Sometimes you don’t know how devoted a fanbase is until the show is canceled. The entire fanbase will unite with elaborate plans to get their beloved show back on air. Some of them get…really out there. In their fervor to save the show, fans send bizarre items or start up bizarre drama. Let’s look at some of the weirdest show-saving campaigns. Do you remember any that didn’t make the list? Mention it in the comments!
The 'Jericho' Nuts Campaign
Famously, the show Jericho managed to get a second season thanks to a campaign involving peanuts. The show about a town in the wake of nuclear disaster gained quite a cult following. Fans of the show actually sent forty thousand pounds of nuts to various television executives. This was due to the fact that in the last episode of the show’s first (and then only) season, the main character was asked to surrender during a conflict and replied “Nuts.” The fans felt that they too would not surrender.
The campaign was successful to earn the show a second season, after which is got promptly canceled again. There was a follow-up comics, though.
The Save Our Sailors 'Sailor Moon' Campaign
Back in 1996, the Sailor Moon English dub was having some troubles. It looked like the second season of the heavily censored dub was not going to be completed and air on Cartoon Network. Some fans formed an organization called “Save Our Sailors” and decided the best way to get the dub aired was to buy unfrosted strawberry Poptarts.
The “logic” was that a Poptart commercial played during the time when the Sailor Moon dub aired. SOS had decided, based on nothing, the show was being dropped due to lack of sponsors. They felt that if enough of them bought Poptarts on a single day, the companies would notice the spike in sales somehow, see that fannish devotion and conclude that the Sailor Moon sponsorship would work out.
Save Our Sailors claimed that they’d met with animation industry people who were impressed with their campaign. Either they were lying or the animation industry employees were having them on. The dub came back, but clearly not because of the campaign. It was sponsored by General Mills (the Poptart company- Kellogs-competitors). This didn’t stop Save Our Sailors from taking credit.
Another thing Save Our Sailors did was try to make Sailor Moon look more “wholesome”- meaning, in their eyes, “not gay.” Sailor Neptune and Uranus were famously a lesbian couple. SOS tried to “reassure” Cartoon Network there was nothing “objectionable” about Sailor Moon by championing an article that claimed Sailor Neptune and Uranus were just friends and Japanese people didn’t see them as lesbians ….or, actually, maybe they WERE in a relationship, but Sailor Uranus was a dude in her past life, so it was still totally hetero.
Seriously. The conceit of Sailor Moon is that the Sailor Soldiers were alien warriors from a thousand years ago who were reincarnated as Japanese schoolgirls in the present day. The article claimed that Sailor Moon’s creator Naoko Takeuchi had said that, before the characters were reincarnated into their current lives, Sailor Uranus had been “the Prince of Uranus” who “was in love with Sailor Neptune. His sister, Sailor Uranus, was mortally wounded” and then “conferred her powers onto him”. Since Sailor Soldiers are supposed to be women, when “Prince Uranus” was eventually reborn, it was as a woman, “but even so, his love for Sailor Neptune endured” and therefore “they are not lesbians but former lovers ironically reunited as the same gender”.
None of this is remotely true and comes from absolutely nowhere (and would also make Haruka technically a transgender man, which is no less controversial with the “family values” crowd, so).
The article ended with them saying they would “confirm this with Naoko Takeuchi at Comic-Con”. Embarrassingly, someone did indeed ask her if the couple was “really lovers” fairly aggressively and she was clearly a bit flummoxed, but let everyone know they were really and truly 100% lesbians.
When the third season of Sailor Moon eventually was dubbed, Cartoon Network just pretended the characters were cousins. "Problem" solved! Not really, because it just made them look like incestuous lesbians, but still.
The 'Farscape' Brascape Campaign
When Farscape, a Sci-fi Network series about a man stranded in another galaxy, failed to be renewed for its fifth season, fans swung into action. Perhaps the most unusual campaign was female fans choosing to send in bras to show their support of the series. This was in response to a comment by network executive Bonnie Hammer, who said in regards to Farscape and other fare that “the key” was attracting “women and nongeek men” and that those audience seek out things that have more “emotional and ethical components”. Ms. Hammer was inundated with bras from female fans who sought to prove Farscape had indeed attracted them as an audience.
Farscape fans also sent in crackers to executives, in reference to the fan-favorite episode “Crackers Don’t Matter”. This caused some problems in a post 9/11 world where the networks were more cautious about screening packages. Eventually fans took to sending postcards made of cracker boxes instead.
The campaign was semi-successful, as Farscape got a made-for-TV movie wrapping up the loose ends.
The 'La Femme Nikita' Sunglasses and Sundry Campaign
The Canadian series about a juvenile-delinquent-turned-secret-agent got a dedicated fan campaign when the show wasn’t renewed for a fith season. Fans raised enough to put a full page ad in the Hollywood Reporter and sent over 25,000 letters. These contained several different items, including dollar bills with Roy Duplis (who played the character “Micheal” in the series) on them, sunglasses (the titular Nikita’s favorite accessory) and old VCRS, TVs and remote controls. As a result, the show was renewed for a shortened fifth season.
The 'Veronica Mars' High Dollar Campaign
Veronica Mars fans were nothing if not dedicated, as fans of the show about the teen detective zealously and tirelessly campaigned for the show every single season it was in danger of cancellation, which was all of them, apparently. It started with the end of the first season- The show had yet to be announced as canceled, but fans, seeing that the show was last in ratings, decided to get a head start. In imitation of the titular heroine’s action in one episode, they sent in custom Veronica Mars dollar bills with “Veronica Mars is Smarter Than Me” written on them.
The show got renewed for a second season, but remained in danger. This prompted fans to get a plane to fly over CW offices in an effort to get it renewed for a third. The plane a banner that said “Renew Veronica Mars! CW 2006”. They remained zealous throughout the third season, making an effort to boost ratings for the last five episodes of the third season by papering New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angela areas with about 30,000 flyers imploring viewers to tune into the show.
Sadly, it didn’t work and the show was finally canceled after the third season concluded. Fans sent in 10,000 Mars Bars (GET it?) to the network, but to no avail. However, the fanbase remained devoted throughout the years and an entire Veronica Mars movie was funded through Kickstarter in 2013. 5 million dollars were raised and the movie was successfully released.
The 'Star Trek Enterprise' Fundraising Campaign
When Star Trek Enterprise failed to be renewed for a fifth seasons, its fans were just as ambitious as the star-faring characters themselves. Going boldly where no man has gone before, they aimed to reimburse the network (UPN) for the money the show had lost them. Impressively, fans managed to raise $32 million. Alas, it did not work and everyone was refunded their money and the show remained canceled.
The Bloody 'Doctor Who' Campaign
Everyone know, like any massive fanbase, there are some scary Doctor Who fans out there. Micheal Grade, who disliked the series, put it on an 18 month hiatus. Fans were very angry and sent a bunch of stuff in. There are rumors there were even letters written in blood.
The 'Witchblade' Pez Campaign
When the 2000 live action show based on the Top Cow Comic was canceled, fans sent it pez dispensers. This was an oblique reference to the last name of the show’s main character (Sara Pezzini). But since the lead actress had been struggling with substance abuse and was checked into a detox program, no amount of Pez could save the show.
The 'Moonlight' Blood Drive Campaign
When the vampire detective show Moonlight was canceled, many feared fans would send in blood. However, cleverly, fans chose to organize blood drives in support of the show instead. But this still didn’t save the show, which was canceled after one season.
The 'Danny Phantom' Rallies
When the cartoon about a half-ghost superhero was canceled, fans rallied. Literally. Danny Phantom fans held several rallies in an effort to convince Nickelodean to renew the show. An old website shows that fans gathered in front of New York’s Viacom building from 2006-2008, They also gathered near the Kids Choice Awards in 2008 and even conducted a petition. They encountered the voice of the titular Danny himself there. But it all came to naught, as the show remained cancelled.