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TV Shows That Were Saved By Fan Petitions

It's probably happened to the best of us — you get sucked into a show only for the network to unceremoniously cancel it. It's a betrayal at the highest level. Whether it's due to low ratings or the network meddling in the creators' vision, TV shows aren't always given the green light to go the distance. From beloved TV series like "Westworld" to those with cult followings like "Warrior Nun," it's always painful having to go through a traumatic breakup with a TV show that you know you'll never see again.

Or will you? There are a few cases where fans have rallied together in outrage over the cancelation of their favorite shows. Whether it's through fan petitions or trending hashtags, fans have the power to make a change. Here are 14 shows that were given the kiss of death and canceled by a network, only for fans to save it for one last ride. And by the way, this is your official spoiler warning.


From the creative minds behind "The Simpsons," "Futurama" follows the adventures of Fry (Billy West), Leela (Katey Sagal), Bender (John DiMaggio), and Professor Farnsworth (West). The series introduces us to a young boy named Fry who accidentally freezes himself in the year 1999. Once he wakes up, he discovers that he's one thousand years in the future and meets his descendant, the eccentric Professor Farnsworth. Fry decides to reinvent himself and join the professor's team of misfit delivery employees.

The series first aired in 1999 and ran for four years before being canceled by Fox. Luckily, fans didn't take too kindly to that news and were able to convince the network to bring the series back in 2008 alongside four films to outline the team's adventures. "Futurama" was given a proper send-off for its characters, but has only become more popular since. It's because of this that the series is being brought back. Again.

According to Movieweb, Season 8 of "Futurama" will see Fry and Leela take the Professor up on his offer to go back in time for one last adventure. The premise will see the characters brought back to their younger years with no memory of what's happened — meaning that fans will likely see similar storylines and episodes with a new twist. Essentially, "Futurama" has found a way to rewrite its own history, and it's all thanks to fans saving it from being canceled all those years ago.


Released in 2015 by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, "Sense8" is a groundbreaking show that premiered on Netflix. The series follows eight strangers who discover that they are connected to one another, regardless of speaking different languages or living in separate places in the world. As the group grows closer, they discover that a secret organization aims to destroy people like them — resulting in the eight coming together to fight for their lives.

Despite being incredibly well-received, Netflix chose to cancel "Sense8" after two seasons and a Christmas special. And while the network is notoriously secretive about the decision-making behind show cancellations and stats, fan outrage was enough for the network to give "Sense8" a special finale to tie up loose ends. In fact, fan petitions were so loud that Lana Wachowski herself wrote a letter thanking the fans for bringing the beloved series back. She shared that upon learning news of the cancellation it "hallowed" her. However, she thanked the fans for their support stating that they are "unlike any fans I have ever encountered as an artist."

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Starring Andy Samberg, Terry Cruz, and Andre Braugher alongside a stellar cast, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" managed to bring something new to the typical police procedural story, and audiences were introduced to a bunch of wacky characters that we all ended up rooting for — whether we were laughing or crying with them. The chemistry between the cast is fabulous, making us believe in the relationships we're watching on our screens. Not only is the dialogue smart, but it also includes callbacks for eagle-eye fans who enjoy seeing just what the Nine-Nine gets up to.

Unfortunately, Fox decided to pull the plug in 2018, resulting in fans immediately rioting online. The #SaveBrooklyn99 hashtag began trending on Twitter, with stars like Mark Hamill and Guillermo Del Toro tweeting their support and sharing why the series was so special (via IGN). Following this movement, executive producer Dan Goor announced on Twitter that NBC had picked up the series, and it was all thanks to the fans. He shared with Vulture his belief that audiences responded so strongly to "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" due to its "very diverse cast, that it feels very inclusive, [and] that the jokes aren't at the expense of characters."

Arrested Development

"Arrested Development" is a right of passage for those looking to soak up some serious sitcom family dysfunction. The series follows the rich Bluth family who loses their fortune once their father, Oscar Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor), is arrested and imprisoned. Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) steps in as the head of his family, hoping to cut down on their lavish lifestyle. And that goes about as well as you'd expect for a family who doesn't even know what the cost of a banana is.

Unfortunately, Fox (which will show up quite a bit on this list) decided to cancel the series after three seasons. However, it was during its cancellation that the show grew a massive following, with fans creating websites dedicated to the show. Some took things even further when they mailed banana crates to executives at Fox. After all, "There's always money in the banana stand."

Eventually, Netflix decided to bring the series back years later in 2013 for a fourth season, with Season 5 airing shortly after in 2018. The network had to make special arrangements with the cast who had difficult schedules, resulting in them not always being able to shoot scenes together (via Complex). Luckily, the actors were dedicated to making it work, as they wanted to give fans the send-off that "Arrested Development" deserved.

Veronica Mars

It was a great sadness for "Veronica Mars" fans everywhere (affectionately called "Marshmallows") when the series was canceled in 2007 after its third season. While the series had a dedicated and loyal fanbase, the numbers just weren't high enough for the network to justify keeping "Veronica Mars" around. Luckily, fans took things into their own hands.

Distraught over the news, fans worked together to raise money to entirely fund a "Veronica Mars" film (via The Guardian). The film gained positive reviews as it completely catered to the fans and gave audiences a satisfying ending for the characters. However, Marshmallows were in for a surprise as Hulu announced that Season 4 of "Veronica Mars" would pick up after the events of the fan-funded film. And while Season 4 left audiences divided over its ending, it was able to give fans closure on the "Veronica Mars" chapter of their lives.


Joss Whedon's 2002 "Firefly" was doomed from the start, and it's all because Fox (back on the list once more) decided to air the episodes completely out of order. And if that wasn't enough, Fox canceled the show before all 14 episodes even aired. Plus, "Firefly" was given the once doomed TV slot of airing on Friday nights which didn't help things (via The Take).

Luckily, once "Firefly" was released on DVD, fans flocked to the series, and the sales went sky-high (via Wired). The series became an instant cult classic, with fans calling themselves "Browncoats," emulating the resistance fighters in the show. They took it upon themselves to send petitions to Fox through emails, letters, and online campaigns in order to revive it.

Unfortunately, Fox wouldn't budge, but Universal Pictures saw an opportunity and gave Whedon the chance to make a film about the "Firefly" characters. The film was called "Serenity," and was released in 2005, launching fan excitement all over again. Star Nathan Fillion himself has stated that he's open to returning to his space cowboy roots again(via GameRant).

Star Trek: The Original Series

This may come as a surprise, but once upon a time "Star Trek" was nothing more than a failed TV show that was canceled after a mere three seasons. Not only is "Star Trek: The Original Series" an OG sci-fi series, but it's also one of the first TV shows that fans saved after it was canceled.

Released in 1966, "The Original Series" brings creator Gene Roddenberry's vision of a peaceful United Federation of Planets to life. Taking place on the U.S.S Enterprise, "The Original Series" brought political, racial, and cultural depth to audiences in a way that had never been done before.

Following its first two seasons, the network planned to cancel "The Original Series," but fans petitioned the network with letters, urging them to keep the show. This resulted in a third and final season before being officially canceled. However, thanks to the act of those Trekkies, Paramount Studies realized what a massive fan reaction "The Original Series" had and it's because of this that "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was released in 1979. If it wasn't for those loyal Trekkies saving "The Original Series," we wouldn't have gotten the franchise that Star Trek is today. It currently spans over 12 TV shows and 13 films, with the franchise showing no signs of slowing down.

Friday Night Lights

Released in 2006, "Friday Night Lights" enjoyed five seasons thanks to fans rallying toward its cause. Based on true events, the series takes place in a small city in Texas that is completely governed by high school football. After a terrible accident resulting in the star quarterback being paralyzed, "Friday Night Lights" takes a look at the pressure the game can have on the players, the coaches, and all those in between.

Thanks to the true story and realistic portrayal of high school football in the south, "Friday Night Lights" had a massive following. And it's lucky they did, as NBC opted to cancel the series after its second season. As you can imagine, fans didn't take too kindly to that and mailed light bulbs to the network with the words "Lights On" written on them (via Vulture). Although the ratings apparently didn't meet NBC's standards, they brokered a deal with DirecTV to keep the series running for another three seasons (via Fueled). In the words of coach (Kyle Chandler), clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.


"Six seasons and a movie." Never has this statement held more weight than with the critically acclaimed series, "Community." Affectionately said by one of the characters, Abed (Danny Pudi), "Community" fans aimed to make this statement a reality after the network canceled the series following its fifth season.

According to Insider, "Community" fans went to work in order to keep the beloved sitcom alive. When TV Guide launched its annual poll asking which TV ensemble cast should be on the cover of its magazine, fans bombarded the poll with requests for "Community." And luckily, Yahoo Screens took notice as they picked up "Community" after it was dropped, granting the series a sixth season.

Once "Community" was confirmed to return, star Joel McHale released a statement saying, "Thank you Sony. Thank you Yahoo. Thank you Dan Harmon. And thank you to the greatest f****** fans in the history of the human race" (via Entertainment Weekly). And the cherry on top? It sounds as though a "Community" movie is coming. Six seasons and a movie, baby!


Released in 2016, "Lucifer" is a story about, you guessed it, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) — aka the devil. Based on the character initially introduced in DC comics, this version of Lucifer is charismatic and all about enjoying life to the fullest. While the series does settle into a police procedural drama, the Heavenly aspect of the characters is definitely enough to set "Lucifer" apart. After all, it's not every day that audiences will see a murder of the week case mixed in with demons, angels, and the occasional pop-in from God.

After Fox decided to drop the series, the hashtag #SaveLucifer began to trend on Twitter, with fans signing online petitions to give the characters a proper ending. Luckily, fans' prayers were answered as Netflix decided to step in and bring the series back for the sixth and final series. And, according to the Los Angeles Times, Ellis was incredibly grateful for fans' support in bringing the series back for a final season, stating that he "was not ready for the show to be over."


Starring Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, and more, "Nashville" is a tale about the cutthroat and vicious world of country music singers in Nashville, Tennessee. Panettiere portrays Juliette Barnes, a young new artist that threatens to usurp the reigning title of mega country superstar from Rayna Jaymes (Britton).

The series ran for six seasons, but that's only due to fan loyalty after ABC canceled the show following its fourth season (via US Weekly). This resulted in thousands signing a petition to bring back the show, as "Nashville" had touched the hearts of its fans. According to Taste of Country, "Nashville" launched successful concert tours and solo albums for some of its cast members — clearly, the series had star power. So it came as quite a shock for fans and cast members alike when news came down that ABC would cancel the series. Luckily, CMT picked up the show, with president Brian Phillips stating "CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for Nashville has been overwhelming," (via CMT).

The Expanse

Based on a series of novels of the same name, "The Expanse" has been cited as one the most binge-worthy sci-fi show of all time, which is why it might come as a surprise to learn that Syfy canceled it after just three seasons. According to Gizmodo, within hours of the network dropping "The Expanse," fans signed online petitions and went straight to Twitter to share their displeasure. They even went as far as to rent a plane to fly over Amazon Studios in the hopes of getting the network's attention to save the series. The plane had a banner attached to it reading "Save The Expanse" (via IGN) and luckily, Amazon listened. 

According to Deadline, Jennifer Salke, the CEO of Amazon Studios recalls the lengths that fans went to for the show, stating "There were airplanes circling us, I was having cakes delivered, there was a whole thing happening. And then really smart people, whose opinions I really value creatively, started reaching out to me, saying, 'Have you seen this show, 'The Expanse,' it's actually great ... At the same time, Jeff Bezos was getting emails from everyone from George R.R. Martin to every captain of industry, like the founder of Craigslist." "The Expanse" ended in Season 6, with both the network and the studio deciding that the series had reached a natural ending for the characters.


Back in 1999, "Roswell" was a cult classic show on The WB. The series tells the tale of three alien-human hybrids with amazing gifts who are forced to live in the small town of Roswell. Although "Roswell" had a strong fanbase, it didn't have enough ratings for The WB to hold on to it, and the network canceled the show after its first season.

Luckily, viewers didn't take that news lying down, as they sent the aliens' favorite sauce to the network in the hopes of changing its minds. Fans sent 6,000 bottles of tabasco to The WB for three months, resulting in the network bringing the series back for another season (via The New York Times).

The third and final season would run on UPN, with the chief executive stating that the tabasco bottles made a big impact on the network, "You really have to sit down and think about a person...who took part of their day to go to the grocery store and buy a bottle of hot sauce to send to some executive in L.A.” 2019 saw a spinoff series called "Roswell: New Mexico" premiere on The CW, with the fourth season being its last in 2022.


And finally, we have "Jericho," another series with a devoted fan base that was canceled before its time. Unfortunately, viewership for this post-apocalyptic drama dropped to a level that the CBS network deemed unfit, and they canceled the series. Bear in mind that this comes after CBS chose to have "Jericho" go on a hiatus for approximately 10 weeks.

The series ended on a cliffhanger, with Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) shouting "Nuts" after it looks like all hope is lost for his town. Fans took this to heart, mailing hundreds of peanuts to the network in the hopes of changing their minds (via ABC News), and it worked, as CBS brought the show back for one more short season. Unfortunately, fans couldn't save "Jericho" twice as the show was given the final axe in 2008. But we can take some comfort in the fact the "Jericho" story lives on in a comic book series. And perhaps one day, it'll turn into another season for the beloved show.