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Finally bought FIREFLY!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I saw it a couple of years ago, before watching the series (my wife has not yet seen it). I'll probably rewatch it this weekend. I assume it represents where the show meant to be in five seasons.
     
  2. MattAlbie60

    MattAlbie60 I Work for Mr. E. H. Harriman of the Union Pacific

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    I believe that Whedon said that the end of SERENITY would have been the end of the second season, had the show been allowed to continue. Its a logical conclusion to something they were clearly building towards since the beginning, but its admittedly a bit of a truncated journey. The "Blue Sun Corporation" was clearly designed to be a kind of middle-man between the crew and the eventual Big Bad, and they're all but ignored (unless you read comics) in between the end of the series and the beginning of the movie.
     
  3. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I borrowed my nephew's DVD set a few years ago with skepticism since I mostly collect and watch pre-2000 TV/DVD shows. This one clicked with me, with the combination of "western" flavor and futuristic sci-fi themes. After watching my nephew's set, I waited for a sale at Amazon and picked it up for my collection. I've seen the set a couple of times. For me, its "rewatchability" factor is high.
    I can see why the show garnered a following which resulted in the "Serinity" movie. I also enjoyed the film and have that one in the collection.
    It was regrettable that the series was cancelled by Fox after a very short run.
     
  4. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Just thought I'd make a quick post:
    I started watching Firefly again. This is my fourth time going through it(when it aired on Fox, when the dvd was released, then Blu-Ray, and now).
    I have to say each time I watch this series I become just a tad more saddened of what could have been. It's almost like a visit with good friends you haven't seen in a while. Now I blame this on the writing, and the genre. I LOVE sci-fi, and I REALLY LOVE well written sci-fi.
    Peace my Firefly friends.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I agree wholeheartedly. It's maddening to think of what could have been with this show had it been given some time to find an audience and then blossom. While it might not ever have been a ratings giant, it should have had the same kind of run that Fringe has had.
     
  6. Frank Ha

    Frank Ha Second Unit

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    Yes, it's exasperating. Firefly should have been allowed to continue airing. I don't understand how it was canceled to begin with. My wife and I have rewatched this show every year for the last 3 years. It really holds up to repeat viewing. We probably won't watch it this year though, because we are getting ready to go to the States for a year and will have to leave our videos behind while we are gone :(
     
  7. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    There were a number of factors that doomed this series. First of all it was scheduled on a Friday Night, which is never a good thing. Also this was at a time where the networks were into their "Transition Period" where they cancelled High-Quality "Scripted" Series and replaced them with Low-Quality "Unscripted" Series. Unfortunately Firefly was one of the casulties. :f
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Whether it was the best show ever made or the worst, Firefly's ratings were terrible. If I remember correctly, it was the lowest rated show on Fox that year and given its excellent production values, it must have been an expensive show too. I don't like that ratings control everything but Fox is a business so they aren't going to keep making an expensive show that no one is watching.
    And I know that fans blame Fox for airing them out of order (which was idiotic and couldn't have helped) or say that Fox didn't give it enough time to gain an audience but I don't think that a Joss Whedon-style sci-fi/western/comedy was ever going to become a hit. Serenity's poor box office shows that, despite being good, people weren't particularly interested in the tales of Mal and company.
     
  9. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Yes, it was the bottom of the barrel in the Nielson rating. But I always thought it was just on the wrong network to begin with. By comparison Sy-Fy network aired Battlestar Galactica for four seasons, and at about a million less viewers. I can't imagine the production values for both shows could have been that far apart.
    At 4.7 million people watching, Firefly was also much more popular than Buffy...but again the WB, and UPN weren't huge networks.
    What is done is done, and I can write a serious list of things Fox did wrong with Firefly, but I can't blame them for people not watching it.
     
  10. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    It wasn't just that the episodes were out of order, it didn't help any that Fox preempted it twice as well. It really doesn't help ratings when you just randomly don't air the show to put something else on.
    It was a fairly expensive show, I don't recall the exact numbers but Joss did give them at one point.
    As far as it becoming a hit goes, I'd disagree. It's sold very unexpected numbers, as I've seen noted by industry insiders. It's first two print runs on DVD sold out completely against all expectations. I would venture that it's poor box office was due in part to it lacking naming consistency, and in part because it hadn't yet achieved it's full potential in viewers, many discovered it long after it was released.
    To be honest, I strongly suspect a revival would shatter records. But that is, of course, just IMHO.
     
  11. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    I believe it was roughly $2 mil per episode. I also remember hearing about the enormous success of the dvd set. I don't recall how many weeks it was the #1 seller on Amazon, but I think it still holds the record.
    I hope Joss has a mega hit with the Avengers movie coming out in May. This may give him the clout he needs to possibly re-visit our Big Damn Heroes. Just a dream, but hey he's the one that said this series of everything he has created is his true love. That is why it tore him apart when it was cancelled, and why he pushed so hard for Serenity to be made.
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yes but the show's poor ratings means that the expectations couldn't have been that high. And I'm pretty sure that the biggest selling TV DVD sets (the first sets of Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Sopranos, etc.) sell around a million copies so, most likely, far more people saw Firefly in its poorly rated TV run than have seen it on DVD.
    Clearly, you're a fan and that's great but what exactly has occured that would make a second revival any more popular than Serenity which was, sadly, a box office failure? The show and movie were good but it seems like many fans let their love blind them and so they blame Fox's scheduling, promotion and impatience or changing the title of the movie (all of which didn't help matters) rather than face the obvious that the show has a limited appeal.
     
  13. MattAlbie60

    MattAlbie60 I Work for Mr. E. H. Harriman of the Union Pacific

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    To be fair, SERENITY wasn't a failure - it just was just kind of there. Now, I love it dearly, but it didn't bomb. It didn't set the world on fire, either, unfortunately. Factoring in disc sales, it made its budget and marketing back and maybe even a little profit. Sadly, "a really small amount of profit!" isn't incentive enough for studios to make movies, ha :)
     
  14. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I think it just suffered from "premise overload." There was probably too much going on for a first-season show. You'd ask friends what the show was about and they'd have to say, "it's a science-fiction western, and the leads are mercenary/pirates and sometimes they speak Chinese."
    Just too much going on for general audiences on a network that airs almost nothing but stupid reality shows. It would have done just fine on SyFy, and if Castle gets cancelled, maybe they can try again...but then they'd have to sell a show from Fox to Universal (which owns SyFy) and that ain't gonna happen...!
     
  15. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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  16. dmiller68

    dmiller68 Supporting Actor

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    I thought the cast was one of the best parts of the show! I never heard about the show until after it was canceled. After watching it I was very surprised it was canceled. Yowser-Jewel was a high light of the show!
     
  17. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    Well, Firefly sold 500,000 copies by the time of Serentity's release*, having half the sales of the biggest selling TV DVD sets is no small achievement. Having half the sales for a TV show that was cancelled in it's first season speaks volumes.
    I am a fan, I won't lie.
    What has occurred is that the sales and cult status of the show is still prevelant, 10 years later. It'll never be friends, or seinfeld, but that is not insignificant. It's very likely a revival would maintain steady solid viewership.
    So I have to disagree about the limited appeal, I would argue it has as much potential as Buffy and Angel reached. I strongly suspect it'll be alot higher, but again, that's just IMHO and I couldn't back that statement up if you called me on it, whereas I can make the case about having the potential to pull in solid numbers.
    *http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2005-09-21-serenity_x.htm
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    But what does it tell us?

    Possibly that shows like Firefly shouldn't even be broadcast. They should be direct sales or distributed in some other fashion. Because it seems that people are more interested in watching on their own schedule than dedicating a Friday night to it.
     
  19. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    But is the analogy valid? For the sake of argument, let's assume that one unit sold represents roughly one original broadcast viewer. Isn't 500,000 viewers small potatoes as far as ratings go?
     
  20. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Even the most popular watched shows don't always sell stacks of DVD/BD.. because people are OK with not paying for what they watch for free on TV. But what it tells me is that if FireFly had started on a network like Showtime or SyFy, it would have had a better chance. It was not a big budget program, and those areas may have been a better fit.
     

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