Monday, June 23, 2014

We need a channel called Second Seasons

So it's a pain every Nerd knows well. A new show happens. It's about robots and cops, or space cowboys, or dudes with microchips in their heads. You think it's a good idea, so you watch it. And you love it. And for every Sleepy Hollow that gets renewed on the third episode and given five more weeks to play out its story next season, there's an Almost Human, an Intelligence, a Firefly. Good shows that were never given a chance, probably because of FOX. Shows you loved despite the fact that you knew that loving it was a curse that would kill it, like you're some sort of show-destroyer who should just stay hidden from TV...or is that just me?

It's like that gif up there.

So here's my proposal:

Since SyFy has suffered from the sort of channel drift that means the creator of Farscape is now covered in ghost hunters and pro wrestling, and isn't rescuing shows like it did with Stargate, no matter how awesome they'd be in their lineup, we need a channel that is just for rescuing shows recently cancelled by skittish networks

Think about it. How many times has a wonderful, well-written (or at least well-conceived) show not been given a chance, and we hear "the creators are shopping it to other networks", and then we never hear from them again, unless we're talking about Veronica Mars? Well, what if this was the other channel? What if there was a built-in channel that is dedicated to giving another season to shows with vocal, but maybe smaller-than-networks-like new shows? And giving those shows' creators and writers enough leeway to do what they wanted to do the first time? And giving them the chance to prove that the show really was a hit waiting to happen?

After that, the channel can keep them, or move them to a more traditional sister channel just for the ones that do prove themselves, or sell them back to their original networks with a nice smug profit, or allow the creators to close the series the way they always wanted to--whichever works best for everyone involved. It can be a niche cable channel like TNT, or a premium channel like Starz or HBO, or it can be a new breed of internet channel, or it can be a figurative "channel"--a way to get shows made, and then sell whole seasons to Netflix or something.

The point is, there'd be a way to get more goodness out of good things, without destroying them in the process, AND there'd be a safety net--a place to take these shows if the home networks drop them, as well as a competitor that the home networks know is just waiting for them to cancel something, possibly incentivizing (I hate that word) them into giving more effort, leeway, chance and support to the sorts of shows Second Seasons would like to have!

And! Second Seasons could pick up any show it wants, if it's off the air. It could give new seasons, or TV-movie-wrap ups to all of those shows that sit like sore spots in all our fandom psyches! Hell, if they're really bold, they could even do a TV version of Kindle Worlds, and sort of legalize fanfic--let original writers and actors show what they would have liked to have happened, and have guest writers tell stories they might have told, given a chance. 

What do you think? Would you watch this channel?

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