Published on July 15th, 2016 | by The Editor


Netflix and Resurrection

Netflix is resurrecting television shows from cancellation hell, sometimes to mixed results. Either way, they have driven a trend with networks bringing back nostalgia programming.

Netflix is known for resurrecting television shows from cancellation hell.

One of my favourite shows of all time was Futurama, the tale of a bunch of loveable dummies working at a space courier in the 31st century.

It had a rocky release schedule over the years, eventually being cancelled by Fox. They made some straight-to-DVD movies, but popularity in syndication led to the show being picked up again by Comedy Central. However, at the end of season seven, the show was once again axed. Showrunner David X. Cohen has called the last episode the series finale, but creator (and Simpson’s creator) Matt Groening has expressed hope that our space heroes might find another home someday. Groening is actually making a new show for Netflix already, so he’s got some pull there.

Could that home be Netflix?

While spinoffs like Futurama are how things work in the TV world, and reboots and sequels are the way of blockbuster cinema, Netflix is trading on something more interesting. They focus on original content, but that doesn’t have to mean ‘new’ properties. The streaming network has been quite successful in bringing back old programs that didn’t get a fair shake. Between shows like Arrested Development (and ones that we’re much less excited about like) Fuller House and Gilmore Girls, Netflix is known for resurrecting television shows from cancellation hell.

It’s a brilliant strategy with smart marketing behind it and users are signing up in legions to take advantage of the programming. In fact, other companies are getting into the revival game as well. Showtime is bringing back Twin Peaks, and Fox brought back one of my other favourite shows, The X-Files, earlier this year. Though, they could have done a better job putting that one together. Hopefully Twin Peaks fares better in terms of quality and storytelling.

Netflix has also had its blunders in this realm. The latest season of Arrested Development was a bomb, though it was more the fault of stars’ schedules not being able to align than bad writing. One hopes that they get a redemption season to right everything that went wrong. Netflix also lost 18 minutes of the Lost finale, which made fans irate, though they were able to restore the missing scenes to their stream.

That aside though, Netflix programming has been more hit than miss, and it’s great that they keep the fat, lazy networks on their toes, which can only mean better programming for all of us.

In the case of Futurama, I’d love to see some new episodes, though, to be fair, I feel like it did eventually get a fair shake over the years.


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