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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I told you, it's 'Xander' or 'Sergeant Fury'."
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January 15 2003

"We're on life support right now". Chris Buchanan (M.E. president) says that ABC, CBS and NBC have also turned down Firefly and the future of the show is "pretty grim right now".

But Joss still hasn't give up hope. They are looking to take the show to a cable network.

I'm getting the feeling nobody's ever fought this hard to get a show back on the road.
I agree especially for a show that hasn't even had one full season. No disrespect to Roswell or Farscape fans but Mutant Enemy are really sweating blood in trying to save the show.
Have the networks given reasons why they don't believe the show to be a potential success? Is it too expensive to make a space western? Are there elements they'd like to see added or removed from the show to make it more viable a commodity for them?

I'm beginning to think Joss Whedon's getting unceremoniously and unofficially blackballed in the show business community. But that may just be my paranoia.
To be fair, $2 million an episode is pretty ridiculous. There are few shows on any network that can justify that kind of investment.
The fact is that as the quality of the show kept going up up up, its ratings, for whatever reason, kept going down down down. Perplexing, but there you are.

A constant stream of "what-ifs" keeps buzzing through my head. "What if they had shown the pilot first as intended?" "What if it hadn't had that negative buzz from the get-go?" and even "What if they had held off and made it a mid-season replacement?" Wouldn't the story have been drastically different? (Not the story in the show, but the story of the show. You know what I mean.)

But as Homer said, "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts..."
Sigh.
And even:
Shrug. Sad to say, I'm now resigned.
Truth be told: Life's not fair, and in the search for that super ratings bonanza, shows like this will be canceled.
I would just like to say that I thought Firefly had some real potential, and I think that people are all just stuck on the "reality tv" crap out there now. However, if you ask me, $2 million an episode is a lot, but look at how much they pay for the Friends series. I would rather see five times as many Firefly episodes as Friends ones. I mean, if they cut the budget and made a campy looking show, people would complain about how cheesy it looked, and if they spent the money to do it right, people would complain that it is too expensive.

I'm with you, voodoo_daddy, life is just not fair.
The masses are not really jumping for 'reality tv' like the suits want us to think. Comparatively it's a lot cheaper to do reality tv than it is to do television programming with any real level of artistic integrity. If less people tune into "Celebrity Mole" but it cost less to make per episode than "Buffy," than that potentially makes "Celebrity Mole" more of a success, because of the profit margin.

They can fill time on the air with crap and fluff much cheaper than Whedon's efforts, and just as many if not more people tune in for the junk tv. Sometimes junk tv people actually pay attention to commercials and buy the stuff. That's what suits really want. They don't want smart programming because that brings with it smart viewers who know commercials are the time you get out of your seat and go to the kitchen or bathroom.

Not that there's anything wrong necessarily with junk tv. I watch some of it myself. I just wish good tv like Buffy got better ratings than Surreal Life, y'know whut ah'm sayin'? I mean if people would tune in to a show called "PET ROCK" (a sitcom about a family with a big rock as a pet and every show they'd sit on the living room couch reciting poorly written repartee while staring at the rock) the suits would greenlight it. This is how a lot of crap gets greenlighted. It's not just the quality of the show that's looked at, but how cheap it is to make, coupled with the feasibility that people would actually waste an hour of their lives tuning in every week.

It's not that Buffy, Angel & Firefly are bad shows. They're too expensive to consistently make that good, and "good" isn't a requirement for network ratings, but "cheap" IS a prerequisite. Especially in today's economy.
I actually just dicovered that Firefly has been cancelled. I had been eagerly awaiting a new episode; since Christmas, the station up here had been showing 'Andromeda' in the same timeslot. I assumed this was just a delay on getting the show back on the air with a new episode after the Christmas holiday. Finally, last night I decided to do a search on the net; I had a bad feeling, which turned out to be justified.

Firefly was (IMO) the best new SF series to hit television in years! I realize that Sci-Fi series seem to get cancelled often before they get a chance to build ratings, sometimes with good reason, but others are canned when they are actually excellent shows (Dark Skies springs to mind). Despite the extreme cost, I find it suprising that Firefly was cancelled so quickly when the success of Buffy and Angel alone should have urged networks to give it more than a second glance. They should have AT LEAST tried a different night; I personally had to make a special effort (at first) to watch (or tape) Firefly as I wasn't used to watching shows on Friday.

This is the most frustrated I've ever been at the cancelling of a show, and I feel both powerless to do anything and cheated that I won't get to see the story and characters unfold further.

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