There used to be a time when our favourite TV ended prematurely (i.e. got cancelled), all we could do was silently cry into a pillow for hours, telling the uninterested residents of our household about how unfair the world is. But that’s where it ended. Now we the internet and cellphones and a mass of like-minded fanatics who are just one hashtag away. This shouldn’t make a difference at all, yet sometimes it makes all the difference in the world.
Case in point: Community. Community began in 2009 on NBC and is about a group of lovable misfits trying to make sense of the very senseless community college they attend. If ever there was an online movement that revived a show after certain, repeated deaths, it was #sixseasonsandamovie.
What started out as a throw-away joke in a season 2 episode, soon became a battle cry, a mantra, a saving grace. Community was never supposed to make it past season 4. It just wrapped season 6.
This hasn’t been the only time shows/fans have turned to social media. Constantine, recently cancelled by NBC, started a #SaveConstantine campaign and because of this, the showrunner is not just throwing Constantine by the way side and starting a new project. He is taking the show to other networks and having meetings about continuing the series elsewhere. The loud mouths on social media – in some small way – helped make this happen.
How? Well, because if enough people call for #sixseasonsandamovie – or some variation – then someone has to answer. Whether it be to shut them up with a firm cancellation or make them realise what a foolish mistake it would be to cancel such a beloved show.
Even in cancellation, shows with cult followings and a massive online fanbase can cause the impossible to happen. As stated before, other networks can pick up a show as is the case with Cougar Town, Scrubs). Even Community, which NBC cancelled after season 5, found life on Yahoo Screen.
Sometimes celebrities and actors on other shows get involved through social media to help the cause too. Stephen Amell, lead on the CW hit show Arrow, took to twitter to confirm he would guest star if the show is picked up. Of course, it helps that both Arrow and Constantine are DC comics so it would be a good match in that sense.
What if social media campaigns such as these were an option 10-15 years ago? Freeks and Geeks and Firefly might have had the long beautiful runs they deserved and you could have got the answer to that season 1 cliffhanger of <insert show here> that you deserve!
Now, whenever a show I love – or start to really enjoy – gets cancelled, I give it a few weeks before I start to properly mourn. This is what social media has done for us and the shows we love.
About the author: And a movie?