In an age of television and film where nostalgia plays a prominent role, the online streaming service Netflix has been at the forefront of reviving popular shows with a cult following. Most of these shows ended due to a decline in viewership and often weren’t given the send off that they deserved. The internet has given vocal fans a platform to voice their desires for shows to be revived and it’s often Netflix that answers their prayers. Netflix also poses a wide array of viewership data and are able to identify programming that may see a successful revival. While some revivals have been more successful than others, the streaming giant continues to bring back shows that were discarded by traditional networks. Here’s a list of shows that were revived by Netflix and saw various degress of success.
10. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Tina Fey-produced comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt seemed like a lock for her home turf of NBC after the studio ordered a 13 episode run before a pilot was even created. After NBC placed the show on the back burner Netflix swooped in and announced that the show would be exclusive to their streaming service. Netflix immediately aired the show and also picked up a second season of the show about a woman who attempts to reclaim her life after spending 15 years in a cult.
The show would see great success on Netflix being renewed for a third and fourth season as well as earning several Emmy nominations during its time. Fast forward to 2018 and Netflix just announced that the show will end after its fourth season, that’s a pretty good run for a show that was put out to the pasture by NBC.
While most of you know Degrassi as “that show that Drake used to be on”, the series had been around for over 30 years. Getting its start back in 1987 the Canadian produced drama has seen the release of over 621 episode across all incarnations making it the longest-running show in Canadian history. The show was known for pushing the envelope and wasn’t afraid to tackle important topics like teen pregnancy, drugs, and suicide. The show was widely popular in Canada but bounced around networks in the United States for decades.
Degrassi: The Next Generation aired on TeenNick for 14 seasons but the show was dropped in 2015. In 2016 Netflix announced that Degrassi: Next Class would be coming to the streaming platform with many of the same cast members. Since then the series has aired four 10-episode seasons but the series’ return is up in the air.
Longmire became the “highest-rated original drama series” on A&E; however, following the conclusion of the third season in August 2014, the network announced that it would not renew the series. The show was canceled by A&E after a cliffhanger of a Season 3 finale, fans were up in arms, gearing up to protest until the show was somehow saved after Warner Horizon Television shopped the show around Netflix stepped up and purchased the rights.
The series, developed by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin, is based on the Walt Longmire Mysteries series of novels by the best-selling author Craig Johnson. After a tumultuous multi-network run Netflix’s intense crime drama came to an end after the sixth and final season hit the platform in November 2017. Thanks to Netflix the show was given the proper send-off that fans of the series deserved.
7. Gilmore Girls
The flagship series for The WB network in the early 2000s, Gilmore Girls ran for seven seasons with the final season moving to The CW before ending in 2007. The show is centered around the relationship between single mother Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory who live in small-town Connecticut. The show never drew large ratings but was a relative success for The WB, peaking during season five as the network’s second-most-popular show. Gilmore Girls has been in syndication since 2004, leading to a growing and dedicated fandom which has elevated the show to cult classic status.
Nine years after the end of the original series, Netflix revived the series with a much-awaited four episode sequel. The show’s return is up in the air but a recent interview Netflix’s VP of original content, Cindy Holland said “We haven’t discussed it at all. But [series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino] knows that we are very big fans of Gilmore Girls.”
6. Full House
Full House had a successful run of 192 episodes airing on ABC from 1987-1995. The show follows the everyday life of widowed father Danny Tanner who enlists his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis and best friend Joey Gladstone to help raise his three daughters, D.J., Stephanie and youngest Michelle in his San Francisco home. Despite still being among the Top 25 in ratings, ABC announced that the show would come to an end after the eighth season. While the show never received praise from critics, it was widely popular in syndicated reruns and found a large international audience.
In 2014 Netflix announced that it had closed a deal to produce a 13-episode sequel series entitled Fuller House. The show would shift focus to D.J., a veterinarian struggling to raise three boys after her firefighter husband Tommy Fuller is killed in the line of duty. Most of the original cast reprised their roles with John Stamos guest starring and serving as the show’s producer. Aftera successful revival Fuller House has since released two more seasons on Netflix with no word yet on the fourth.
5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an excellent 3D CGI animated television series that premiered on the Cartoon Network on October 3, 2008. The show set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy during the years between the prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and is a part of official Star Wars canon. After a successful run on the Cartoon Network Lucasfilm announced that show would be “winding down” after the fifth season.
Season six aired on aired on Netflix and the show’s entire catalog was made available on the streaming service as well. In July of 2018, Lucasfilm announced that show would make the move to Disney’s upcoming streaming service. Netflix still has the rights to the show at the moment but that will end in 2019, we suggest you check it out while you still can.
4. Trailer Park Boys
The Canadian produced mokumentry series that follows the exploits of a group of troubled trailer park residents saw a successful seven-season run that ended in 2007. Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles played by Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, and Mike Smith had developed a huge cult following for their over the top antics in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park. Years after the show ended the three lead actors purchased the rights to the show and began co-producing episodes with Netflix in 2014.
Season 8 of the Trailer Park Boys aired exclusively on Netflix later in 2014 with the ninth season premiering in March of 2015. The show has seen the release of several seasons since being revived by Netflix as well as several films, specials, and spin-offs. Netflix has not only saved this quirky Canadian comedy but introduced it to a whole new audience on their streaming platform.
3. The Killing
The Killing has the unique distinction of being canceled not once but twice. The show began its life on cable television network AMC and is based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen (The Crime). Set in Seattle Washinton The Killing follows the various murder investigations by homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman). After announcing that show would not return to AMC for a third season in 2012 Fox and AMC eventually came to terms and the series made a return in 2013 with 12 episodes.
AMC ultimately canceled the series after the third season and just two months after the final episode aired Netflix stepped in and announced that it had picked the show up for a fourth season consisting of six episodes. The show was well received by critics during its four seasons drawing comparisons to the David Lynch’s TV series Twin Peaks.
2. Arrested Development
Arrested Development is one of the more highly publicised Netflix revivals to date. The show follows the fictitious Bluth family, a formerly wealthy and habitually dysfunctional family. Arrested Development enjoyed a successful run of three seasons on Fox from 2003 to 2006 and developed a cult following. Despite critical acclaim including multiple awards, Arrested Development dropped in ratings and viewership on Fox, which canceled the series in 2006.
The show received widespread critical acclaim during its short-lived run on Fox receiving six Primetime Emmy Awards as well as being named on Time’s list of “All-TIME 100 TV Shows” in 2008. After sitting in limbo for more than six after Fox’s cancellation, Netflix began filming the fourth season in August of 2012. After the show’s successful return Netflix has announced that Arrested Development would return in 2018 with an additional 16 episodes.
1. Black Mirror
Inspired by shows like The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror examines controversial contemporary topics in stand-alone episodes. The show explores techno-paranoia with sharp, suspenseful, and satirical tales that have resonated with viewers since the show first appeared on the BBC back in 2011. After Channel 4 in the United Kingdom decided not to commission a third season in 2013 the series sat dormant for several years until Netflix purchased the program in 2015.
They quickly commissioned a series of 12 episodes which were later divided into the third and fourth seasons, each six episodes. The series became massively popular after it premiered in October 2016 and in March of 2018 Netflix announced the production of a fifth season. Black Mirror is arguably the biggest success of all of the shows that Netflix has revived becoming one of the most popular series on the platform.