Poor ratings, bad advertisement or unfortunate time slotting do not necessarily make a bad TV show. Fans everywhere know this, as they’ve proven again and again that a devoted niche audience is often big enough to save a show from cancellation. And thanks to online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Prime, once-dead shows can have a second life and reach a whole new fan base.
Find out which of your favorite shows have been saved by fan campaigns or online streaming.
1. Veronica Mars
After its cancellation on the CW in 2007, both producers and fans were shocked and disappointed that “Veronica Mars” wouldn’t be returning to TV. Fans rallied together and had 10,000 Mars bars sent to the CW in an effort to convince the network to renew the show, but execs weren’t swayed and the show was cancelled, reports Empire Online.
Years later, longtime fans again worked to resurrect the show — this time as a feature film. The show’s director and writer Rob Thomas started a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 in the hopes of raising $2 million to fund the movie. The campaign reached its $2 million goal in 11 hours and ultimately raised $5.7 million. The “Veronica Mars” movie was released in 2014.
Kristen Bell, who stars in “Veronica Mars,” has a net worth of $16 million, reports CelebrityNetWorth.
Although “Friends” wasn’t abruptly cancelled — it ran for 10 years until 2004 — it garnered a loyal fanbase that was sad to see the show end. When the show came on Netflix, it reached a whole new audience of binge watchers who became devoted fans.
Netflix reportedly bought “Friends” from Warner Bros. for more than $500,000 per episode, reports The Wall Street Journal. And USA Today reports that each member of the “Friends” cast earns $20 million a year thanks to syndication.
3. The Interview
After Sony hackers threatened moviegoers in order to prevent the release of the “The Interview,” which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen is about a fictional assassination mission against North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, Sony cancelled the theatrical release of the film.
But video-on-demand (VOD) saved “The Interview.” The movie generated more than $40 million in cable, satellite, telecom and online VOD sales from Dec. 24, 2014, to Jan.18, 2015, reports Deadline. Netflix picked up “The Interview,” and the film began streaming online on Jan. 24, allowing millions of viewers to still enjoy the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy.
James Franco’s net worth is $20 million, and Seth Rogen’s net worth is listed at $55 million.
4. Friday Night Lights
Only two seasons in, “Friday Night Lights” was threatened with cancellation. Mental Floss reports fans sent light bulbs and eye drops, referencing the show’s motto: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” They also organized a charitable campaign that raised money to send 20,000 footballs and “Friday Night Lights” DVDs to troops stationed overseas.
The campaign got so much positive press that NBC decided to work with DirecTV in a cost-sharing partnership, and this allowed the show to remain on air for five seasons. Fans can see all five seasons of the show on Netflix.
Kyle Chandler, who played Coach Taylor on the show, has a net worth of $5 million.
5. Arrested Development
Despite being critically acclaimed, “Arrested Development” had low ratings on Fox and was cancelled after only three seasons in 2006. But, Netflix spent about $3 million per episode ($45 million total) to stream the show, according to Forbes. The fourth season premiered on the online streaming service in 2013, and a fifth season is expected to debut in January or February in 2016.
The show’s star, Jason Bateman, has a net worth of $30 million.
Six seasons and a movie — that’s what “Community” fans hoped for until the show’s cancellation after Season 5 in 2014. The show didn’t have very high viewership, so NBC decided to axe it. But to the delight of cast and fans alike, Yahoo! Screen ordered a sixth season of the show to be aired online. It’s unsure how much Yahoo paid for the show, but Vulture estimates the “all-in” costs were somewhere between $10 million and $20 million.
“Chuck” earned consistently low ratings for its time slot during its first two seasons and was in danger of being cancelled by NBC. But the show’s fans launched a “Save Chuck” campaign using social media and blogging to save the show, reports CNN. In the end, “Chuck” was picked up for a third season and ran for a total of five seasons.
The show’s star, Zachary Levi, has a net worth of $8 million.
The post-apocalyptic mystery starred Skeet Ulrich, who has a net worth of $3 million. The show had a short run, only one season, before it was cancelled by CBS. Inspired by the main character shouting “Nuts!” in one memorable scene, fans sent network executives more than 20 tons — yes, tons — of nuts in effort to convince them to reevaluate their decision, reports Mental Floss.
CBS took another look at the ratings and saw that the show actually had more viewers than reported (this time accounting for DVR recordings and online streaming). “Jericho” was given one more season, but further declining ratings justified a second cancellation.
The 1999 series ran for three seasons but was nearly cancelled after its first season. According Mental Floss, fans sent bottles of Tabasco sauce — one of the character’s favorites — to WB executives hoping to save the show. The WB aired one more season, then sold the rights to the show to UPN. UPN aired the third season of “Roswell.” Ratings remained low, so the show was ultimately cancelled, but Netflix offers all three seasons of “Roswell” to the next generation of sci-fi fans.
Shiri Appleby, who played Liz, has a net worth of $1 million.
10. The Mindy Project
Due to increasingly low ratings, Fox cancelled “The Mindy Project” in May 2015 after only three seasons. Soon after, Hulu acquired the rights to the show and ordered 26 new episodes. It’s unclear how much money Hulu paid for the rights, however. Creator and star, Mindy Kaling, has a net worth of $15 million. According to CelebrityNetWorth, she earns $150,000 per episode.
All net worth figures were taken from CelebrityNetWorth.com unless otherwise noted.