It’s a tale as old as TV: great show gets made, nobody watches the first season, the network cancels it before it can find an audience, and then the small but dedicated fan base bitches and complains for the next ten years about how it needs to be brought back, or how there should at least be a movie made out of the property so that they can get some closure. Sometimes, like with Netflix reviving Arrested Development or Firefly spawning the Serenity movie, the fans get their wish and a beloved property ends up getting a second life. But, nine times out of ten, great shows that were gone too soon are dead for good, and all of the whining, complaining, and online petitions in the world won’t do anything to bring them back.
The media landscape is changing though, and new technologies and new means of rallying people together are making it easier and easier for creators to take control of their content and not rely on big TV networks or big movie studios to get their stuff produced and distributed. Are we soon going to reach the point where a small but dedicated fan base is all that a show is going to need in order to keep going?
That’s what television producer Shawn Ryan is hoping, as he’s told TBI Vision (via Screen Crush) that he’s going to try to use Kickstarter to fund a film version of the awesome and under seen FX private eye drama Terriers. Ryan said of his idea (apologies for the weird grammar, which was part of the original text), “I’ve had friends who’ve raised money for indie movies through Kickstarter and I started to think that if you wanted to make a 2 hour movie that capped off that series, how would it cost to make it and would there be a way to raise the money via a combination of Netflix and Kickstarter?” He continued, “It’s a very nervous time in the TV industry because paradigms are changing, but it’s also exciting because in the past the show would have been dead and gone and never to be revived but is there a way to do something.”
Is this a definite plan that’s really going to happen then? Will we each be able to plunk down twenty bucks or something and then get another look at Donal Logue solving crimes and screwing up with his ex-wife? Maybe not. It seems that Ryan doesn’t quite have all of the logistics worked out yet, as he added at the end of his interview, “I don’t own the rights, Fox 21 does but maybe there’d be some upside for them if they didn’t have to chip in a dime but all of a sudden had a two hour movie as an asset that they could add to what they have on Netflix, maybe they’d go for it.”
So what do you say, Fox 21? If we chip in all of the dimes, do we have a deal? Go forth, fans of Terriers: whine, complain, and spread the word about this possible plan. If Ryan’s schemes actually end up coming to fruition, we might finally have a solid model in place for how to bring all of our future favorite TV shows that get cancelled too soon back from the dead. And it will be about time. They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t get me more episodes of M.A.N.T.I.S.…