DirecTV somewhat infamously saved the low-rated but critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights and helped extend it for
two three shortened seasons in a deal with NBC that allowed DirecTV to air the show first. Then DirecTV stepped in and picked up the low-rated, but Emmy Award winning Damages after FX canceled it. But pretty much no sooner than it had saved Damages announced it was getting out of the business of saving low rated shows.
I have joked in the past that with DirecTV out of the "Save Our Show" business, that perhaps Netflix would step in and pick up the mantle. Mostly, that was just wishful thinking because I felt like I had to retire the DirecTV "Save Our Show" Top 25 too soon. Though I have written it was possible Netflix could get into that game, there were reasons why I didn't think it would likely be soon. it may be sooner than I thought.
All Things D's Peter Kafka interviewed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and he asked about the possibility:
Speaking of expired season, I’ve heard some networks talk about extending the life of shows they were going to cancel if you’re going to pay them to keep going. Does that make sense?
Yes. For example, “Friday Night Lights” wasn’t going to get continued two seasons ago on NBC, and DirecTV did a deal to extend that show. So we can see ourselves doing something like that–extending a season of something that was doing well on Netflix.
In the best of circumstances, the odds of a show being saved are slim, and despite Hastings' pie-in-the-sky response, those chances are even slimmer on Netflix.
Chuck fans, don't start rubbing your hands together and thinking about the letter writing campaign yet. First, Chuck hasn't been canceled from NBC yet. Secondly, Warner Bros (which produces Chuck) does not play nicely with Netflix as far as recent shows. Those shows can't be "doing well on Netflix" since they are not available for streaming on Netflix.
CBS shows also aren't available on Netflix. Critically acclaimed The Good Wife might have been a hit on Netflix, but it isn't, because it too isn't available streaming on Netflix. Netflix won't be reviving Terriers anytime soon either, it hasn't shown up on Netflix yet.
Detroit 1-8-7 isn't on Netflix yet either, but there are like 248 episodes of Law & Order: SVU streaming on Netflix. But that's a show that doesn't need saving, at least not presently.