To call the Shadowhunters fanbase fervent would be a gross understatement. Try: wildly passionate, driven, loyal and LOUD. Right now, they’re raising their voices in unison to save their beloved show. Ever since Freeform announced the series would be wrapping up in 2019 with 3B, fans have scrambled to answer two questions – why was it canceled and how can they change its fate?
By now everyone’s heard how the battle between Freeform, Constantin Films and Netflix caused the ax to fall and how Freeform’s programming chief, Karey Burke, said their decision was “purely economic” and they’re at peace with letting the series go. That leaves one question – how can Shadowhunters be saved?
The obvious answer is to find a new home and that’s exactly what the fandom aims to do. Using the hashtags #saveshadowhunters, #pickupshadowhunters, #shadowhunterschat, and #notthelasthunt fans have coordinated a massive social movement to demonstrate their passion for the show, even sharing personal stories about what the show and cast mean to them.
Read the hashtag threads and you’ll see one thing repeated over and over – representation matters. Not only does the show boast one of the most diverse casts ever seen on TV, it broke new ground by prominently featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual and asexual characters in healthy, loving, non-stereotyped roles. To demonstrate the importance of these LGBTQ+ depictions the fandom tied their save the show campaign to a fundraiser for the Trevor Project, which to date has raised over $7000. (Donate here.) There’s also a Change.org petition with over 108,000 signatures. (Sign here.) And fans are calling, emailing and tweeting studios, honchos, and streaming services at such a vociferous rate that one Netflix customer service rep from Nicaragua (Hi, Santiago!) became Twitter famous.
Despite Freeform ignoring the deafening cry from fans, there’s great hope others are listening. Burke once said they’d envisioned Shadowhunters as Freeform’s Supernatural, now heading into its 14th season. With talk of the Winchesters driving away in Baby after season 14 and shows like Jane the Virgin, iZombie, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend soon ending Shadowhunters would be an excellent companion to the CW’s remaining shows and could go on to become another long-running, lucrative series for the network.
And then there’s Hulu, who really hasn’t cracked the young adult market wide open yet with their Runaways, Freakish and East Los High. In my opinion, buying up Shadowhunters would be the smartest move Hulu could make. Not only would it boost their subscription base, it would draw attention to their original content beyond The Handmaid’s Tale.
Frankly, I don’t see Shadowhunters fitting Amazon Prime’s current line-up as it’s largely aimed at adults or tweens and younger. That said, if they’re wanting to curate young adult content this would be a huge thigh-high boot in the door.
I also wondered about YouTube Red after watching their stellar new young adult series Impulse. Paired together, that duo could be a formidable supernatural force and would also bring focus to YTR’s other original teen series Step Up: High Water and Youth and Consequences, as well as expand their audience beyond YouTube’s core watchers while increasing their subscriptions.
Whoever acquires Shadowhunters one thing’s for certain – they will gain a massive fan base with the potential for major bank in tie-in products alone, something that’s sorely been lacking as far as the Shadowfam is concerned.
To quote Luke Garroway, “When you find the one, that’s it.” For many fans, Shadowhunters is the one and whoever picks it up will be their hero. Now, who doesn’t want that?