Hot on the heels of The X-Files miniseries, fans of the 1996-1999 show Millennium are gathering this Saturday, Feb. 6, from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. EST for a tweet-a-thon, to let Fox Broadcasting know that they would love a revival of another Chris Carter show. This campaign is spearheaded by fans Troy Foreman and James McLean, who run the website Back to Frank Black, as well as the Back to Frank Black podcast. And it seems they’re not the only ones who want Frank Black back.
Star Lance Henriksen recorded a message for the campaign, below, in the hopes of attracting “all the fans, all the dreamers. Nothing makes me happier …” said Henriksen.
As many fans know, shows like Star Trek, Futurama, Twin Peaks, The X-Files and Firefly have receiving extended seasons and/or feature films and/or reboots, thanks to fan action, such as sending peanuts to CBS, as fans of Jericho did.
However, Foreman and McLean have a different approach: a letter-writing campaign. This tweet-a-thon. A detailed and well-regarded book. Only instead of a fan-only campaign, they’ve on-boarded most of the cast and crew of Millennium.
Foreman, who became a fan of Millennium the moment he heard it would star his favorite deserves-to-be-more-famous actor Henriksen, said, “We’re the only campaign that’s had such involvement with the cast and crew on a regular basis.”
Henriksen’s message is only one of the many ways the fans and the Millenni-als have collaborated. Composer Mark Snow recorded audio for the winner of their Millennium movie trailer contest. Actress Sarah Jane Redmond shot a video for them. And much of the cast and crew—including creator Chris Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz—provided content for the Back to Frank Black book (edited by Adam Chamberlain and Brian A. Dixon; of which 100% of the proceeds go to Henriksen’s charity of choice, Children of the Night). Foreman said, “The great thing about the book is all we had to do was ask, and everyone jumped at the chance.”
Although the stars of, say, Firefly, have stated in public they would gladly participate in another series, they don't actively campaign side-by-side with their fans. McLean has a theory as to why Millennium stars do:
McLean says, “We highlight what the fans want, and we encourage attention to the show, [but] we acknowledge that fans alone would not bring shows back…. Chris Carter and Fox Television are going to be the ones who decide whether or not something like this happens. We're a part of the solution, but we're only a part. I think it makes [our campaign] a bit more credible.”
So, why attempt to bring back an older show when there are a multitude of good options on television right now?
McLean, who enjoys Millennium for its juxtaposition between the caring character of Frank Black in this very dark show, said that reviving an older series isn’t about “being lazy”:
“I think the reason people want to see The X-Files and Star Wars come back is they want original actors back, and they want to see how [the actors would] work with the character. I think that people want to have that tension between the past and the present.” In addition, McLean said, "Television is almost like a sort of parallel life to us. In the same way you want a reunion with your family, we want a reunion with our TV family."
Foreman pointed out that Gilmore Girls, Full House, and The Tick are currently getting a second chance on air, “Television is in a nostalgia phase right now, and we want to jump on it while we can,” he said.
But Millennium can’t actually indulge in too much nostalgia. After all, the show was about the anxiety over the coming year 2000. However, Carter has already stated he has ideas for a new version of the show.
As for whether or not Carter—and us fans—will get another shot at Millennium depends on any number of factors, up to and including the availability of the actors. A tweet-storm in support of the show can only help. (But, as Foreman warns, "Don’t be rude. We don’t tolerate anything like that.")
Will their top-down approach to fan campaigning work? Tweet Fox today with #MillenniuM20th and find out.