- Fan campaigns have the power to revive canceled shows, as seen with the #SaveWarriorNun campaign which successfully brought the show back.
- Past examples, such as Star Trek and Friday Night Lights, show that dedicated fan efforts can save beloved shows from premature cancelation.
- Fan campaigns can also influence the release of movies, as seen with the release of Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League, proving that fans can impact creative decisions.
Fan campaigns revived Warrior Nun following its controversial cancelation, which seems to set up a major change in the online streaming space. Based on a comic book character, Warrior Nun Areala, Netflix’s fantasy series Warrior Nun premiered on July 2, 2020. Although the show’s first season primarily received positive reviews from critics, the streamer renewed it for a second season, which came out in November 2022. Unfortunately, despite having a decent two-season run, the show met the same fate as many others: Netflix suddenly canceled it, leaving many of its storylines hanging.
Following its cancelation, Warrior Nun became a part of the endless catalog of shows like The O.A. and I Am Not Okay With This, which met a premature closure. However, unlike most other shows that never reached their natural conclusion, Warrior Nun got a second chance. Fan campaigns demanding the show’s return have successfully flipped its fate, propelling it out of the dark abyss of cancelations and turning it into an example of audience-driven triumph. By defying the conventional cancelation narrative imposed by streaming giants, Warrior Nun is triggering a major change in the inner workings of streaming platforms — here’s how.
Warrior Nun’s Revival Is The Latest Example Of How Fan Campaigns Can Work
Netflix canceled Warrior Nun in December 2022, confirming that it will not be renewed for season 3. Following the cancelation, the show’s loyal audiences started a social media campaign with the hashtag #SaveWarriorNun, calling attention to how Netflix was making a mistake by canceling the series. A campaign that started online soon started spreading offline when billboards to save the series started sprouting all over the world. As the roots of the #SaveWarriorNun campaign grew from strength to strength, the odds of its renewal got better.
Finally, in June 2023, Simon Barry confirmed that the voice of the fans saved Warrior Nun from getting canceled, proving the effectiveness of the fan campaign. While the details surrounding the upcoming installments of the show are still under the covers, reports suggest that Warrior Nun will expand its universe with a movie trilogy. Regardless of how Warrior Nun returns, its revival shows that although all fan campaigns may not lead to expected outcomes, a show’s dedicated fanbase can play a crucial role in determining its long-term fate if they manage to catch the attention of networks, studios, and streaming platforms with effective campaigns.
How Fan Campaigns Brought Back Beloved Shows In The Past
Star Trek easily ranks among the most popular media franchises, but it was nearly wiped out of existence when it first premiered with Star Trek: The Original series. As reports suggest, the show was not an instant hit following its release, and NBC had planned to cancel it after two seasons. If NBC had finalized this decision, the Star Trek franchise would likely not have existed at all. Fortunately, two sci-fi fans, Bjo and John Trimble, took it upon themselves to save the series by encouraging other Star Trek fans to write letters to NBC. Their strategy worked and was a part of the reason why Paramount Studios later stepped up to produce a Stark Trek film.
NBC’s Friday Nights Lights ran for five seasons but, like Warrior Nun, was up for cancelation long before it reached its natural conclusion. From Facebook groups to e-mail campaigns, the show’s fans did it all to stop NBC from pulling the plug on the show. As a symbol of their support, Friday Night Lights‘ fans also sent light bulbs and eyedrops to NBC. While the light bulbs alluded to the show’s title, the eye drops represented Friday Night Lights‘ central football team‘s motto from the show: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” Fans’ consistent efforts to keep the showing going eventually paid off well, and Friday Night Lights stuck around long enough to be recognized as one of the best sports TV dramas.
Other television shows like Quantum Leap, Designing Women, Firefly, and Jericho have also stayed afloat because of intense fan campaigns. Popular shows like Futurama and Family Guy also returned after cancelations when fans increased their DVD sales to a degree where their respective networks could not help but revive them. Kids’ animated show Kim Possible also returned from the dead after fans devoted webpages and wrote letters to Disney to bring it back.
How The Synder Cut Proved Fan Campaigns Can Also Work For Movies
The fan campaign demanding the release of Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League led to similar outcomes. Not only was #ReleasetheSnyderCut a trending topic in several countries in November 2019, but the director’s fans also rented a billboard in Times Square and towed a #ReleasetheSnyderCut banner over the Warner Bros lot to demand the movie. The fan campaign surrounding Zack Snyder’s Justice League was unique because the final theatrical cut of the movie had already premiered in theaters in 2017. However, knowing that Joss Whedon had replaced Zack Snyder midway through the film’s production made fans curious about Snyder’s original vision of the film.
The fact that the Snyder cut campaign led to the rerelease of a new version of a previously released movie proved that fans had the power to influence the creative decisions surrounding movies as well. Like Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Paranormal Activity also rose to fame following a fan campaign. Due to the limitations on their funding, the found footage movie’s creators started a website where fans could vote for the film to be screened at their local cinema. By giving fans the power of distribution, Paranormal Activity‘s creators proved that community campaigning and engagement can not only revive shows and movies but also elevate an indie project to mainstream success.
What Warrior Nun & Other Similar Revivals Mean For The Future
Warrior Nun and other similar revivals are now paving the way for more intense and passionate efforts from audiences to run campaigns for their beloved prematurely canceled shows. Not every campaign will lead to successful revivals, given how several factors like production costs, licensing rights, and creative differences can lead to a show’s early cancelation. However, the return of a few shows and movies after cancelations is enough to motivate fans and make them believe that they have the ability to flip the decisions made by powerful studios, networks, and streaming giants. In the long-run, successful fan campaign renewals like Warrior Nun may also force streaming platforms to reconsider their parameters and metrics for canceling shows and movies.