a team from Achievement Hunter, people are on the whole much more positive.
  • Sips came under fire for making content that appeared to be solely Garry's Mod-based, with fans starting to angrily spam comments on YouTube. Sips' starting a playthrough of Fallout and Evolve has since won over many of his detractors, who like the shift away from Gmod and back to the older style content.

    Western Animation 
  • Glitch Techs: While Eric Robles' previous series, Fanboy and Chum Chum, was incredibly divisive due to its dimwitted characters and zany humour, Glitch Techs has been much more positively received as a fun (if a bit cheesy) action-adventure show about video games that actually did the research in regards to the subject matter.
  • Star Wars
    • Star Wars: Clone Wars is this for fans who were disappointed by both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones because it goes directly into a key event in the Star Wars franchise and it shows a more drawn-out backstory for characters such as Anakin and more importantly, General Grievous.
    • Star Wars: The Clone Wars ended up adding even greater scope to the Clone Wars, chronicling the whole titular conflict from near its very beginning to its very end. More crucially however, it ended up adding far more nuance to the entire prequel trilogy: making Anakin far more likable and heroic and giving much more justification for his distrust for the Jedi and eventual fall, adding depth to the clones, showcasing in far greater detail Palpatine's machinations and how the war corrupted both the Jedi Order and the already decaying Republic, and of course, introducing (eventual) fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano. It's not uncommon to hear those who initially scorned anything having to do with the prequel trilogy now looking back much more fondly on its overall premise, if not the movies themselves, for finally being done justice by The Clone Wars. The Siege of Mandalore arc also served as this for the franchise as a whole after the incredibly divisive Rise of Skywalker, with some even going so far as to label the arc as one of the best pieces of Star Wars content ever made.
  • Transformers: Animated has proved to be an excellent show, especially after the years of spottily-dubbed Japanese-produced for American consumption (Or not) series, attracting many old and even new fans.
  • The first half of the fifth season of Steven Universe, after the plot-heavy "Wanted" event, is largely complained about by fans due to immediately following a nearly seven month hiatus, a few too many episodes being focused on the recurring human characters, and having no relevance to the more compelling overarching story. However, after "Lars of the Stars" and "Jungle Moon", the plot threads abandoned after "Wanted" were picked up again, culminating in the biggest reveal of the series, that Rose Quartz didn't shatter Pink Diamond, but rather was her. That episode was followed by a well-received "StevenBomb" (five new episodes in five nights) that included the return of Bismuth and Lapis and ended with the critically-acclaimed "Reunited". Though that episode was followed by another lengthy hiatus, the following string of episodes, entitled "Diamond Days", was a much more rewarding payoff for the wait, including Steven and the Crystal Gems visiting Homeworld, Blue and Yellow Diamond receiving more attention as antagonists, and the long-awaited debut of the mysterious White Diamond, who up until that point had never even been directly mentioned, only alluded to.
  • The first attempt to revive Tom and Jerry under Gene Deitch in 1961 was a bit if a disaster to say the least. A massive downgrade in animation quality being the least of the problems. The new shorts being far from popular, two years later MGM turned to famed Looney Tunes Chuck Jones to take over the series. He promptly restored the quality, improved the plots and 36 successful cartoons followed until 1967.
  • Transformers: Prime, following the success of Transformers: War for Cybertron (and being in that same universe), has won over basically all fans of the franchise - including many geewunners - and is marked as being the best Transformers show since Beast Wars, if not even better. Part of this is the serious tone of the show, the return of the original voice actors for Optimus and Megatron, and the ubiquity of pieces of the Transformers Mythos from every major installation of the Transformers Franchise. The third season won a bigger crowd after the Sophomore Slump of the second.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The eighth and ninth seasons. Plankton is more threatening than he was before the movie, using deadly weapons and slave labor, Mr. Krabs has a nice side, characters who plagued the past three seasons have been dropped, there's a bit more drama, the epic horrors of Whelk Attack and "A Pal For Gary" (though SpongeBob's characterization in that episode hasn't allowed it to resonate well with several fans), Sandy may be getting back in the spotlight soon, genuinely good specials, the Black Comedy being handled better, the best SpongeBob game since Battle For Bikini Bottom, the brief Story Arc, SpongeBob getting less stupid, Patrick becoming a lovable oaf again after a brief jerkass stint, etc. Although they aren't without their stinkers (i.e. "Squid Baby" and "Are You Happy Now?").
    • Many fans became hyped up for the second movie, due to Stephen Hillenburg returning to the series after his departure since season four. What's more, the movie was more-or-less an apology letter to the fans, being on-par with Seasons 1-3 in terms of quality and undoing all of the Character Derailment and Flanderization that plagued the post-Hillenburg era. The following season 10 continued to appease these fans.
  • Family Guy, for a time, after the much-reviled Season 8: Peter's Jerkassery was toned down, Brian is no longer the Author Avatar everybody was sick of, Meg and Chris are getting more screentime, and the Meg bashing is much, much less blatant, Stewie starts to show glimpses of his old characterization, the newer chapters have better storylines and fewer flashbacks and pop culture references (which, by the way, are more recent and easier to get than the obscure '70-'80s references that nobody recognized), the Black Comedy is less prominent, etc. There are even a few dramatic and serious moments once in a while. Later seasons eventually managed to lose this goodwill, though, for a variety of reasons best listed on other pages.
  • The Simpsons experienced a massive boost in popularity in 2007, thanks to the acclaimed smash hit The Simpsons Movie.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The series won back the My Little Pony franchise, after it had been a joke for years. Moreover, it gave rise to the brony movement, appealing to adults as well as children.
    • In a smaller case, writer Merriwether Williams' four episodes in season 2 were among the most disliked of the show (with the exception of Hearth's Warming Eve), most notably in how their stories relied on everyone acting like jerks. Her next episode in the following season, Wonderbolts Academy was far better received.
    • The 3rd season is considered a case of minor Seasonal Rot in quality due to a shorter life-span, a lackluster Arc Villain, premise-altering story turns including Discord's Heel–Face Turn and Twilight Sparkle becoming an alicorn princess, and fan-favorite character Derpy Hooves being a no-show due to the "controversy" surrounding her first speaking appearance. The 4th season is considered a point where the show greyed the beard as the plot developments that were feared to be the show's downfall wound up refreshing it. Twilight and her friends' struggles with her new royal duties are presented in a surprisingly mature light while Discord takes on the role of Token Evil Trickster Mentor while going through some Character Development to make his reform easier to swallow. It returns to a 26-episode format while setting up a Half-Arc Season that gives a hearty taste of Equestria's history with the finale featuring long-lost G1 antagonist turned Breakout Villain Tirek. As a cherry on top, Derpy makes a grand return in "Rainbow Falls" (S4E10).
    • While Season 5 was, for quite some time, considered one of, if not the best season, Season 6 went the opposite way. For starters, Season 6 saw the introduction of previous Arc Villain Starlight Glimmer as a main character, getting off relatively scot-free from her previous actions back in Season 5, and her focus episodes were lackluster. It also didn't help that several episodes from Season 6 were very hit-or-miss in terms of quality, and unlike previous seasons, there wasn't a continuing narrative, even just in the background like in S5. However, come Season 7, the narrative returns with the "Pillars of Equestria," Starlight's character-centric episodes turned out to be some of the best ones in the series and helped her become a fan favorite, and even some of the Mane 6-centric ones were incredibly well-received, such as "The Perfect Pear," which is widely considered to be the best episode thus far.
  • Superjail! season 3 went over much easier with fans than season 2 had, perhaps due to the writers deciding that they'd try to combine the original "psychedelic bloodbath" formula from season 1 with season 2's character-centric stories and development. The wild scene transitions and camera angles were also reinstated, while season 2 had mostly used traditional cuts and fades between scenes. Acclaim-wise, it managed to win over at least a bigger number of fans, but when it came to the ratings this trope was inverted (season 2 aired in the summer and had managed to get consistently high ratings, while season 3's ratings dipped much lower).
  • Total Drama:
    • The series' popularity was revitalized by Revenge of the Island after the much reviled Action and polarizing World Tour by bringing in a new set of characters while having appearances by the original ones.
    • All-Stars seems to be even more hated than Action, but its follow-up, Pahkitew Island, managed to revive the franchise again with another new set of characters.
    • Its spinoff The Ridonculous Race proved to be extremely popular with fans, and has been compared favorably to Island and World Tour while also introducing a new competition with an almost entirely new cast.
  • Due to Andrew Brenner becoming head writer of Thomas & Friends in Season 17, there are references to older episodes and fan favourites like Bill, Ben, and Duck are brought back. The writing style is also more mature than the other CGI seasons and there has been a lot of Character Rerailment, undoing the Flanderization of the later seasons. Thomas, while still appearing frequently, is regulated to supporting roles and the same moderated number of lead roles as other engines instead of being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
  • The Legend of Korra's first two seasons were seen as weaker compared to the original series with a rushed Myth Arc that took a back seat to a widely disliked Love Triangle and an un-charismatic villain in the second season. The third and fourth seasons dialed back the romance, fixed the pacing, provided two very complex and human villains, and ended the series on a high note with fans. Several fans have even stated that the third and fourth books of Korra were also better than the original series.
  • After several incredibly polarizing efforts to keep the Looney Tunes franchise alive, Looney Tunes Cartoons is considered a true return to form because the new show didn't try so hard to keep up with the times and just stayed true to what Looney Tunes was supposed to be in the first place, Looney.
  • Disney Television Animation regained prominence when, after years of So Okay, It's Average productions, Phineas and Ferb proved to be a signal that the studio was back to making magic. Gravity Falls further solidified the newfound success of the network, becoming one of the most popular cartoons of the 2010s.
  • Warner Bros. Animation, having largely been seen in a slump outside most of its DC properties since the early 2000s, started gaining resurgence at the very end of the 2010s with cartoons such as the aforementioned Looney Tunes Cartoons, Green Eggs and Ham (2019), and the highly anticipated Animaniacs (2020), all of which have been praised for staying true to their source material, being well-written and enjoyable for audiences of all ages, and beautifully animated.
  • Johnny Test: While the original series never had much of a strong fanbase to begin with, the revival series is considered a massive step up from the original series as it received praise for its improved animation, (It helps that Stephen Silver, who is best known for his character design concepts from shows like Danny Phantom and Kim Possible provided design concept for this series.) more creative episode plots that helps it flesh out more than the original's episode plots as they were given flack for lazily copying other shows such as Dexter's Laboratory, improved comedy such as the episode "Silence of the Johnny" which featured a Self-Deprecation towards the show's overuse of the whipcracking sound effect, and the characters are a lot better written namely Johnny as he Took a Level in Kindness and his failed attempts at being edgy are downplayed.

    Works That Won Back a Given Genre or Type of Work 

    People Who've Won Back Their Careers 

  • The success of shows like Adventure Time and Regular Show reignited Cartoon Network's popularity among older audiences after losing its classic cartoons to Boomerang and the utter failure that is CN Real, with others such as Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, etc. showing viewers that the network is dead serious about abandoning its live-action experiments and returning to its animation rootsnote . Parallel to this, [adult swim] followed suit after their resurrection of Toonami, while The Eric Andre Show has redeemed its live-action programming among some of its fanbase due to being one of the few unambiguously live-action shows produced by the network, and its strange, absurdist tone fitting the rest of the network's output. The eventual status of the controversial Teen Titans Go! as Adored by the Network has been seen as a damping force against the process of recovery (especially after it started taking almost half of the daily schedule for itself).
    • The 2020s may be marking another turnaround for Cartoon Network, by cutting down on Teen Titans Go! marathons note , and giving more airtime to beloved originals like We Bare Bears, Victor and Valentino, and Craig of the Creek, complete with lots of advertising, especially in the latter's case. While there are still some problems, most notably the cancellation of Infinity Train, most long-time fans consider the current state an improvement compared to the last several years.
  • CBS, long regarded as "the Tiffany network" throughout The '90s, regained viewers it lost after Survivor debuted. Then it managed to secure a handful of critically acclaimed and popular scripted shows that pulled it into the big leagues like How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory (the latter which helped dethrone "Must See TV Thursdays" from NBC). Today it's the dominant TV network in the ratings. Similarly, it regained the younger crowd in the '90s after spending much of the '80s being "the network of the living dead".
  • At the end of the 2003-2004 TV season, ABC had been floundering for a few years, even becoming the first of the original Big Three networks to fall to fourth place in overall network ratings (falling behind FOX, who was surging behind American Idol). Their programming schedule had glaring holes left from the flame-out of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and a lack of hit dramatic fare and reality shows. Under new management for the 04-05 season, ABC debuted two fall series that would instantly become smash hits: Lost and Desperate Housewives, followed by three more hits with mid-season addition Grey's Anatomy and reality series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Dancing with the Stars. ABC rode that wave of success back into second place while NBC tumbled all the way to fourth.
  • NBC had been slowly stagnating over the last few years, having fallen back into fourth. However, with the help of Chicago Fire and the next few series, along with This Is Us being both a ratings and critics success (especially in the prized 18-49 demographic), along with The Voice and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (the latter a Long Runner) helping ratings keep trucking, NBC, while not the mega-successful channel it was in the past, has rebuilt its reputation and has settled into a comfortable second place behind CBS at the end of the 2016-17 season. note , all while ABC and FOX have continued to repeatedly slip and fall in both overall and 18-49 ratings.
  • For over five years, the Sci-Fi Channel descended into a state of Network Decay that no one thought it would escape from, with the rebranding of the network's name to "Syfy", the phasing out of actual Sci-Fi shows in favor of Reality shows and Wrestling programming, and any Sci-Fi content they do air consisting of low budget Z-grade creature features. However, recent statements from the network president about the network's decay and the announcement of an upcoming Space Opera mini-series imply that the network is attempting this, though only time will tell whether or not this attempt will be successful enough to bring the channel back to its roots.
  • Nickelodeon, after dealing with a long string of divisive-at-best shows since 2009 and reaching its nadir in 2014 note , seemed to be doing all it can to win back its fans since 2015:
    • The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water managed to win back SpongeBob fans, thanks to having Stephen Hillenburg back on board (as well as the news that he's returning to the show itself), featuring humor on par with that of the first 3 seasons and de-flanderizing the characters. Being a box office hit also helps. Then, C.H. Greenblatt's Harvey Beaks was praised for being more down to earth, having more wholesome humor, and not rehashing the same "bromance" theme of other Nicktoons. And finally, the network announced they were working to reboot some of their old series. This includes recruiting Craig Bartlett to finally produce something classic Nick fans have been wanting for over a decade: Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie.
    • Things continued improving for Nick in 2016 with the near-unanimous praise of The Loud House, greenlighting a one hour special for storytelling of Rocko's Modern Life and shelving Breadwinners to Nicktoons without renewing it for a third season. These improvements especially stick out against main rival Cartoon Network, which in 2015 fell into what some viewers consider to be a new Audience-Alienating Era and began making some of the same mistakes Nickelodeon was making during 2009 to 2014. Nickelodeon solidified it HARD in 2017, when they announced that Invader Zim was getting a TV movie.
  • While Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, and Tangled: The Series got Disney Channel's animation department back in shape, the network's live-action department had been struggling, as many of their shows since the debut of Hannah Montana in 2006 were seen as mediocre at best, mainly abiding to the Girl-Show Ghetto, with the few exceptions being Good Luck Charlie, Lab Rats, and Girl Meets World. Many of their least-liked series, like Crash & Bernstein and Best Friends Whenever (both of which starred Landry Bender), were cancelled very quickly. In 2017, the network released Andi Mack, a show with Darker and Edgier themes and no laugh track, which won over many fans. They also announced a new spinoff for That's So Raven, a Big Hero 6 series, a Bug Juice reboot, and a DuckTales reboot. These improvements, along with Nickelodeon's, stick out against Cartoon Network's, which some believe has entered another Audience-Alienating Era.
  • For years beginning in the late 2000s, BET had been floundering with fans over their questionable business handling, canceling popular shows like 106 & Park, trying too hard to be like MTV and having an overall lagging appeal with Black audiences. That began to change in the mid-2010s with the creation of drama series Being Mary Jane (which was initially supposed to be a one-off TV movie, but gained so much viewership that it developed into a seven-season show) and eventually grew full circle with The New Edition Story that became a huge hit with both viewers and critics, spawned a successful spinoff TV movie, The Bobby Brown Story and breathed new life into the decades-old network.
  • In late 2002, VH1 scored a big hit and a new generation of fans with their I Love the 80s anthology series that spawned a whole franchise of spinoffs reviewing such subjects as the 70s, 90s and the 2000s, the weekly version called Best Week Ever and the long-running "Celebreality" programming.note  This is in stark contrast to just a few months prior that same year when the controversial show Music Behind Bars gained the network a lot of backlash due to showcasing the musical tastes and talents of prison inmates, up to and including murderers serving life sentences. Understandably, the show's Wikipedia page has been taken down and VH-1 has been reluctant to acknowledge its existence in the years since.