Fan communities have been a powerful force for years, saving many a series from early demise. Fox Network’s Lucifer (airing Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET), based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics has been going strong for three seasons, but the show has yet to be renewed for a season four, and fans are concerned about the future of their favorite series.
But Lucifer fands (called LuciFans!) are not going to sit passively by and wait for the thumbs up (or down). They’ve taken to Twitter, to Facebook and have taken their case to the entertainment media, which brings us to today.
I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually, anyway) via Skype with three leaders of the Lucifer Fan community to talk about the series, give voice to their cause, and ask them what Lucifer fans can do to help assure a season four.
I was curious about what it was about this show that created such an incredible passion among the fans. “Something for everyone,” the three women agreed. The humor, the wonderful performance of British actor Tom Ellis as Lucifer.Fans feel the show speaks to women; they’re powerful and far from being the standard-issue “damsels in distress.” Much to the show’s credit, said LuciFan Donna, “the series has a lot of women writers, as well.”
But it’s more than that. One thing the fans appreciate, Donna continued, is the accessibility of the series creative team and writers on Twitter. “They really make us feel like we mean something to the show. That we’re part of the family.” In fact, the show gave a major shoutout to the fan community in an episode this year when the series (anti) hero Lucifer suggested he might deserve a fandom–“LuciFans!” Needless to say, LuciFans went wild!
The interplay of the Twitter fandom and the show is important not only in creating a passion for the show and its characters but gives the fans a sounding board for opining about the show and its stories. And real collaborative relationship in promoting and protecting the show. LuciFans enjoy the fact that the show listens to those opinions, sometimes incorporating what they see on Twitter with the series.
On a separate call, I chatted with Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson (11-22-63, White Collar) to get his perspective on the series, the fans, and more. Henderson is tremendously appreciative of the fans, their support and their passion for the show, he told me by phone. “I want to say, I am grateful for the fans. They’ve been just incredible and very smart about getting the word out about the show. It just means the world to us.”
Although he was not involved in the Lucifer pilot, Henderson came on board early-on, already a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. Coming in after the pilot, he was, like many Gaiman fans who cherish the Sandman comics, a bit of skeptic. His initial reaction was, “How dare you take this character I love from Sandman and put him in a network procedural?”
But after screening the pilot, Henderson understood the series vision as taking a single character from that canon and framing around him a story of redemption. “A misunderstood anti-hero struggling to find his way in the world,” and not at all what he’d expected. Henderson immediately understood the potential for creating new stories around Lucifer as he tries (and fails) to find his way.Henderson sees Lucifer as trapped as the eternal teenager. A sort of Peter Pan” beginning to wonder whether he should grow up. “I jumped in with both feet,” he said, passionate and excited about the project.
Of course, Sandman has its own passionate fandom, but, I was reminded by LuciFan Donna, that the show is only loosely based on the comics, and Lucifer has a life of its own, an arc and trajectory of its own worth exploring apart from Gaiman’s source material. But, she added, Sandman fans would be pleased to see that from time to time, Lucifer incorporates elements from Sandman, whether tied to the current story or in flashback.
LuciFan Nadja, who watches the show from her home in Germany, asks that fans of the comic books watch an episode or two, give it a chance, and appreciate the show for what it is– a character story based on the Lucifer of the comic, but at a unique time–when he comes to L.A.–evolving into a new arc for his character. Different, but with echoes of the original.
But with only two episodes remaining this season and season four not yet confirmed, the fans are concerned. Being on the “bubble,” is never a comfortable place for either the fans or, especially, the creative team behind the scenes and in front of the camera. They’re especially concerned because “the network does not seem to be promoting the series like it has in the past,” said LuciFan Jody with a trace of worry in her voice, and to the agreement of the other two women on our call. “All the promotion seems to be coming from the actors and the writers.”
There’s some reason for concern; the Neilsen numbers are mediocre, and Thursday Night Football, scheduled to air on Fox next season will grab a big chunk of primetime away from scripted television. And, Lucifer is not a Fox production, which may have an impact on delivering a fourth season.
From his vantage in the writers room, Henderson is “cautiously optimistic” that the show will be renewed before the Upfronts. “Ildy [co-showrunner Ildy Modrovich] and I pitched season four to Fox just a couple weeks ago and they were very happy. They know our vision for the show, the cast’s and our passion for it, and now it’s up to business decisions that are higher than us. We are hoping to get good ratings on Monday.”
That’s the last episode before the 2018-19 schedule is announced by Fox at the Upfronts. Henderson’s cautious optimism is tempered by the knowledge that there are always variables, including the potential success of the four pilots Fox is considering for next season. Right now, however, Henderson knows they’ve done everything they can from the creative side, and now everyone just needs to get the word out to build the best audience possible for Monday’s episode.
Speaking of Monday’s episode, I asked Henderson if he might tease the fans a bit, and he obliged (without spoiling anything). “I would consider Monday’s episode part one of two,” he explained. “A big two-part finale,” to season three. “And,” he added, “I do not say this lightly, but everything changes.” The season will end on a cliffhanger, but, Henderson, noted, each season is crafted with a beginning, a middle and an end. “But the very ending of the season will leave people demanding to see the next episode immediately!” Henderson added that Fox has not asked them to change that cliffhanger of an ending for this season, which leaves him “confident, but cautious.”
So. What can you do to help Renew Lucifer?
- First, make sure to tune in Monday (even if you’ve never watched before, just jump right in!).
- Be sure to Tweet about the show (before, during and after) using the hashtags: #RenewLucifer and #Lucifer also add @FOXTV.
- Leave #RenewLucifer comments (polite) on @FOXTV twitter, Instagram & Facebook.
- Make posters asking @FOXTV to #RenewLucifer LuciFans want a S4. Then enter posters in @LuciferContest poster Contest and win a prize for the best, each Monday.
- Write polite letters to Fox requesting #RenewLucifer. Email to: email@example.com or fill out the form online at http://fox.tv/1KzCnH3 telling the network how much you love the show.
- Sign a Petition: http://tinyurl.com/y7w2fnkw
- Follow Lucifer‘sFacebook Page and follow the show on Twitter. To participate in the LuciFans fan community, follow @LuciferContest or @sterling2kitty.