Discussion Time: Do you fight for your TV show?

It’s been a while since I have done a discussion post, so please bare with me in case I am a little rusty or all over the place. It’s just that I have noticed an awful trend in television lately that I would like to discuss with you.

Over the course of the last week, a lot of shows that were beloved to many (especially in the online community that I am part of) were cancelled by their respective networks or put on the bubble, which means that there is no decision about renewal or cancellation yet. I understand that network television bases their decisions on ratings of the live screenings first and foremost. As much as TV may be entertainment for the viewers, it is still a business for the people who produce the content. However, the system is quite antiquated and answer me this: Who still tunes in live to watch their favourite show?

I guess I should start with the simple fact that I do not live in the US or Canada and therefore cannot watch shows live either way. There is no same-day-release for TV shows, as everything usually goes through the process of (terrible) dubbing before people even consider putting it on German/Austrian TV. Therefore it could take months or longer until a show makes it over the pond to us. And even when it finally does, should the show become a surprise hit here, I don’t think international sales for TV rights really play into the decision making process of the networks.

Second, there are so many streaming services and especially the younger generations have gotten used to getting their content all at once and at least in my circle of friends over the internet. We do have a TV at my home, but it is monopolized by my parents and I have very little say in what we are watching, so I just use my laptop for everything. I know that you can watch via the official website of a lot of networks, but only if you are in the right region. I honestly do not know if those online views matter much to the networks. I think they should, but I often feel like they don’t. So, where does that leave people like me who spend most their days in front of a screen but not the traditional one? People who are very passionate about a show but have no control whatsoever about the number of views?

Well, to counteract those (in our eyes) unjust cancellations, a lot of fans have turned to social media to fight for their shows. From what I personally saw, they were especially vocal when it came to shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Lucifer, Timeless and Sense8, even though I am sure it happens for a lot more shows. In some cases, it worked and the show got another season or got picked up by a different network. In other cases, however, it didn’t have an effect or not the lasting one the audience might have wished for.

I want to take the example of Timeless for this discussion post. Last year, the ratings for Timeless apparently weren’t very good, so NBC cancelled it, just to take that cancellation back after two days because the fans were really vocal about their disappointment. Everyone was, of course, really happy about that, but as you may imagine, that didn’t change the ratings for the new season much. After all, there was still the same fan base. Maybe the media attracted a couple new viewers due to the coverage of the whole cancellation drama, but it did not help a lot. In fact, due to a bad slot at 10 PM on Sundays, even though it should have aired earlier, the ratings even went down. The creators of the show did some of their best work in this second season and had a banger finale with a huge cliffhanger that rocked the fans’ worlds. Still, now there is the same discussion as last year and the show is on the brink of cancellation once more.

I just would like to know what the point of me/us fighting for the show is if we have to do the same over and over again. Social ratings, meaning hashtags trending on Twitter or the likes, are very high for most of these cancelled shows. People are passionate about them and talk on social media a lot. In our very digital age, shouldn’t this weigh in more into the decision? Classic TV is outdated and in my humble opinion you simply cannot rely on live ratings anymore, especially if you want to entertain a younger audience, you need a lot more than that. Things are changing and the industry should change with them, because why do we have to do all the hard work of convincing these executives every single season?

So, lastly, I want to ask you some questions. Do you fight for your favourite shows online? Do you think it’s fair that you have to? Do you think there should be a new and more inclusive system considering global audiences and such? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat with you about it!

35 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Do you fight for your TV show?

  1. I don’t watch any live TV (same with pretty much everyone I know) I either watch my stuff on Netflix or Hulu, so it’s really frustrating when a show gets cancelled because of views when a lot of consumers don’t tune into live TV anymore. It’s truly amazing when a show is brought back from cancellation because of the powerful fans online.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I completely have to agree. I also know a lot of people who specifically wait until the entire season of a show is available on Netflix or the likes to binge it in one sitting. I feel like it’s more of a trend in our age group to maybe upwards until the late 20s, but those are the viewers of the future and networks need to understand that.
      I think it’s amazing when fans bring back a show as well! I only wish that those comebacks had more longevity to them, because why do we need to repeat that same game each season. Either bring it back or don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, I am Canadian, so I can watch live, and I also try and livetweet a bit because it’s fun and I know it helps.
    But I’ve been fortunate in the past few years because I haven’t lost many shows, and the ones that I have lost aren’t ones that I adored enough to really fight for them. But I have fought a little to save a few shows. When Brooklyn Nine-Nine got cancelled, I did tweet a few times to save it. It’s a good show and I know it’s loved, but I was also very aware of its low ratings. Same with Agent Carter a few years ago; I even signed a few petitions to save that one but to no avail. Is it fair that fans have to do this? Is it fair that fans have to take time and effort to organize tweet sprees and tag execs and send emails? No, but I don’t think the whole TV system is fair. From what I know, ratings are calculated by certain households with special boxes or something. I think the TV industry definitely needs an upgrade because there are worldwide fans and fans who stream online and fans who binge later on. I know that TV is all about the money for networks, but they also need to consider fans and their habits and wants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Canada, so you live in a great country ๐Ÿ˜€ I miss living there all the time. Anyway, back on topic!
      I agree that the whole system is rigged. What exactly makes those households representative? Aren’t they biased through the fact of having a box and knowing it affects ratings in the first place? Maybe I am overthinking this, but trends are just going in all different directions and live watching isn’t really one of them anymore. Thanks so much for your comment! I definitely have to agree.

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  3. I watch my favourite shows live but I don’t think I would really fight for any of them. I don’t love TV the way I love books. TV is a business, and they aren’t adapting well to the new world. If they would offer worldwide streaming on their official site with ads, people would watch that instead of pirating it and they could still make money. Instead we have a dozen different streaming services fighting to be relevant and shows that you can watch live or NO WHERE legally if you don’t have access to that channel. Fighting for good shows is important but really it’s an issue of TV needing an update to it’s business model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s fair! I am more partial to TV than most people, but I must have gotten my title as Queen of TV from somewhere haha
      I deifnitely agree that the business isn’t adapting the way it should. I love that fans are showing their passion for what they watch and I think they can of course continue to do that, but they shouldn’t have to organise petitions and tweet storms to keep something. An update of the business model would be more favorable for all of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Given I’m not in the US I can’t watch a lot of my favourite TV shows live, and that’s kind of the main way to support your favourite shows isn’t it? I was pretty much devastated when I heard Brooklyn Nine-Nine had been cancelled because that is one of my all-time, ultimate favourite TV shows. I’ve watched it since the beginning and I was so relieved when it was picked back up again because it’s one I never want to be cancelled, but there are so many other shows out there I’ve loved that have been cancelled, not picked up, and I’m still not over it. Pushing Daisies is the main one for me, that was a great show.
    Great post Kat! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was relieved when I saw that NBC picked up B99 as well. The sad thing is that the show started out on that network, then got transferred to FOX and is now returning to it’s original place. That system is so messed up.
      Aweee, I loved Pushing Daisies. I think the ones I was most mad about (aside from the ones I mentioned above) in recent years were Pitch (FOX), Emerald City (NBC), Rise (NBC) and Sweet/Vicious (MTV). Most of the time it’s really NBC and FOX that are the culprits for me. They never give a show the time to develop or at least finish without a massive cliffhanger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very messed up, but I guess NBC releases theyโ€™d missed out on something good so they took the chance to get it back when Fox dropped it.
        I havenโ€™t seen any of those others you mentioned but if they ended up like Pushing Daisies did I can see why youโ€™re so mad about them.
        I guess hereโ€™s hoping Brooklyn Nine-Nine lasts on NBC. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think I would ever argue let alone fight over a TV show but in truth I don’t really watch conventional TV anymore, just Netflix and some select dvds.

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  6. This is a great post, Kat!! I can’t even put into words how happy I was, when NBC decided to pick Brooklyn 99 up after it was cancelled, and Hulu and Netflix both passed on it. I definitely think that nowadays, with most of the core demographics watching TV series on Netflix &c. it’s important to reconsider which aspects to take into account when renewing or cancelling a show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lily! Streaming services play such a big role in so many demographics, it’s really a shame when they get overlooked, but at the same time I find myself holding them accountable more than I probably should. Especially when they co-produce or co-finance a show and it gets cancelled on their main network and they don’t pick it up, I get really mad. But in reality they have to do those co-financing deals to survive, because they don’t make nearly as much money as we sometimes think with subscribers haha

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I stream all my shows too, because I don’t even have basic TV, let alone a full cable package. So yeah, I get really upset when a show I really like is canceled. In fact, I’ve been tweeting #SaveLucifer and #PickUpLucifer since Friday (and my God, it’s amazing how long and how strong that has been going).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never fought for TV shows until timeless. I am really bad at being present on social media but the first season I loved and after the season two finale I was on twitter begging for another season.
    I live in the US but I can’t afford live TV anymore so I watch TV shows on their channels websites and even then I usually can’t see them until at least the day after, and then life just gets in the way sometimes so sometimes I end up getting a week or more behind so it looks like I don’t care about it anymore when I do. It’s so unfair to everyone with the way they decide to keep or cancel shows. It doesn’t apply to the majority of viewers and they always end up canceling really good shows and keeping terrible ones that nobody actually likes. D:

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really unfair that changes in people’s lifestyles and just the general gravitation towards digital content is completely disregarded. I will be forever mad about some cancellations in recent years ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  9. Usually by the time i discover and watch some series they are already old and have many seasons out and might already been long cancelled. I don’t really keep up with them real time.
    I don’t think i’d ever be up in arms for a series tho.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s some really beautiful campaigns that brought people closer because they cared for the same show, but I get that it’s not someone’s first impulse. But I feel like more and more people are watching content at their own pace and I don’t understand how that viewing habit is so direly disregarded.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes! I am exactly the same. Everything I watch, I watch through a streaming service, oftentimes MONTHS after it originally aired. It seems crazy not to take into account the views on something like Netflix, which surely is where most people watch their TV nowadays anyway?

    That said, I don’t tend to fight for things, no. I don’t really use Twitter a ton, which is most of why, and usually when something is cancelled there isn’t anything to be done about it. If there were, we would have gotten Agent Carter season 3 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like most people stream their content on some platform or other (debatable if they are all as legit as Netflix and Hulu), but it’s something the networks should definitely consider.

      Yeah, I heard about Agent Carter and it’s too bad. But it’s not like it never works, so saying that there is no point in fighting isn’t entirely true! For example, fans sent a single flip flop to Netflix headquarters to get a final season for Sense8 and they could not be ignored. The final season might be shorter, but it is a conclusion! And Timeless got another season and Brooklyn Nine-Nine got picked up by another network. Sometimes those dedicated fan stories prove to be success stories ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  11. Awesome discussion post, Kat. I totally understand the struggle you must feel regarding this. It’s definitely a bit depressing to find your favourite shows getting cancelled out of the blue. And I’m not sure what’s up recently, but peepz at Fox have been cancelling a bunch of GREAT shows and it’s really ridiculous at this point. It’s definitely nice to see fans petition to get the show picked up by other networks, and I think it’s sometimes actually a great thing since changes can be made to the show and its direction for the better (or even better).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lashaan! Fox and NBC both have made questionable decisions lately, but at least NBC is somewhat more reasonable haha. I also think that something great can come from a network change, especially one that was inspired by fans’ devotion. But there’s always sad examples too, like for example with The Shannara Chronicles. When MTV got rid of all their fictional programming, Spike took over, but that led to a delay in the release of the second season, barely anyone watching Spike to begin with and so they just cancelled it right after. It was such a shame.

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  12. This is a really interesting discussion. I didn’t grow up with cable, so it was always the video store for me (or now, my laptop or Netflix), so I absolutely agree that it sucks that online slash social media doesn’t factor into a show’s cancellation. I mean, traditional TV watching rally IS outdated, so what’s the point of taking ratings into consideration? Yeesh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really think a change needs to happen in the industry and SOON at that or they will get left behind. TV shows are more important than some movies these days and can really put some actors and actresses out there, but everything gets cancelled so quickly if it’s not an immediate success. I am beyond annoyed with their antiquated system.
      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Like

  13. I always feel so helpless when people talk about supporting tv shows, watch it live etc and then when rumours of cancellation come up. I would LOVE to support all my shows, but there’s no way for me to do so, except for watching them on Netflix but not all of my shows are on there and I have no idea how much Netflix views are taken into consideration when it comes to non-Netflix shows? Tweeting and retweeting when B99 got cancelled felt like the only thing I could do, and since it worked in the past it didn’t feel completely useless.
    I definitely think the old rating system should be replaced by something else – there was so much online support after B99 got cancelled, showing that a lot of people watch the show, despite what ratings say. Plus I know they need to make money, but I really hate the idea that views/money are more important than the rep shows like B99 and Sense8 for example are giving to people. Also maybe,,, I dunno, the networks and platforms could actually,, promote these shows… Just a thought. I just don’t understand how you could invest money into shows and then not promote them. Don’t you want them to do well? A while ago I went to look at Netflix’ insta and they barely promoted One Day At A Time even though the new season had just dropped. It was mostly Stranger Things and Friends like??
    Great post Kat! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really unfair, because we are all a much more global community than let’s say 10 or 20 years ago. I don’t think they account for Netflix numbers abroad at all, because they generally don’t care about numbers outside the US and maybe Canada. But it’s just so silly, as you mentioned, there are such big fan bases out there and to just disregard them is silly.
      Well, with Netflix, they really do a LOT, but they also have different accounts for their biggest shows. I don’t know so much about Instagram, but Twitter is working really hard, especially on release weekends. As far as social media goes, Netflix does some of the most work.
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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