The Veronica Mars movie is probably happening.
Creator Rob Thomas launched the Kickstarter campaign, (with star Kristen Bell on board) earlier today. It’s already become the fastest fundraiser to reach $1 million, and it’s still going strong.
Some are skeptical about whether Warner Bros. is exploiting fans by asking them to fund a movie the studio could easily support financially, but the Internet is already in a “Shut up and take my money!” whirl of excitement over the newly-announced project, so it’s more a question of when it will reach its goal, not if. And of how much money the film will have raised when the campaign ends on Apr. 12.
More and more, creators and production companies are turning away from traditional television and looking to other means of getting shows directly to the viewers. Netflix has found massive success with the original series House of Cards, and the highly-anticipated Arrested Development season 4 is set to premiere on the streaming service in May 2013.
However, now that we’re finally about to find out what happened to Veronica, Logan, Wallace, and the rest of the characters in Neptune, Calif., it may only be a matter of time before a number of other projects stuck in TV Purgatory try for a crowdsourced reprieve.
Nothing has been announced yet, but we still have our hopes set on these shows getting a second life through investment from streaming sites and fundraisers.
1) Firefly, Sept.-Dec. 2002
It may have ended 10 years ago, but we’re still bitter about Firefly getting canceled. Before the show ever aired a single episode, it was shifted to Friday nights by FOX—where, it is said, TV goes to die. The episodes were never aired in the correct order, and the show was never given a chance to grow. It was canceled after just 11 episodes.
A cult audience grew after the DVD’s release, and due to fan enthusiasm, Joss Whedon had the chance to tell the story of Mal, Zoe, Jayne, and the rest of the Serenity crew in a feature-length film, Serenity, in 2005. Even though we’re still upset about Wash and Book, we still want more.
Nobody may be a bigger Firefly fan than star Nathan Fillion. In February 2011, he innocently told Entertainment Weekly that he would buy the rights to Firefly if he won $300 million from the California Lottery, and a number of Browncoats offered to chip in before Whedon shut it down.
But with Fillion on Castle, Morena Baccarin in Homeland, Gina Torres in Suits, and Joss Whedon busy being Joss Whedon, another reboot may take a long time.
At least we’re possibly getting Dr. Horrible 2 this year.
2) Party Down: Mar. 2009-June 2010
This short-lived series from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas followed six aspiring Hollywood actors and writers hoping for their big break as they worked for a catering company serving the assholes who already made it in the industry.
It had the backing from Starz and the support from critics, but it was canceled after two seasons due to low ratings (for a premium cable network); Jane Lynch’s move to Glee and Adam Scott’s to Parks and Recreation also probably had something to do with it.
People have been clamoring for a Party Down movie ever since the shpw left the airwaves, and there hasn’t been much concrete news since. Megan Mullally said the movie could shoot during the “next hiatus,” but things still aren’t set in stone.
With a cult following, Party Down could also do well on Kickstarter—and we already know Thomas is willing to embrace crowdfunding.
3) Community: Sept. 2009-Present
Community technically hasn’t been canceled yet, but it has gotten little love from NBC over the years. It was pitted directly against the ratings juggernaut known as Big Bang Theory for two years before NBC fired creator Dan Harmon. They moved Community to Friday nights behind Whitney (refer back to how that worked with Firefly) until the show was delayed “indefinitely” just before the season premiere on Oct. 19.
Fans fueled the momentum during the months-long hiatus leading up the premiere on Feb. 7 with a Reddit-made version of Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne and an Inspector Spacetime Web series.
Reviews for the new season without Harmon are mixed (just go into almost any thread on r/community) and it’s still getting its ass kicked in the ratings by Big Bang Theory. The new showrunners are hopeful for a season 5, and compared to how other NBC shows are holding up, it may still have legs.
If by chance it doesn’t get renewed by NBC, we’d love to see the Greendale Seven go streets ahead on Netflix with Harmon back in charge. And, depending on how Pierce’s arc ends this season, we’d be fine using Abed’s choice of Fred Willard to replace him, since Chevy Chase won’t be returning.
4) Pushing Daisies: Oct. 2007-Jun. 2009
Pushing Daisies revolved around Ned (Lee Pace), a pie-maker who had the gift to bring people back from the dead with a single touch. It combined a procedural with the whimsical tone of a fairy tale that resonates in current hit Once Upon a Time, but it got canceled after it struggled in the ratings and ABC opted not to order any additional episodes.
The last three episodes eventually aired months after the show was canceled, but fans remained dissatisfied with the ending. So did creator Bryan Fuller. He said that he would continue the series in comic books (which had been postponed as of 2011), and he was also open for a miniseries, a movie, or even a stage adaptation.
We’d go for any of those options, and the comic/graphic novel could easily be funded by Kickstarter. We just want a more satisfying ending than what ABC forced on us.
5) Wonderfalls: Mar.-Dec. 2004
Bryan Fuller doesn’t have much luck with TV shows. Years before Pushing Daisies came out, he created a little-known show called Wonderfalls, which focuses on Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas), a sales clerk at a Niagara Falls gift shop who converses with animal figurines who give her instructions to help people in need.
Initially delayed by FOX, it aired in March 2004 to low ratings. It was moved to Thursday after it did well upon second airing, although the time change was never really advertised, and it was canceled after just four episodes.
A push from fans got them a screening of all 13 episodes at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City in January 2005 and DVD interviews reveal that the show’s writers already thinking seasons ahead for the main character including Jaye being institutionalized and diagnosed with “Joan of Arc syndrome.”
Even if you haven’t heard of this cult show, it’s easy to catch up with it on DVD if a season 2 were ever to happen. We think it would work well with a Netflix revival, like with other FOX cult hit Arrested Development.
Photo via RavenU/Flickr