Cult TV shows have extremely dedicated followings. These are the types of shows that the average person will say “Oh, I’ve never heard of it”, but that a fan of the show can talk for hours about. These are the types of shows that if you can find another fan, you will automatically become their best friend, specifically bonding over your love of that show.
These are also the TVs that get canceled.
These are the shows that go for one to three seasons, and fans try everything they can to save. Jericho fans sent peanuts to CBS studios in an attempt to save that show. Chuck urged fans to buy Subway sandwiches in order to help save it. And Community fans started an internet campaign, Six Seasons and A Movie, in order to encourage NBC executives to keep it on the air.
And with the internet, two cult television shows are getting a second life, years after they were originally canceled.
The first one is Arrested Development. Running on Fox from 2003 to 2006, for years fans have been attempting to get a movie made, based upon a joke in the series finale. Fan campaigns, questions to the stars, these fans have done everything. And in a surprise twist, Netflix saved the show, by announcing that it was creating a 15 Episode 4th Season that would air exclusively on Netflix, premiering May 28. This opened the door for other shows to be saved by Netflix or Hulu, or even for new series to be created on the internet, like Yahoo’s Burning Love, a spoof of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, or Netlix’s House of Cards.
The second show to be saved by the internet is Veronica Mars. Running on the UPN and The CW from 2004 to 2007, Veronica Mars fans became enraged over the cancellation, so much so that Rob Thomas, the creator and head writer, announced he was writing a film script. Fans of this show waited for years, but a movie never materialized. Until March 13 of this year, when Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas begged fans of the show to attempt to help them raise $2 million dollars for the movie, by donating through the website Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project), which would give them prizes and help them to finance the film. Their goal was to get the money within a month. Within 10 hours of their plea, Kickstarter helped the movie to raise $2.7 Million dollars. This success is now predicted to be potentially revolutionary for future cult television movie adaptations, or independent films looking for financing.
The internet is a powerful place, and put into the hands of eager fans, the internet can help to save shows. The way we watch TV, or get our movies financed, may forever be changed by these two examples.