TV shows that were saved by the fans

Taryn Davies
Published: September 23, 2016

It’s safe to say we become attached to our TV shows, in fact, research says that the end of a TV series can be worse than a breakup. Fans are willing to go to great lengths to see more of their favourite programmes on the small screen, in fact, they’ve gone as far as petitions to get them going again. Here are the TV shows saved by their devoted fans.

Shows like Family Guy and Futurama were resuscitated long after cancellation by the indirect fan actions of DVD purchases and the ratings of reruns on other networks, but sometimes fans take a much more direct role in rescuing their favourite programs. Here are some of the most fantastic examples of shows saved by their passionate audiences.

Star Trek

Star Trek: The Original Series was the first TV program saved by fans. NBC was planning to cancel the science-fiction series after two seasons, but a letter-writing campaign by fans kept the show on the air for an additional season.

While one more season might not seem like a big win, the show was re-watched numerous times it led to a movie in 1979. The rest, as they say, is history and Star Trek is still being rebooted today.


Fans of Chuck were willing to spend their own money to help ensure it stayed airing, they went and bought Subway sandwiches and donated money to charity, the 'Have a Heart, Renew Chuck' where money was donated on behalf of NBC to the American Heart Association.

Subway covered the costs of the third season in the end, and it managed to get a total of five seasons and even won Emmy awards and TV Guide awards too.

TV shows saved by fans

Friday Night Lights

Fans of the show launched a Save FNL campaign, raising money to send troops overseas DVDs of the show, as well as footballs. It might have had low ratings, but the fans' efforts saw NBC and DirecTV work together to cost the show.

Arrested Development

The show was cancelled even earlier than originally planned, with a time set after the second season, but after just 18 episodes instead of 22 the show was cut because the ratings were so low.

Fans sent letters and crates of bananas to the show execs, a tribute to the show, the network later agreed to another short season.

In 2013 Arrested Development got a fourth season on Netflix, but we're not entirely sure there will be any more.

TV shows saved by fans


Thanks to the fans sending the TV executives bottles of Tabasco sauce, a reference to the alien characters favourite sauce, Roswell was renewed for a second season. It then moved to another channel and was cancelled after its third run.

The Killing

It certainly took a lot to kill The Killing, it was cancelled twice by AMC, then Netflix came to the rescue for it's fourth and final season. Netflix wanted to give the show a proper send off.

TV shows saved by fans


Jericho lasted only one season when it was cancelled, but fans thought it would be funny to send nuts to the CBS studio, following a character shouting the word during the season finale. They reviewed the ratings and found that there was more than they thought because so much of the show was streamed.

The show was renewed, but ratings still went down. It got cancelled once more and fans tried another nuts campaign but to no avail. The story, however, was made into a comic book series, this let the creators put a final ending on the storylines.

Kim Possible

Kim Possible fans' internet petitions and letter-writing campaigns convinced Disney to save the show for a third season.

Twin Peaks

The fan campaign didn't manage to save the series, but it did convince ABC to air the final six episodes.

In October 2014, it was announced that Twin Peaks will return for a limited series on Showtime in 2016, later delayed to 2017. The series is written by the original creators, and many of the original cast members, including Kyle MacLachlan, will return. The episodes are set in the present day, and the passage of 25 years is an important element in the plot.

TV shows saved by fans


Firefly is a show that wasn't given much of a chance by Fox who barely promoted it, changed the time slot regularly, and even managed to air the story out of order. It was sent into exile before it aired all of the 13 episodes.

The fans demanded that Fox release the series on DVD, so they did, and they struggled to keep it in stock. Thanks to these sales Fox let Joss Whedon create the movie Serenity, it didn't really do well in cinemas, but DVD sales were extremely high.

Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars ended after three seasons, and fans tried to save the series by sending the network 10,000 Mars Bars, as well as fake bills inscribed with ‘Veronica Mars is smarter than me’ – a reference to the first season.

Despite their efforts, they declined to renew the show. It was later that Rob Thomas would a feature film script, but Warner Bros refused to fund it. Instead, Thomas and Kristen Bell launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the film and it raised $2 million in less than 11 hours. In just a month they had raised more than $5 million.

TV shows saved by fans

Family Guy

There wasn't a particular campaign from the fans to dave Family Gut, just the fact they bought a whole load of DVDs of the first 28 episodes, 400,000 in the first month. It was then picked up for repeats and the channel's ratings went up 239%. So Fox decided to renew the series and put it in a more prime slot.


Following in the footsteps of Family Guy, Futurama fans brought the show back from cancellation simply by being fans. They bought the DVDs and ratings were high for the syndicated episodes. However, after multiple seasons the show was re-cancelled in 2013.