The defining example of fan activism to renew a show was the letter-writing campaign to pressure NBC into renewing Star Trek in the 1960s, which provided a sort of model for future similar campaigns (Jenkins 2011). Since then, fans have become savvier crusaders, utilizing tools such as social media or mass mailing of objects. For example, in 2011, X-Files fans ran a Tweet-a-Thon to push for another X-Files movie. Kristin Barton (2014) lists several examples of mass mailings to TV networks, such as sending six thousand bottles of Tabasco sauce to UPN executives to save Roswell (1999–2002) and ten thousand Mars bars to the CW to save Veronica Mars (2004–7).
One successful save-our-show campaign was the 2012 fan movement to renew Chuck (2007–12) for a third season, dubbed the “Finale and Footlong” campaign. Fans of Chuck made a deal with Subway, the fast food restaurant franchise and one of Chuck’s sponsors: if fans relentlessly bought Subway sandwiches and posted their purchases on social media, then Subway would support the continuation of the show (Barton 2014). Evidently, to the media industry elites, money is the most powerful bargaining tool, and fans know how to take advantage of this.
Chew, Natalie. 2018. “Tumblr as Counterpublic Space for Fan Mobilization.” In “Tumblr and Fandom,” edited by Lori Morimoto and Louisa Ellen Stein, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 27. http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2018.1186.