Shad­owhunters fans turn pas­sion into ac­tion

Ef­forts to res­cue the Cana­di­an­shot TV se­ries set the new stan­dard for such cam­paigns

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - Raju Mud­har

t’s be­ing called the big­gest fan cam­paign to save a tele­vi­sion show in his­tory, and def­i­nitely is one of the most so­phis­ti­cated. It still might be fu­tile.

Shad­owhunters: The Mor­tal In­stru­ments is a Toronto-shot su­per­nat­u­ral drama, loosely based on Cas­san­dra Clare’s best­selling books, that airs on Freeform in the United States and streams on Net­flix in­ter­na­tion­ally.

The sec­ond half of the third sea­son has been filmed, but has yet to air. In early June, it was an­nounced that se­ries was can­celled, with the pro­duc­tion adding a two-episode fi­nale to wrap things up. That kicked the fan base — who re­fer to them­selves as the Shad­ow­fam — into ac­tion, and the Save Shad­owhunters move­ment was born.

Since then, this in­ter­na­tional group has es­tab­lished a global ac­tion plan at save­shad­owhunters.com — with some pow­er­ful fan ac­counts like ba­sic­shad­owhunter­sstuff.com and nephilimup­dates.com among oth­ers co-or­di­nat­ing ef­forts.

The money do­nated has re­sulted in a plane fly­ing a ban­ner over Net­flix head­quar­ters. As well, bill­boards were posted in Times Square and in Seoul, South Korea, near Net­flix’s of­fices there. In Toronto, a lo­cal group fundraised and got space on an elec­tronic bill­board down­town.

They bought branded pedi­cabs at San Diego Comic-Con, and have en­gaged in email cam­paigns tar­get­ing po­ten­tial broad­cast­ers that might pick it up, sent flow­ers and cup­cakes to the cast and crew and raised more than $20,000 (U.S.) for var­i­ous char­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Trevor project for sui­cide pre­ven­tion.

It is an im­pres­sive show of fan­dom’s cur­rent power, and shows the evo­lu­tion from the let­ter-writ­ing cam­paign that saved the orig­i­nal Star Trek, gen­er­ally ac­knowl­edged as the first such ef­fort that worked. Why it still might not be enough at thes­tar.com/tele­vi­sion

JOHN MEDLAND/FREEFORM

From left, Harry Shum Jr., Stephanie Ben­nett, Emer­aude Toubia and Matthew Dad­dario in Shad­owhunters. The se­ries has won sev­eral Teen Choice awards, and also has been hon­oured by GLAAD for its de­pic­tions of LGBTQ re­la­tion­ships.

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