Over 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.