High Profile Producer Turns to Kickstarter to Revive Beloved Show

It used to be that fandom was exclusively for those who dressed up like storm troopers and made the trek all the way to Los Angeles for the little-known convention known as Comic Con.

Now, with the help of the Internet, fans can piss and moan and share their love over cancelled shows like "Terriers." No, the 2010 FX series wasn't about people landing on another planet or geeks who all fall for the same girl. "Terriers" followed two unlicensed private investigators who struggle through the day-to-day difficulties of their cases and shattered lives. And it was brilliant.

And now "Terriers" producer Shawn Ryan has revealed he hopes to bring his all too real and all too funny characters back for some more crime solving in a feature-length film to cap off the series.

Ryan told tbivision.com:

“I’ve had friends who’ve raised money for indie movies through Kickstarter, and I started to think that if you wanted to make a 2-hour movie that capped off that series, how much would it cost to make it and would there be a way to raise the money via a combination of Netflix and Kickstarter?"

You know the economy just ain't what it should be when the producer of "The Shield" is considering turning to the fans for financial help. However, it's not all bad. The television and storytelling format is changing and perhaps for the better. More and more power is being put into the hands of consumers and independent artists rather than large studios.

“It’s a very nervous time in the TV industry because paradigms are changing  but it’s also exciting because in the past the show would have been dead and gone and never to be revived but is there a way to do something.”

He's certainly right about one thing: in today's age of message boards and constant connectivity, it has become possible to keep beloved stories and characters alive. It doesn't have to involve characters who fight space aliens, and fans don't need to show up to conventions dressed as our favorite heroes and villains. Although, growing a beard, putting on a few pounds and dressing like a bum actually sounds like a fun way to remember good old Hank Dolworth.

Ryan isn't talking about anything too new, although the idea of turning to the fans to help put together a film seems groundbreaking. He'd definitely be the most high-profile filmmaker to use Kickstarter to fund a feature film. But, the torches for short lived and beloved series have been carried on by the fans before ... and for quite some time.

Next year, Netflix plans to post a long awaited fourth season to the FOX television show "Arrested Development." The comedy got cancelled in 2006. Netflix also considered, for a time, on doing the same sort of revival for the one-season wonders, "The River" and "Terra Nova."

Fan love and appreciation has paid off in even bigger ways before as well. Fans of "Jericho" were rewarded with a short second season of the show when they bombarded the CBS offices with pounds and pounds of peanuts (apparently a reference to a line from the finale), and fans of the the Joss Whedon series, "Firefly," were treated to a feature film after the cancellation. Both "Family Guy" and Futurama" were brought back from the dead all because of the dedicated fans. And none of them even had to dress up like storm troopers or Queens from other planets (weekends don't count).

So, in our failing economy and among the growing amount of crap we see on television, does Ryan have the right idea? Who knows. All I know is that a "Terriers" movie would kick ass, and I'd be scrounging for change under the sofa to throw my two cents in (hopefully more, but times are tough).

So, for all you Terrierists out there, what do you think? Would a feature film quench your thirst for more of these unlicensed private eyes? Would you help fund the movie? Ryan says Fox 21 still owns the rights and creator Ted Griffin still needs to approve the idea, but there's a realistic chance it could happen.

Sound off in the comments about which short-lived shows you loved and would like to see come back in one form or another.


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