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Family Guy (1999)
The first show to be brought out of years of cancellation, Family Guy has proven itself to be strong in the ratings that FOX said initially eluded them. FOX canceled the show back in 2002 after a second season because of low ratings but bought another season even after it had been canceled. During the time between, the show was picked up for syndication by various other stations including Cartoon Network where fans began to show interest. After maintaining strong ratings, FOX asked Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to recreate the show again. The show has returned for six more seasons as well as creating movies and spin-offs (The Cleveland Show), and was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series which is the first time an animated series had been nominated since the Flintstones in 1961.
Cagney and Lacey (1981)
Cagney and Lacey was canceled at the end of its first season. A letter writing campaign convinced CBS to bring the show back. The fans added additional support when Ms. Magazine and the National Organization for Women joined in on their crusade. When it returned, the series went on to have six more successful seasons. Between the two leading ladies, there was a total of six awards won including Best Leading Lady.
When the show dropped in ratings during its second season, The WB decided to cancel the show. Not only did fans rally for the show to return by showing up in front of the station but the stars themselves showed up to lend their support. After a massive Internet and letter campaign, The WB agreed to renew the show. The show went on to have two more seasons before it ended.
In 2000 at the end of its first season, Roswell viewers who feared their show was going to be cancelled launched a massive campaign to keep their show on the air. Many supporters sent in bottles of Tabasco sauce to the network. These bottles were used because of the aliens affection for them in the series. When The WB brought it back, it went on to have two more successful seasons because of its strong fan base.
Star Trek (1966)
When the popular show Star Trek was canceled, fans were quick to respond with an overwhelming amount of support for the show to return. NBC obliged but the show was moved to late Friday nights with a lowered budget which lead to the unsuccessful season. This was the first instance of fans writing in to get their show back on the air.
Designing Women (1986)
When CBS moved the popular show to different nights, the ratings plummeted. When they were considering whether or not they should cancel Designing Women, the fan base wrote in. They wanted their show to remain on TV but they wanted it moved to another night. CBS agreed and moved the show, which had usually placed in the top 30 ratings, to Monday night. From then, the show was in the top 20 until CBS once again moved the show to Friday night. The show dropped off in popularity and ended in its seventh season.
The spy comedy series was in trouble after its second season failed to maintain the strong response of the first season. NBC executives were trying to decide between keeping or canceling the show when fans launched into a massive two month campaign aimed at keeping their favorite show alive. The use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter gained a strong following. Fans also donated money in NBC’s name to the American Heart Association in their “Have a Heart, Renew Chuck” campaign. Eventually NBC executives decided to renew Chuck, which is still on the air.
When FOX canceled Futurama in 2003, fans were disappointed and began to buy the series on DVD. The show was picked up by Comedy Central in 2006, which led to Futurama movies. Soon after, fans began to write in wanting to see more of their favorite futuristic sci-fi comedy. FOX and Comedy Central talked with creators Groening and Cohen and returned the show to air on Comedy Central four years after it had been canceled.
Arrested Development (2003)
FOX decided to cancel Arrested Development after the ratings were dropping over the course of the second season. The season had already been cut from 22 episodes to 18. Fans wrote in for the return of the show and even sent banana crates to the FOX offices to convince them to return the show. FOX agreed to return the show for a short third season with only 13 episodes.
CBS canceled this show due to the poor ratings it was receiving. Jericho fans were not satisfied with that response so they launched a massive campaign to get their show back onto the air. They sent 20 tons of peanuts to the network executives in order to convince them to change their minds. The show was brought back for a second season although the ratings continued to decline. When a similar movement was held at the end of the second season, there was not enough support for the show to return to air.
Every season networks broadcast new shows, eager to have fans tune in. Every season some shows just can’t seem to bring in enough viewers so they are canceled. Yet, once in a while, there comes a show that has such a strong fan base that they are able to bring a show back from being on the “bubble” of being canceled. Here are 10 shows that were saved thanks to the quick efforts of their fans:
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