The list is long and somewhat eclectic. TV shows that have been canceled but are deserving of another shot. Some shows that have populated this list have already received their Act 2. Shows like Arrested Development, Veronica Mars, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Lucifer are just a few with a second life. There are many others that fans feel should get their second chance. The “Browncoats” are among the fans who think their show, Firefly, should be at the top of the list. They just might get their wish.
Former Firefly executive producer (EP) Tim Minear and Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn recently spoke with TheWrap at the Television Critics Association (TCA) 2020 about the possibility of a revival and by all accounts, there actually seems to be some movement toward a Firefly resurrection happening.
FIREFLY: WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE?
For those of you who aren’t Browncoats nor have any recollection as to the fate of Firefly, let’s quickly recap. The series was created in 2002 by Joss Whedon (Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel) and had a 14-episode first season order by Fox, who ran 11 of those episodes before pulling the pin on it. There were a few reasons only 11 episodes aired, but the main reason was it didn’t get enough viewers.
The show received huge critical praise and Firefly had (and still does) a loyal fan base. Unfortunately they were far too small and not loud enough to rattle any cages. Fox put Firefly on Friday nights, a death curse for Friday night Fox shows. Over 30 shows have been canceled by Fox in that Friday night slot. The episodes were shown out of order. Yes, you read that correctly. Fox, in their ultimate wisdom, felt they knew the order better.
Regardless, Fox dropped the show before all 14 episodes could air. Which brings us to the present.
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO BRING BACK FIREFLY?
The demand for a Firefly revival is nothing new. Fans have been clamoring for years since the show was canceled and while there was on and off talk and hope, nothing ever materialized. But Minear fueled the fire recently when he tweeted out a picture from Firefly’s last day of shooting. Series creator Joss Whedon didn’t help matters when he followed that tweet with one of his own.
Both Minear and Thorn appeared at the TCA 2020 and were asked about Firefly and what exactly would it take to revive this fan favorite.
Thorn went first when faced with the question by TheWrap. “The macro answer is, any time we look at one of our classic titles if there’s a way to reinvent it for today so it’s as resonant now as the original was, and is, to the fans, we’re wide open,” Thorn said. “I loved ‘Firefly,’ personally, and I watched every episode. I didn’t work on it, but I loved the show. It had come up before, but we had The Orville on the air and it didn’t make sense for us to have, as a broadcast network who is very targeted, to have two space franchises on our air.”
As many of you sci-fi fans out there already know, The Orville now resides on Hulu after it too, didn’t really work at Fox. While it may not have made sense back then to have two sci-fi shows on the network, the absence of a sci-fi series on Fox now opens up a lot of “space” for a potential redo.
Thorn was quick to point out the difficulty as it pertains to Minear, saying he is “very busy” with his Fox duties as Minear is the showrunner for both 9-1-1 and its upcoming spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star. He did close by saying, “But it’s a good idea.”
MINEAR AND WHEDON IN TALKS TO BRING IT BACK
It seems Minear has been digging a bit deeper when it comes to Firefly. He said he and Whedon have spoken a few times over the past decade about a revival. He even brought up Whedon’s Serenity movie to TheWrap as sort of a revival. “Joss did sort of revive it by making ‘Serenity,’” Minear said. “But we have talked about different permutations and how that might work. Do you take two of the characters and put them in a different place and sort of retell a new story with two old characters, with new characters?”
And that is the problem, getting everyone together. Minear pointed that out, “You’re not gonna get everybody back — unless you did something like a limited series like they did for ‘The X-Files.’ Then maybe you could get these people to come back. ‘Cause Nathan is a little busy doing ‘The Rookie.’ But I also know, ’cause I just texted a little bit with Nathan over the weekend, when I posted those pictures from ‘Firefly’ and he got very sentimental. Everyone who worked on that show dearly loves it and they all still talk to each other. I still see Alan occasionally.”
It’s true. The one thing about trying to revive a show such as this, with as much time that has passed, is that these movie/TV stars have long moved on to other projects. Nathan Fillion is smack dab in the middle of The Rookie. He would probably be the most difficult to get but also the one who is absolutely necessary to make it work.
Alan Tudyk, whose character was killed in the series but remains a fan favorite, is involved in a ton of voice work and is gear up to reprise his role as K-2SO in the Disney+ series Cassian Andor. Morena Baccarin recently finished up her starring role in Fox’s Gotham and is now filming a new series titled Home Invasion.
The other actors on the show, Gina Torres, Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, Summer Glau, and Adam Baldwin are involved in various projects of their own. Sadly Ron Glass, who portrayed Shepard Book in the series, passed away in 2016.
Minear chimed in with his opinion on how it could happen, the only way he sees a revival being pulled off. “I would love to see, like, an eight- or 10-episode limited adventure in that universe.” And that could be the smartest way to go and a satisfying treat for the Browncoats. Time is only going to tell if this revived interest is something that will gain traction. At least this thought gives them some hope.
HOW FANS CAN BRING FIREFLY BACK
Fox is open to making more Firefly. That’s a place they’ve never really been before. That means if there was ever a time to act, this is it. What they need is a push, they need to know there’s money to be made in getting the Firefly team back together. And that’s where you come in.
Back in the old days of fandom, getting the attention of a Hollywood studio meant a lot of work. The first ever fan campaign happened in 1968 and 1969 to save Star Trek. There were letters, there were marches. It worked sort of and got Star Trek a third season (though not a fourth).
These days it’s easy. Fox just needs to know you’re ready to pay for whatever they’re going to produce. If enough fans take to Twitter and let them know, then they’ll be paying attention.
So to get Fox’s attention simply click here to send them a tweet. Get as many people as possible to do the same, and if you get enough, you’ll see Firefly back on your screen.