We spoke to Lucifer star Tom Ellis about the latest developments in the #SaveLucifer campaign after the show was recently cancelled by Fox.
Quite a few shows cut from programming this year, with Brooklyn 99 and Lucifer perhaps being the ones making the biggest splash. Brooklyn was later picked up by NBC, so fans of Lucifer are hoping the series will be granted a chance at a season 4.
I spoke with Ellis about what it’s been like for him in the days following the Lucifer cancellation, why he still has hope, and what the fans can do to make sure the #SaveLucifer campaign keeps going strong.
I feel like you’ve been going on this whirlwind tour for the #SaveLucifer campaign, talking to different outlets and making sure you’re in all the hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. What’s that been like for you so far?
I mean, this was not a planned response! When you say whirlwind, I literally feel like I’ve been picked up in a whirlwind of fandom and an outpouring of love for this show. It did literally pick me up off the floor because I was a bit floored from the news that we got cancelled. And then as soon as that news broke, that was when I started feeling better. The response was absolutely mind-blowing. I’ve had this weird feeling since doing Lucifer, travelling around the world and people telling me how much they love this show, that it was a really loved show and it had traveled. I also kind of felt that wasn’t necessarily reflected in Fox’s figures, especially this season. I think this sort of reaction has proven that, really. It’s incredibly humbling. I’ve been in a few situations before where shows have been cancelled and things had happened, and people are dissatisfied by that, but there’s never really an explanation as to why. At least this has sparked a conversation whereby I’m able to at least let the fans know why these decisions happened, and the fact that this outpouring has affected things in the past and it has made conversations happen in this instance as well. It’s amazing what social media has brought to it. The fans suddenly have a voice. The one thing I’ve said in the last few interviews is that ratings reflect numbers but don’t necessarily reflect passion, and the way this show has traveled and the passion the fans have for this show has been on display in full force ever since we found out we were cancelled.
‘Brooklyn 99’ was obviously just saved off the chopping block, so it’s definitely possible for ‘Lucifer’ to get picked up elsewhere, but it’s going to be a tough run. What are some of the obstacles that are in your way right now?
I don’t want to speak out of turn. I know bits about the business model behind all of this, but not enough to speak with authority about it. What I would say is that Brooklyn 99 was an easy fit in terms of a save because it was made by the studio that was all incorporated with NBC. Universal and NBC are all under one umbrella, so that was a sort of seamless fit. With Lucifer, it’s a bit different and the fact that it’s traveled is both good and challenging as well. I think if it were to move forward, it seems like streaming options would be the most likely if it were to, but that’s not promising anything at all. It’s just what seems to be what’s come from this.
Again, you can’t speak about everybody who has worked on this show, but for you at least, what’s your main goal with the #SaveLucifer campaign? Do you want to keep Lucifer going for as long as you can, or is it just about trying to make sure there’s at least closure after that season 3 finale?
I think the thing I was looking for was closure. I felt deeply unsatisfied about how it ended, as unsatisfied as the fans. I think everyone who works on this show really loves working on the show and really loves the show. I think that sort of reflects on screen and that’s spread [to the fans] as well. That’s why people feel so affectionate toward it. It doesn’t feel like a regular fandom in many ways. So I did want closure, but what I did want is to keep… Whilst there are conversations happening and whilst there is hope, I will keep talking about it and I’ll keep fighting for it and I’ll keep encouraging people to fight for it because the noise hasn’t gone unheard so far. So that’s an opportunity for people to keep making noise and keep saying, “This is something that we want.”
And you mentioned streaming services might be the best way for ‘Lucifer’ to get back on air. I’m sure there are a lot of benefits, maybe something that you’d be able to do there that you wouldn’t have been able to do on Fox?
Again, I can speculate for you, but the general feeling about if you’re on network broadcast TV compared to cable and streaming is that the boundaries are very different. And what you can and can’t do is very different. The format of an episode is different because you don’t have to have these breaks for ads, so you can tell your story slightly differently. There are benefits in that respect. I think that’s why everyone is moving toward streaming and cable these days because you can deliver more filmic work on a streaming cable service because you’ve got less restrictions.
And I know nothing for season 4 was probably set in stone before and obviously everything is up in the air now, but is there anything you would have really liked to have seen happen in season 4 or anything you know that would’ve been really cool to do?
The obvious and the big thing is what everyone else’s question is: What happens now? How do they react to that? How does the detective react to that? Where does that take us? Where does that take our two characters? [What are] the implications of all of that, now that Lucifer is back as the devil and he no longer has his wings. I think there’s a sense of deep dissatisfaction for a lot of fans because a lot of people were asking that question, “When is it gonna happen? When is it gonna happen? When is it gonna happen?” And then it happens and then we don’t know what happens next?
Speaking of the fans, what are some of the best ways for fans to do their part in trying to save Lucifer?
I think the best thing to do is to stay positive. Don’t get negative on why this show was cancelled and don’t get negative about Fox. For Fox it was, like everything else, a business model, and their decision was made for a reason. That’s how those things work. So we can’t be bitter about that. The one thing we can take spirit from is the way people have responded to it. It’s kind of speaking for itself now, and I think until we know that it’s definitely not a thing, and can’t go any further, then I would encourage people to just keep hammering away and keep hashtagging #SaveLucifer, and keep the faith. And remain positive about the show because what has come out of this has been a celebration about a show that people really love, and that doesn’t happen all the time. People have been saying to me on Twitter how they’ve found friends and stuff in the Lucifer fandom, and I think that’s wonderful. All to it. Power to the people.
Is there anything else you would like to add, either to the networks or streaming services that are considering picking up ‘Lucifer,’ or to the fans of the show specifically?
There’s no substitute for passion. The passion that people are showing is not going unnoticed. That has started a conversation. Normally, by this point, I would’ve been licking my wounds and moved on to another project, but I feel like I want to fight for this. I feel like that’s what the fans want. And until I know better, I will continue to.
As a fan of this show, and as many of my friends are fans of this show, we really appreciate everything you’re doing to try to promote the fans’ voices and letting everybody know that we still want to watch this show. Hopefully it all works out for everybody in the end.
Thank you so much. Thanks for supporting the show so much. It means a lot to us all.