Television fans have shared an inspired history of rallying together to save their shows from the chopping block. There's nothing quite like reaching across geographical and language barriers to find common ground in a show you all harbor a genuine and passionate love for. And when that show finds its fate in jeopardy, what better way to channel all of that love than to send ridiculous amounts of seemingly mundane objects to network executives in protest?
Though picketing in front of network offices like die-hard #StarTrek fans in the late 1960s has become a thing of the past, the tradition of taking physical action to save a show has lived on. The unpredictable landscape of the renewal/cancellation process in modern TV has given rise to some truly unique—and sometimes successful—fan campaigns.
From 20 tons of peanuts to 10,000 Mars bars, over the years fans have always been creative with expressing their concern for their beloved shows. Buying as many Subway sandwiches as possible, like supporters of #NBC's Chuck did, gets more attention than a petition or letter writing campaign. Sometimes the only way to make the networks take notice is to send an excessive amount of bananas or Tabasco sauce to their headquarters. Whether it works or not is up to the executives themselves—and who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall when this stuff is dumped into their offices?—but it's worth a shot. You have to admire the phenomenon of fandom participation.
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Now, supporters of FOX's #TheExorcist are carrying on this wild tradition.
While The Exorcist has received praise by critics in its debut 10 episode season, the #horror series has had trouble pulling in significant ratings. Over a short span of time the show has garnered a loyal, enthusiastic following. Fans have dubbed themselves the "Exorcist Congregation" and have made their voices heard in weekly Twitter takeovers with their hashtag #RenewTheExorcist. Their efforts haven't gone unnoticed by the cast and crew, especially showrunner Jeremy Slater.
Facing an unnerving silence from the executives at #FOX in charge of deciding if their show will see another season, they've gathered—via the wonders of social media—to take it a step further.
Starting this Friday, December 30, fans from across the world will begin mailing red feathers to FOX's headquarters in Los Angeles to get the attention of the network. So, what's up with the feathers, you ask? Red feathers are a vital part of Exorcist lore. Young Regan MacNeil's demon, Pazuzu, first appeared to her in the form of a small red bird. And in the middle of the season it was revealed that Angela Rance (Geena Davis) is actually Regan all grown up.
The "congregation" behind this renewal effort hopes that the clever nod to the The Exorcist's most talked about twist will send a clear message to the network that they want their show to stick around. One such "congregation" member you might recognize is Joan Grande, who's been an avid and outspoken fan of the show.
Their numbers are already growing as new viewers find The Exorcist perfect to binge watch now that the season has ended. If the show is given the chance to expand its audience and intriguing mythology into another season, the congregation has made enough noise to prove that they will support it.
Although FOX executives can hold off on a decision until May, fans are praying that a renewal announcement will arrive sooner rather than later.
Have you been a part of a fan campaign? Share the craziest things you've sent to networks in the comments below!