While speaking with some people over the last few weeks there has been a lot of chatter about FIREFLY. There are those who think FIREFLY is the only reason DOLLHOUSE was renewed (not true, but everyone is entitled to their opinion) because FOX didn’t want another FIREFLY disaster (basically the DVD set selling in outrageously large numbers that proved the series was canceled prematurely, and treated horribly). I kept saying “If that was the only reason, they’d just bring FIREFLY back, and pull a FAMILY GUY.”
Is that realistic? Well lets first consider the fact that DOLLHOUSE was renewed for multiple reasons and FIREFLY was likely in the back of their minds. However Eliza Dushku & Joss along with the rest of the cast and crew provided a lot of good reasons for renewing the show during the 2nd half of season one. DOLLHOUSE was renewed for a lot of reasons and FIREFLY wasn’t a big part of it. However that doesn’t mean that FOX wouldn’t like to bring it back.
Would they? Yes. I think from my talks with the people running FOX that they would bring it back under the right circumstances. However, you must understand that right now Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, and Alan Tudyk (plus he was killed in SERENITY) all have gigs for the foreseeable future. However don’t underestimate the power of a movie. FOX could likely be easily talked into a Movie or two for next season. They could air after an NFL game or playoff game. The movies would easily sell on DVD.
The question now falls into rights, but the guys at FOX wouldn’t be alone. If Universal is now in possession of future rights to projects, NBC or USA wouldn’t mind getting in on the cash opportunity either. A couple movies shot and made for TV and then released on DVD would be profitable for anyone involved. At the same time the cast would still be able to keep doing their normal gigs. Just shoot the movie around their schedules.
A Movie made for TV does a few things. One it reminds fans of why they love the Brand. For another it brings new viewer possibilities to the Brand. A movie could spike the original series DVD and Blu-Ray sales as well as SERENITY sales. For the network that runs it they find out how viable a Brand it can be. Is it worthy of bringing back? The ratings will make the point for them. I’m betting it would pull a 3.0+ with ease. Bring in $150k to $220k a spot and for a 2 hour film that is nothing to sneeze at. Set a budget of $4M for the movie and you’re looking at serious profit before DVD sales ever enter the equation.
Mutant Enemy should try selling it. One movie’s success could easily spell 2 movies in 2010-2011 season, and may in fact mean a whole new series if CASTLE can’t quite make it. UNIVERSAL MCA once made a big splash on TV by making movies just for TV and it was a success that lasted years and died out in the 80s. I still think it’s a viable business option for TV if done right. FIREFLY is just the right property. Mutant Enemy should approach them because if they’re waiting for a TV executive to come up with that kind of good idea, they’ll be waiting forever. NBC would easily kill for anything that could pull over a 3.0 right now and FOX wouldn’t mind pulling that for a Sunday evening either.