Brow Beat

Netflix Wants You to Cool It With the Fan Campaigns

Seriously, guys, just be cool about this.

Murray Close/Netflix

We’ve been living in the age of fan campaigns since 1968, when Star Trek was saved from cancellation by a bunch of Caltech students who literally marched to NBC’s Burbank offices with torches. The basic model hasn’t changed much over the years, for the simple reason that the villagers-from-Frankenstein approach is still working: Just this spring, NBC reversed its decision to cancel Timeless after hearing from outraged fans. But, as Vulture reported, Netflix isn’t NBC, and it wants to be very clear about one thing: Stop telling the company to bring back Sense8. It’s not gonna bringing back Sense8. In a statement on Sense8’s Facebook page, the company politely asked fans of the Wachowskis’ Netflix series—which the network canceled on June 1—to lay off the hashtags for a while:


To our Sense8 family…
We’ve seen the petitions.
We’ve read the messages.
We know you want to #RenewSense8, and we wish we could #BringBackSense8 for you.
The reason we’ve taken so long to get back to you is because we’ve thought long and hard here at Netflix to try to make it work but unfortunately we can’t.
Thank you for watching and hope you’ll stay close with your cluster around the world.

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos also addressed Sense8’s cancellation at the Producers Guild conference on Saturday, according to the Hollywood Reporter, telling the audience, “They made a beautiful show … the audience was very passionate, but not large enough to support the economics of something that big, even on our platform.” Of course, “not large enough to support the economics of something that big” is not at all the same thing as “not large enough to drive everyone at Netflix crazy.” It’s unclear yet if its new approach will manage to pour oil on the troubled waters of Sense8 fandom—the mood in the #RenewSense8 hashtag was, unsurprisingly, defiant. But every network is going to need to develop effective strategies for dealing with “very passionate, but not large enough” audiences, or else resign itself to never cancelling anything. Either way, this seems like a good time to try to convince NBC to #RenewMyMotherTheCar.