Save Our Shows! 10 Times Fans Stopped Their Favorites From Being Canceled

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Manifest, Sanditon, Ray Donovan TV Shows saved by fans
Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers; PBS Masterpiece; Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME
Star Trek - Leonard Nimoy as Spock
Getty Images / Handout

Star Trek

The series thwwat pledged “to boldly go where no man has gone before” also made TV history as one of the first series to be saved by its fans. After NBC announced plans to cancel the series in 1968 after two seasons, a massive letter-writing campaign and demonstrations outside of the NBC corporate offices convinced studio execs to grant the sci-fi series a third and final season.


Cagney & Lacey

CBS canceled the female-police drama starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly in 1983 after its second season received low ratings. But a letter-writing campaign promoted by Ms. magazine, Gloria Steinem and the National Organization for Women overwhelmed CBS brass and led to the show being renewed, airing for seven seasons and winning a total of 14 Emmy Awards.

Quantum Leap - Scott Bakula giving a thumbs up

Quantum Leap

After NBC moved Scott Bakula’s time-traveling, body-jumping series to the dreaded Friday night time slot, “Leapers,” as fans of the series were known, sent 50,000 letters to NBC offices. The move prompted then NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield to return the series to its Wednesday night time slot.

Skeet Ulrich as Jake Green in Jericho


In 2007, after the postapocalyptic drama Jericho was canceled after its first season, fans shipped over 20 tons of nuts to CBS network offices. The nutty presents were in reference to a line in the season finale cliffhanger, where Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), told to surrender his town, defiantly replies, “Nuts!” The stunt prompted CBS to renew the series for a second season and to donate the salty snacks to U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Paul Drinkwater/NBC


Instead of engaging in a letter-writing campaign, fans of the NBC spy dramedy Chuck put their money where their mouths were — literally. After ratings slumped in the series’ second season, fans showed their support by buying Subway sandwiches. Star Zachary Levi even led a “flash mob” of 600 hungry fans to one local shop, where they chowed on footlongs. The support helped convince the fast-food chain to help cover the costs of the show’s third season.

Sergei Bachlakov/NBC


In 2017, NBC’s freshman drama Timeless received so much fan support that it won USA Today’s annual “Save Our Shows” poll. NBC execs cited the poll as a factor in a surprise second-season renewal that came two days after the network had initially axed the show.

One Day At A Time
Mike Yarish/Netflix

One Day at a Time

The Netflix comedy starring Justina Machado and Rita Moreno faced cancellation after its second season, but a spring 2018 letter-writing campaign and social media blitz from the series’ producers, fans, TV critics and advocacy groups, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, prompted the streaming service to renew the comedy from producer Norman Lear for a 13-episode third season.

Sanditon - Season 1 - Charlotte Rose Williams
Courtesy of PBS Masterpiece


The iTV and PBS production took the states by storm in early 2020, creating a bigger fan base following its fall 2019 broadcast in the U.K. Prior to arriving stateside though, Sanditon had already been canceled abroad. All hope remained in PBS’s faith in the program which was supported by a strong #SaveSanditon campaign. Ultimately, the fan noise was so loud that PBS ended up renewing the program for two additional seasons taking it through to Season 3. The series is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s last unfinished publication of the same name.

Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan
Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME

Ray Donovan

The Showtime series following Liev Schreiber’s titular fixer was canceled after its seventh season in early 2020, but fans weren’t satisfied with an unresolved conclusion. Viewers took to social media to let their feelings be heard and Showtime took that into consideration, announcing that they’d bring back the show for a final movie instead of a full season with the hope that fans would receive the closure they’re looking for.

Manifest Season 3 Josh Dallas Melissa Roxburgh
Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers


It’s not every day a network show is saved from extinction, and things were looking fairly grim for the sci-fi drama after NBC cut the cord. But Manifest‘s success on Netflix made for a compelling argument that the streamer should pick it up. After some uncertainty, the platform finally revealed the series starring Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh, and more would return for a fourth and final extended season. The show saving is due in part to Manifest‘s devoted fans who campaigned relentlessly until Netflix announced the news.

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There’s a reason that broadcast and cable networks provide mailing and email addresses for fans. First off, it’s so readers can contact them directly and provide feedback on shows they love and shows they hate.

But these addresses are also provided to help facilitate an annual rite of spring — the fan-led letter-writing campaigns in support of shows on the cancellation bubble.

If a show teeters on the verge of ending, the passionate pleas of a program’s most loyal supporters can sometimes tip the hand in the series’ favor. Click through the gallery above for some examples of times when fan support helped save a series like Manifest, Timeless, Ray Donovan, Sanditon, and more!