Netflix Executive Shoots Down Firefly Resurrection Rumors

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The Serenity CrewOver the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of fan support for short-lived TV series finding new life. There was the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature film, the upcoming return of Arrested Development on Netflix, and the rumored return of Heroes on MSN. It’s no wonder that it’s all sparked new buzz of whether Joss Whedon’s beloved Firefly could possibly return in some fashion. If you were holding out hopes for Firefly to rise from its ashes on Netflix, prepare to be disappointed.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Netflix Chief Content officer Ted Sarandos explains why he thinks a potential Firefly return wouldn’t be as successful as Arrested Development‘s. Please keep in mind: Sarandos is trying to promote the return of Arrested Development on May 26th, so take this with a grain of salt. Here’s Sarandos’ rationale:

Let me give you one broad statement about these recovery shows. In almost every case the cult around the show gets more intense and smaller as time goes by. Arrested Development was the rarest of birds in that the audience of the show grew larger than the original broadcast audience because people came to discover it years after it was cancelled.

The Firefly fan is still the Firefly fan from when it was on TV and there’s fewer of them and they’re more passionate every year. Whereas with Arrested Development we’re going to be serving a multiple of the original audience. Any of the other shows we could bring back would be a fraction of the original audience.

I’m not sure if this is necessarily true. I came to discover Firefly and its movie spinoff, Serenity, in 2008. Six years after the TV series’ cancellation and three years after the release of the Big Damn Movie. I would obviously like to see a new season of Firefly, or a sequel to Serenity, but as the years go by and the cast and crew of the series have other projects, it doesn’t seem likely that it will ever return. Ted Sarandos is correct, though; it feels like Arrested Development is far more popular than Firefly and Serenity.

There are a number of factors that are preventing Firefly‘s return, namely Joss Whedon’s commitments to Marvel and The Avengers, but the quote above really does speak to Netflix’s pursuit of other short-lived TV series to possibly resurrect for more seasons of TV. Netflix is looking, but maybe Browncoats just have to try harder to be heard.


  1. Daneom says:

    I too, was also one of those who found firefly after it aired 🙂

  2. time to gather the browncoats and have htem email him to show our support for Firefly.

  3. What color is the sky in his world?? The entire reason for the movement behind a Firefly revival is because its following has grown larger since it went off the air. Some of that after netflix added it to the streaming library. If he thinks its shrunk, then he needs to lay off the weed he smokes to write arrested development.

  4. jammindude says:

    Me three….I only discovered it around 2010 or so. Fell in love right away. Also, the few Browncoats that I do know discovered it from a friend on DVD years after cancellation.

  5. I only recently watched the Firefly series. So it certainly wasn’t like that in my case.

  6. Grumpee says:

    I believe this is a total misunderstanding of the audience. From my point of view, Firefly fans are more likely to have already seeked the content out through other mediums, compared with the audience of Arrested Dev.

    To me, his reasoning is based solely on streaming stats. Of course the majority of Fireflys audience isn’t going to be streaming the show on Netflix, they already own it on DVD/blu-ray. And still, Firefly is always listed in the popular lists on Netflix. So Rudie is most likely correct that this guy is trying to keep the focus on AD.

  7. Wutziz says:

    I’m one of the original Firefly fans who still wants to bitch slap Joss Whedon until he’s unconscious for killing off Wash with absolutely NO good reason or purpose. Still the stupidest thing he ever did only slightly edging the crap script for Alien Resurrection.

    • Dheep' says:

      Yes, and now, he is King of the World ,with all the power that goes along with it. He always talks about Fans ,but now can’t be bothered with this.

  8. Dheep' says:

    I heard about it when the DVD first came out. Of all places – NPR .I bought it based on the NPR show they did about it. I was intrigued when the spot led off with: “Imagine an Futuristic TV Space Show with NO Aliens”? Bought it on faith and Imagine my Happiness when that 1st episode ended – I was hooked. And my Sadness when I pushed play on the 14th episode (I believe it was 14).

  9. mishael says:

    what a nice site.visit http://arts.unn.edu.ng/department/theatre-and-film-studies and see many adfmirers

  10. Cliff Hesby says:

    There are a LOT off firefly fans who came to it from the DVDs and Serenity in the Theaters and Netffliz itself- I think he underestimates the audience

    • and when I saw both “Firefly” AND “Serenity” on Blu-Ray..I knew it was here to stay. A Browncoat since that 1st airing of “The Train Job,” I still don’t get why that whole “direct-to-DVD” project didn’t happen. Now, if I could only stop holding my breath for the return of” Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”…

  11. Jesus: version buddha 3.9 says:

    Fact is though, Firefly is a genre show. Arrested Development has more mainstream appeal. Wish Firefly, and Star Trek: Enterprise and other great cancelled shows too, could be brought back, but it’s just not the way the corporate cookie crumbles.

  12. I didn’t watch it when it was on the air because of my work schedule. I watched it on Hulu, back when Hulu was free, and didn’t see Serenity till it came out on Sci Fi Network. As much as I liked it, I don’t think it will have the same flavor, if it comes back, as it originally did because of the deaths of Wash and Book. I was really looking forward to finding out Books’ origins too.

  13. aaron newman says:

    Oh look at me, I’m a Chief Content officer who cares nothing about content and I make blanketed statements about a market and it’s fan base that I really know nothing about… I love doing interviews and expressing my valued wisdom.

  14. And yet, I’ve never watched Arrested Development and never will. I discovered Firefly through the movie first and then watched the series, years after it aired.

  15. Brian says:

    What a crock! Firefly’s fan base has been expanding yearly, not shrinking. Just because people don’t re-watch it on a monthly basis doesn’t mean they aren’t fans. I told myself to watch it for years and finally bought the blu-ray last year or the year before and now I’m a huge fan and have recommended it to others and gotten them into the show too.

  16. Judi Becker says:

    When will “Firefly” movie replay on Cable.

  17. wydok says:

    My wife and I are watching Firefly for the first time right now. Stinks there are only 14 episodes 🙁

  18. Alfredo De La Fe says:

    I discovered Firefly several years after it was cancelled. When they billed it as a Western in Space I had NO interest in seeing it, when I watched my first episode as a rerun I was immediately HOOKED. The movie however wrapped up several of the story lines and answered many of the mysteries that made you want to see every episode religiously.

  19. Name says:

    I found out about Firefly and Serenity long after they originally aired… This guy is so wrong.