Can a cancelled show be resurrected?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by MarkHastings, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I was wondering, when they cancel tv shows, can they ever be brought back to life and start doing new episodes again?

    This all stems from receiving Family Guy season 3 and hoping that the sales are great enough to make some Fox executive think about what a horrible decision it was to cancel this show.

    Anyways, has a tv show ever been cancelled, gone off the air for some time, and then come back? Kinda like when a sports figure retires and then starts to play again after a few years in retirement.

    I assume it would be hard to get all of the people involved with the original show back together again, so it's easier to just do a spin-off, but is there some legal issue with bringing back a show? Is there something that states that when the series is over and can't be brought back under the same name?

    ?????
     
  2. Rob Speicher

    Rob Speicher Supporting Actor

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    I don't know about any of that, but I believe it was said that Seth has moved on to a new animated show on Fox, which sounds pretty similar to FG from what I've heard.

    He's also said that there's plans to release a straight-to-DVD movie for FG.

    All the details were found in the long Family Guy DVD thread in the Software forum.
     
  3. Randy B A

    Randy B A Supporting Actor

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    I believe Wolf Lake was cancelled then picked up by another net work before being cancelled again. The same happened for grounded for life, except for the part about being cancelled again.
     
  4. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Didn't Baywatch get cancelled after one season?
    Oh, that it had stayed dead.

    And Babylon 5 was going to be cancelled after four seasons, then another station picked it up for the final season. But in that case, I don't think there was a big delay between seasons 4 and 5.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    It's happened several times. Hoem Movies was picked up by Cartoon Network after being cancelled by UPN. The PJs was picked up by UPN after being cancelled by Fox. I believe Picket Fences was saved by a letter-writing campaign.

    Forever Knight was cancelled and actually stayed off the air a year before being picked back up.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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  7. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Oh, and America's Most Wanted was also brought back after being cancelled.
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    America's Most Wanted is a famous example because law enforcement actually got on their side, which was an oddity.

    JAG got killed by NBC, and brought back to life by CBS.. where it has faired well.
     
  9. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Didn't the Wayne Brady show get canceled and now its back on this season?
     
  10. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I guess it's all subject to (a) availability of the people involved, and (b) who owns the rights to the name/concept of the show.

    One example being bandied about in this forum is Bab5, where Jerry Doyle claims he's trying to put something together, with JMS denying it all. Since JMS presumably controls the rights to the Bab5 name and concepts, without his say-so nothing will happen.

    I did not know that Forever Knight had actually been in hiatus for a year. But it explains the delay I sort-of noticed, I just assumed the local station was slow in bringing it in here. And with due respect, the fact that the cast weren't that well-known or "hot" meant they were still available a year later.
     
  11. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Yep, Forever Kight had no episodes from March 1993 to September 1994. It was a CBS show, but CBS dropped it. It came back mroe than a year-later as a direct-to-syndication show, where it faired well enough to get a third season as a USA show.
     
  12. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

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    I believe Star Trek was killed, then resurrected and spawned offspring no less.
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Now that you mention station switching, I do seem to recall "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" - I believe it started on ABC? and then moved to the WB. I guess this is similar to movies like Lord of the Rings where the original company gets nervous and bails, while another company jumps in to save it, but are there any instances where the show was cancelled, but brought back on the same station?

    Sorry if someone posted a show that did this and I missread your response.
     
  14. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    Cagney & Lacey was cancelled, the sets had been struck, and the actors all let go when the network received a ton of mail and decided to bring it back. They had to convince everyone to come back and they had to re-build the sets.
     
  15. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Due South has probably gone through all those incarnations, although CBS was probably its secondary network some of the time - they "cancelled" it, but Alliance was still producing it for Canada, and eventually CBS brought it back.

    Sabrina wasn't resurrected any more than Buffy was; they could probably be best described as "free agents", negotiating with multiple distributors when their contracts run out.

     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  17. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Sure, why not? The networks don't own the shows (although their corporate siblings might), just the right to air them. Once those rights expire - either by the term of the initial contract running out or cancelation - the production companies can negotiate with whomever they want. Generally, they stay with the same network, since TV viewers are, to a certain extent, creatures of habit.

    Letterman is a different case; he's basically a contracter. His contract with NBC ran out, so he was a free agent that CBS hired. NBC still owns "Late Night with ____"; they just opted to have someone else produce the show, while CBS hired Letterman & his company to produce "The Late Show".
     
  18. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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  19. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  20. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    Yes a lot of shows can come back in a short time, But I wonder if there will ever be a show that goes off the air for a few years then comes back with most of the same people.

    I know that contractually it would be a nightmare (or just not possible), but from a creative standpoint, I have often wondered if some shows would be better to take a 2 or 3 year break and resume for a few more seasons, I certianly think it would really help the quality of the writing and storylines, rather than just grinding ahead once the show has grown stale and churning out redundant junk until the show loses it's fanbase and gets axed. I can't help but feel that some shows like Buffy or X-Files would of ended better had the shows taken a few years off to refocus and spark some fresh ideas.
     

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