Fox decided against renewing the American thriller drama TV series “The Following” for Season 4 after the show’s Season 3 finale was aired on May 18.
The network said that it was because of poor ratings and less-than-satisfactory viewership and fan support that made its decision easier to cancel “The Following” for good.
Reports have it that Fox actually has too many shows to choose from for its spring lineup to replace “The Following” so the decision was quite easy to make and announce its formal cancellation, notes Deadline.
Typical with TV series that have been cancelled, producers Warner Bros Television, made two different recourse to try to salvage the show. The first is to look for other network or streaming service to rescue the show from cancellation. And the other is to initiate a signature campaign among viewers to make Fox realize that it has made a wrong decision of cancelling “The Following.”
As the show is now officially cancelled based on the scorecard of TV shows for the 2014-15 season as reported by Metacritic, it clearly appears that Warner Bros Television has failed in both endeavors, which is the reason why the Kevin Bacon-starrer TV series remains cancelled to this day.
It was streaming service Hulu that turned down “The Following” when it was offered by Warner Bros Television. Subsequently, Netflix was also cold to the idea when it was brought to its attention.
But weeks before the decision of Netflix not to accept the offer to save “The Following” from cancellation, rumors actually abound on the internet that Warner Bros Television and the streaming service are close to forging a deal, driving avid fans of the show crazy and very happy. However, it proved later that it was just mere speculations and more like a wishful thinking on the part of the fans of the show.
A heartbreaking petition
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.
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.
A hoax of a report
Sometime in July, there were reports that Netflix has signified interest to pick up “The Following” for Season 4 and rescue it from cancellation but it turned out to be a hoax, much to the chagrin of the fans of the TV series.
It was actually actor Shawn Ashmore, who plays the role of FBI Agent Mike Weston in the TV series, who clarified that Netflix has not saved the show from cancellation.
Subsequently, reports started coming out that the show was also offered to the Hulu streaming service but the company did not budge.
“The Following” is actually an intense, emotionally-charged and violent TV series, which has a captivating storyline especially with the witty and thought-provoking exchanges of FBI Agent Ryan Hardy, played by veteran Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon, and serial killer Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy.
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, 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.
Having seen for themselves how the online petition came out, the producers were already certain that there will be no more following after Season 3 of “The Following.”
As far as the fan petition is concerned, it seems that contrary to what supporters of “The Following” were saying that they have the numbers in pushing for the renewal of the TV show, the initiative indicate otherwise.
Accordingly, as of mid-July, the target fan signatures of 25,000 that the producers wanted to show to Fox has only reached 13,000 or a little over 50% of the goal, indicating that the fans were already lukewarm to the renewal of the show for Season 4.
The cancellation of the show certainly caught Warner Bros Television by surprise because it would not have agreed with a hanging finale as carried out by the show creator had it known that Season 3 would be its last.