How much would you pay to bring Firefly back?!?!?!

UPDATED: Thursday, February 21, 2008 16:03
VIEWED: 3533
PAGE 1 of 1

Monday, February 18, 2008 7:20 PM


How many die-hard browncoats are there now from original fans of the series to the converted after Serenity and the series DVD's came out? Hundreds? Thousands? Instead of petitioning, do you think we could get Joss to help the fans raise money to give to the studio for production costs? How incredible would that be. Before nay-sayers come in with the "that's too hard" or "it wouldn't work" or "we've tried in the past" think about it really hard for a moment. The WGA strike just ended, every television series' schedules are upside down, studios have lost tons of money. However, I don't know of a show with a stronger more devote fan base than Firefly's. Even the cast and crew love the show. What would happen if we could raise $50K-$100K and have Joss present the idea to SciFi. I know that $50K-$100K isn't very much money even for one episode's production costs, but it's enough of a down payment to say, "Hey, we the fans are SERIOUS about this!!" What creator/producer comes into a studio and says, I've got a sack full of money from an army of fans with a proven idea for a series that is perfect for your studio's demographic!?!?! Not to mention almost every cast member has said publicly that they would step back onto Serenity at a moment's notice! There are SO many more stories to be told in this series and I think that Mr. Whedon needs to help finish what he started. And we need to in turn help him give us what we want. I know I don't have a full-fledged buisness matrix put together for this idea, but again, I don't think that other studios are as misguided as Fox, and would probably listen if there was a real effort put into this to back Joss up (if it's something that he would like to attempt). I know I'd be willing to put money into it. If every fan put in $50 we might be able to get somewhere. I want at least 6 more seasons of Firefly!



Monday, February 18, 2008 7:41 PM


I've already paid. I've bought the series 4 times (three as gifts), and the original dvd of Serenity 15 times (14 as Christmas Gifts that year), and bought one copy of the special edition. That's the best way to make them take notice!

Though I understand your quest, this isn't the first time such an idea has been mentioned here. It's just not practical!

At this point, I think a series revival is just getting less and less likely. Summer, Nathan, and Jewel are working on other series, and may be locked into contracts. Jewel will be a regular contracted cast member of SGA next season, and if the Terminator Series is renewed for another season (which is almost certain), I'm sure Summer is bound by contract to that series. Not sure about Nathan, though I hope his run on "Scanky Housewives" is shortlived, and his film career takes off. When will Hollywood realize he's the next Harrison Ford?

No, our best hope is still another film, and the best shot at that is building the fan base, and buying the series and movie DVDs.

I'd given some thought to movin' off the edge -- not an ideal location -- thinkin' a place in the middle.


Monday, February 18, 2008 8:14 PM


How much would you pay to bring Firefly back?!?!?!

How much is a kidney worth?


Monday, February 18, 2008 8:39 PM



Originally posted by FearTheMullet:
How much would you pay to bring Firefly back?!?!?!

How much is a kidney worth?

Good one ! Gives " Million-credit meat " yet another shade of meaning...

The WGA Writers strike was largely over Internet distribution !

'Daily Variety' reported that 'television' is migrating to Internet distribution...The notorious 'F0><-Network'
owns 'broadcast TV' rights to Firefly...

A downloadable or streaming Internet link ain't the same animal as 'broadcast TV' , now is it ?

What's to prevent a re-launch into the 'Verse via the 'Net...Dobson ?

Naddering would-be 'browncoats' who opine that 'Doing The Impossible' ain't possible ? They may as well crawl away like an itty-bitty bug...


2% of teens have not smoked pot, if you are
(or were) one of the 2% that haven't , copy this into your signature.


" Will work for Bar Credit at The Brown Coat Pub and Theatre "


Monday, February 18, 2008 9:10 PM


Hey Gypsyfunk. Welcome to and I dig your name.

But like others have said and will say...browncoats always have and will continue to do their part. I don't think News Corp would appreciate a fan raised fund the way you believe they would. If they allowed people to directly finance shows then they would perceive that as a production with a few hundred thousand bosses. Ideally, they would approach all of their programming that way because (once again) ideally audience=boss. But, like in the Verse, we are rarely afforded the ideal.

No. In their eyes they are the shepards and we are the herd. That is the only way a commercial relationship can be as long as you are catagorized as a customer/audience member. That can only change if you transcend your place in the heirarchy of words to client or partner.

And don't forget...this is News Corp we're dealing with here. Firefly is Joss's baby but they maintain custody over it. The Spears kids have no idea what tragedy is. Their MO is to corner and consume huge chunks of markets by avoiding as much competition as possible until they own everything they need to muscle competitors out of the market. Others do the same but News Corp does it with a certain "fuck you" kind of flare. You want more have to deal with them. And you gotta figure they must like things the way they are. DVD's are very profitable. And we keep on buying them.


Monday, February 18, 2008 10:42 PM


Now, 'fore someone says there's crawling away going on, like an itty-bitty bug, right under their noses, I believe the production cost per episode was about $1,000,000 dollars. Which, at $50 pop each, we'd need a solid twenty thousand Browncoats pitching in, just for one episode! With 12 eps per season, going on for another 6 seasons, that's a cool one-and-half million (1,440,000) Browncoats having to shell out their cashy money. We don't have that kinda fanbase. This is why we lost, you know. Superior numbers. :)

A $100K downpayment? Well, a downpayment is the initial upfront portion of the total amount due. And I reckon they're not complete backbirths! They're not gonna say: "Gee, thanks for the $100K. We'll start production up already, and we'll trust you to come up with the rest of the money later!" Because they know, as well as we do, that they'll never see the still outstanding $900,000 needed for even the first episode!

Buying DVDs may not seem epic enough. There's no thrilling heroics involved. There won't be poems and songs. Nor will you get a town named after you. You won't even get a hamster. :) But sales happen to be precisely that "bottom line" Joss spoke of on the Done The Impossible DVD. So, I firmly believe that, at this point, one the best ways to further the cause, is to further the sales. It's concrete; it's solid, not from gossip. It's them superior numbers again. So, to paraphrase the man:

If you can't do something epic, do something small, many, many times.

"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam


Tuesday, February 19, 2008 12:09 AM


*hugs Asarian*

For being a good friend and for being a wise man and Browncoat. Well said my friend, well said.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:21 AM


I've heard many many discussions about alternative distribution methods for content other than the ad-supported network model that's currently in place.

One seeming method would be the pay-per-episode model (via itunes or other). The biggest obstical to this is the question of weither or not people going to shell out a couple of bucks for a property they have never seen? Like if you were starting a show from scratch. The best answer I have heard from this so far is to give away the pilot episode of a show but then charge the $2 for each episode (commerical free) after that.

But the interesting thing is.. what about a property that already has a built in fan base? Where you don't need to get people hooked on the premise?

The number I have heard is that the pilot episode of Firely cost about $10,000,000 and each episode cost closer to $2,000,000.

So if THAT number is accurate, that means there would have to be at least a million people (worldwide) willing to shell out $2 a week to watch new episodes of firely just to break even.

I think that at $2 a pop it's a no-brainer that diehard fans would pay that in a heartbeat. However no one knows for sure how many browncoats are out there. WE all know that more are added to the ranks every day.. but how many are out there?

And then the million dollar question is how many "casual" fans of the show would be willing to pay $2 an episode? I know 20-30 browncoats that would do it in a second.. but I know another dozen or so people who I converted who really liked the show and I know would watch it again if it came back to TV.. but I don't know if they would shell out $2 a week for each episode.

Also complicating the equation is knowing that currently downloading and watching a show is still not as easy as turning on the TV. If you are reading this now.. downloading a show is probably not a problem for you.. but could your 75 year old grandma do it? Ultimatly to replace ad-supported network tv.. pay per download needs to be SIMPLE STUPID. A person who has never touched a computer (but has watched tv) needs to be able to do it. As download-to-DVR type boxes starts to replace rental video stores.. that day may be sooner rather than later.

Just for fun though, to look at the numbers, I believe that the opening weekend for Serenity in the united states was somewhere around $13,000,0000. Now let's assume that 2/3 of the people who saw Serenity that opening weekend were already Browncoats. Assuming the other 1/3 were either just people who stumbled accross it or were dragged to the theater by a browncoat.

At a ticket price of, let's say $8, that means approx. 1.625 million people went to see Serenity it's opening weekend, that means that if you take 2/3 of that number there were probably around 1.083 million browncoats in the theaters the opening weekend of Serenity. And that's just in the US! Add to that all the converts that have happened and continue to happen since then (myself included, I saw the movie before the TV show) and I have to believe that we definatly have far surpassed the 1,000,000 browncoat mark that would be necissary to support the show (and make a profit) at $2 an episode for direct download. PLUS on top of that, how many of us would then turn around and buy a shiny boxed set of the season after they are all done on HD Blu-ray disk with special features and commentaries? You know they would be able to double dip most of the browncoats.

The other big unknown though is how many of those one million browncoats are dating each other or married to one another or would get together each week to watch each new episode so that more than one person is watching the episode for just that $2? So maybe the price point for unaired (non add supported content) might need to be $2.50 or so to account for that. I still couldn't imagine a browncoat not paying $2.50 for a new episode.

So there are some unknowns, but I believe that with a property that already has a built in fanbase.. especially one that is most likely tech-savy and downloading isn't an issue, that the distribution model is THERE! And I beleive there are lots of other shows that got cancelled before or after their first season because they didn't have the numbers the network was looking for, but built a big enough fanbase for the pay for download model to work.

All it takes is for a brilliant executive to realize that these properties are NOT jackpots.. they aren't going to make $100 million in one weekend.. but what they ARE.. is a money tree. They are a slow burn that rakes in the money continiously over a long periond of time.

The movie Transformers may have made a small mint when it came out in the theaters and then again on DVD.. but after the deal is made to air it on network TV.. that's it.. 5 years from now it will hardly be making a dime (by comparison). However, 20 years from now.. Firefly and Serenity will still be a money tree.. slowly raking in the money.

So all we need is an executive with enough power and enough foresight to see that there is as much, if not more, money to be made by planting a bunch of money trees than there is to keep striving for Jackpots. Because for every jackpot.. how many $60 million to $100 million dollar movies flop and probably barely make their money back?

But to answer the question of how much would I pay to see Firefly/Serenity again? I wouldn't exactly morgage my house or anything... but I don't know for sure.. but the answer would be "a lot"



Tuesday, February 19, 2008 7:30 PM


Well-reasoned and thoughtful response , Smaug !

You just 'did the math' ! My personal belief is that the fan-committed coin would have to be about $ 3.99 per episode , but your assumptions and your figures hold up better than most that have ever been posted in any threads similar to this one...

Interesting coincidence , but in my inbox today was a copy of 'The Lefsetz Letter' , by Bob Lefsetz...Bob's experience base is in music particularly , but he knows a lot about the entertainment business generally...And Today's subject , much of which could be applied to new business in the Firefly 'Verse , is :


Do you know anybody who's a graphic designer? Maybe a photographer? Their businesses have been DECIMATED by technology.

Used to be you provided all these services...that corporations now pawn off on twentysomethings in-house. Yup, take your point and shoot to the event and fix the images in Photoshop. There is Adobe software to do seemingly everything. Sure, some high-end jobs remain. But if you want to remain in business, you've got to do it on the cheap, you've got to control COSTS!

Or go back to the story of Compaq. Making high-priced machines with new technology that IBM couldn't yet deliver. Parts tested multiple times. BMWs to IBM's Mercedes-Benzes. And then along came Dell and ruined Compaq's business model. Dell acquired industry standard parts, just in time, and sold computers directly to the consumer, built only upon order, so as to control inventory costs. Dell's parts weren't tested, but how often did RAM fail? Better to ship it and deal with it coming back. Cutting all these costs, Dell decimated Compaq, to the point where it was merged into HP.

Now we can talk about Dell's war with HP today. But that's about the commoditization of computers. Important, but too deep for our discussion right now. Then again, music has become a commodity, shouldn't it be sold that way?

Point is, the old model was a good one. Spend a fortune to make a fortune. Some records didn't hit? Who gives a shit, we can sell ten million Jewels! And Kid Rocks! But no one goes diamond anymore. The music might be just as good, but it's hard to reach people. So, you've got to retool, you've got to align with modern realities, you've got to cut costs.

Major labels provided the capital for production. And controlled distribution. For this, they extracted a pretty penny. Which they made back because they controlled exposure too, and only what they signed sold.

But now anybody can make a record and sell it on the Internet. The key isn't finding out how to put the genie back in the bottle, how to make the major labels dominant today, but to figure out what your niche is and how to compete!

If no record can sell double digit millions, you've got to cut expenses. The album has to be recorded more cheaply. Which technology allows. Oh, don't tell me studio time is expensive. And musicians too. Studios will just have to charge less, which they're doing. And musicians will just have to be paid less. I KNOW YOU HATE THIS! But you can only fight reality for so long. There will be fewer superstars in the future and more journeymen. Look at yourself in the mirror right now and decide who you are. Can you get on Top Forty radio? If so, you're a POTENTIAL superstar. If not, you're a JOURNEYMAN!

Hair and makeup? Private jet travel? They're like the old billboards on the Sunset Strip. It's questionable whether they EVER sold any records. They just played to the star's vanity. Great when there's extra money floating around, but when there isn't...

Radio promotion/marketing? Is it cost effective? If not, slice it off the budget. Oh, it's great to have your record on the radio, but is it going to move product, is it going to score you gigs, IS ANYBODY LISTENING?

Make the music cheaply and focus on what's inexpensive or free. Like distribution. The major model of paying an act less than ten cents per dollar download won't be changed because of the Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick's lawsuit, but because new acts won't stand for it, they won't sign up for this heinous deal. This might leave the majors marginalized, only swinging for the fences, and the rest of the field might be chaos, made up of mini-corporations. Or maybe some young 'un will consolidate the new acts. That's an opportunity, making nickels and dimes instead of dollars. But the major labels don't want to do this.

It costs nothing to build a mailing list. It has to be managed appropriately, you can't dun your fans ad infinitum, you've got to give something back. And the music must be good.

Your revenues come from recorded music sales, live gigs, merch and any sponsorships/endorsements/advertising you choose to do. LOOK AT IT THIS WAY! You have YOUR OWN 360 deal. Recorded music revenue is just part of the pie. And chances are recorded music is not driving touring sales, but vice versa.

Any label in business now must look at every line item. It's not about cutting overhead willy-nilly, but evaluating what's necessary. As for the well-paid top execs, they're dinosaurs, about to go extinct. The system just can't support them. Maybe some of the younger ones will become managers, but the days of making ten million bucks running the publicly-traded label? THROUGH!

As for the musician... More musicians can make money than ever before, because it's easier to bring your wares to the market, and you can expose them with little capital. But those at the top, who are used to scoring beaucoup bucks...they're going to have to adjust their lifestyles. Because there just isn't enough money to support the way they used to live.

A musician may still get laid at will, but all the accessories demonstrated on "Cribs"? They're gonna be on your wish list, but you'll probably never acquire them. Consider the "Robb Report" a fantasy book.

What has this got to do with music?

Great music can still be made. And good stuff is sold by word of mouth. Which has the advantage of being instant and vast on the Internet. You can't control the public the way you used to be able to, you can't manipulate the consumer. Quality is the start, a relationship is second and managing this connection is third. Most of this requires sweat equity more than cash. Start perspiring.


Visit the archive:


If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,


Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:18 AM



My personal belief is that the fan-committed coin would have to be about $ 3.99 per episode

Yea, that's the tricky part. Trying to speculate what exactly that number needs to be by using only guesstimates on the real numbers.

For a show that has already aired (and already paid for by advertisment) the going rate is $2. So each $2 download and DVD boxed set sold, is just a licence to print money.

However, when a show HASN'T already been paid for by advertising.. what's that magic number? There will be some threashold where people (even some who are big fans) will be turned away. Sure $4 may seem like nothing, but week after week after week, that comes to $88 for one 22 episode season. I would pay that in a heart beat, but even some fans may not be able to swing that.

So what is that number that will start to turn people away.. My personal opinion is that if you go over $3, you are going to start to turn people away.. and $3 may even be a stretch. That's why I thought $2.50.

But if not enough people at that price point would download it. What if you could recoup SOME cost by selling a 30 second ad that would show at the beginning of the episode? And make people understand that the ad is necissary to keep the cost of the download at $2.50 or whatever.

And also consider.. that sometime after all 22 episodes are aired, you can still put them all together with some extra content and easily sell them for $35-$40 for a DVD box set or $40-$50 for the HD version. I would bet that even a fair share of people who paid to download the episodes would also buy the boxed set get the extra features and such. We ARE talking about fans here. Plus you might capture a lot of people who didn't want to pay the $55 to $66 for the downloads.

Like I said, somewhere in there is a model that works.. it just going to take someone with the guts to be the first to do it.

Unfortunatly, by the time it happens, it may be too late for our beloved Firefly..

Right now, even if the $2,000,000 per episode is acurate, to start over right now they would have to build sets again and so on. So the ramp up cost for the first one would be even higher. However, if a show is already on the air (thus it's start up cost are already spent), but not getting the numbers it needs and it's going to get cancelled, but there is an established fan base, all it would take to figure all this out is for the network to say, "OK, the show is cancelled, but after the final episode is aired, we are going to do ONE more episode that is available by pay per download ONLY. And based on how well that does, we will consider to continue making new episodes availalbe by pay-per-download. So if you want the show to survive and continue, the fan base needs to pay to download it". Even if they DON'T recoup their cost.. it's not like a network is going to go under over ONE tv episode. That's chump change to them. But it would give them real numbers to work with on what the cost per download needs to be and a real world number of how many fans are out there (for that show anyway). Hell, I may buy that episode of that show even if I wasn't watching it JUST to support the alternative distribution method. Anything to keep the great shows alive! Too many good shows get cancelled before they ever really had a chance.

A pay-per-download DVR hooked up to the internet that is stupid simple to use would also help.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008 7:04 AM


Another advantage to the pay-per-download method that I forgot to mention is that on the creative side.. they are no longer restricted to approx. 42 minutes.. and they don't have to account for commerical breaks. The story can follow a more cinimatic flow. If the episode needs to be 48 minutes.. so be it. If 39 minutes makes more sense for this story.. then so be it. Heck.. if an episode needs to be 65 minutes.. so be it.

The creative part would be open up to more avenues with this distribution model.

Also.. they could offer "season pass" prices to buy the entire season at a cheaper price than the per-episode price.

Ok.. I'm laying it all out for them.. the more I think about it why isn't anyone doing it?

Oh.. I forgot.. they can make a fortune churning out reality tv crap, so why create something that means anything?



Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:28 AM


I'd be all for the download option, if ever these shows were available for download outside of the US.

If you're basing any of your figures on international fans, you need to be aware of the fact that at present, a lot of fans in countries outside of the US cannot download any shows (legally) from the internet.

In South Africa, we cannot download from iTunes or Amazon. (Those are the only places I've tried, so I'm not 100% sure that there isn't a resource out there that I'm unaware of.)

$2 sounds good though. For me that would be about R15-00, which is about the price of a packet of cigarettes.

I'd gladly pay that per episode.

Big Damn Browncoat Vote


Wednesday, February 20, 2008 10:13 AM


I would be very much in favor of the paid download option. Also, I would not be opposed to paying the entire first season up front, and a little extra, if it would get things moving. I realize that not everyone can do that, but some of us can, and some of us would be willing to do it. I think that the download option is probably the one with the best chance for getting a series. I have bought 35 copies of the Serenity Special Edition so far, and I will keep buying them and giving them away for as long as it takes.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:06 PM



Originally posted by RogueScholar:
I would be very much in favor of the paid download option. Also, I would not be opposed to paying the entire first season up front, and a little extra, if it would get things moving. I realize that not everyone can do that, but some of us can, and some of us would be willing to do it. I think that the download option is probably the one with the best chance for getting a series. I have bought 35 copies of the Serenity Special Edition so far, and I will keep buying them and giving them away for as long as it takes.

Whoa ! Good works , man , you are exponentiating !


Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:29 PM


I just discovered Serenity and then of course Firefly two months ago. Firefly is, in my opinion, the best TV program of all time. A 6 hour mini-series might be the best option. In 2009 during summer hiatus for TV shows, it might be possible to get the 9 wonderful actors of Firefly together for a 6 hour mini-series.
I am just guessing here, but if the six hours costs 8 million. Joss could go on all the Firefly fan sites and ask that they pre-pay for the mini-series dvd. If you sent in a check for $40(I would assume that it would be to Newscorp) that you would receive two dvds of the mini series after it was aired. If 100,000 fans sent in their money, the cost of the mini-series would be 4 million. This would make it very easy to market.
Of course I would rather have an entire season of Firefly and would pay more than $100 for that privilege.



Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:03 PM


I would gladly pay out the money for the show, the only issue for me is being in England, our arrival of shows on itunes can be dodgy at best (in my experience). That being said, considering the number of fans I know scattered across the south of england, scaled up the numbers for international audience must be pretty nice, though if they did remake it, whats the chances they would limit it to America and shoot themselves in the foot without even realising it? they could judge the numbers are too small without even seeing the international audience.






Brenda? Are You Watching FBI: Most Wanted?
Tue, September 20, 2022 23:08 - 139 posts
Wed, September 14, 2022 10:39 - 54 posts
Kicked off Facebook!
Sun, August 28, 2022 13:05 - 23 posts
Batgirl Got Axed
Tue, August 16, 2022 19:08 - 7 posts
V for Vendetta review
Fri, August 12, 2022 12:42 - 55 posts
Would you still fly?
Tue, August 2, 2022 20:53 - 83 posts
Running of the Jaynes 2022. 3rd one! CSTS event. Between 7/10 and 7/24.
Thu, July 7, 2022 18:53 - 2 posts
Where are the Extraterrestrial Civilizations
Tue, July 5, 2022 20:54 - 43 posts
Anyone gotten to the end of season 3 of The Expanse?
Mon, June 13, 2022 11:53 - 32 posts
American Humor
Mon, June 13, 2022 11:22 - 9 posts
TV's Most Shocking Deaths
Sun, June 12, 2022 21:07 - 42 posts
We British need to clean ourselves. Reality TV is our fault.
Wed, June 8, 2022 11:41 - 15 posts