Along with everyone else, I read the Facebook clickbait (I know, shame on me) about Fox being willing to ‘reboot Firefly.’ As the article indicates, Fox would consider rebooting Firefly “if Joss Whedon himself wanted to revisit it.” Then they admit that they are in fact yanking our chain by saying: “Madden suspects Whedon is now too busy with movies, and he would not consider doing Firefly without Whedon.”
So there you have it. This is the sci-fi equivalent of Lucy going “come and kick the ball, Charlie Brown.” For all kinds of personal and professional reasons, I feel comfortable in saying that a reboot of Firefly will not happen. Not that I should have to revisit this same territory. God knows, we’ve raked over this endlessly since the show ended fourteen years ago. But let’s go over it again. Hey, it’s Friday.
Remember that time when a show became a movie and then went back to being a successful TV show? Neither do I. Neither does Fox. They’re famous for killing interesting sci-fi shows after one season. Yes, yes, you want Firefly back. I also want Almost Human back. Care to guess when that’s going to happen?
Fox doesn’t think a reboot will work – Fox would have rebooted Firefly years ago if there was an audience for it. There, I said it. While you personally may love the show and will commit to telling everyone you know about how wonderful it is, that doesn’t guarantee a return on investment. Angry people on the Internet don’t guarantee Nielsen ratings. No matter how many Tweets you send out, how many angry threads on Reddit you post, there needs to be enough regular watchers of the show to cost-justify the production and that’s what has never shown up during this entire discussion. Fox has to keep the lights on. The numbers aren’t there. Sorry.
Firefly won’t be rebooted because everyone has moved on – This is the biggest nail in the coffin. The article itself states that ‘[Whedon would] do it if it felt right and when the cast is freed up from their busy schedules.’ Joss Whedon is busy being … well, Joss Whedon. Tim Minear is producing American Horror Story and the much-anticipated Feud. Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau all have successful acting careers working on other projects. Ron Glass passed away last year. Firefly had the special magic of bringing together the right people at the right moment to make something beautiful. But like tears in rain, moments get lost in time. Firefly isn’t immune to that reality.
None of this should be a mystery to the sci-fi community. We’re all grown-ups and we know that sometimes the answers aren’t simple. ‘Bring Back Firefly’ has become the geek equivalent of ‘the South will rise again.’ You’re embarrassing yourself. Stop it.
I reserve the right to be wrong about all this, of course. This is just my insight based on the given data. Want my advice? Quit talking about this and go watch Stranger Things. There are other worlds out there to discover.