“Show’s going to last three weeks!”
“Six seasons and a movie!”
* * * * *
Fans turned a 20 second clip from Community into a rally cry. #SixSeasonsAndaMovie is the only social media campaign I participated in, and one I sought out as a fan. The campaign is unique since fans started it and was later picked up by other organizations.
The point is simple, save Community from being cancelled, which was a risk every season. The end of season five was where it was called upon the most, for the odds of renewal were the worst, though the show was doing better in ratings than many others renewed by NBC.
Most of the battle was fought on Twitter, with fans voicing their opinions and demonstrating the cult audience the series had. Facebook became another battle ground, with the formation of many groups and petitions being made. Cast members were also encouraging fans to tweet every day to show their support. Sony, the company behind Community, adopted the campaign when they started the bid for renewal. The internet was flooded with official posters parodying movies, and creating more fan involvement.
The campaign is a failure and a success. NBC did not renew Community, but Yahoo picked it up for season six. The power of fans and social media was demonstrated in saving a television series. The amazing thing is the campaign constantly evolves. While Community may have run its course, fans on Twitter are using #SixSeasonsAndaMovie for other television shows in jeopardy of cancellation. Even online dictionaries associate the hashtag with any show on the verge of cancellation with a cult like following.
Community recently wrapped its sixth season, leading to another change in the campaign. The final episode ends with #andamovie. The six seasons are complete, now the movie remains. So far the odds are good, with show creators feeling they owe fans the movie. If one looks doubtful, I’m sure fans will take to social media again.
Never underestimate nerds and geeks. Cult followings are powerful, with social media giving fans power to voice their opinions.