By Paula Hendrickson
Just because a TV series is canceled doesn’t mean it’s never coming back — and I’m not talking about cheesy made-for-TV reunion movies.
Some shows, like Cougar Town, jump to another network. Others strike new production deals, like the one between NBC and DirecTV that saved Friday Night Lights and allowed DirecTV to air new episodes months before NBC. A few lucky shows, like Jericho and Chuck, even got temporary reprieves thanks to well-orchestrated fan campaigns. Some series survive in less conventional ways.
Ten years after the show’s final episode aired, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is still saving the world in a series of comic books from Dark Horse Comics. “Season 8” picked up where the TV series left off, and the current “Season 9” comic books continue the story. Best of all, series creator Joss Whedon and several original Buffy writers have written many of the comic books.
Another Whedon series, Firefly, barely lasted one season but led to the feature film, Serenity.
Yes. Feature films. That’s one more way some shows continue on. The original Star Trek cast revived their roles for Star Trek: The Motion Picture back in 1979. After Star Trek The Next Generation ended its long run in 1994, cast members from both shows appeared together in the movie Star Trek: Generations. Several films came before the franchise’s big 2009 reboot and the current film, Star Trek Into Darkness.
You may remember when 24 ended in 2010, there was talk of a Jack Bauer feature film happening somewhere down the line. With lead actor Kiefer Sutherland busy working in films and starring in the series Touch, it seemed like fans would have a long wait before Bauer came back to save the day.
Things took an interesting turn during the Fox upfronts earlier this month. Touch was not renewed, but the network announced plans to bring back 24 as a “limited series,” with a 24-hour day squeezed into 12 episodes.
The working title? 24: Live Another Day.
It’s already scheduled to air in May 2014.
The next time one of your favorite shows gets the ax, just remember it doesn’t mean they’re gone for good.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the May 29-June 4, 2013, issue