Firefly Time Line - There Will Be A Quiz

UPDATED: Friday, May 27, 2011 05:22
VIEWED: 9348
PAGE 1 of 1

Friday, May 27, 2011 2:13 AM


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at

So that we do not forget, I am re-posting this message from 2006.


Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 14
Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:16 pm Post subject: Real world timeline (updated)
Hi all, here's a sneak preview of the interactive timeline:

We're putting the finishing touches on some of the DVD special features for our documentary Done The Impossible and I've typed up a real-world timeline, I've updated it with a bunch of information from various fans. Please look this timeline over and see if you see any mistakes or blatantly missing events. (Due to length, there are many events I chose to not include, but hopefully these are some of the most important highlights. I also plan to flesh out many of the details, I just wanted to get the events down.)

Firefly Fan Events Timeline for the Interactive Timeline

December 2001 - Gail Berman, the newly appointed Fox Broadcasting TV president, orders 13 episodes of Firefly, part of a $20 million deal with Joss. Gail was an executive producer on Buffy and was the person who originally convinced Joss to create a TV show out of Buffy. Gail and Joss were good friends at the time.

January 2002 - Fox gives Mutant Enemy a record breaking $10 million to create the pilot. Pre-production starts on Firefly.

February - March 2002 - Firefly cast announced.

February 2002 - First known Firefly Fan site: goes live.

March 12, 2002 - Actress originally hired to play Inara, Rebecca Gayheart, is fired. Morena Baccarin is hired in her place a few days later and starts filming the day after her audition.

March 20, 2002 - Firefly begins it's first day of shooting with the full cast.

May 3, 2002 - Fox TV rejects original 2 hour pilot 'Serenity', claiming it was too slow and too long. Somehow forgetting they originally ordered and paid for a two hour pilot. Joss and Tim Minear scramble to create a 'new' pilot 'The Train Job'. While simultaneously addressing all feedback on 'Serenity'. TV network never looks at updated 'Serenity'. This is considered by many to be strike one for the show.

May 15, 2002 - Fox TV announces Firefly will be delayed till Spring 2003 and Dark Angel will return for season 3 in Fall 2002

May 16, 2002 - [Yes, the very next day] Fox formally announces Firefly at the 2002 TV "upfronts." However, very cheap to produce reality TV makes a big showing across the board at the 2002 upfronts. Firefly will replace Dark Angel in it's Friday night timeslot, Dark Angel is canceled (and many a Firefly-hater is born). Friday night is often called the "death slot," this was strike two for the show.

May 24, 2002 - Official Fox Firefly website goes live, including it's message board, now known as the "OB" or original board. At the time of this publishing, millions of messages have been exchanged on 'the OB' and it remains the most popular Fox TV message board, despite the fact that Fox doesn't even link to it anymore.
[Anybody know where this site is archived, internet archive is incomplete?]

Summer 2002 - Fox starts airing a few ads for Firefly. It's already obvious that Fox doesn't 'get' the show. It airs a truly horrible teaser featuring the song "Walking on the Sun" by Smash Mouth. Insiders now say that Sandy Grushow, Chairman of Fox Television Entertainment Group, didn't get the show and wanted to kill it as quickly as possible. Poor marketing was a good start.

August 3, 2002 - Comic Con: Fox shows segments from Firefly to the public for the first time.

September 8, 2002 - Firefly is snubbed by Fox Executive, Gail Berman, she talks about all of the other new Fox shows in an interview for Access Hollywood. She fails to mention Firefly.

September 20, 2002 - Fox airs the first episode of Firefly. Nielsen rating 4.1, and comes in #1 in the very important demographic of 18-49 year-old adults.

September 27, 2002 - 'Bushwhacked' airs. Nielsen rating: 5.47

October 4, 2002 - ' Our Mrs. Reynolds' airs. Nielsen rating: 4.87
At this point Fox has started playing the episodes out of their originally intended order, with the exception of "Ariel" and "War Stories" they never played the episodes in correct order again.

October 11, 2002 - Firefly is pre-empted for baseball.

October 15, 2002 - Reports that Firefly episodes are generating $2.5 million from advertisers, which after production costs is a profit of $1.3 million for Fox TV. At this point in time, Firefly was generating more income than Star Trek Enterprise, Buffy and Angel.

October 18, 2002 - 'Jaynestown' airs. Nielson rating: 4.30

October 25, 2002 - 'Out of Gas' airs. Nielson rating: 4.38
Fox orders three more scripts, bringing the total number of scripts to sixteen (with the pilot as two)

November 1, 2002 - 'Shindig' airs. Nielson rating: 4.28

November 2002 - Joss' wife Kai, writes to Joss Whedon "cheerleader" Kiba Rika asking what can be done to bring up the ratings for Firefly. Kiba contactes her friends Allyson and Kristen to start a Firefly save-the-show campaign "Firefly: Immediate Assistance." They start collecting donations for a Variety ad. They also organize a write in campaign to Fox and the Firefly advertisers.

November 8, 2002 - 'Safe' airs. Nielson rating: 4.68

November 15, 2002 - 'Ariel' airs. Nielson rating: 4.49

November 18, 2002 - Fox orders two of the new scripts to be produced, bringing the total number of produced episodes to fifteen (with the pilot as two)

November 22, 2002 - Firefly is pre-empted so Fox can run an Adam Sandler movie re-run.

November 21, 2002 - Many of the Firefly cast begin posting messages to the fans on the Official Firefly message board now known as "The OB." Adam Baldwin and Firefly/Serenity producer Chris Buchanan continue posting to this day.

November 21, 2002 - Fox orders two more episodes.

November 29, 2002 - Firefly is pre-empted so Fox can run a re-run of awful "Brady Bunch in the White House" made-for-tv movie.

December 2, 2002 - Fox announces Firefly going on hiatus in January 2003.

December 6, 2002 - 'War Stories' airs. Nielson rating: 3.85

December 9, 2002 - Fan-financed ad appears in Variety.

December 11, 2002 - Whedon optimistic about Firefly's chances

December 12, 2002 - [Yes the very next day] Fox TV cancels the show.
It's never been publicly disclosed, but many assume that Gail fought for the show and Joss, but at this point she was still pretty new on the job and eventually had to give in to Sandy's demands that the show be canceled. Joss and Gail have not spoken since.

December 12, 2002 - Twentieth Century Fox (the production company) tells Joss he can shop the show around.

December 13, 2002 - 'Objects in Space' airs. Nielson rating: 4.08

December 14, 2002 - Fans organize massive write in campaign to get UPN to pick up Firefly.

December 18(ish?), 2002 - Fan campaign organizers, Kiba and Kristen are invited to the set of Firefly.

December 20, 2002 - Fox finally airs the original pilot 'Serenity'. Which ends with the ironic lines: "Mal: We're still flying. Simon:That's not much. Mal: It's enough." Fox never aired another episode. Three unaired episodes were to be completed anyway. Nielson rating: 4.20

January 12, 2003 - UPN turns down Firefly.

January 15, 2003 - ABC, CBS, NBC and SCI FI channel all turn down Firefly. Syndication unlikely due to cost.

January 22, 2003 - Fans visit with Mutant Enemy and Fox about saving the TV show by releasing it direct-to-DVD. Mutant Enemy likes the idea, but say's it's hands are tied. Fox simply states they want to wash their hands of the show. Fox says there probably isn't a big enough market to even justify releasing the DVDs, but they are thinking about it.

February 4, 2003 - Fans collect more than 1,600 coats and other items for charity.

February 18, 2003 - Gina Torres guest stars in Angel.

February 13, 2003 - Firefly set is torn down permanently.

March 10, 2003 - Nathan Fillion guest stars on Buffy.

March ??, 2003 - First Las Vegas Firefly Shindig. Adam Baldwin sends a copy of the full length Firefly gag reel to Lux Lucre, who shows it at the shindig. Gag reel "leaks" on to the internet (from another source).

April 16, 2003 - Fans attend filming of a new TV pilot "Alligator Point" starring Nathan Fillion.

April 15, 2003 - Joss starts to spread rumors of a possible shift of focus to getting a Firefly movie made. Announces Fox will be making a DVD boxset to be released in December 2003.

May 18, 2003 - Nathan Fillion won the "Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award - Male" award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, for his portral of Mal.

May 26, 2003 - Uber fan Lux Lucre sits down for drinks with Adam Baldwin and Alan Tudyk at a bar in Toronto.

June 10, 2003 - Movie rumors continue to swell on the Internet; "Adam Baldwin" announces "We will see a FF movie! Within 18 months!?".

July 17, 2003 - Joss confirms that he's writing a movie script for Firefly.

July 18?, 2003 - Joss answers Q&A about Firefly at Comic Con. He tells everybody to keep the faith. Nathan Fillion is in the audience.

July 22, 2003 - The Firefly DVD boxset debuts at number 2 on Amazon.

September 4, 2003 - The Hollywood Reporter breaks the news that Universal Pictures has acquired the movie rights to Firefly.

September 12, 2003 - The Fox Message Board (aka "The OB") is frozen, no new posts are allowed. Firefly fans invade all of the other Fox TV show message boards in order to keep the communication channels and their friendships alive.

September 19, 2003 - The Firefly DVD boxset reaches number one on Amazon and remains in the top 20 for two months.

September 21, 2003 - Firefly episode 'Serenity' wins an Emmy award for best special effects.

October 4, 2003 - Thanks to Chris Buchanan and Fox Home Entertainment, the OB is unfrozen, new posts are allowed once again.

December 9, 2003 - Movie still in limbo. Firefly is released on DVD. Fans designate December 9th Browncoat day in celebration of Firefly's DVD release.

December 21, 2003 - LA Comic Book and Science Fiction convention re-unites most of Firefly cast. Including:
Adam, Morena, Tim Minear, Joss Whedon, Ben Edlund, Nathan, Gina and Ron.

December 24, 2003 - New fan site dedicated to guerilla marketing goes live.

January 5, 2004 - Fox Television Entertainment Group Chairman Sandy Grushow announced his departure.

January 10, 2004 - Firefly superfan and all-around great guy Lux Lucre (Kerry Pearson) dies.

January 11, 2004 - Firefly DVDs sell "really well" and Fox orders "Significant re-orders." Fox nets over $6 million on Firefly DVD sales in one month.

March 2, 2004 - Firefly movie gets an official green light, thanks to the efforts of Mary Parent of Universal and the fans. Movie title will be 'Serenity' much to the chagrin of the creators of a certain Firefly movie poster.

March 31, 2004 - DVD to the troops; a fan organized campaign to get Firefly DVDs into the hands of U.S. Troops around the world succeeds.

April 6, 2004 - It's confirmed that all the original cast will be in the movie.

April 14, 2004 - Adam Baldwin appears as a guest star in Angel.

June 4, 2004 - Serenity rolls film.

June 6, 2004 - Fans send a congratulatory banner to the set of Serenity on it's first week of shooting.

June & July 2004 - Thanks to Chris Buchanan, a few enterprising fans manage to get themselves invited to the set to be extras in the movie. A few sneak onto the set without invites.

June 23, 2004 - Universal's official movie site goes live.

July 25, 2004 - Cast appears at Comic Con, show clip from the movie. Audience goes crazy, cast a bit surprised by the size and intensity of this up and coming fandom.

August 26, 2004 - Serenity filming wraps.

September 2, 2004 - Nathan, Adam and Jewel appear at Dragon*Con.

November 22, 2004 - Universal Pictures decides to delay the release of Serenity by five months.

December 14, 2004 - Browncoats "crash" the test screening of Serenity. Universal execs are blown away by the fan response and energy. (They throw out what turned out to be rather unscientific results.)

February 5, 2005 - The Serenity novelization is also announced, written by Keith R. A. DeCandido.

February 13, 2005 - Serenity comic books confirmed.

February 18, 2005 - Joss, and several cast members appear at Wonder Con 2005. Fans raise over $2,000 for charity in the name of Firefly & Serenity.

March 18, 2005 - Joss and several cast members appear at Wizard World 2005.

March 18, 2005 - Joss is signed to be the Writer/Director of Wonder Woman. Dashing hopes of a quick sequel to Serenity.

March 23, 2005 - Gail Berman, president at Fox Broadcasting, is on the verge of leaving the network for Paramount Pictures. None of the executives involved in canceling Firefly remain at Fox TV.

April 4, 2005 - The book "Finding Serenity: Anti-Heros, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly" is published.

April 26, 2005 - Universal releases the trailer for Serenity.

April 27, 2005 - Serenity hits #1 on the Yahoo buzz Index. First international test screening, Sydney, Australia.

April 28, 2005 - Universal's international partner UIP consults with fans about how to market Serenity.

April 29, 2005 - World's first Serenity-only con is held in London. The idea for this documentary was born at that con.

May 7, 2005 - Universal and Joss decide to prescreen the movie an unheard of five months ahead of release. The cast spread out across the nation and attend screenings with the fans. Universal was so worried they may not fill theaters that they actually ran ads in local newspapers. The screenings sold out in mere minutes. Over the next five months, Universal slowly expanded the pre-screenings to more and more cities and countries.

May 18, 2005 - The Australian fans with Chris Buchanan's assistance, convince UIP to move Australian release date from November to September 29.

June 4, 2005 - The Firefly DVD box set re-enters the top 20 on, and as of the publish date of this documentary, it has not left it. Firefly is the only DVD in their top 20 than is more than one month old, and it is 24 months old!

June 21, 2005 - World's first Firefly / Serenity podcast "The Signal" releases it's first episode. The podcast goes on to create and release a total of 17 episodes in its first season. Due to its interesting content and high quality production values, it hits number one on Podcast Alley and Podcast pickle in September.

July 13, 2005 - First issue of Serenity Comic Book released.

July 14, 2005 - Comic Con 2005, most of the cast plus Joss and Chris Buchanan appear. Fans create amazing fan table and raise over $12,000 for Joss' favorite charity, Equality Now. Universal and Joss show the finished version of Serenity for the first time. Joss finished editing literally 24 hours earlier.

July 18, 2005 - UIP Australia launches "Serenity OZ" - an official forum for Australian fans designed to gather people together to help market the film.

July 22, 2005 - Sci Fi channel (owned by NBC/Universal) begins airing Firefly re-runs ahead of its critically acclaimed and very popular series Battlestar Galactica.

July 24, 2005 - Firefly fan documentary "Done the Impossible" is announced. Producers pledge a portion of profits to Joss' favorite charity Equality Now.

August 22, 2005 - Serenity world premiere held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Most of the cast in attendance.

August 24, 2005 - Mysterious viral video River Tam Sessions shows up on Internet, staring Summer Glau as River and Joss Whedon. Thought to be Joss' attempt at guerilla marketing. Universal seems to be unaware of its existence.

August 30, 2005 - Serenity: The Official Visual Companion and movie novelization released.

September 2, 2005 - Adam, Ron, Jewel and Morena appear at Dragon*Con.

September 22, 2005 - Serenity Red Carpet premiere and after party. Universal shows it thanks to the Fans by inviting the leaders of the all of the various fan efforts (and several hundred of their closest friends) to walk the Red Carpet, and to attend the screening and after party. Universal pulls all the stops for the premiere and after party.

September 24, 2005 - Serenity Fan Fest held at Universal Studios.

September 29, 2005 - Fans all around the country buy out theaters for midnight showings of Serenity.

September 30, 2005 - Joss and the fans accomplish the impossible; Serenity opens in the United States selling out in many theaters Friday and Saturday nights.

The timeline intentionally ends here, though I realize a lot has happened since then. We plan to maintain the interactive timeline online, with additional information added as it happens.


Last edited by Jeremy on Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:18 pm; edited 1 time in total


Friday, May 27, 2011 5:22 AM


Have you played Portal by any chance?

That's an informative timeline with a lot of details I either didn't know about or didn't have enough details.
Thanks for posting it.

"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall






Netflix to relaunch Firefly
Tue, April 19, 2022 17:45 - 10 posts
New Cortex system rpg site
Tue, January 28, 2020 15:47 - 5 posts
PTSD and Mal. Really?
Mon, January 27, 2020 10:08 - 119 posts
*An image of a Man pops up on Your Screen*
Tue, February 6, 2018 21:45 - 4 posts
Bathgate Abbey
Sun, January 28, 2018 23:37 - 19 posts
What was the saddest part of firefly/serenity...
Sun, January 28, 2018 20:20 - 35 posts
Rotten at the Core: The Sins of the Parliament
Tue, October 10, 2017 13:16 - 3 posts
any volunteers for rp?
Sat, April 9, 2016 10:18 - 4 posts
Google Group Up for Margaret Weis's tabletop Firefly RPG
Sat, April 9, 2016 10:13 - 2 posts
Firefly it going to rise again?
Mon, February 15, 2016 11:44 - 3 posts
I want to do an RP
Mon, August 24, 2015 23:31 - 3 posts
firefly on nwn
Wed, July 8, 2015 17:24 - 5 posts