What Does ‘Veronica Mars’ Kickstarter Mean for Other Canceled TV Favorites?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 7th, 2014 at 10:21 am,

veronica mars movie What Does Veronica Mars Kickstarter Mean for Other Canceled TV Favorites?

The desire to bring Veronica Mars back as a movie was not revolutionary – that’s a common hope from fans of shows that are beloved but eventually tossed aside – however, the successful Kickstarter campaign that transformed those wishes into a reality may be.

Shocking the industry with both the size of their goal ($2 million dollars) and how fast they reached that goal, the success of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter may be an indication that crowdfunding could be useful for more than indie projects. The question is: which fan-favorite shows could be ripe for this kind of resurrection?

Naturally, there are shows that spring to mind. Firefly, Party Down, Chuck, Pushing Daisies, and Terriers all make sense as comeback opportunities – and in some cases, there have already been minor rumblings on Twitter in relation to the Mars campaign.

terriers movie What Does Veronica Mars Kickstarter Mean for Other Canceled TV Favorites?

Said Shawn Ryan, the co-creator of Terriers:”Very interested to see how this Veronica Mars Kickstarter goes. Could be a model for a Terriers wrap up film.” 

Bryan Fuller – the man who brought us Pushing Daisies – didn’t go as far as Ryan, but he did urge fans to vote for his departed show on an Entertainment Weekly online poll that asked fans to indicate which show they would support if they followed in Veronica Mars‘ Kickstarter footsteps.

One show that would seem like a slam-dunk to follow that path is Party Down. That show died after only two seasons, but rumors about the state of a follow-up film have been persistent, and the show was also the brainchild of Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. On top of that, Party Down also featured Mars‘ co-star Ryan Hansen as one of its leads. Hansen was seen in the Mars‘ Kickstarter campaign video (alongside Kristen Bell, who also appeared on Party Down), leading one to assume that he would be interested in a similar campaign. That’s another part of this equation: a willing cast.

party down cast What Does Veronica Mars Kickstarter Mean for Other Canceled TV Favorites?

The cast of ‘Party Down’

Zachary Levi, the star of Chuck, seemed willing last February when he told TV Line:

“I really want to do it [the Chuck movie] like, kinda Kickstarter style,” said Levi, adding “I want it to be something that the fans can all pitch in for… because we’ve always been supported and survived on our fans anyway.”

Unsurprisingly, Chuck fans – who as a group once helped to keep the show on the air by binge-buying Subway sandwiches – seized on this and started a fund raising drive – though not on Kickstarter since they don’t own the show. That’s another part to this puzzle: a willing studio.

The relationship between the Veronica Mars campaign and Warner Brothers appears to be outstanding. Bringing back a long-shuttered project is not impossible, but it usually requires – among other things  – a taste for risk and a willingness to surrender control – two things that studios don’t embrace.

Yes, a Veronica Mars film seems – in this moment – like a license to print money, but if it’s terrible, it could hurt the brand and salt the earth. With Thomas and the cast back in the fold and no need for a huge budget, the risk of a truly onerous continuation seems minimal, but other projects might not be a so lucky.

firefly movie cast What Does Veronica Mars Kickstarter Mean for Other Canceled TV Favorites?

‘Firefly’ Movie Cast

Firefly is a prime example. Firefly fans got their big miracle in the form of Serenity, a cult-favorite film that performed modestly at the box office. That performance caused Fox to clam up when the conversation turned to future installments, but that might not always be the case.

Serenity cost $39 million to make; not a massive amount of money for a sci-fi epic, but a figure that might prove too large for crowdfunding – and a failed Kickstarter campaign would make a very loud and embarrassing thud. Another thing that would make a very loud and embarrassing thud? A low-budget Serenity that had to sacrifice quality for frugality.

The idea of Serenity 2 assumes, of course, that Joss Whedon could actually fit another Serenity film into his schedule. The same goes for many members of the cast like Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, Gina Torres, and Alan Tudyk (and wouldn’t he have to be back in some capacity?), who are all working steadily in TV.

Serenity Movie Wallpaper 570x320 What Does Veronica Mars Kickstarter Mean for Other Canceled TV Favorites?

For those actors, their hiatus is sacrosanct, allowing them to take on a limited number of other projects. Would they turn down real money and other opportunities to make another Serenity? Would Whedon, considering what he would likely be turning down if he stepped away from Marvel after Avengers 2?

Granted, Fillion and Whedon made Doctor Horrible on the cheap during the writer’s strike, and the upcoming Much Ado About Nothing was also economical – Whedon has that kind of effect on people – but a Serenity sequel isn’t something that could be filmed in Whedon’s backyard over the course of two weeks.

Sadly, it’s one thing to talk about a project and another thing to actually find a way to make it real and actually do it. That’s what makes the success of Veronica Mars so astonishing – it’s a perfect storm, and though the conditions for another one certainly exist, we probably shouldn’t expect to see every dream project come to life.

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We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Veronica Mars movie  – as well as future crowdfunded TV resurrections.

Sources: Kickstarter, Entertainment WeeklyTV Line, TV by the Numbers, Box Office Mojo

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. Hopefully that means Dawn of the Dead (2004) might get that sequel in Las Vegas, or that we can get that Dredd trilogy. Although probably not :o(

  2. I thik its great that fan contribute to get their favorite shows back online or get a movie going. I would love to see ROSWELL come back to tv or at least a Feature movie like Firefly did with Serenity. Id love to see where Max and Liz are now

  3. One Tree Hill or Everwood.

    • One Tree Hill, LMAO, funniest thing I have heard in ages!!

  4. Probably not a lot of supporters on this, but I’d really like to see the recent Knight Rider show at least get a proper wrap up after only 1 season on the air. I actually liked the show, even though it took me a little while to warm up to Mustang KITT.

    I loved the original Knight Rider as a kid, but rewatching a few episodes recently made me realize how campy it actually was and I couldn’t continue. The new version actually seemed like a more modern take on it and I was sad to see it go.

    • I agree with you on the Knight Rider – the new show was actually kind of good – but was not too fond of Kitt being a mustang. Now the new Dodge Challenger would be a nice KITT.

  5. Hmmm now that I think of it The Bionic Woman only lasted one season because of the writer strike a few years back – that was a great show while it lasted. Even a new Witchblade would be nice too since it was cancelled due to the main actor being an an alcoholic.

  6. heroes, terra nova

    • I’m with Draagyn…and I’ll add Jericho and Chuck

      • even though Chuck had a decent enough ending. I’d like to see a TV movie revisit the adventures of Chuck every so often…like the Gambler or Jesse Stone series. That would be fun.

  7. I really don’t have a TV show in mind but I’d like to see a MacGruber sequel.
    I read a while back that they could get it done for about 4 million. So IMO if Veronica Mars can raise 2 million in less than 12 hours we can get the money raised for MacGruber 2.

    • I read a while back that they were planning a sequel, so it’s already in the works.

  8. gilmore girls

  9. Heroes and The Sarah Connor Chronicles… :(

    • Most definitely the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    • YESSS! The Sarah Connor Chronicles! I also think if they should do a Heroes movie. My bet is it would be a surprisingly big hit.

    • YES YES the Sarah Connor Chronicles – two seasons were not enough

  10. Give DS9/Voyaer a movie and/or let Enterprise have a big send off episode, maybe centering around the Founding of the Federation or Romulan War.

    • I feel that DS9 and Voyager had good endings. but yeah with enterprise, maybe a mini series? i wouldnt mind that or a movie.

  11. Firefly is dead unless fox can be convinced that another film will make money .

    • I think now it could. with the popularity of Sci-Fi now and now a LOT more people know who Joss Whedon is. Im sure it could make a lot more than the first. Also some of the cast are more well known now so fans of them might go see the film without being a fan of the show.

  12. Clone high season 2!

  13. Stargate Atlantis without a doubt!

  14. I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t mention our extended conversation about this, Jason. I gave you a golden opportunity to shame me publicly. 😉

    As far as what else should get the KS treatment, it’s too easy to go the slightly-wiseass route, so I’ll say ‘The Critic’. Who WOULDN’T want a ‘Critic’ movie???

  15. Even though it would basically be impossible. Freaks and Geeks reunion

  16. It will never happen, but I wish they would do a movie follow up for Smallville.

  17. Farscape

    • YES! Definitely Farscape, the comics are so hard to find these days!

  18. Tru calling if you can get zach from the hangover to reprise his role as the corner which I read somewhere he hated the role to death.

  19. I would pay lots of money for something related to Wheel of Time or a Redwall reboot.

  20. Journeyman. Life. Brisco County, Jr. …to name a few (likely less popular) hopefuls.

    • Journeyman was awesome.

  21. Quantum Leap!!!

  22. Tru Calling
    Stargate SG-1
    Stargate Atlantis
    Stargate Universe
    The Sarah Connor Chronicles
    Terra Nova (want to know about these ships …)
    Too many shows ended on a cliffhanger.

  23. Buffy!!! (or Jericho)


  25. This may not fit with the other shows mentioned above and in the comments (Firefly :/), but I would like Young Justice to continue.

    Granted the last episode has not premiered yet -this coming Saturday- but it just seems that the series was building up to another season and expanding the story greatly. The series is Emmy-winning series with beautiful animation style and a tone and maturity not found in most animated shows nowadays. I do not watch cartoons but this series (along with Legend of Korra) appealed to older audiences with a subtle complex story while not alienating or insulting young viewers. The second season had an expansion of characters but there was less episodes ordered, so most characters feel rather cheated of true development they deserved along with the plot.

    The writers and producers of the show have expressed strong interest in continuing the story in some form- what better way then a theatrical film? If the series looks and is this good, imagine a little bit more time to produce the film and the expanded time to tell the story. DC does amazing animated film and the series has the best talent in the moment. Plus with the show targeting older viewers who normally would not catch the show Saturday morning, a theatrical release will cater to a larger audience and recognition that it deserves.

  26. Where were you a couple years ago when Nathan jokingly mentioned to fans on twitter that he’d bring firefly back if he had the money, and ended up having fans donate millions of dollars to a lost cause? the big thing you seem to be missing regarding Firefly is Fox…Whedon has said time and time again that he’d drop everything to go back to Firefly if it was a possibility…so would all of the actors, despite their schedules…but that has NOTHING to do with it…the reason Veronica Mars is working is because WB is letting them try this…but Fox won’t budge, ever…it sucks, but it’s the truth…welcome to the business side of Hollywood

    • I’m pretty sure Whedon has said the cast (and himself) are way too busy at this point. (His most recent statement on this was actually ‘Maybe a few years down the line, after I’m done with Marvel and Fillion’s done with Castle…’)

      As for Fox not budging – I’m not clear on what rights they own, but it’s worth noting that Warner Bros. “wasn’t budging” on Veronica Mars for six years. And now they’ve budged. So just because they didn’t budge in the past, doesn’t mean they won’t do so in the future, particularly as a result of this Kickstarter success.

  27. Studio 60. It is the best show ever that was ever cancelled. EVER.

    • By far the best show ever to only get one season. They deserved so much more

  28. Studio 60

  29. Jericho!!! then heroes and chuck