Although “Firefly” only ran for around three months, it gained a loyal and dedicated fanbase. When the show was ultimately canceled, these fans (or “Browncoats,” as they called themselves) weren’t going to take it lying down.
Soon enough, a fan campaign began to save “Firefly.”
The goal? To find another network willing to take on the failed sci-fi series. Their first order of business, according to CNN, was to take out an advert in Variety calling on supporters to help save the show. They even mounted a postcard campaign, writing to UPN to ask them to step in and broadcast the show.
Unfortunately, none of this worked. But it did show Fox that there was enough demand for a DVD release. In December 2003, “Firefly” came to DVD in full – including the three missing episodes that were never broadcast. Better yet, the episodes were all in the order they were intended to be broadcast.
The DVD release, in turn, sparked a “Firefly” resurgence of sorts. According to USA Today, it sold over 500,000 copies over the next two years, convincing Universal to take a punt on a movie.
“Serenity” was released in September 2005, continuing the story from the original TV show. Taking place after the events of the final episode, it saw the return of Nathan Fillion as Mal Reynolds, alongside the rest of the Serenity crew.
It’s exactly what we had all been waiting for, and the fans loved it. But while “Serenity” was a critical success, it failed to ignite the box office. After a failed movie and a canceled series, it looked as though “Firefly” was dead in the water.