Firefly's Potential Return (Plus 4 Other Shows That Came Back from the Dead)

Posted on by Billy D (lockheed40)
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Since the days of Star Trek (now referred to as TOS, or The Original Series), there has been a need for fans to stand up and say, "Hey, I actually like that show." Sometimes the campaign works and the show continues, and other times the show just fades away. Often the fans themselves won't let go even after the show has been off the air for several years and the actors have moved on to other projects. Would Nathan Fillion actually leave Castle to go back to playing Mal? Well, in a recent interview he hints that he might just do that if the opportunity arose.

In the interview, Fillion mentioned that if he won $300 million in the California lottery, he would buy the rights to Firefly and put it online for the fans. He and most of the rest of the cast have expressed their love of the roles and that they would love to go back to those parts if an opportunity ever arose. The Browncoats (aka Firefly fans) have heard this and started a movement to raise money to buy those rights.

I'm sure that right now you're thinking that it sounds all good and fine, but how much chance is there that anything will actually come from this campaign? I don't think you understand just how obsessed Firefly fans can be. When things looked bad for the show, the Browncoats started an unsuccessful letter campaign. When the show was canceled, they helped to raise funds for the not-so-successful movie Serenity. There's even a fan-produced feature film involving over 100 fans of the show. They didn't get paid for it, but they came from all over the USA to make it happen and all the proceeds are going to charities.

Is there hope for this little project? Will Firefly come back to the airwaves? Well, there are lots of factors. Both Castle and The Cape would have to go off the air to free up what I would consider the two most important characters. (No worries on The Cape though; I'm sure that will be off the air by the time I'm done typing this.) While we're holding our breath for the hopeful return of Firefly, let's look at some shows that were either saved by fans or brought back from the TV graveyard.

1. Star Trek

We already talked about Star Trek being the original Comeback Kid. The original run of Star Trek was the first time that a write-in campaign caused a television studio to change their minds about canceling a show. The change of heart didn't last long, because NBC moved the show to a terrible time slot and did everything they could to keep viewers from watching it. Fans still came out ahead since Star Trek went on to make six feature films (half of them good).

2. Futurama

Futurama is that cousin the Simpson family doesn't like to talk about. It was a great show, but look at what it had to live up to. The Simpsons is the longest running animated show ever, and Futurama just couldn't live up to all those expectations. The show was canceled but reruns aired on Comedy Central, and eventually, after several crazy movies, the show came back on the air.

3. Chuck

I'm not really an expert on Chuck. In fact, I've never seen the show before, but I've heard all about the troubles that have faced this show. The first season was great, but the second left most fans wanting more. The people that loved the first season worked hard to convince NBC to keep the show alive. This even included many people that donated money to the American Heart Association in NBC's name with the message, "Have a Heart, Renew Chuck."

4. Family Guy

Family Guy was the first show to be canceled and come back after its cancellation. It led on the same path that Futurama used a few years later: canceled, picked up in syndication, and brought back to life after the network realized their mistake in taking the show off the air. Family Guy has continued to be popular and has even had a few (crappy) spin offs.

Which firefly would you rather have?

19978 views & 136 votes

Debate It! 46

I stumbled onto Serenity before knowing about Firefly and thought it was really good so I was upset to find the show was done. I wish so many other shows could be brought back from the dead (The Black Donnely's, Deadwood, John from Cincinnati, Studio 60 on the sunset strip) Writing this I'm starting to think I might watch too much TV.

Posted By ev.morris28,

I'm in the same boat on both points. (I was extremely confused when Mr. Universe wasn't anywhere in the show.)

Posted By lockheed40,

I too saw Serenity first. Then a friend told me that it was based off of the show Firefly. A few days later I was watching Big Bang and Sheldon was talking about how great it was. I am a big scifi geek and decided that I had to see the show. It is in the top of my top 5 of my favorite scifi shows, only being beat out by DW for sentimental reasons. Even Star Trek takes a back seat. This is a great show. Everything about it is awesome.

Posted By rylyn33,

Loved Nathan Fillion on Buffy, and he's currently the best thing about Castle. I'd probably check out Firefly if it returned.

Posted By Kirby,

Serenity was quiet good and i also watched Firefly but it was a shame it was cancelled

Posted By stech01,

What cast member of Thr Cape was a Browncoat?

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

@Kirby I hated Nathan Fillion's character on Buffy. I also hated Gina Torres on Angel. They were the token "super bad characters who were impossible to beat until the show got tired of them, at which point they were dispatched ridiculously easily."

Posted By Rebecca,

i usually think money can be better spent by trying to cure cancer, etc., but this is an exception. i pretty much watch castle just for the firefly references.

Posted By Nate,

Brash, the girl that plays River Tam on Firefly is also the secretive computer girl on the Cape.

Posted By lockheed40,

Interesting little read. I thought Serenity was rather enjoyable, though I haven't seen Firefly yet. I'd be all for Firefly coming back, but not if it's going to disrupt Castle, since that's one of the roughly 5 non-reality shows I watch any more. As for Chuck, I love that show, and I'm glad they decided to stick it out. I can't really speak for season 2, since I pretty much forget about a season once the next one rolls around, but since season 2 occurred during the writers' strike, it's understandable that it might not have been the best.

And, I completely agree with the sentiment about bringing back Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. That was hands down one of the best shows to air in the last 10 years. But, it seems like the smart shows tend not to fare very well any more, especially when they don't use a laugh track to cue people as to where the jokes are.

Posted By RustySabre,

@RustySabre Studio 60 was way too smug for its own good. It was like Aaron Sorkin took all the praise he got for writing "walking while talking" dialog and cranked it up to 11.

Posted By Rebecca,

@Rebecca - Agreed that Nathan Fillion's Buffy character had his flaws. Since he seems so likable in most everything else, I enjoyed his creepy bad guy schtick on Buffy. Sure it's a little campy and unbelievable at time, but I like him all the same.

Posted By Kirby,

Just want to say, if they do, and I surely hope they do, bring back the firefly series, cut out the whore. It makes NO sense that a WHORE is the most respectable character on the ship and I, as well as everyone I have ever talked to that loved this show, think the whore is what killed the show. Far too much focus on her when no one gave a damn about her at all.

Posted By Case,

there are a few secrets that they never filled us in in the movie serenity... like shephards connection to the alliance. I for one would love this tv show to come back.

Posted By firemanmatt33,

I live in NZ - we never even got Firefly - I discovered it years later via DVD's. What an amazing show - I was genuinely 'gob-smacked' to discover it was aired out of order, moved for sport, given different timeslots, and ultimately, killed in it's prime. While the movie Serenity didn't do too well, I think the movie distributors should be blamed. Serenity is absolutely my kinda movie, and I'd never even heard of it - so again, discovered years later via DVD.

I would LOVE for there to be more episodes added to the Firefly 'verse - If it DOES come back, can we have Zoe pregnant (re: Heart of Gold episode, mentioned briefly in the series) with Wash's son Rex?

Like FiremanMatt, I would like to know Book's history, and find out why Inara left the training house.

Posted By Derri,

Still remember that day at the movies watchin the trailers. And the theater went CRAZY when the SERENITY preview was shown. All those Brown coats .... I LOVED IT.

Posted By edbernz,

@Derri-Book's history is explained in the comic books, which are pretty cool too.

Posted By Nate,

in a world where 2 1/2 Men is so popular, shows like firefly are pretty doomed.

Posted By Nate,

I would be really happy if firefly got brough back. I was a huge fan of th show and the movie ( I have the serise and the movie) Another good show that should be brought back in my mind would be Pretender. It was a really good watch.

Posted By MidnightTheDemon,

Pretender won't be able to come back because Michael Weiss has really let himself go. (Not physically, but his voice is messed up and he looks like he's spent way too much time doing stupid things.) Too many simulations I guess.

Posted By lockheed40,

@Brash Summer Glau who was River on Firefly is Orwell on The Cape. We would also have to lose Adam Baldwin, who is Casey from Chuck.

Posted By mwbyrne,

Like many here I got to know about Firefly by watching Serenity first, too. It is, from my perspective, the best sci-fi show I've ever watched, and I am saying this as a science and science fiction fanatic. Hands down, Firefly was the best sci-fi I'de ever be privileged to see; best writing, best acting, best directing, best score, best costumes, best cinematography--all of it the best. I was quite upset to learn of its all too early cancellation. It's as if someone called out to Da Vince and told him to stop the Sistine Chapel only a 10th of the way through. Firefly is a work of cinematic art, built by masters of the craft. If it were to grace the world with its continued existence, I would be a Firefly evangelist, in addition to being a great admirer.

Posted By Kylenki,

I'm gnashing at the bit to get Firefly back, but it would cause an even longer wait for the sequel to Dr. Horrible, which Whedon said he would do (as I'm sure Fillion, if he managed to buy the rights to Firefly, would want to keep Joss Whedon in the director's seat), because Whedon and Fillion would be working on Firefly... Altough Fillion's character in Dr. Horrible made a pretty sound exit at the end of it... Aaaaaaaand, bringing Firefly back would indeed disrupt The Cape, which is currently my favorite RUNNING show because of Summer Glau's acting.

On top of all of this, as long as Serenity is considered Canon, we lose a lot of loveable characters anyway, so... Y'know...

Posted By SkyeReign,

I WANT Firefly to come back, I just discovered it about a year ago, after it was mentioned to me by a good friend and after watching and learned that it is gone. I was crushed!!! I HOPE that it comes back and I can't wait to see what happens. And I agree that Whedon should continue to be the director he was doing a fantastic job!!

Posted By THE_Madhatter,

Sorry Derri (from above) Firefly did actually air on NZ television, it's just that it was on really late at night so it never got a fair viewing!

Needless to say "Bring Back Firefly" But I miss Jayne as much as I miss Mal and the show wouldn't work without them. Really Casey is just Jayne without the spaceship ...

Posted By mariew,

Inara was much more than a "whore." She more like a combination of a high-priced call girl and a Giesha. Inara was highly educated, displaying diplomatic abilities well beyond that of a politician. As christianity falls from favor, so do puritanical attitudes. If "companians" such as Inara truely existed, how many succeeding lovers would be grateful for the teachings their lovers received at the hands of such an expert . . .

Posted By planetjillian,

Saw a little of the opening of Serenity when i was 11 or something and it scared me.
my parents got the Firefly dvds couple of years ago, watched those. Got angry at fox. Watched the movie.
Was sad that was no more Firefly aside from the odd comic.
I wish that was still going.
I'm the creator of the 10th anniversary of the cancellation of firefly facebook event (or something like that)

Posted By Bleakverse,

I'd love firefly to come back on tv or star trek

Posted By Mikecammi,

I want it to come back - believe me I do, but they can't now.


They can not bring it back thanks to the two deaths in the movie. Yeah, killing Walsh was a bad move; you can't kill the comic relief just because the movie demanded we lose at least two of our heroes and he 'happened' to be the most expendable (think about it and you'll see why). The biggest one is the Shepard, they killed him before you can find out about his past. And to all those who say they can still have them follow that path, but really? Now that we know River is a martial-artist and can kick any ass anywhere thanks to the scientists, that just used up a good chunk of the mystery Firefly had to reveal.

I would watch it if it cam back, and I'll hope for a revival, but it will take a lot to revive the mystery and story line appeal to our space cowboys...

Posted By coyne89,

Yeah It would have to almost start over again in order to come back. I've even contemplated loads of ways to do that!
Shepard's background story would have surely been another series worth. Wash being the jester. River... well, when doesn't Joss have a kick ass girl in his shows...? all this being done/lost in Serenity really does make another series seem bleek.
There's a comic book filler for the time between Firefly and Serenity. If they can do this then I think they should try incorporate it somehow into another series. But they'd probably need new characters etc just as interesting as the original, without replacing them. If that makes sense...?
I first saw the movie knowing that it was from a canceled tv show, loved the movie, then watched the tv series and loved it even more! I really *need* more! I know it's just a tv series and can't change the world but it has something that other tv show's lack. And I love all the Alien and Starship Troopers esque props etc...
I am a *Browncoat* ^_^
Does anybody know the words to the Fruity Oaty Bar ad?

Posted By LoliDoll,

Nathan Fillion, Morena Bacarin, Summer Glau and Adam Baldwin have all been on succussful shows after Firefly and Jewel Staite to an extent could they not combine there monatory resources withe money Joss Whedon's gonna make off of The Avengers and bring Back "Firefly" I definately think they could if they wanted to just don't do it on Fox because Fox Likes to kill Sci-fi. I think they are trying to kill "Fringe" the way they killed Dollhouse. I Blame Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hanity , those fembots must hate progressive sci-fi like firefly and dollhouse.

Posted By bluesun,

You know, I watch Cape, Chuck, and Castle just BECAUSE of Firefly, which I discovered like everyone else here--happy accident. I own the series and movie, and am in LOVE with the idea of more, but as an earlier poster stated, smart shows dont last and those shows, with their Firefly references, enjoyable storylines, (for those who havent seen Chuck, highly recommend--especially if you loved Jayne), and their smart dialogue need to stay to counter the mindless, "reality" shows that pollute the airwaves. I applauded when the Science Channel aired Firefly. Also gotta say that after Firefly, DH and Tru Calling were murdered by Fox, I boycotted them for a while, and once Fringe hits cable re-runs..(where I can currently catch all the House I can stand), I can easily say I wont be tuning in anymore....sad, isnt it? As for where Firefly would take up, I can say that there was alot of time between the last episode and the movie, and LOTS of story there to be told.

Posted By Persaunna,

As for calling Inara a whore--that is truly the saddest thing Ive heard relating to Firefly ever. There are no words for the disappointment I have for that, and for anyone who holds to that.

Posted By Persaunna,

I love Fillion in Castle, which seems to be doing brilliantly, and I hate to admiit, when he takes the opportunity to reference FireFly I get giddy all over again.. however, if there was ever a shining chance that FireFly could come back to the verse, I'd be there in a microsecond! It's got to have the same cast though, nothing short of that would be really acceptable. Wonder how they would deal with Wash and Shepard Book being all corpsefied though... FOX made a HUGE mistake cancelling this series, but the fan base has never stopped hoping, and that's something! Shiny!

Posted By Scythia,

Can't see it happening, though I would be all over it if they did bring it back. I first stumbled on to "Serenity" some years back while channel surfing. I only caught the last bit of the movie but always remembered how great Summer Glau was when she kicked butt. I have become a fan of hers and was pretty disappointed when "The Sarah Conner Chronicles" was cancelled. Her character on "Doll House" wasn't all that engaging and now she is back in "The Cape". I can't see Nathan Fillion leaving "Castle" nor can I see "V" letting the Anna character leave (although Lisa could assassinate her thus freeing up Morena Bacarin) . Cancelling "Firefly" was definitely a huge mistake but it's too late now and the key actors have moved on. Sad...

Posted By Kooley,

I fell in love with Firefly after seeing Serenity also. I bought the Firefly season on DVD and to this very day it is more of my most cherished TV series. YES. I would LOVE for Firefly to come back and make with more adventures! I don't and never will understand how shows like Firefly get canned, and how not enough people can enjoy them. Bring back variety to our televisions, because as much as I love CSI and NCIS, there's just too many damned crime shows clogging up the events menu! Bring back Firefly and maybe even Stargate Universe.

Posted By Raekat,

In an interview shortly after this craze began, Fillion made it clear that to a point he was joking. He's too busy with Castle right now, and wouldn't leave it for Firefly. Also, Whedon doesn't know what he would do with the show without the two characters who left it in Serenity.

Posted By catchingfirefly,

I would ABSOLUTELY love to see Firefly make a come-back!! Even though I like Castle, Firefly is just such a fantastic show!

Posted By ChristinaWelch87,

Firefly was wonderful! Serenity the movie was amazing and the comic book wasn't that bad either! I would love to see Firefly come back! But I would miss Nathan Fillion in Castle, but to see him in Firefly again would be worth the sacrifice!

Posted By Hoshiko132,

For Firefly to come back, they'd have to get rid of Castle, The Cape (Hello River (Summer Glau) is in the cape playing Orwell, duh), and in my opinion yes Chuck would have to cancel as well for Adam Baldwin. And V would have to cancel as well for Morena Baccarin.

That seems like a lot of cancellations for one show. I'd love to see more episodes of Firefly or at least another movie. Though I think they would have to have one of those, shows which runs on the opposite seasons as the primetime channels. It might cut costs and I could still watch all those shows mentioned above that I love along with Firefly.

Yes, even with the author's little side note about cancelling "The Cape", I love it as well and do not want to see it cancelled.

Posted By Missygail,

I think they should cancel all the other shows, and bring Firefly back! They should treat it like the movie Serenity never happened and start off where the series left off.

Posted By RiosDesire,

I would looooove to see Firefly back more than anything, but I think the movie Serenity ruined it by killing Wash and Shepherd Book. I just wouldn't be the same without them :/

Posted By Susanaram,

Psh... I don't even see why this needs to be debated... if I had the power to bring anyone or anything back from the dead... it would be Firefly, in a heartbeat... Joss Whedon has made some of my favorite shows evar...

Posted By,


Just found this post. I was introduced to Firefly by being a FarScape fan. I was cruising the sites for THAT show and botched my budding friendships because I'm socially retarded, but in the meantime was asked why I liked FarScape. When I told the mod why I was hanging around she pointed me in the direction of Firefly. Then Serenity happened and I thought Firefly had a chance. Years later, it seems unlikely. We have to understand that Serenity sort of summed up three potential seasons of Firefly. The mystique of why River Tam was in The Institute and what Blue Sun was doing with the "students" was to create a squad of super people in order to solve their Reaver problem. The Reavers were accidentally created by Blue Sun/Alliance military-industrial complex while trying to bring about a world without aggression. Book dies in a proper plot line and Wash dies a senseless death. Not sure where the series would go from there. Any ideas on this??

Posted By Browncoat Scaper,

I'm a Spaaaaaaace Cowboy... betcha' weren't ready for that! *laughing... sighs* Firefly, great memories... thanks Josh

Posted By Browncoat Scaper,

I've seen both the Firefly series and Serenity movie several times. I honestly can't get enough of it. I'm not some sci fi geek as some have said, but I do know a really great show when I see one. Just as I thought Farscape was cancelled to early in the making same as Stargate Atlantis and Universe, Firefly had the same done to it. It is a damn shame when something good starts up that its cancelled before the ending was ever conceived.

For Firefly, Wash doesn't necessarily have to die, it could have turned out to wound so great the other characters didn't know and that the Alliance boarded the ship and got him out barely alive and that that left the rest of the crew with him thinking that the Reapers had got to him. It showed Wash buried, but it never showed a body...and with Book, the Doc went to him and that was the end of it. It could easily be made to believe that the Doc was able to get him breathing again and steady, but because of his wounds thought it better to leave him there instead of bringing a dieing man on what they all thought of as a suicide mission in the Serenity movie. Even knowing now what they had done to River at the academy, it never did go to say that the reason behind it was to make some super warrior to fight the Reapers...I'm sure there is more of a backstory that could be brought to the light same as with Book. Still no one knows his ties to the Alliance and even with Jayne, who wasn't one of my favorite character, still has backstory.

I don't know nor do I pretend to know about how stuff is done with the other shows currently running with the characters, but it would be a shame to disappoint so many fans who not only love the show, but love the characters all in that show. Other shows may have to be cancelled or things set to run in alternate seasons, but I believe it is possible to bring back the two who were killed and continue with such a good series that so many loved.

And for those who only thought of Inara as a "whore" need to seriously rethink that. She was and will always be the Ambassador to the Firefly ship. She helped them get in some places they could never have gone because of who she was and what she did, not to mention at the end of Serenity, it seemed to me to hint that she was going to stop being a companion so she could be with the Capt.


Posted By jddoss,

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