Is Firefly Cancelled?
Yes, although that word was never used in official announcements.
Weren't There More Episodes?
Yes. Three episodes were produced that FOX did not air. The episodes are:
"Heart of Gold"
Did Fans Do Anything to Save the Show?
Short Answer: We actively supported the production companies in their attempts to keep Firefly on the air. Our fan campaigns were active between October 2002 and January 2003, when we were advised by the production companies that there was nothing further fans could do.
Long Answer: See "The Fan Campaign" below.
Is it Over? Really, Finally Over?
March 2003: We don't know. We don't think it's over, because production insiders continue to allude to behind-the-scenes attempts to keep Firefly alive in some form. As long as Joss & Co. believe there is a future for Firefly, we fans will keep believing.
March 2004: We got a moooooooooooooooooooovvvie! (To parahprase Adam Baldwin.)
Is There Going to be a Movie?
Yes. Shortly, there should be a section on the movie at browncoats.com; Chris Buchanan of Mutant Enemy posted the good news to fans on the Fox/Prospero board, citing an article in Variety.
Is There Going to be a Comic/Graphic Novel?
We don't know. Joss Whedon has worked in these formats in the past, but there have been no rumors of a comic/graphic novel. However, several fans are promoting the idea. If you are interested, register at Dark Horse Comics and suggest a Firefly comic.
Is There Going to be a Novelization?
We don't know. There have been no rumors about Firefly novels.
Well, is FOX at least going to show the three remaining episodes?
We don't know, but it's unlikely.
The Fan Campaign: A Timeline of Fan Efforts to Keep Firefly on the Air
In mid-October the ratings for Firefly were low and the production companies involved were
concerned that Fox might cancel the series. Fans were concerned as well.
Firefly: Immediate Assistance
One woman, Kiba Rika, (who runs the web sites Jossisahottie.com and Josswhedon.net) organized a fan campaign called Firefly: Immediate Assistance (http://www.firefly-support.com) The goal of the campaign was to support the production companies in any way possible, to keep Firefly on the air.
The first part of the campaign was mobilizing fans to send postcards to Fox, to demonstrate their was an enthusiastic audience full of consumers. This phase of the campaign began toward the end of October, with a goal of getting thousands of postcards to Fox by the end of the November sweeps period. Shortly thereafter, Kristen volunteered to assist Kiba with advertising and began an effort to collect funds so we could run an ad in Variety.
In November Fox ordered production of two additional episodes of Firefly. This looked very
promising, since the ratings for the program were so low (See "Ratings for Firefly"). Also during November, Gail Berman of Fox was quoted in a national publication admitting that some
of the problems with Firefly's ratings could be attributed to the way Fox had handled the program,
including not showing the original pilot episode.
Around 21 November 2002, Allyson (who had been assisting Kiba with the campaign from the beginning) began to coordinate a national evening of viewing parties. The idea was to garner local media attention for Firefly, because fans were holding viewing parties all over the country on the same night, 20 December 2002. That is the night Fox had scheduled the episode "Serenity" which was actually the pilot.
Other fan activities including purchasing ads in local publications, contacting national media with videotapes of the episode "Ariel," and selling apparel to raise awareness of Firefly's plight while simultaneously raising funds for charity. (See Firefly:Immediate Assistance for details)
In late November 2002 Fox announced Firefly was being put on hiatus, and that additional episodes would still be aired at some unknown future date. We took the word hiatus at face value, and believed that Firefly would continue to produce episodes for later airing. The only official announcement to the press that Fox has ever made is that Firefly is on hiatus.
$4,500 was collected and we ran a great-looking ad that thanked Fox for the quality television program. The ad appeared on 9 December 2002.
On the evening of 12 December 2002, Fox executives notified producers Tim Minear and Joss Whedon that Firefly to stop production of the series. They were advised to complete the episode they were working on, but not to film or write any other episodes. That means, for all intents and purposes, the series was cancelled.
In a generous gesture, Fox did not make an official announcement of cancellation to the press, and the network agreed to allow the production companies, 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy, to "shop" the series to different networks. We fans learned of the cancellation from posts by Tim Minear and Joss Whedon.
However, fans did not give up and, when advised by sources inside the production companies that they were pitching Firefly to UPN, we began another phase of the campaign. About 8,000 postcards were mailed to UPN between December 13, 2002 and January 10, 2003.
When UPN announced that they passed on Firefly and the fans were advised to target SciFi about 10 January 2003. On 14 January 2003 we learned that SciFi was not interested in Firefly, either.
We received information from various news sources that the cast members are involved in other projects, or contractually obligated to new networks. A reliable source on the official Fox Firefly forum posted that the sets had been dismantled on or about 13 February 2003.
March 2003: Kiba received word from the production companies that fan efforts would not be of any further assistance. The production companies haven't entirely given up hope of bringing Firefly back, in some form, but it will not, apparently, be on network television.
December 2003: The complete series was released in DVD form.
March 2004: The official announcement of the big screen version of Firefly (tentatively titled "Serenity") was announced in various trade publications. Shooting should begin in June 2004, with the film expected to hit theaters in 2005.