We live in an on-demand era, particularly when it comes to TV, where you can get almost any show at any time and watch it on any device you want. People have the power, or at least more power than before the Internet democratized all kinds of services.
But when a series is canceled, can we the people get it to come back? Sometimes, it seems, we can. After fan outcries, Netflix brought back “Sense8” for a movie finale, NBC picked up “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” when Fox dropped it, and CBS un-canceled “Jericho,” to name only three examples. Social media campaigns, letters, petitions, and stunts all made it clear to programmers that they ought to reconsider.
So I wish that diehard fans of “Sanditon” — many of whom say they are part of a “Sanditon Sisterhood” of over 2,000 members — the very best of luck. The show, an adaptation and extension of Jane Austen’s unfinished last novel, ran on ITV in the UK in 2019, and it was canceled after the first season, which ended on a cliffhanger. Worse, it was a very non-Austenesque finale, without the happily ever after she is known for — perhaps because the screenwriter, noted adapter Andrew Davies, assumed he’d have more episodes in which to make it all work out. The season ran here in January 2020 as part of PBS’s “Masterpiece” — I found it to be a sometimes bland, pretty distraction — but its ratings here didn’t inspire reconsideration by ITV.
Recently, the Sisterhood’s online petition reached 70,000 signatures. Also, they held a fund-raiser to pay an artist named Simon Beck to create a portrait of two “Sanditon” characters under the words “WHO WILL #SAVESANDITON” in the sand on Brean Beach in the UK (where the show was filmed). They are highly motivated, unrelenting, and active on social media. Reader, I wish them luck.