Sci Fi Cancellation Watch is Moving to CancelledSciFi.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kickstarter Fallout: Stargate, Farscape, Jericho, Terra Nova and Other Shows That Either Could or Most Certainly Could Not be Revived by Kickstarter

Last Month, Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a reunion movie for the TV series he created Veronica Mars (which starred Heroes' Kristen Bell).  That campaign was wildly successful and immediately sparked off all sorts of rumors as to which show would be the next to live on through this sort of effort.  I have already mulled over what a cancelled sci fi/fantasy series could expect from a similar campaign at this link and looked at some shows that have the potential to be brought back this way and some that will almost certainly not.  But then there's still plenty more shows to consider.  That fact is that the more recently a series was cancelled, the better the chances of it having a renewal through Kickstarter.  Any show over ten years old would be a stretch (even greater than it already is) of coming back through a crowd funded film, but then nothing's absolutely impossible.  Here's a look at several cancelled genre shows broken into the categories of Doable, Longshot, and Pipedream.

Doable: 
These are shows that could feasibly be revived for a Kickstarter funded movie because they wouldn't be too expensive or the creative talent behind the series would be pushing for them or there's no other plans in the works for the franchise or something along those lines.  The ones in this category that I already covered are Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, and Legend of the Seeker.

Stargate (All Three Series): Stargate: SG-1 already produced two made for DVD movies and there were plans in the works for some Stargate: Atlantis films as well.  Plus, the creative talent behind Stargate: Universe tried to get that show moved to another network after Syfy cancelled it.  MGM probably wants to keep a tight grip on this franchise, but if fans want to throw money at a movie and someone like Brad Wright or Robert C. Cooper gets behind it, then it could happen.

The Secret Circle (The CW, 2011-12, Cancelled After One Season): This supernatural series never could take advantage of its Vampire Diaries lead-in and failed to develop a large audience.  But it did get a devoted if small fanbase who worked hard to keep it alive after The CW axed it last season.  The budgets for this show were likely on the low end, so a Kickstarter campaign could raise the needed funds to do a movie.

Middleman (ABC Family, 2008, Cancelled After One Season): This fun adaptation of the comic book of the same name could feasibly come back on the budget of a Kickstarter campaign, but it would take creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach getting behind it to happen.  But has this one faded too far from the memory of its fans?

Reaper (The CW, 2007-09, Cancelled After Two Seasons): This series couldn't have been too expensive to produce and it had a pretty devoted--though small--following back when it aired on the fifth place network.  Ray Wise has been pretty busy of late, though, and a revival would never fly without him onboard.

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Longshot:
These shows could potentially return with a Kickstarter revival but would have to overcome several hurdles such as budgetary constraints, prior commitments of cast and creative talent, other plans in the works by the studios, a lack of interest from fans, etc.

Farscape (Sci Fi Channel, 1999-2003, Cancelled After Five Seasons): Rockne S. O'Bannon has already said several times that he wants to revisit this universe and he was even trying to get a web series revival going a few years ago.  The biggest issues here are that it would be expensive to produce--probably well beyond the Kickstarter funding range--and he's currently busy with Defiance on Syfy.  But we can keep our fingers crossed that something new could emerge from this franchise in the near future.

Jericho (CBS, 2006-08, Cancelled After Two Seasons): It would be expensive to produce a Jericho reunion movie and series stars Skeet Ulrich and Lennie James currently have other commitments.  Plus, there are other plans potentially in the works to bring the show back possibly with Netflix (though that appears to have stalled).  But if the producers were to turn to Kickstarter to raise funds, I believe that fans would step up in a big way.

Babylon 5/Crusade: J. Michael Straczynski is known for being able to work within a budget and I'm sure he'd like to revisit his B5 universe at some point.  The original series wrapped up pretty much as he intended, but Crusade was cut short after half a season.  Plus his Legend of the Rangers series never went past the debut movie and his Lost Tales concept had plenty of potential as well.  But I'm thinking any sort of return to B5 would involve him working with the studio rather than exploring the crowd-funding route.

Jeremiah (Showtime, 2002-04, Cancelled After Two Seasons): And speaking of Mr. Straczynski, this post-apocalyptic series of his was cut short and still had plenty more stories to tell.  It could probably be brought back on an acceptable budget and the principal actors from the show don't have too many commitments that I am aware of at this time.  But then this one sadly never developed much of a following, so I don't know if a crowd-funding campaign this late in the game could generate enough interest to bring it back.

Alphas (Syfy, 2011-12, Cancelled After Five Season): Creator Zak Penn has hinted that he'd like to do the Kickstarter thing to revisit Alphas and possibly give it a decent wrap-up.  And I believe it would be doable financially (though on the high end of the crowd-funding range).  The biggest problem here is that I don't believe it would get enough fan support.  That show--even though it was quite decent--never seemed to attract much of a devoted fanbase.  So I don't see enough people coming together to raise the money that would be needed.  Quite a shame because the series ended on a very unsatisfying note.

Cult (The CW, 2013, Cancelled After Less Than One Season): This was a pretty decent show that was just cancelled recently and deserved much better than it got.  I'm sure that the final episode--whenever we get to see it--will not provide much of a resolution, so a wrap-up movie would be great and possibly financially doable.  Unfortunately, this show attracted so few viewers that I don't believe a Kickstarter campaign would attract much attention nor raise enough money.  And series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon is pretty busy these days and would probably rather focus on a Farscape revival as the top priority of any of his side projects.

Eureka (Syfy, 2006-12, Cancelled After Five Seasons): Fans of this show wanted more and I'm sure they would be willing to fork over some green for a reunion movie.  The biggest hurdle here, though, would be the cost.  If they could work out a deal where Kickstarter partially funded it, that might work, but otherwise I believe it would be out of reach of a solely crowd-funded effort.

The Tick (FOX, 2001-02, Cancelled After Half a Season): It's been well over ten years since this--one of the all-time great superhero parodies--was cancelled, but I bet they could bring the cast back together as aged version of their previous characters.  And a high-end crowd-funding campaign could probably raise enough money.  But then I just don't know that you could generate enough interest so long after the show was cancelled.

Journeyman (NBC, 2007, Cancelled After One Season): This time travel show garnered a small but loyal following during its brief run that would love to have a decent wrap up or at least one more visit with their favorite characters.  But it's six years gone and there just may not be enough interest to bring the show back.

Sanctuary (Syfy, 2008-11, Cancelled After Four Seasons): This one started out as a web series so the creators know how to work within a budget.  But then from what I understand the finale resolved most the show's storylines, so I'm not certain where else they had to go with this one.  But there was a fan effort to keep the series going so I'm sure they felt like this one had more story to tell.



Pipedream:
These are the shows that would be way too expensive and/or have far too many hurdles--such as studio control--to overcome in order to see a revival through Kickstarter.  The ones in this category that I already covered include Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Star Trek (any of the incarnations), Angel, The 4400, and Carnivale.

Terra Nova (FOX, 2011, Cancelled After One Season): The studio actually shopped this one around after FOX cancelled the series, but don't expect a Kickstarter revival.  It would be way too expensive as this one was known for having exceedingly high budgets.

Moonlight (CBS, 2007-08, Cancelled After One Season): This fan favorite vampire series from several years ago (far superior to True Blood and Vampire Diaries in my opinion) had followers organizing nationwide blood drives to convince CBS to renew it after they put a stake in it.  But series star Alex O'Loughlin is far too busy with Hawaii Five-0 and other projects these days and a revival would never fly without him onboard.

Dollhouse (FOX, 2009-10, Cancelled After Two Seasons): This one would probably be doable financially, and I'd love to see them carry on the "Epitaph" storyline that the show ended on (and that briefly lived on in comic book form).  But this was Joss Whedon's least popular series and is likely very low on his priority list.  If he does any side project during his spare time working on Marvel movies, it would almost certainly be Dr. Horrible 2.

Defying Gravity (ABC, 2009, Cancelled After One Season): This space exploration show never received the respect it deserved and many tuned out early thinking it was just Grey's Anatomy in space (in all fairness, series creator James D. Parriott did pitch it as such).  I'd love to see a continuation of the interesting storyline it was developing, but financially it's almost certainly out of reach of a Kickstarter campaign and I don't believe there would be enough fan interest to support it in the first place.

Heroes (NBC, 2006-10, Cancelled After Four Seasons): A revival of this one is in the works, but not through Kickstarter.  More on that at this link.

And here's a few others that you will almost certainly not see revived through a Kickstrater campaign for all of the reasons mentioned above and more: Threshold (CBS, 2005), FlashForward (ABC, 2009-10), V (ABC, 2009-11), The Event (NBC, 2010-11), No Ordinary Family (ABC, 2010-11), Caprica (2010-11)


Why Were They Cancelled? 
The Plight of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television in the Face of the Unforgiving Nielsens and Networks

Ever wondered why your favorite science fiction and/or fantasy show disappeared from the television schedule, never to deliver anymore new episodes? The reason why, most likely, is that it was cancelled because its ratings were low. And this book looks at those many cancelled sci fi/fantasy shows as well as the Neilsen ratings and television networks that dictate their fates. Available now for only $2.99 on Kindle from Amazon.com.

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