It’s the worst nightmare of any TV fan. Your favourite programme gets the axe – in your opinion, in its prime – so you’re forced to resort to the internet in the hope of bringing it back from the brink. In the age of social media, crowdsourcing and online petitions, such campaigns have real power to resurrect popular series – Ripper Street and Veronica Mars are just two success stories. But there are fan bases out there yet to see the fruits of their labour – so we decided it was time to recognise them, and give you the chance to vote for your favourite…
The Hour (starring Dominic West, Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw, Anna Chancellor, Peter Capaldi, Tim Pigott-Smith)
Ran from: 2011-2012 on BBC2
Set among the staff of a new current affairs show launched by the BBC in the 1950s, Golden Globe and Bafta-nominated The Hour earned itself a dedicated following thanks, in part, to its star-studded cast. But Bel, Freddie and Hector saw the axe fall in February 2013 thanks to low ratings, and despite a fan petition attracting 25,000 signatures – and rumours of a one-off special to tie-up loose ends – BBC2 have held their nerve.
Fan campaigning on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. Hashtag: #savethehour
The Paradise (starring Joanna Vanderham, Sarah Lancashire, Emun Elliot, Matthew McNulty, Elaine Cassidy)
Ran from: 2012-2013 on BBC1
Shopping was the theme of BBC1’s period drama – but The Paradise had the misfortune of going head-to-head with ITV’s Mr Selfridge, a battle they duly lost, failing to secure a third series. Fans immediately took up arms, with petitions and social media campaigns, but – a year on – there’s still no sign of Denise and Moray waltzing back onto screens anytime soon.
Fan campaigning on Facebook, online petition. Hashtag: #savetheparadise
Utopia (starring Neil Maskell, Alexandra Roach, Fiona O’Shaughnessey, Adeel Akhtar, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett)
Ran from: 2013-2014 on Channel 4
Utopia’s cancellation was a huge blow to fans when it was first announced back in October. The cult favourite was critically-acclaimed, adored by viewers and went on to win an International Emmy for best drama, but poor ratings meant Channel 4 still brought down the axe to allow room for new drama. Fans of the thriller – which follows a group of people hunted by shady organisation The Network – can find solace in a new US remake, with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn writing and David Fincher directing (nothing to sniff at…), but there’s still plenty of appetite for series three or the two-hour special writer Dennis Kelly tried pitching to Channel 4.
Fan campaigning on Twitter, online petition. Hashtag: #SaveUtopia #whereisjessicahyde #bringbackutopia
Monroe (starring James Nesbitt, Sarah Parish, Tom Riley, Neil Pearson)
Ran from: 2011-2012 on ITV
The combination of James Nesbitt and Sarah Parish wasn’t enough to save medical drama Monroe. The ITV series – written by Pete Bowker (Marvellous) – was squeezed out by ratings juggernaut New Tricks, and despite positive reviews, was brought to an abrupt end in November 2012. Despite initial upset among its five million viewers, the push for a third series has died down, although Parish recently told RadioTimes.com she’d return to the series “in a heartbeat”.
Fan campaigning: online petition
The Crimson Field (starring Suranne Jones, Hermione Norris, Oona Chaplin, Kevin Doyle)
Ran from: 2014
When BBC1 first launched the World War I drama set in a field hospital behind the Western Front, there were plans to revisit it annually for each year of the conflict. But those were soon put on ice as the series debuted to mediocre reviews, failing to pull in the viewers to justify a hefty budget and purpose-built set. Nevertheless, Crimson counts on the support of an ardent batch of fans who’ve put in the hours campaigning for a second outing. Perhaps Amazon is listening?
Fan campaigning on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. Hashtag: #SaveTheCrimsonField
The Fades (starring Iain De Caestecker, Natalie Dormer, Joe Dempsie, Tom Ellis)
Ran from: 2011
A Bafta Award for best drama may be the ultimate stamp of approval, but that didn’t stop this supernatural gem becoming collateral following BBC3 budget cuts. Starring Iain de Caestecker and Natalie Dormer, the series followed teenager Paul who saw spirits of the dead, known as The Fades. Then-controller Zai Bennett called time on the acclaimed show after just one series, a decision that led to outcry among critics and fans – but with the future of BBC3 itself now in doubt, hopes for The Fades are slim.
Fan campaigning on Facebook
Doctor Who Confidential
Ran from: 2005-2011
Yet another victim of BBC3’s budget cutting, Doctor Who Confidential served as a companion to the revived sci-fi series from 2005, before seeing its 45-minute slot cut to five-minute featurettes. Whovians reacted in their masses, setting up online campaigns and voting Confidential their favourite BBC3 show ever in a RadioTimes.com poll. As of 2014, the show exists as Doctor Who Extra, ten-minute packages shown on iPlayer and the red button following each series eight episode, but – despite plenty of support – is yet to return to its former guise.
Fan campaigning on Twitter, Facebook, online petition. Hashtag: #SaveDWC
Dallas (starring Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster)
Ran from: 2012-2014
Fans of Dallas have had a rollercoaster ride over the years, with a revival of the 1978-1991 soap opera commissioned in 2012, uniting original cast members Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman with a new generation of the Ewing family. The show ran for three seasons before US network TNT pulled the plug back in October sparking fan protests and a petition with 86,000 signatures. Duffy himself helped push for a reprieve, but despite early talk of negotiations, chances of a fourth series are now looking slim.
Fan campaigning on Twitter, Facebook, online petition. Hashtag: #SaveDallas #DallasForever #BringBackSueEllen