It happens many times: a show has been on the air for a while and has amassed a cult following. These people are passionate about the show and watch it religiously. However, there are not enough casual viewers, who just turn in every now and then, to warrant a renewal. So the show is cancelled. That used to be the end of it.
Not anymore: with the rise of television being distributed across several different platforms on the internet, it was finally possible for cult shows to be renewed. These shows below had their fans before they were cancelled on the broadcast and cable networks, and the internet platforms hoped their fans would follow them for an additional season of their show.
The series “The Killing” premiered in 2011 on the AMC network, and followed Sarah Linden and her partner Stephen Holder on homicide cases in Seattle, Washington. Unlike many other series, the show only focused on one case throughout the season, giving a much more serialized storyline. In fact, the viewers were angry when the first season ended not on resolving the mystery but in cliffhanger. Ratings tumbled in the second season (though the second season did wrap up the first season’s mystery), so the show was cancelled, but then a deal with the Production Company and Netflix enabled AMC to give it one more season. Then AMC cancelled it again…but then Netflix stepped in and gave a six episode conclusion to the third season and the series as a whole.
Community premiered on NBC in 2009. The show was on the outset a cult show: ratings were never that high, but fans embraced the show as it went all out to parody or satirize other TV shows or movies, as well as the show’s call for “Six Seasons and a Movie.” The central concept was about a lawyer (Joel McHale) who is discovered to have fabricated his bachelor’s degree, and has to go back to community college to try and get his actual degree. He decides to start a study group for his Spanish class, and is joined by a group of individual as messed up as he is, but in completely different ways. After three regular seasons, Dan Harmon the creator was fired from the show and the shortened fourth season premiered, which did alright in the ratings but were not well received from the fans. The fifth season brought Dan Harmon back but the ratings kept falling, and it was cancelled. Finally, Yahoo, in order to bring more recognition to its production company Yahoo Screen, brought back Community for its sixth season, which debuted in 2015. No word on the movie yet, though…
The Mindy Project premiered on Fox in 2012. The show focused on Dr. Mindy Lahiri, played by Mindy Kaling, who is an OB/GYN at a small medical practice in New York City. She has many quirky coworkers and has frequent romantic complications. The show featured a large recurring cast and many guest stars. The show ran for three seasons on Fox network before being cancelled. But then Hulu stepped up and renewed The Mindy Project for a 26 episode fourth season. Hulu had acquired the online rights for the show before it was cancelled, and was a top rated show on the platform, so Hulu was excited to give it another season.
The future of TV renewal has arrived. Instead of a show mourned for being cancelled too soon, , the show will be picked up by Internet Platforms excited to continue a show fans love so much. Check out these show being given new life online.