Earlier this month, Rob Thomas set up a Kickstarter fund to produce a movie follow-up to the cancelled FOX series 'Veronica Mars.' The series, which starred Kristen Bell (now on Showtime's House of Lies), had a very dedicated fanbase, which never more obvious than when they banded together and contributed Thomas's goal of $2 million in less than ten hours. That's amazing, obviously, but it should also be insanely exciting for anyone who has ever loved a television series that got cancelled. Ever since Arrested Development was revived, fans have been flocking to Netflix to fund new seasons of their favorite shows. Now, the fans themselves can fund it.
It's a super-exciting concept, not only because it means that these shows can breathe new life, but because it means that, slowly, television is becoming a medium governed less by the relationship between advertisers and networks and more by the relationship between the creative talent and their fans.
Bryan Fuller has stated he'd like to film a follow-up to his cancelled series 'Pushing Daisies' using kickstarter funds, while Shawn Ryan is very interested in using crowdfunding to finance a follow-up to FX's sadly cancelled Terriers. And, of course, the show on everybody's minds is Joss Whedon's Firefly, whose cancellation is still being lamented by fans over a decade later. Whedon, of course, wants to do a second follow-up film (2005's Serenity wasn't enough of a success to nab studio funding for a sequel), but his contract with Marvel has him tied up for the next three years. After that, he's certainly open to the idea (as well as to Dr. Horrible 2).
But what shows could get resurrected now? I've got a few in mind, which range from pipe dreams to potential relaities. I'll give you my ideas, and then you can share yours in the comments section below.
1. Enlightened | Let's start with the one that's freshest on everyone's minds: HBO's 'Enlightened.' Mike White's series about "a woman on the edge of a nervous breakthrough" was cancelled earlier this week, to the disappointment of critics and fans across the web.
Comedian Patton Oswalt was one of the most vocal about it, repeatedly tweeting Netflix to pick up the series for a third season. I fall more into the camp of Aziz Ansari, the Parks & Recreation actor who tweeted, "Can't wait to watch Enlightened heard its SO GOOD. Just been too busy to watch ---- OH F**K, WHAT!? IT'S CANCELLED? DAMN HBO HOLD UP A SEC!" Enlightened was on my to-watch list (and still is), but it's a shame that it's gone so soon, before I had a chance to see it.
Mike White hasn't spoken on the potential of reviving the series elsewhere, but it certainly seems possible, especially with the cancellation so fresh -- I know I'd chip in a few bucks, and I haven't even seen the series yet.
2. Carnivale | And now we're back in the realm of pipe dreams, and especially improbably pipe dreams at that. But since we were on the topic of HBO, I can't help but remember Carnivale, that brilliant, macabre series that's eight years gone.
HBO is reportedly reluctant to relinquish the rights to the series, even for creator Donald Knauf to continue the series in graphic novel form. But there's still a fanbase for the series out there -- if Knauf could get HBO to name a price, I bet fans of the series could match it with a Kickstarter fund. Reviving the series onto actual film might be a little difficult -- it's got a massive cast and an enormous budget per episode -- but it's not beyond the realm of possibility, even if fans gathered up some money to split the costs with HBO.
That's a pipe dream within a pipe dream, though -- realistically, freeing up the rights so that Knauf can write a follow-up graphic novel series is probably where fans should invest their hopes.
3. The Hour | British period drama The Hour was cancelled last month by the BBC, and with its viewership, it's really difficult to blame them. But the series ended on such a cliffhanger that it almost feels like its audience was robbed of the true resolution that, say, a feature-film follow-up could provide.
It certainly didn't have enough fans to raise funds at Veronica Mars' speed, but I bet that fans of the series on both sides of the pond would be willing to collectively chip in enough to give Freddie Lyon and the rest the proper resolution they deserve.
4. Rubicon | I remember the exact moment that I became disillusioned with AMC, and it was right when I discovered that they'd cancelled Rubicon. Rubicon started off really slowly, but by the end it had reached a fever pitch of tension. The final moments of the penultimate episode, "Wayward Sons," stick in my memory as some of television's best, and the finale was a perfectly bleak ending that left the book open for more stories.
But even if the series has no chance at all of getting a second season, the least AMC could do would be to allow us to crowdfund a DVD release of the series. That's something that will apparently never happen -- we're stuck watching the show from the discomfort of our computer screens. I would personally pitch in quite a bit for a Rubicon box set, if not a follow-up season.
5. Boss | This last entry is another recent cancellation, Starz's series Boss. Sure, it's similar (and potentially inferior) to Netflix's House of Cards, but it features some outstanding acting, and always seems willing to go slightly further than you expect it to. The fact that the series began with the promise that we would eventually see Tom Kane succumb to his degenerative neurological disease makes a follow-up rather necessary: Boss is simply incomplete without a proper ending.
The show's creators are reportedly discussing a film follow-up to the series to wrap up existing storylines. If they need any financial help with that movie, they need look no further than the internet for help.
What do you think?