Another “Save Our Show” campaign is on. This time, “The 4400” is the one in danger. The series, about a large group of alien abductees returned in one fell swoop complete with supernatural powers, was a series that flew under the radar for many; but it quietly gained a large following and was nominated for several awards over the years—including primetime Emmys and Saturn Awards.
But in January, USA Network axed the show, which debuted during the summer 2004 and aired 42 episodes over four seasons through September of 2007. USA Network claims the show’s first season “ranked as the highest-watched new series in the history of basic cable,” according to a press release from May 2007, and was promoting the show fairly heavily for the launch of the fourth season in July 2007. Not that fans were necessarily surprised by the cancellation; when a renewal announcement was not made after the end of season four, fans got antsy and started sending letters and sunflower seeds to convince the network to keep it on the air.
Fans of the show are protesting with a petition, currently signed by over 14,000 people from around the world—China, the Netherlands, Brazil, Romania and the U.S. are just a few of the countries represented by the signatories. But, modeling their tactics after the successful “Jericho” campaign, they’re also inundating the USA Network’s office with sunflower seeds, the snack of choice for Dr. Kevin Burkhoff, a character played by Jeffrey Combs. According to a recent news report by the AP, as of Thursday Jan. 31, around 1,700 bags of seeds had been ordered for the start of the campaign on Feb. 1.
Don’t let yet another sci-fi favorite die! If you’re interested in participating in the campaign to save “The 4400,” visit the Web sites below and get more information. You can sign the online petition, or send sunflower seeds to USA Network (international fans are buying online from Giants Snacks LLC) in support of the effort. You can also send letters and emails.
If you haven’t yet seen an episode of “The 4400,” all seasons are currently available on DVD except for the fourth, which will be released on May 6. The series, known for its dramatic storytelling and an ongoing story arc that could be a bit obscure, was felt by some to be losing momentum after the second season. This could, in part, have to do with the fact that the producers were forced to reveal the premise of the show in the first season rather than waiting until the fifth. Still, it’s worth watching if you’re into scifi—it can be favorably compared to a show with a similar premise, “Heroes.”