Opinion: Social Media’s Power to Save TV and Film

Social media has its fair share of issues. We have to deal with fake news, trolls, cyberbullying, and a plethora of other issues. However, there is a light within all of the darkness within social media. Just this year we have seen some positives out of it. One of its powers is to help our favorite TV shows and movies. Without it then we may not have some excellent shows or films. These excellent pieces of entertainment could have never seen the light of day or been canceled to never see the light of day again. Until the fans have an uproar on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites to get the attention of studios to revive the project.

A prime example would be Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Last week Fox announced the show’s cancelation. Fans took to their social media accounts to express their outrage towards Fox. In a surprising manner, this caught NBC’s attention which soon after the cancelation made an announcement about the show’s revival. The question about whether this was the plan all along or not is up for debate. Time must be taken to get everyone’s contracts in order and to make a deal between the two network giants. None-the-less, fans will be getting a new season of the cop sitcom.

Before a phone call or letter would have to be utilized to get a show like Brooklyn Nine-Nine back on the air. Even then, with or without social media, nobody is guaranteed to get the show back just because you want it to. Voicing an opinion may not do anything, but with minimal effort to potentially get a result, then you have nothing to lose at all.

I am not saying that writing letters is less powerful, but this is about the easy access and instant reply that social media can get out of people, especially a studio that canned your favorite show. Back in the 80s, Designing Woman was canceled by CBS after tanking views during the first season. People loved the show and wrote in to call out CBS for setting the show up to fail and that people really did love Designing Woman. The show’s prime time slot was switched over which gave speculation as to why the views dropped. After 50,000 people wrote to express how upset they were about the show being canceled, CBS revived it. The show then went on to go for seven seasons after its revival.

With resources like Twitter or Facebook, there is no need to wait a few days to weeks to see if a letter reaches someone. The phone is still available, but you may not get the response you want. If thousands of people take to Twitter to spam the mentions of a network’s account then those people will eventually get noticed.

Films are in the same boat in many ways. Studios want to make money, and if a project seems like it cannot make a big splash at the box office, then what is the point? Look at the success of Deadpool to show that if something seems like it would fail, might not be true. Ryan Reynolds was fighting for roughly ten years to get the project started, and Fox never wanted to believe in him.

The story of Deadpool has a lot of elements to why Fox was against the project. Superhero movies were secured for a PG-13 rating to let kids and adults all enjoy. The success of Sam Rami’s Spider-Man movies goes to show, well maybe we can ignore the third movie. Still, those movies are a great example as to why it would work to keep the films at PG-13. As the MCU got started, it showed a perfect balance for adults and kids. The universe of Marvel movies has made Disney billions of dollars. So, why make a superhero movie of a guy who is a foul-mouthed murderer? Fox did have valid reasoning behind their decision.

Ryan Reynolds was not the strongest spokesperson to get the project greenlit. Fox did not want a rated R superhero movie, especially if it stars the guy who did Green Lantern which is still an embarrassment to the genre. However, some footage of Ryan as the Merc with the mouth came online. After the leak, people took to social media to let it be known how incredible the footage looked. Fox did take their time because of how worried they were about Ryan Reynolds, and the fear about a rated R superhero flick was still scary. However, once they finally gave Ryan the thumbs up, Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wenrick got to work. The rest became history once the incredible marketing came full speed and the film released to become the highest grossing rated R movie ever made.

Fans who are worried about a project that may never see the light or something that has been canceled should look at the positive side of it. Their voices may not be heard, but they could be. With the resources with have today, anything is possible. Social media is easy access that puts out a message instantly. A studio could get thousands of phone calls or letters which are still powerful. The story is different when fans take to every social media outlet that a company has and spams them to give them back their show. The world is different now, we have new methods to revive shows or movies. If the revival does not happen, at least people went in fighting for that show to come back. Imagine how many more shows or movies could still be around if people just voiced their opinions.

 

Image via Fox

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