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Forever - "ABC's Worst Decision Could Be a Big Win For Netflix, Hulu, or TNT"

It’s bound to happen at least once every television season. A network makes a bad call. This year’s baddest call is the cancellation of Forever. Fear not fans of Forever, your fellow fans have not taken this cancellation lying down, but they do need your help.

Alana De La Garza (Jo) & Ioan Gruffudd (Henry)
Even before Forever’s fate was known for sure, fans were already working on letting the network know how passionately they loved this show. The fans were instrumental in getting the show a full pick-up for the season through a letter writing campaign in the fall and the hope was to achieve the same success with renewal. See my previous article here. Sadly, ABC was too short-sighted to see the potential for this show. However, I wish I had a dime for every Forever fan who suddenly appeared in stunned disbelief in hearing that their new favorite show hadn’t been renewed! Star Ioan Gruffudd was equally surprised and reached out almost immediately to fans on Instagram.

Joel David Moore (Lucas) (photoshopped image - see his tweet to fans here)
The goal now is to have ABC change their mind or let another network – TNT – or Netflix or Hulu pick up the show. In case you think I’m just jumping on the bandwagon of my own personal favorite show, let’s look at some of the evidence that this cancellation was a bad call. Entertainment Weekly did a season end poll on viewers’ most missed canceled show. Forever crushed the list with 43.7% of the vote. The next show on the list was The Mindy Project at 16.47%, and that show has already been picked up by Hulu! Need a little more context? On the same list, Two and a Half Men only garnered 2.9%. We at SpoilerTV also ran a “Which Show Will You Miss the Most Poll” and Forever topped that list too with 27% of the vote – The Mentalist was #2 with 14%. Deadline pointed out how strongly Forever finished the season in the ratings: “The finale of freshman Forever (1.1/4), which has seen a 70% improvement in ABC’s Tuesday 10 PM performance, had a 10% rise over its last original of April 21.”

Forever had a tough spot with stiff competition from established shows in the 10pm Tuesday slot. However, for the finale, according to TV by the Numbers, “Forever tied CBS’ season finale of Person of Interest in Adults 18-49 and beat the CBS drama with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.” It was also hampered by the male-skewing, younger demographic of its lead in Agents of SHIELD. Forever consistently went up 1.0 in the demographic with DVR live +7 numbers. Other networks are taking these numbers into consideration, but ABC seems to be lagging behind. An older-skewing demographic might be very attractive to Netlix and Hulu who are looking to expand their subscribers past the younger-skewing cable-cutting generation. Netflix picked up Longmire, a show with a comparable audience and slightly lower ratings, in November of 2014 and is about to run its season four. When Netflix tweeted, asking fans which show they should pick up next, Forever “stood above the rest.”

Now more than ever before, shows are dependent on an International audience. So is Forever not a success in other countries? On the contrary, Forever is crushing ratings in France and gathering strong followers in the UK and Australia where whole new audiences are falling in love with the show – and clamoring for more! According to Le Top Buzz, Forever is #3 in France, and according to Public is averaging 6 million viewers! Keep in mind that the population of France is 65 million and the US is 320 million. In the UK, the season finale was number 6 of the top 10 rated shows that week according to TvGuide.

Graphic by Stephanie Emma Schoppert
Fans have primarily taken to social media to lobby for that second season. There is a petition that has garnered almost 50,000 signatures and is being supported by the likes of Anne Rice who is a fan of the show too. The petition has been signed by fans from 99 countries – so far! You can find the petition here. Sign it and share it! Fans are also holding Twitter parties to show support and bring attention to how much they want the show back. My main contacts for the campaign have been Deb Servey, Tonya Lindsey, and Lin Blank. Information on Twitter parties can be found through Deb Servey’s twitter or on the Forever Fan Page on Facebook.

Creator Matt Miller has been keeping fans in the loop as much as possible through Twitter. He let fans know the following “Nothing new to report at this moment. Show is actively being shopped by Warners. Stay tuned next week.” The Tweet was tagged to Netflix, Hulu, and TNT. All of the cast have been great about supporting the fans and letting them know that they are eager to continue with the characters they’ve created. This engagement by the cast and creator is another reason these networks should be picking up the show!

There are still a lot of reasons to believe that Forever will continue, and that’s one of the great things about television these days – viewers have options unlike any time in the past. Viewers aren’t forced to simply accept the bad decisions of a few network executives, and it’s never been easier to let the powers that be know what we really want to see on our televisions – or computers, tablets, or smart phones! It’s clear that viewers want more Forever! The network that is savvy enough to pick up this terrific show will have a built in loyal, active following who will continue to support the show and by extension the network that picks the show up. I suspect that any current viewers who don’t already subscribe to Netflix or Hulu will be doing so as soon as a pick up is announced.

With networks busy making decisions now, it’s more important than ever to get involved in the fan campaign, so don’t forget – sign the petition, tweet – and drop some love to the actors while you’re at it! – and join the Facebook page for all the latest information! Don't forget to share the petition with friends, family, and total strangers! Are you missing Forever? Will you follow it anywhere? Sound off in the comments and feel free to leave links to other ways to help save the show! #SaveForever

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.

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