Realizing it is never too soon to start a preemptive strike, the Outhousers website has already started a much-needed campaign to save Joss Whedon’s unknown Avengers-related TV show from cancellation:

The Outhouse hates to see fans suffer like the Browncoats, fanatical fans of Whedon’s popular Firefly, also known as Firebronies, have for the past decade since their beloved space western was canceled, after only one season, by Fox. The network appears to have a personal vendetta against Mr. Whedon, as it also canceled Dollhouse in 2010. Some rumors even suggest that the only reason the new Whedon show is being produced by Disney is so that it can later be canceled as a show of good faith to Fox in their Daredevil movie right negotiations. Fox might be more inclined to return the movie rights to the characters Silver Surfer and Galactus to Disney if they can experience the delight of seeing another Whedon show canceled too soon as part of the deal. In any case, it is clear that drastic action must be taken if fans want to see the show last longer than its ill-fated predecessors.

In the spirit of past grassroots organizations that tried and failed to save Firefly and Dollhouse, Whedon’s prior efforts in the TV arena, this new group will be known as the “Mailshirts.”


  1. I’m still scratching my head around how a man revered for his work at portraying women in a positive light got away with making a “high-concept” show about what was essentially a whorehouse of brainless women.

  2. @Paul: I’d say the first 3 or so episodes of Dollhouse were indeed “truly awful”, but it got pretty fantastic once it hit its stride. Not Firefly good, but still pretty good.

    I think it botched some things in the ending (bad guy turns out to be Just Friggin’ Crazy; I think it would have worked a lot better if they’d given him some “I’ve seen what’s coming and I need to fight for the greater good” motivation instead) but by and large it worked really well.

  3. I’m with Thad on Dollhouse. Had its moments, not great. But I think these Outhousers come off as easily dismissable right out of the gate with such a stupid, insulting proposal. Fox has a vendetta against a guy they did two shows with? Really? Neither shows were hits, whatever one’s opinions of them. Ultimately, more people wanted to watch Hell’s Kitchen or whatever, and that’s undoubtedly cheaper to produce as well. As for the speculation about this being a move by Disney to placate Fox to get Daredevil back, why would Disney screw with the guy who directed the biggest Marvel hit in order to get back the rights to a property with a much lower probability of success? Insteat of the aggrieved tone, why not focus on the fact that of all Whedon’s shows, an Avengers-related show has a built-in fanbase and it’s the right time for it?

  4. I have what I fear will be seen as a really dumb question. But I need to know the answer.

    I never watched “Firefly” and have no real feelings about it one way or the other. But I see this “It was canceled too soon!” all the time. So my question is, if “Firefly” was such an amazing show, why was it canceled?

    Not trying to be a smartass at all. But why? And please, no opinionating or supposition. If anyone knows factually why the show was canceled (i.e. low ratings, too expensive, whatever) could you please clue me in?

  5. @Matt: Low ratings, likely resulting from airing on Fridays, running out of sequence, and being poorly promoted. Plus it was at the height of Fox’s “cancel everything to make room for more reality TV” period; when Family Guy returned from cancellation it opened with a joke to the effect of “They need to make room for more shows like” — followed by a list of probably 30 different shows — “and Firefly. But if ALL THOSE SHOWS go down the tubes, then sure, maybe we’ll come back.”

    So yeah, it REALLY WAS Fox’s fault and nothing to do with the actual merits of the show.

    If it had, say, been given the timeslot after The Simpsons and still gotten cancelled, I’m sure people would have been upset, but it would have at least felt like Fox gave it a shot. (Futurama got 4 seasons — spread across 5 years –, and Family Guy and Arrested Development each got 3. They all premiered in the post-Simpsons timeslot, two of them won Emmys and the other got a nomination, and all developed a devoted fanbase which vocally protested their cancellation and eventually succeeded in getting new episodes made.)

  6. @Matt Kish,

    Firefly was cancelled because its episodes were aired out of sequence and its airdate and time slot changed three or four times during a nine-episode run. Fox took the fact that had very low viewership to cancel the show before it even finished airing the produced episodes.

    It was nonetheless somewhere near the absolute pinnacle of televised entertainment.

  7. @Matt… Here’s the easiest way to explain why the show was doomed: the series is serial. Each episode builds upon the previous, and they must be told sequentially.

    Now, based on the “air date” listed on the DVD boxed set:

    September 20, 2002: Episode #2 – The Train Job
    September 27, 2002: Episode #3 – Bushwacked
    October 4, 2002: Episode #6 – Our Mrs. Reynolds

    October 18, 2002: Episode #7 – Jaynestown
    October 25, 2002: Episode #8 – Out of Gas
    November 1, 2002: Episode #4 – Shindig
    November 8, 2002: Episode #5 – Safe
    November 15, 2002: Episode #9 – Ariel

    December 6, 2002: Episode #10 – War Stories
    December 13, 2002: Episode #14 – Objects in Space
    December 20, 2002: Episode #1 – Serenity

    Episodes 11, 12, and 13 were Never Aired.

  8. Thad, likefunbutnot and Darketower, thank you all for that. I really appreciate the straightforward answer and the whole thing finally makes some sense to me now.

  9. Fox has always had a thing about cancelling shows too soon. FIREFLY followed in the proud tradition of THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, another Friday night show with a loyal following that was cancelled way too soon.

    It’s pretty amazing that X-FILES didn’t share the same fate, but I’m sure it came close.

  10. @Heidi: Ah, you never forget your first unfairly-canceled Fox show. Mine was The Critic.

    My fiancee is currently outraged over The Finder. I can’t believe she made it this long before experiencing a case of Traumatic Fox Cancellation.

    (And I keep explaining to her, hey, it’s a spinoff; Hart could still finish it off in an episode of Bones, like how Carter used X-Files to finish Millennium and Lone Gunmen.)

    Hell, Fox put Simpsons on opposite The Cosby Show in its second season — that’s practically sabotage.

  11. Thad, can we make a campaign for what you suggested? I need a different ending to the Finder from the one that aired, it was absolutely horrible!

  12. I actually kinda love how Finder ended, but I’m a cynic who derives joy from shows ending on melodramatic cliffhangers. (I choose to believe Alf was vivisected by spooky government agents.)

    Anyhow, I don’t know that any campaign is necessary; I’m sure the thought’s already crossed Hanson’s mind and if he wants to do it he’ll try to do it. I wouldn’t expect it this season, since this season was probably written before he knew Finder was canceled, but maybe next year?

    Then it’s a question of getting the cast onboard, but I don’t expect that’ll be much of a problem — Michael Clark Duncan might have a busy schedule but he was really the only A-lister in the cast.

    I guess it probably couldn’t hurt to send a letter or something to let him know there’s fan support. But I don’t put much stock in Internet petitions and the like.