Only A TV
Program, After All!"
one you've probably never thought about.
you know, network TV shows come and go with regularity. When
a show is canceled those of us in the industry may feel sorry for the
cast and crew involved, but most of these people (if they are very
lucky) soon find new assignments.
we may not realize is the impact these cancellations have on many
viewers. I'm talking about the viewers for whom the
characters in the dramas (who have been invited into their homes on a
regular basis for maybe many months, and in some cases even many years)
have become, in a sense, friends.
this may seem trivial, for thousands of people it isn't.
became obvious when I started reading comments from viewers who
suddenly had their favorite show abruptly canceled -- sometimes without
any real resolution of the issues involved.
numbers slid, so the show got the axe.
people who wrote in said it was like getting used to having someone
regularly come over to their homes -- someone they looked forward to
seeing -- someone they could count on -- only to have them abruptly
had invested a lot of personal interest and concern in these
characters, their relationships, and in their situations.
people would hear the
effect this had on some people a common reply was, 'What's the big
deal, it's just a TV program after all!'
This doesn't just apply to
shut-ins or people in retirement homes that can't get out to meet
people. It applies to younger, active people too.
became apparent with the Firefly
series, which was
canceled a few years back, resulting in thousands of letters of
protest. So you know what that's about I'll include the
following excerpt from another section of this site.
shows tend to be canceled quickly if they don't immediately garner
impressive ratings. Based on a very short broadcast exposure, network
programmers can misjudge the potential popularity of a show.
short, puzzling history of Firefly
is worth recalling.
introduced with much fanfare on FOX. But then it was aired at
unexpected times and in an unexpected chronological order. (The
two-hour introductory show was aired as the last show.)
meant people who were attracted to the show had a hard time finding it
in the schedule and understanding the story development.
after only eleven of the fourteen produced episodes were aired.
cast and crew all wanted to stay with the series and there seems to be
no question about the quality of the acting. There were no contract or
money disputes, and most of the cast soon ended up in hit series on
creative genius behind Firefly,
went on to produce more than one hit show on other networks, not to
mention the 2012 record-setting box office success, The
Avengers, which he wrote and
FOX canceled Firefly,
DVD sales of the complete series reportedly jumped to the number one
spot on Amazon.com, reportedly selling 500,000 copies. Some who bought
the set said, that the best episodes hadn't been aired. The abbreviated
series developed a huge cult following with numerous U.S. and Canadian
full length theatrical film,
Serenity. (A feature film has
never followed a canceled TV series before.) To date, ten books have
been written on Firefly,
with the 11th in the works.
was reportedly voted as the best science fiction series of all time.
we are left with an obvious question:
with all the money spent on the series and the superior talent
involved, why didn't the network give the series a chance?
Some of the most successful
TV series in history took a while to find their audiences -- and their
best time slots. The networks believed in them and they stuck
that was then, and this is now.
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