Why is Firefly's Cancellation So Unforgiveable?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Andonagio, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. Andonagio

    Andonagio Commander Red Shirt

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    TV stations have canceled a lot of good shows over the decades before their time, but I've never seen as much of a grudge held against a TV station as viewers did toward Fox for canceling Firefly. Never mind that Fox canceled a number of other good shows as well (Futurama, Family Guy, etc.): it seems like canceling Firefly was the move that classified Fox as THE station unfriendly to science fiction.

    So what is it about Firefly that makes it different from so many other canceled shows? Why do the fans of this show seem more rabid compared to so many other fan bases?
     
  2. the Dagman

    the Dagman Commodore Commodore

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    I am someone who never got into the show (nor anything else Joss Whedon has done. His work doesn't do anything for me), but the reason it is unforgivable even to me is that none of the hard core fans of the show will shut up about it even now, years and years later.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hard core fans of *anything* never shut up. Browncoats don't seem any different.
     
  4. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    The main reason people were most upset about Firefly's cancellation is that it almost seemed like FOX was trying to doom it from the start. Had the show been presented with original premiere, in order, without being pre-empted by sports, it might have actually stood a chance at succeeding. FOX never even let it try to succeed.
     
  5. the Dagman

    the Dagman Commodore Commodore

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    At least I would give them this if I could to quiet the bitching. At least then, the talking about the show would be largely limited to the weekly episode discussion threads. But it would have to be that Jayne was written out of the show or recast. Because I need Adam Baldwin for my favorite show currently in production, Chuck.

    That reminds me very much of my own feelings about CBS in the early 90s regarding the Flash tv show with John Wesley Shipp playing Barry Allen.
     
  6. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I remember that. There were like three weeks of consecutive episodes, and then it was spotty at best. I honestly thought it ran a few weeks and got canceled. Then it would show up again in odd times, sometimes unannounced, sometimes showing only half an episode because of some event programing.

    As for hate against FOX, firefly was only one of like thirty shows they killed before letting them find legs. FOX deserved the hate.
     
  7. Chrisisall

    Chrisisall Commodore Commodore

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    Fox killed Brisco, Dark Angel & Firefly; they deserve to die.
     
  8. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

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    They really should've come up with a therapy program for fans to help them come to terms with the cancellation. I suggested it years ago.
     
  9. Checkmate

    Checkmate Commodore

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    Bad ratings are bad ratings. Can't blame a station for people not tuning in, especially for one they advertised as much as they did (and they most certainly did despite the rabid fanbois protests; I remember seeing the ads on other channels at the time).

    I'm personally disappointed that the Adventures of Brisco County Jr. was cancelled, but it was hardly Fox's fault.

    People just can't seem to accept that their personal preferences in a show aren't necessarily the same as everyone else.
     
  10. paudemge

    paudemge Captain Captain

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    I don't think it is unforgivable. I never saw it in the original run, but when i started to watch in reruns I thought it was a very good show. But as others have said it is just another show, I got hooked on Deadwood via dvd's and it stopped while it was still very good. If they don't get the ratings they don't get the chance to thrive.I wouldn't blame Fox, they don't want to cancel shows
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Quite.

    We are not the network. We don't know what it's like to run one. We don't know jack shit, really.

    In the end, TV shows really only exist as an excuse to make ads. (Although if execs thought they could get away with making a channel that showed nothing BUT ads, 24 hours a day, I think they'd try.) So any show that doesn't bring in ratings, doesn't sell products, and is therefore useless to the bottom line. Sad, really, but that's the reality of it.
     
  12. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    It wasn't unforgiveable. It's just the way things go. Since I only saw the series a couple of years after it aired, it makes no difference to me one way or another.
     
  13. Rii

    Rii Rear Admiral

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    I think you mean "detractors".
     
  14. cultcross

    cultcross Janitor of the Mind Palace Moderator

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    As a poster on a Star Trek board, that statement strikes me as... ironic.
     
  15. the Dagman

    the Dagman Commodore Commodore

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    If the Browncoats would be quiet and people stop making threads about the damn thing, you'd never hear me mention it again. At least I said if it was in my power I'd give you people the show back. Anything, just to shut you up about it.
     
  16. Iasius

    Iasius Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't blame Fox. I never even got into the show myself a long time after it was canceled because I thought the premise can't work. They probably could've given it a better chance at succeeding, but that just happens to some shows. Often, it's shows I don't like, sometimes it's ones that I care about.
     
  17. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    You could always, y'know, just avoid such threads. Just a suggestion.
     
  18. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Many reasons why Fox gets the blame..

    a) Firefly is a chronological show.. while each episode is mostly self contained they do build on each other and because Fox run them in a disorderly fashion people were scratching their heads when some events were referenced which they didn't see

    b) Serenity was the pilot episode and got shown last

    c) The Friday slot of death.. no show save X-Files made it if it was in that slot

    d) Not as much advertising as should have been.. if you are producing or paying for an expensive SF show make sure everybody knows about it

    e) When all these factors led to unsatisfactory viewership numbers Fox just gave it the ax without trying other slots or something else..

    f) Fox repeatedly hampered attempts to release this show to other stations.. it was their property and they clung to it as if it was worth something to them

    g) DVD sales were gigantic and so were reviews of the show but Fox never considered a re-launch.. there obviously was interest but Fox ignored it

    h) In an unparalleled move Firefly even got its own movie (and not a direct to DVD kind of thing).. while not that successful to warrant sequels it still was a success

    All considered Firefly fans were pissed that the show was never properly treated by Fox so it couldn't have a chance to build an audience besides hardcore SF fans. So naturally it slumped and immediately got the axe.. as if Fox execs just waited for the opportunity to burn it down.

    This is what pisses of Firefly fans.. if the show had proper support like other shows and failed they would still bitch about it but it would have been less.. Firefly had its chance and failed. But as it stands it was sabotaged by Fox from the beginning.
     
  19. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    There have been how many threads about it lately? Two in the last month that I can think of offhand, including this one? Why is this a problem?

    Firefly's cancellation was a bit of a "perfect storm" situation. A lot of elements came together in just the right way to inflame tempers:

    1) The theme of the show. It's about people who lost a war just trying to get by despite the uncaring or outright hostile big government. The parallel to the network is unmistakable. Every time someone sung the theme song, the fact that yes, they damn well can take the sky from you was driven home with a hammer.

    2) Concurrent television. Enterprise had been going long enough that the initial shine had worn off, and everyone was starting to question why it wasn't a better series; especially with things like Firefly and SG-1 (then at its peak) around to contrast against. Remember how in the early ENT interviews Archer was described as a "Hans (sic) Solo type"? Well, Mal actually *was*, and people noticed the difference. A certain amount of the backlash was a perception that an inferior show could last longer due purely to "name recognition" and choice of network.

    3) The "it got good" factor. While some people were completely hooked from the start, many, including me, figured it was just okay for a while there. Then we saw "Ariel", or whichever episode it would ultimately be that tipped the balance; and suddenly we understood. That moment when the series crystallizes as a concept occurred, and even the eps we'd already seen where elevated as a result. And a week later the axe fell, following one of the best episodes, "War Stories". It was just really bad timing.

    4) Lost potential. The Firefly universe was one of those worlds that screamed for exploration. Not because of what we'd seen, but because of what had been hinted at. The (initially bizarre) choice of a "literal western" setting spurred large amounts of debate on exactly what conditions could lead to such a scenario, and after all that talk it became entirely apparent just how many stories there were to tell in such an unlikely world. But it was not to be.

    5) Perception of network hostility. In addition to what RoJo said above, consider that airing the pilot last, in addition to the inherent ridiculousness, caused the very last aired exchange of the series to be:
    "We're still flying..."
    "That's not much."
    "It's enough."
    Now, that sort of irony is just a bit too much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  20. the Dagman

    the Dagman Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, I usually do. Only on the rare occasion will I poke my head into one of these threads. This one asked a question in the thread title I had an answer for. And I was actually agreeing it was unforgivable to cancel it. Yet, still you fans have to bust my balls because I don't like the show.

    Oh really? Just two? Try using that search feature at the top of the page and type the word "firefly" into the drop down. I count 28 threads active just within the last 24 hours that Firefly was brought up in some way. 28 threads in 24 hours. And 43 threads in the last week alone.

    Like I said, you fans of the show never shut up about it.
     
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