The Almighty Johnsons - cancelled?

04:00, Sep 07 2012

Social media has lit up this morning with news that The Almighty Johnsons has been cancelled after two seasons, leaving an open ending that fans will possibly never see resolved. But has it?

Members of the cast and crew took to Twitter to voice their complaints. Star Emmett Skilton tweeted "Sadly friends, Odins quest has ended for now.. It was such a great pleasure to create and share the world with each and every one of you."

Series creator James Griffin stated in a brief interview that efforts to bring the show back as a third season and as a telemovie that could wrap up the second season cliffhangers had both been declined by TV3. He said "it's far from ideal, not a great state of affairs".

TV3 has told me that negotiations between it and South Pacific Pictures are ongoing and that there's been no final decision on a third season. But cast and crew involved on the show say they've been told differently.

The Almighty Johnsons was arguably New Zealand's best current hour-long show - a cult favourite with a reasonably large and loyal audience, a show that consistently delivered some of the most interesting and ambitious television ever produced in New Zealand. Johnsons was a showcase for the kind of talent we have in this country - the likes of Griffin and Rachel Lang, both innovative storytellers who aspire to greatness and find unique ways to tell their original stories.

The Almighty Johnsons has also been picked up overseas, airing in primetime in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Britain, where it joined cult favourites like BuffytThe Vampire Slayer, Eureka and Warehouse 13 on SyFy UK.

The show boasts large contingents of fans here, as well as in Canada and the UK, and became a kind of event on Twitter in New Zealand, where fans would watch and devour each new episode together, joined by members of the cast and crew.

Baffling, then, that TV3 has turned down a third season, cancelling the show despite the open ending at the conclusion of Season 2 and despite informally committing to a third season in the past. Barring some god-like miracle, we've seen the last of Axl, Mike, and the rest of the Johnson clan*.

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There is a huge part of me that is gutted by this news - and I'm not willing to give the Johnsons up so easily. Even though I know any attempt to save the show is probably futile, I still have to give it a try - and I'm going to need your help if it is to have any chance of success.

Here are four ways you can help try to get The Almighty Johnsons back on the air:

PETITION

I've started a petition to save the show here. Please sign it and share it with as many people as possible.

FACEBOOK/TWITTER

I've set up a Facebook page here, or search on Facebook for Oh My God, Save The Almighty Johnsons. Also, if you're on Twitter, you can mention @TV3nz and use the hashtag #savethejohnsons when sharing the petition.

EMAIL TV3

You can send emails to TV3 voicing your displeasure with this decision by clicking here.

MAIL-IN CAMPAIGN

Hey, it worked for Jericho and Chuck ... if you want to be really awesome, you could try mailing a small twig - symbolising Yggdrasil, the fictional "tree of life" from the show - to the below address:

Programming Department
TV3
Private Bag 92624
Symonds Street
Auckland

A quick response is critical - the more time that passes, the less chance there is that everyone can get together to make it happen. Please sign the petition, join the Facebook page, email TV3 and/or send a twig to the TV3 office as soon as possible - and encourage your friends to do so, too.

If this campaign fails, at least I've got the Season 1 and Season 2 DVDs to fall back on. I'll remember The Almighty Johnsons as one of the great Kiwi shows of my time here at On the Box, and I wish all the cast and crew the absolute best for whatever they do next. You, and the show, will be sorely missed.

What do you think of the news that The Almighty Johnsons has been cancelled?

(*) In other news, Hounds also got cancelled, but New Zealand's Got Talent starts on Sunday and The Ridges starts next Wednesday. Seriously, what the hell is going on with NZ TV?

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