We were due for another story teasing possible ways that our beloved Firefly could return, and here it is. At this point some may just prefer to ignore news like this for fear of re-opening old wounds, but not here! Because the day we stop talking about Firefly is the day the bad guys win, and, even if you’re convinced the show will remain dead, we fans are far, far too stubborn for such nonsense. So let’s get to it!
Tim Minear, an executive producer, writer, and director of Firefly, recently spoke about the series and how he hasn’t given up hope of it being revived at some point. According to him, the best and most likely scenario that would work is some sort of limited series, which is becoming an increasingly popular option.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly as part of their look at shows that deserve a second chance in the latest issue of the magazine, Minear was asked what the chances were of Firefly returning, and in what form, answering:
I would never foreclose the possibility. The fact that it was even a feature film after it spectacularly failed on Fox was a miracle. And of course it lives on in other forms. In terms of getting the band back together to make a new adventure, who knows? I would love it. It would be great. But first everybody has their respective projects that limits them from crossing over into other things. It’s just trying to coordinate everybody’s obligations so they could somehow participate.
I’m completely talking off the top of my head, but there’s a show that’s been on for the last couple years that’s reinvented the form in terms of the limited series. I’m trying to think of the name of that show — Oh yes! American Horror Story! It doesn’t have to be 13 episodes. Look how Sherlock does it.
Minear, by the way, is an executive producer and writer on American Horror Story.
This makes all the sense in the world. Five years ago we made our case for making direct-to-video movies because it would test how strong the fanbase really is now, and would also allow everyone involved with Firefly to get together once every year or two, made a movie together, have some good times, and then go back to whatever they have going on.
This works the same for a limited series, and makes even more sense now because you don’t have to produce and release the DVD/Blu-ray that comes with a direct-to-video release—not unless you feel it’s worth releasing on DVD and Blu-ray anyway. With a limited series you still air on TV, but without the commitment of a full season of episodes. Or better yet, you just throw it on Netflix for all to enjoy instantly. That’s what Minear feels would work the best:
I think a limited series of some kind would work best. Something like that could also work if, say, 20th could partner with Netflix, or another distributor. It would have its home on Fox, of course [then a second window on streaming]. A limited series would do very well, I bet.
If this is an option we won’t know if it’s going to happen for a while. At the moment, star Nathan Fillion—as much as you know he’d love to do more Firefly—currently has an exclusive deal with ABC for his show Castle. And so some things are going to have to change and people, including creator Joss Whedon, are going to have to become a little less busy first.
That said, the explosion of streaming content and the growing popularity of limited series paired with someone like Minear making it known that he hasn’t given up hope is all very promising to see.
All we as fans can do is just keep talking about it. Keep reminding Fox it was a mistake to cancel the show. Keep being stubborn.