2002 December 15 Sunday
Firefly Is Cancelled

You can read about it at on SyFyPortal and TimMinear.Net. Joss Whedon and company are trying to get UPN to buy the show. UPN currently shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and so Joss does have a relationship with them. There is a web site dedicated to efforts to resurrect Firefly. On Friday December 13, 2002 Firefly's ratings were only 2.7/5 and was followed by John Doe which did 3.7/7.

Posted by Randall Parker at December 15, 2002 12:05 PM
razib said at December 18, 2002 8:36 PM:

i don't know the western theme. old and used.

Bonnie said at December 27, 2002 5:51 PM:

This is insane. Firefly is a great show that was maybe too intelligent and unique for Fox. Fox is known for it's bizarre, idiot-level programming. Hopefully Firefly will be picked up by UPN. It really is a great show that Fox didn't even promote. First they didn't show the pilot (until December 20th) then it was preempted by baseball and then Fox didn't advertise it at all. UPN has to advertise it, and it'll be a huge success.

Rhobyne said at December 27, 2002 6:13 PM:

This show isn't western. It isn't scifi. It's Joss Whedon and Tim Minear. They can make anything work. You don't even notice the spaceship or the horses because the dialogue and character interaction is what takes your interest. It's so much better than you could imagine.


N.S said at December 27, 2002 6:38 PM:

Firefly is the best show on television right now. I cannot believe networks are cancelling quality programming like this show. I hope another network picks it up - it will be the best move they could make.

Linnea T. said at December 27, 2002 6:59 PM:

Firefly is a great show, better than Enterprise, better than Buffy, way better than Andromeda, way better than most non-sfi-fi stuff on TV. Why is Fox cancelling it? This is a big mystery, people have to try to save this show. It's really really smart sci-fi. (The western theme is secondary, just a background stage. At least half of the show takes place on the spaceship Serenity.)

Ivy Vyas said at December 28, 2002 1:54 PM:

I just can't understand how the ratings for this great show can be so poor. Even if you don't particularly care for SciFi, Firefly has great dialogue, very sympathetic characters, and a fabulous cast that really brings the characters to life. For myself, this is the only series I've made a point to watch regularly in a long time and I will be really disappointed if Firefly just disappears 'into the black.'

JMV said at December 30, 2002 10:42 PM:

Firefly is a fantastic show and I agree with most of the other sentiments I see posted here. The networks obviously do not know what viewers want anymore...both of my favorite shows that were new this season have been cancelled (Firefly and Birds of Prey). I'm just about ready to give up on television and go back to reading novels and plays for my entertainment.

Bob said at December 31, 2002 2:54 PM:


That's perhaps the most astute observation I have seen in this pleading litany. A couple of the most intelligent and accomplished people I know have no television--one of them doesn't even have internet access.

Bob Q. said at January 17, 2003 11:38 PM:

Too bad Fox doesn't count ratings from other countries' whose local channels buy the programming for great shows like Firefly. Everyone I know up here in Canada loves this show. There is a huge following up here. It's better than any garbage our television industry could ever come up with. Never fails the good shows always get canned and then stuff nobody really wants to watch gets put in it's place.

Mark said at January 25, 2003 11:59 AM:

Just wanted to mention that there is still something going on with Firefly. It's still not cancelled yet or something (as of January 19, 2003). Look at the news section of TimMinear.net for the source info.

Hopefully, they will rerun the series along with the 3 unaired episodes, at least. If/when it does, let your friends know in advance so they get a chance to watch it.

Greg said at January 31, 2003 10:43 AM:

The cancellation of Firefly is a case study in Network thinking. An intellegent show with a plot that takes an IQ of over 90 to understand takes time to develop an audience. Pure crap, such as the current reality craze, can attract the majority of the TV audience (IQ below 90) because they understand it easily. This begs the question; do intelligent people not watch TV because it is crap, or is TV crap because the majority of the audience is not intelligent?

rockon said at May 16, 2003 6:00 AM:

How do they test the ratings they must have a monkey
just pressing cancelled buttons all day anything good or interesting they just zap off the sceen if they didnt want that type of series why do they take it on then cancel after a few episodes ,I for one am sick of all reality shows and turn them off, I can not believe they are testing proper tv viewers who do they test ?

Juan Pablo said at June 26, 2003 5:16 PM:

What is happening in Fox?

The cancelled Dark Angel, then Futurama, then Firefly, then John Doe, then... well... may be they will cancel themselves.

Greg said at December 3, 2003 8:00 AM:

FIREFLY was good. Dark Angel was awesome, Futurama was awesome.... I never liked John Doe.... BUT DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE CANCELLATION OF FAMILY GUY, THAT WAS THEIR BIGGEST MISTAKE.

There was even rumors of cancelling OC,, but those were just rumors....that shows doing really good, not one cant be true

Demonyita said at April 9, 2004 8:49 AM:

A good series is defined by how the pilot hooks the target audience. The Star Trek Series, Andromeda, Buffy & Angel did it & they lasted 5 yrs or more. Firefly may be good but apparently the pilot didn't do well to capture a fanbase big enough for fox to keep it in its network.

Seven said at November 2, 2005 1:06 PM:


That's just it. FOX did not air the pilot until last. In fact, the pilot episode was aired on 12/20/02, five days after this article was published... as in, AFTER the series was cancelled because it failed to "hook the target audience".

The Rational said at December 19, 2005 2:36 PM:

well... i like SF. even more, i like good SF.
i also salute the attempt of trying something entirely new in the world of TV-SF... but after watching 5 episodes of firefly i come to the conclusion that this is just not a good series. the production design is pure crap. it looks like from the 80ies... and not in a good way. there's definetly something about the story, but done so cheaply. i mean, even todays world looks more futuristic in some places.

A Brit said at December 4, 2006 2:49 PM:

There was a guy who bought the rights to show cartoons that 'nobody watched anymore' and broadcast them from the comfort of his armchair. I think that became the Cartoon Network didn't it? then he did the same with classic movies that 'nobody watched' and it became TCM didn't it?. Along with a few other wise choices he created a company that eventually made him a billionaire didn't he?. I don't ever imagine there will be fan sites requesting the continuation of reality shows such as 'Big Brother' or 'Wife Swap' and all those other mind numbing experiences they subject us to.
Firefly was pure escapism, something that allowed you to switch off your stresses and enjoy the comedy and skill of trained actors. It didn't end each episode with a patronising moral. It was great. Worth paying the TV licence fee for, and unfortunately canned before I had even heard of it.

Kate Tudor said at June 22, 2007 7:20 PM:

Same here, "discovered" Firefly when "Serenity" came out - what a great programme - not many cancelled series get to make a movie afterwards. And the boxed set still sells well. Fox TV...well, I just don't have the words for what I think about them.

shane scott said at August 5, 2007 10:46 PM:

One day last year whilst browsing my local video store i noticed this movie by itself in the overnight section called "Serenity".
Having never heard of it, or remember seeing it advertised at the cinema I was a little hesitant about renting it - the cover sold it with River doing her thang.

I was hooked - after rewatching Serentiy several times I went and bought a copy. It was then I found out about FireFly and the whole desperate saga.

For the next 6 months I hassled my video store manager to get in the FireFly series - I ended up not being able to wait and ordered my own FireFly copy.
- with Australian TV like it is - Firefly was a breath of fresh air and it doesn't go stale - I now watch the series at least once a week.

Its a great show/series/movie and I wish to god that Fox never got near it in the first place - Fox are not in business to entertain us they are in business to dumb us down to their level and unfortunately for FireFly it was too intelligent for the conservatives in control of programming.

I hope one day and soon that another mega studio has the sense to pick up the series and make a thousand episodes, until Capt Reynolds ends up like Capt Kirk as a scifi institution.

Thankyou Josh.

Yuling said at July 14, 2008 2:41 PM:

man how could they cancel firefly
to me its one of the most unique, comedic, and exciting shows out there and i love it to death
stupid ignorant fox just can't handle something so complex
is there some sort of petition or rally to bring it back?

Dave said at February 11, 2010 5:24 AM:

I miss firefly so much...

sheils said at July 10, 2010 3:33 PM:

I've been watching network decisions for a long time, and I think I know what happened.
I guess they just didn’t want a repeat of that Buffy debacle- you know how over a decade of top-rated seasons and spinoffs sparking off a world pop culture sensation just plays merry hell with a network’s hard-earned reputation for mediocrity.
And we don’t even like to think about what a mess like that does to the ratings- not to mention stock prices!

After all, the network execs cancelled Dark Angel to put on Firefly-

It’s pretty obvious that they were afraid their “market analysis” indicating lame-ass formula shows are a “sure thing” would be proved stupid and wrong- and we can’t have that!
Any loss of revenue, however great, is a small price to pay to avoid the execs being wrong-
why, the next step might be pure chaos and a breakdown of the whole social order- which is entirely predicated on the idea that the public really hates being mistaken for an intelligent audience.

And that's why i don't watch TV anymore- at all. I just buy DVDs of the stuff that looks decent when I catch it online.

Desert Fox said at August 24, 2010 1:28 PM:

My feeling about the whole thing is fubar!
they should have never pitched it to FOX.
the Firefly series was the best i have seen and enjoyed in a long time and still enjoy. tho the movie was also enjoyable killing off characters was the last nail in the coffin, the series will never recover from that. one could assume that from FOX's past programs it did not suite "their/FOX's" view's. i.e. a strong black lead actress married to a slightly wimpy white guy, speaking Chinese, whores, female mechanic, etc. actually i would to go far as to say they probably hated everything about Firefly except Jane's character is that typically seen on TV character, though what they probably didn't like about his character would have been his name; Jane.
the doom of this TV series could have been avoided by not going to FOX, its as simple as that.
I my self and everyone i know Love Firefly. I think that all the characters are brilliant and mesh well together which makes it a believable world that i would love to experience again.
however that chance of that happening would be the same as winning lotto with out buying a ticket.

FOX you are treading on my dreams.

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