Any TV addict will tell you: there’s nothing worse than our favorite show getting canceled. We spend hours watching and obsessing, becoming devoted to characters and storylines. So when they’re suddenly ripped away from us, it feels like an open wound that never totally heals.
But thanks to new networks, new media, and crazy fan interest, canceled shows are suddenly seeing the light again. Just look at the buzz around Veronica Mars when creator Rob Thomas used Kickstarter to help fund a movie—and prove to executives that fans cared enough to pay up. Since then, it seems like a flood of long-dead shows are coming back: from Lisa Kudrow’s cult classic, The Comeback, to an X-Files six-episode miniseries set to air in January.
For those of you who never lost hope, here are three shows—and one book!—brought back from the dead for your viewing pleasure:
When Arrested Development was canceled in 2006, fans were up in arms. And for good reason—the show had an almost flawless three-season run, introducing us to unforgettably amazing characters and changing the way we think about sitcoms forever. So when a fourth season was released on Netflix in 2013, it almost broke the Internet. The response to the show was…not great. The newest season was darker, with a limited point-of-view format that threw some viewers off. I just did a giant Arrested rewatch, and it’s true: the new season still isn’t as good. But it is better than I remember, occasionally capturing some of the magic of the original. Either way, this show is definitely worth a bingewatch, especially as Season 5 is coming to Netflix in 2016.
It took me years to finally sit down and watch Twin Peaks. Now I only wish I’d done it sooner. While it started kind of slow, I quickly became enthralled with the quirky, strange characters and the increasingly bizarre events behind Laura Palmer’s death. Now, after 15 years, the show is coming back for a limited run on Showtime, with episodes written by David Lynch and Mark Frost, and almost every original cast member returning. It’s like a geek-dream come true. The new episodes should be out sometime in the next couple years, so binge the first two seasons, available on Netflix, while you still can.
When I heard Heroes was coming back for a 13 episode arc in September, I was a little surprised. The show had an explosive first season and helped kick off the superhero trend we’re still basking in (hello, Arrow!)—but it fizzled out pretty spectacularly. I’m not sure I even watched the third or fourth seasons, to be honest. Why bother with more? But then I remembered just how good that first season was. Save the cheerleader, save the world. If Heroes can deliver the same kind of solid storytelling and interesting characters, then I’m all in.
Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham (Vintage, 2015)
Veronica Mars didn’t only come back on the big screen; she also got a book series. This second novel about the plucky detective was co-written by the creator himself, and picks up not long after the events of the movie. Mr. Kiss and Tell tells the story of an assault at the ritzy Neptune Grand hotel. It’s up to Veronica to solve the case, and figure out just who’s lying about what. The book reads like an episode of the show, chock full of quippy lines and surprising twists. For any fans of Veronica—or just of mystery in general—try out this fun, fast novel.