What made the American thriller drama TV series “The Following” clicked among viewers big time during its first season on Fox was the intense cat-and-mouse game between Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy and James Purefoy’s Joe Caroll characters.
The mind games between FBI agent Ryan Hardy and serial killer Joe Caroll actually appeared to draw semblance to “The Silence of the Lambs” movie shown in 1991 starring Oscar-winning actress Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins.
And that is the real reason why the series became a hit among viewers. A plotline like that is certainly hard to come by in a TV series so when “The Following” ushered it, fans grabbed onto it and held on until the Season 1 finale.
The series should have ended with the cat-and-mouse game between Hardy and Caroll but the show’s modest first season success necessitated a new season and new wrinkles as well, thus unleashing several rival sets of psychopaths to sustain the program in the next two seasons.
Eventually, everyone realized that the show was using a very tired formula so it wandered off from its basic premise as Ryan begin to go a bit crazy himself especially when his nemesis Caroll was finally executed.
With Purefoy’s character gone, there was not much for the show to move forward because of the apparent lazy writing as the writers no longer want to think outside of the box, thus confining the show to its own walls.
“The Following” was already a goner when it executed Joe Caroll in Season 2 so it was practically running on empty on Season 3. Thus, the cancellation of Season 4 no longer came as a surprise.
While “The Following” had a solid cast of supporting actors including Shawn Ashmore, the TV show actually wasted great talents like Zuleikha Robinson and Jessica Stroup, who became mere footnotes in the TV series.
Not going down without fight
However, some of the avid fans of the show were simply not convinced that “The Following” had to go and will not go down without a fight.
That’s when they decided to initiate an online petition among the loyal viewers of the show and make their signature campaign a tool for the show producers to either convince Fox to reconsider its decision of cancelling “The Following” or use it as a marketing tool to have another network or a streaming service pick up the show and rescue it from cancellation, notes iPetitions.
Unfortunately, the online petition lost steam even before it hit the targeted 25,000 fan signatures so that the producers of “The Following” will have something to show to Fox, the other networks, or the streaming services, as regards the marketability potentials of the TV series.
Fox decided to cancel the show after three seasons because of declining ratings and it seems that the aborted online petition also indicated the same pattern for the airing of the show. When the online petition was started in July last year, it came out very strong. However, after a few days, it has lost steam and managed to churn out 13,000 signatures from the very conservative target of 25,000, notes Yibada.
Building a library of shows
Right before the turn of the New Year, all 15 episodes of Season 3 of “The Following” has been aired on Netflix.
While some optimists believe that it could open up the possibility for the Kevin Bacon-starrer to be possibly rescued from cancellation by the streaming service by considering a fourth season sometime down the road, it looks like the airing of the TV series on Netflix is just the show’s last hurrah.
Apparently, Netflix just wanted to build its library of TV series, which shall eventually come in handy in the future.
After its reports of cancellation in May last year following the airing of its Season 3 finale episode, there has been reports that the TV show will eventually make it to Netflix.