A long time ago, in a television galaxy far, far away, there was a series on the USA Network that brought fans from all over the world together in front of their television sets. Ok, sorry for the Star Wars reference, but you get the point.
This series had it all, a mixture of drama, comedy, action and science fiction. Sadly, this show only lasted several seasons and like many cancelled shows, it left the fans with a massive cliffhanger; that show was The 4400.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, let’s give you a little bit of a history lesson. Originally titled A Light in the Sky, The 4400 aired on the USA Network for four seasons from 2004 until its cancellation in 2007. The series was created by Scott Peters and Rene Echevarria.
In the pilot episode of the series, a ball of white light appears and returns 4,400 people who have been abducted over the years all at once, some abducted as far back as 1946. They return with no memory of where they have been and they look exactly the same as they did when they were first abducted. NTAC agents Tom Baldwin (Joel Gretsch) and Diana Skouris (Jacqueline McKenzie) are tasked to track and investigate any issues with the return of The 4400.
Sounds like a cool premise right? The series started off strong in the ratings during the first season and held steady in the second season as well. As the series continued, the ratings started to decline and with budgetary cuts and the Writers Guild of America strike, show creator Scott Peters announced in late 2007 that the series had been cancelled by the USA Network.
Soon after the series cancellation, fans of the show began signing petitions and urging the network to bring the show back.
Some fans realized that there was no central location for any and all information regarding the attempt to bring the series back, so they mobilized and created the Save The 4400 campaign. This more organized group sent petitions and sunflower seeds to the then Sci Fi Channel and Bonnie Hammer, who was President of the USA Network at the time. Although the campaign did get some attention, in the end, it failed at its goal to help bring the series back.
Beginning in 2004, DVD season sets were starting to be released and finally in October of 2008, the complete series set was released. Add to this the addition of the series to Netflix and The 4400 was now being seen by an entirely new group of people who also wondered why the series had been cancelled.
Flash forward to 2015 and the growing sentiment that The 4400 should return to television is even stronger. With the revival of series such as Full House and The X-Files, fans have now organized once again and started the Bring Back The 4400 campaign.
This time around, not only does the campaign have even more dedicated fans, but many of the cast and crew of the series are now involved. Recently, cast members such as Joel Gretsch, Billy Campbell, Jacqueline McKenzie and Conchita Campbell sent in videos to the campaign urging fans to sign a petition and let the powers that be know that there is an audience out there that wants the series back. As of this writing, the petition that goes along with the campaign is at almost 39,000 signatures.
Now the question is, can The 4400 be resurrected? Well, to be honest, it’s not a simple question to answer. The series was a co-production between CBS Television Studios formerly known as CBS Paramount Network Television and Sky. That situation would have to be worked out as well as most likely giving the USA Network the first opportunity to pick up or pass on the revival.
CBS Television Studios is aware of the push to bring back the series, but at this time, our sources told us there is nothing actively in development.
What about taking the series to Netflix? It’s interesting that these days, when a series gets cancelled, that is one of the first things fans ask. Well, our sources from Netflix tell us they have heard nothing about a new season and it’s not something in active development.
What does this mean for fans of The 4400? From what we can gather, there are no plans that we know of to bring back the series to any outlet. While there is a big push for the series to return, it’s going to take more than an online petition to bring the series back to our television screens. Look at what fans of Longmire did recently.
After the show was cancelled by A&E after several successful seasons, fans known as the Longmire Posse banded together and not only started petitions, but reached out to cast and crew from the series, contacted companies that advertised during the shows run on the network. This effort wasn’t the only reason the series was eventually picked up by Netflix, but it did let them know that there was a huge audience for the series.
Bottom line, The 4400 was a unique and special brand of science fiction television that does deserve a second chance. Fans of the series who would like to see the show return can sign the petition and let your voices be heard.
Will it happen, most likely not, but did any of you think that Twin Peaks would be coming back? No, we didn’t either…