Never underestimate the power of the fans when their favorite TV series are canceled.
Historically, and before the advent of social media, the importance of the fans of any series was clearly visible when NBC canceled the original Star Trek after two seasons. The year was 1968 and the series received a last minute third season pickup after the fans initiated a letter writing campaign. Naturally, Star Trek never really “ended”, and that additional season, thanks to the audience, could have been instrumental to the ongoing interest in the franchise.
CBS crime solver Cagney & Lacey in 1983 is another example pre-social media of a series saved by a letter writing campaign. The result was a third season reprieve in midseason (and, ultimately, an additional four seasons in production plus four made-for television movies).
More recent was CBS sci-fi drama Jericho in 2007, when the fans sent mountains of nuts to the network in support of the series after the network opted against a second season (in reference to the first season-ender). Fans of Arrested Development sent Fox executives fake bananas in reference to the banana stand on the sitcom They also created website SaveOurBluths.com. And, in 2016, a robust letter writing campaign following ABC’s cancellation of drama Nashville after four seasons resulted in an additional two seasons on cable net CMT.
Countless other primetime TV series (animated comedies Family Guy and Futurama; dramedy Chuck; and dramas Veronica Mars, Lucifer, Timeless, and Sense8, to name a few) received a new lease in lease after the fans spoke out.
Now, following the surprise axing by CBS of its reboot of action/adventure MacGyver after five seasons, is a change.org petition urging the network to “Save MacGyver.” The petition is asking CBS and everyone who is responsible for canceling the show to renew it for season six. And, should CBS not reverse course, fans are asking other outlets to keep it in production.
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A separate petition is directed for Netflix to pick up the series, which it has done in the past following the cancellations of Arrested Development, Designated Survivor, and Lucifer.
Right now, MacGyver is slated to officially end on CBS on Friday, April 30. A total of 94 episodes produced means there is more than enough for off-network syndication. But in this age of social media, where every individual has a voice, chances of MacGyver being picked up elsewhere are certainly not out of the question. If dramas like Star Trek and Cagney & Lacey can find a new lease in life when the notion of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram was non-existent, the odds could be stacked in favor of another outlet stepping forward for MacGyver.