Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos—who oversees the company’s transition into original programming with shows like House of Cards and Hemlock Grove, as well as the resurrection of previously cancelled shows like Arrested Development—recently chatted with Stuff and discussed his work and what other shows they may or may not consider reviving.
The discussion covered numerous topics from piracy and hopes for more Arrested Development after this new upcoming season to various older TV shows they might consider reviving, such as Firefly, Jericho, and Twin Peaks.
Continue reading to see what he had to say about reviving these shows.
As for Twin Peaks, Sarandos doesn’t say much when asked if Netflix would consider bringing it back, only an emphatic “Absolutely!”
Jericho is also a short answer, in which he says “It was on the bubble. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t get an email or a personal hand-written letter about that show.”
Firefly is a little bit longer of an answer, though it’s not one fans will want to hear. Of bringing back the Joss Whedon cult classic, Sarandos says:
“It’s kind of been done, with Serenity, but yeah as a series.
Let me give you one broad statement about these recovery shows. In almost every case the cult around the show gets more intense and smaller as time goes by. Arrested Development was the rarest of birds in that the audience of the show grew larger than the original broadcast audience because people came to discover it years after it was cancelled. The Firefly fan is still the Firefly fan from when it was on TV and there’s fewer of them and they’re more passionate every year. Whereas with Arrested Development we’re going to be serving a multiple of the original audience. Any of the other shows we could bring back would be a fraction of the original audience.”
This statement is…surprising, to say the least. At least to me. I don’t have the research and numbers these guys have, but it feels like not only has the Firefly audience grown since the show’s cancellation, but it’s grown massive and only continues to grow as new people see it and realize its greatness.
If this is the reason we haven’t heard much about the possibility of Netflix saving the show, it’s a bit of a depressing let down, though I’m sure there’s more to it than just that. Sounds to me like if fans of Firefly are still in the fight, they need to make themselves more visible, and they need to go on a continuous binge of the show on Netflix streaming to show people still watch and watch often.
Aside from that, it appears the next best option would be if Fox decided to give it the same kind of limited revival they’ve just made official for 24, a show that had a nice long life before it was ended in 2010.
I think Sarandos must be dyslexic, getting Firefly and Arrested Development mixed up. Firefly’s original broadcast audience was nothing compared to what it is now. Probably 85% of Firefly fans got into the show after it’s cancellation and more fans are added every day. On the other hand I have yet to meet an Arrested Development fan personally and their online presence is practically nonexistent.
Comment by eAbyss — May 15, 2013 @ 4:56 am
Instead if reviving those shows, how about
Comment by Eileen Hall — May 15, 2013 @ 12:13 pm
He’s got it dead wrong on Firefly. There is no doubt the fan base for this show has grown tremendously since the show originally aired. How can somebody in his position be so completely off on this?
Comment by Hugomarink — May 15, 2013 @ 2:49 pm
Hmmm… comparing the fanbase of Firefly with that of Twin Peaks? I rarely ever hear the mention of bringing back Twin Peaks from anyone, yet daily hear people wanting Firefly to return?
Just wrestle the rights to Firefly away from Fox so they can’t damage it any more than they have and get it done! How hard is that?
Comment by Bryan Wiley — May 15, 2013 @ 3:57 pm
Firefly! Firefly! Firefly! Browncoats I think we have to make our voices heard now more than ever (thanks to Netflix’s revival scheme). This CEO or whatever guy is so wrong about Firefly. They need to quit wasting money on that played out vampire/werewolf show and save up to put Firefly back on. Firefly has everything it takes to be successful it just needs a network that’s not run by a moron. Come on Netflix! Be that “network!”
Comment by AndStuff — May 17, 2013 @ 3:17 am
Actually, I recon a revival of Firefly would probably be terrible. You wont ever re-capture the original flavor of the show, and the movie dealt with the big questions. I’d rather remember it in it’s perfect, original glory.
I wouldn’t mind a spin off series set in the same universe.
Comment by Carl Bartlett — May 17, 2013 @ 5:04 am
Firefly is way larger in fan base now than it ever was. I have no idea what this guy is talking about.
Comment by Jason Bartlett — May 17, 2013 @ 7:50 am
You’re right about Firefly (fan here as well), but about Arrested Development? Really? I’ve seen the fan base for that grow exponentially since I discovered it six or so years ago. Some friends are hosting a Arrested Development party on Memorial Day, and it’ll be packed. So yes, people like it. You might not be hanging around the places online where it’s popular, either. (See the AV Club, for instance.)
Still, it’s possible to be a fan of one show without slagging the other (or a fan of both shows), even if the Netflix talking head is wrong.
Comment by wordsampersand — May 17, 2013 @ 8:00 am
I agree. The handful of comics that filled in the blanks between the show and film were great, but enough in some ways. Serenity ended in a way that left me satisfied. Could it come back and be great? Sure. But I’d rather Whedon work on another original show not connected to an existing IP (though I’m hopeful about S.H.I.E.L.D.).
Comment by wordsampersand — May 17, 2013 @ 8:04 am
The Firefly fans have definitely made ourselves heard over the years. Just because we don’t stream it on Netflix doesn’t mean we don’t watch it. I’ve got the show on bluray and DVD. I don’t have a need to stream it. But you can guarantee that if Netflix brings the show back I’ll be streaming the new episode as often as possible.
Comment by Jamie Hendershot — May 17, 2013 @ 8:41 am
I was turned into a Browncoat by Serenity and a few freinds. I have made Browncoats out of a dozen friends since I really got into in ’05 and ’06. I did not watch it during its orginal airing. We Browncoats love to spread it around. :P
Comment by Johnathan Hazen — May 17, 2013 @ 9:00 am
My wife and I became diehard Firefly fans AFTER Serenity came out. And since then, we’ve seen all the episodes many times over. I don’t know where Sarandos got the silly notion that the Firefly fanbase has shrunk and focused. From what I’ve seen, it’s only grown and remained focused. The only thing that has shrunk is perhaps hopefulness. And Sarandos is only killing that more by saying things like that. Sarandos, you’re our only hope. I wish you weren’t. But you may be.
Comment by Juno Suk — May 17, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
Fail. The only thing that matters here is the revival of FireFly.
Comment by Brian Buresh — May 17, 2013 @ 12:09 pm
Firefly: Coy and Vance?
Comment by jamesbarnes — May 17, 2013 @ 12:43 pm
I’m with you on the Firefly popularity. I know I didn’t get into it until years after it went off the air as I originally only watched two episodes and didn’t enjoy largely due to the fact that Fox aired them in the wrong order and bounced it around. My girlfriend found Firefly through me just a few years ago and she’ll regularly marathon the series. But that being said, the show has run it’s course. I think partially why it’s so beloved is because we did get so little and it was such a tight package. Also, so many years after the fact would just make it difficult to get the whole crew together again. It would be much more of a challenge to do it then Arrested Development, a show that can work in just about any time period as it doesn’t rely on huge action shots and Indiana Jones type of heroes to push it along. It’s really time for the fans to let this one go and enjoy new stories via books and comics.
Comment by Alexander Kgb Ostroumov — May 17, 2013 @ 12:51 pm
I wonder if they’re pulling these shows from amounts of stream. I know there was a huge movement back when Firefly was released on DVD to go out and buy the series to show FOX that we wanted the show back i.e. Family Guy. Now, places like Amazon and Best Buy are selling Firefly on Blu-Ray at about $20 which is well worth it. I guess I’m saying that most Browncoats already own the media so we’re not going to watch it on Netflix as much….seeing how many people are streaming older media may not be the best way to see how many people are interested in a series alone. They should also be looking at units sold…I think they’d be surprised.
Comment by DarkDoctor42 — May 17, 2013 @ 1:11 pm
Firefly would be great to have back, but getting that crew and cast back together would be a bit of a challenge I think. Plus it got its movie which is a lot considering.
I’m currently on-board with bringing Jericho back though. That show also had a great fan uprising in support, and only got a dinky 7 ep season to sate them. The cast is much more available, and it would be an easier show to revive since it had such a cliff-hanger non-ending. It was a great and unique take on the post-apocalyptic theme, and the show had so much more story to tell that is deserves completion!!
Comment by Random Dude — May 17, 2013 @ 1:15 pm
I had never heard of Firefly until years after it was cancelled. Did he bother to do any research whatsoever before making that stupid comment? I’m sure they have access to piles of data on who is watching Firefly, when, and how often but he clearly didn’t look at it at all.
Comment by Andrew Betts — May 17, 2013 @ 3:23 pm
If you want Netflix to be that network they’d have to fire that moron Ted Sarandos.
Comment by eAbyss — May 20, 2013 @ 6:52 am
I’m guessing that like all network execs that kill popular shows he doesn’t like the show personally.
Comment by eAbyss — May 20, 2013 @ 6:54 am
Science Fiction and space ships? Umm, Firefly…
Anime? There’s very little interest in anime outside of Asia so why should Netflix waste money better spent elsewhere?
Comment by eAbyss — May 20, 2013 @ 6:59 am
Bring back Jericho!!!! I am so mad I watched the last episode and it ends the way it does!!! There is more to it bring it back please!!!
Comment by disqus_IjYTKAbw0l — June 12, 2013 @ 10:30 pm
Bring back all three of these please!!!
Comment by Mystie Parker — September 6, 2013 @ 7:15 am
Hey now, us Twin Peaks fans are still out there, we just love Firefly too ;)
Comment by Mystie Parker — September 6, 2013 @ 7:16 am
A reboot of ‘Firefly’ would be a huge mistake. Getting the original cast back after 11 or more years would make little sense. And since Wash, who was the heart of the crew, is dead that void would permeate the atmosphere.
Besides, it was the fact that the series was cancelled prematurely that motivated fans to see it continued somehow. Hence, the DVD release and the movie. The loyalty of Firefly’s fan base is somewhat predicated on the fact that it was, so to speak, a limited edition. We savor each episode because that’s all there is. “Serenity” was like a coda to a magnificent work, but to imagine that Zoe and Mal and the rest are older and maturing and still living the outlaw life rather stretches credibility.
Comment by Lucius — September 6, 2013 @ 8:44 am
i seriously wish they would bring back Jericho!!! Best show ever
Comment by ashley flippo — December 27, 2013 @ 1:49 am
I have only watched Firefly series and Serenity last year, but I became a fan. I really think that there are more new fans out there and probably not just as vocal. Firefly is one of the best shows I’ve ever watched, and until now nothing has come close to how that show has engulfed and transported me into its universe. It wasn’t just a show, it was an amazing experience.
Comment by Midanelle Da — January 11, 2014 @ 1:52 pm
BRING BACK JERICHO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by Sarah Muncaster — January 24, 2014 @ 11:31 am
Bring back Terra Nova!!!!!!!! Please Netflix!!!!!
Comment by Tronar — March 25, 2014 @ 5:06 pm
I know I only found out about firefly and watched it last year, has great potential too bad wasn’t more
Comment by VH — February 4, 2015 @ 10:56 am
That goes to show that this guy has no clue to what he’s talking about. The Firefly fan base grew after the show was cancelled. I myself hadn’t discovered the show until well after it was cancelled. (I blame the lack of promotions. After all how can one watch something he or she has never heard of). Also, every time there is a forum where the revival of old TV shows is discussed, Firefly is mentioned several times. Now that doesn’t sound like dwindling fan base at all.
Comment by Kamyar C Amjadi — May 13, 2015 @ 7:07 pm