If you search through the internets to find reasons why the television show Firefly was cancelled, you often find disparaging remarks about Fox and the Executives behind the cancellation. These can range from "Oh how stupid" to "Ulterior motives were behind the cancellation."
One of the more thorough examples (emphasis original):
They wanted to kill this show. I believe that, as surely as I do that the sun rises in the east. Had they really been behind the series, and wanted it to "go" somewhere, they would have first of all given it a decent time-slot, one in which it would have had a chance to find an audience—the nine-o'clock (Eastern) slot on Sunday nights, vacated by that overwrought piece of dreck The X-Files, would have been perfect. It is—was—not an eight o'clock primetime "kiddie" show. It was a serious drama with a fantastic setting. And it was simply without question the best show of its type ever made for television.
So why did Fox kill Firefly so deliberately? Did they want to punish creator Joss Whedon for his "unexpected" successes with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel? Demonstrate to him conclusively that it is not the few genuinely creative people in Hollywood who hold the real power in the industry, but the men and women who hold the purse strings?
Typical excuses I have heard:
- Someone had a problem with strong female characters
- The powers that be just didn't like Joss Whedon
- The cultural themes were too "out there"
- Executive backstabbing sabotaged the show for the purposes of making someone else look bad
But the question at heart is this: Did something or someone specific target Firefly for cancellation aside from the reasons that typically get shows cancelled? Or, more bluntly, did an executive actively sabotage the show (or Joss Whedon) in such a way that resulted in Firefly getting cancelled?