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. Can’t say I’d ever heard of Veronica Mars until just now but I worry now because after watching Firefly recently to see what the fuss was about and finding it as boring as Buffy and Angel were, I really worry about the psycho fans of Whedon who think everything he touches is gold. We already have enough crappy TV as it is without more crappy TV from years ago coming back.

    I’d rather see the 24 movie we’ve been promised.

    • Haha, you just killed you argument with that last line. ’24′ – hahaha.

    • I like how point out bad tv shows and yet you mention 24 of all shows roff get out.

  2. Deadwood could really do with a movie to wrap things up.

    • This x 1000. Best idea yet.
      Something to give Deadwood a proper ending would be fantastic.

  3. I would like to see a movie of The Good Guys, a movie to redeem The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Buffy or possibly a Watchers or Slayers spin off film, Roswell, and especially FreakyLinks.

    • I find Buffy ended a very good note, wish they’d do Angel though, had a very abrupt ending.

  4. I would really like to see a wrap to the Stargate series (all… a crossover movie was in the works until the DVD market went to crap). SGU was REALLY good toward the end, and left with a cliffhanger!

  5. Oh another series that should get a feature film treatment for sake of completeness: Samurai Jack!

    Samurai Jack and Young Justice!

  6. Heroes – but only if they get Bryan Fuller to run the show, maybe reboot it, and keep Tim Kring far away from it.

    Carnivale – I’m only like partway through the first season, but it’s developing really nicely and the idea that this big story’s gonna be cut off at the end of season 2 is pretty depressing. Although I don’t think a movie would cut it for this, it has to be a series continuation.

    • Carnivale actually has a fairly decent ending, contrary to what has been said. Though I would still love to see it extended into a nice wrap up movie as well.
      And I fully agree with your synopsis of the Heroes issue. Kring killed it.

      • I only dared read not-so-spoilery reviews for the second season, so I admit I don’t know exactly how that ends. But I heard that Knauf had a 5-6-season story planned, and that the mythology had so much left to explore and that they were only just really getting into it. It certainly doesn’t seem to me like something you can properly wrap up in just two seasons haha.

        But I’m not sure, would you think wrapping it up with another season (or two) or with a movie would be better? Much as it’s good, I have doubts as to whether a Carnivale movie would actually turn a profit at the box office…

        And Kring. What can I say. It’s a real shame.

        • Carnivale should have soldiered on for another four seasons, but lackluster HBO did want to sign Knauf up in two season increments especially given that the show performed poorly the second season even though it broke records during the first.
          (On a personal note I used to run in track meets in elementary and middle school in the tiny town of Milfay where the first episode takes place)

          And yes, I do not think a movie would probably be viable on the big screen, but just maybe on something like a good cable channel and not SyFy cause I don’t want to see a giant squid fighting for control of the caravan.

  7. 24
    Pushing Daisies
    Fringe (yes I know it’s soon)
    Tru Calling!!!!

    What would be amazing would be: The movies are greatly successful! > Netflix picks them up for new seasons.

    Hey I can dream!

  8. Heroes!

  9. I want to see “Lie to Me” come back.

    • Also bring back Enterprise, We want to see what happened during the Romulan War for crying out loud!

  10. Absolutely none of the show suggested in the article interest me. But here are some of my suggestions regardless;

    Space: Above and Beyond
    Babylon 5
    Stargate: SG1
    Stargate: Atlantis
    The IT Crowd
    Legend of the Seeker
    Harsh Realm
    Tron: Uprising
    The Event
    Twilight Zone
    Kyle XY
    V (The 2009 remake series)
    Odyssey 5

    • I’d also really like to see more IT crowd. There were 4 “seasons” of only 6 episodes each, that’s really like 1 season of most American shows. The show was hilarious and everyone I knew that had watched it agreed. The creator was set to make more episodes but that was suddenly cancelled. He said there would be a final “special”, and maybe a movie, so fingers crossed.

      • I so tried to get into the IT Crowd as it had the elements of a show I should like, but the laugh track turned me away each and every time I watched an episode so I was unable to fully invest in the series.
        Even given that I would still recommend it to watch.


  12. i Agree Odyssey 5 needed a 2nd season at least.
    The new KITT was starting to be good also.
    And bionic woman was not so bad.

  13. Yes, Studio 60, I haven’t forgiven NBC or my fellow TV viewing Americans for allowing that to die after one season. I also second the X-Files redemption. And of the list that actually seems likely, I vote Pushing Daisies. After the Studio 60 heartbreak I didn’t let myself get too attached to that one, but think how pretty it would be on the big screen…

    • I think Fuller did a decent job (if not a rushed one) wrapping Daisies up in the final 5 minutes of the final episode.
      Yet my urge to see it continue is only because it was such a fantastic show.
      His take on The Munsters in the form of Mockinbird Lane is definitely something I would like to see given a chance to have life breathed into it so to speak.
      Also Wonderfalls…that show was amazingly clever.

  14. Better of Ted was actually a well crafted show and hilarious.
    Two seasons were seemingly not enough.
    i know most of these actors have moved on as well, but this would be a great one to see back on screen.

  15. Jericho, and maybe The Event?

  16. Save the D grade sci-fi references, not a single one across the comments is being funded. For the last 48 hours everyone is getting progressively more delusional about remakes via kickstarter.

    • The idea behind this was not to name already started and ongoing funded projects by Kickstarter, Paypal or Wish They Would Finish That S**T, but more to give shout outs to what should be or could be.
      Not all are great, but many are definitely worthy…”D” grade or not.

  17. How about giving a proper ending the jake 2.0 and dark angel?

    • Jake 2.0 was one of those shows that slipped under my radar that I have never watched nor known anybody (of my friends and etc…) that did.
      How was it and so forth?

  18. The guys at RiffTrax recently started a Kickstarter campaign, with a goal to raise $55,000. They passed that before the first day ended, and are now at almost $226,000. That makes me wonder what would happen if the cast all pulled together and attempted to resurrect “Mystery Science Theater 3000″. I guess you can’t really consider it a show that was cut too short, but it’s certainly one that fans would like to see continue, and probably wasn’t expensive to produce. In a simar vein, it would be great to have Joe Bob Briggs back on the air.

  19. Heroes!!! Just a two hour movie to wrap it up. It never ended properly. I would finally be able to buy the blu-rays if they made a movie.

  20. Angel and Buffy movie!

  21. My Own Worst Enemy

  22. Heroes would be nice.

    I guess I’ll be the only one to mention “Mercy”.

  23. Flash Forward or Heroes!

  24. The Hard Times of RJ Berger

  25. Dark Angel

  26. Heroes
    Buffy or Angel
    Charmed, I’d Like To See What Became Of The Charmed Ones and Their Family!

  27. They should make a ROSWELL movie… from the tv channel The WB and The CW. It was very popular. Only had 3 seasons but tons of fans! I would pay good money for a movie of ROSWELL. sci fi! hello!

  28. Roswell to happen again for season 3 was rushed.