While it’s growing increasingly common for a network to cancel a show, only to have it picked up by another network or streaming service, it’s not a given. When FOX cancelled ‘Lucifer’, star Tom Ellis admitted that he felt “crushed and gutted” for the first 36 hours, before the cancellation was announced publically.
“The outpouring from everywhere was really overwhelming… Then, the next day, because of that outpouring, I got a call from Warner Bros. saying that it hadn’t gone unnoticed, and that they were going to try to find a new home for it. In that period of time, I encouraged people to keep making noise because it seemed to have at least made a conversation start. Once there was a conversation, there was still hope, even though I knew that the chances of it being picked up were really slim. I think that the constant knocking on the door from the fans, Netflix was subsequently as overwhelmed and happy to see the response, and it felt like a good fit for them to have us. When eventually it was picked up, I was obviously thrilled, but I was more thrilled for the fans than anybody because they just really, really wanted it.”
But fans of various endangers and cancelled shows should be aware that it’s never as tidy as an outlet like Netflix saying “Hey, over here! We’ll take it!” Ellis reveals that there were some issues that almost resulted in the rescue not happening. “I think a lot of it was about Netflix having to reclaim the rights, globally, from various places, in order to secure having it. That was a lengthy process.”
Some fans are excited that new episodes of ‘Lucifer’ will not be bound by the same standards as FOX, but Ellis is mindful of potentially alienating some viewers who liked the show exactly the way it was.
“Because we were on Fox, we had boundaries in place and we could never go too far. We could never go vulgar… There are things that alienate certain audience members, and we became very mindful of that, once the show got picked up by Netflix. So, even though we have new boundaries that we can operate in, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t change the show that people have fallen in love with.”
Another thing that may turn off some fans is the fact that the new season on Netflix is only ten episodes, versus 22 on FOX, but Ellis thinks that’s a positive change:
“What happens when you’re on a network and you have to 22 episodes is that you end up diluting and elongating and really stretching out a story. It’s quite a challenge. My favorite episodes, at least when we were on Fox, were always the ones that were rich with story. The result of having 10 episodes a season is actually a benefit… because you get the best version… You get the lean, great storytelling, for all of our characters, all the way through the 10 episodes, and it makes it more compelling… I feel like it’s our strongest season, for lots of reasons. The fact that now you can sit down and watch them, one after the other, really changes that. The end of every episode has got something where you want to know what’s next.”
Netflix now offers the entire series of ‘Lucifer’ including the new fourth season.
If you’re a longtime fan, how do the new episodes stack up to the ones aired on FOX?