PEI

Anne with an E fans still not ready to give up

As a petition to renew the Netflix/CBC co-production of Anne with an E passes 200,000 signatures, the organizers are still waiting to hear from the broadcasters that cancelled it.

Show was cancelled after three seasons

The save Anne with an E billboard in Times Square. (Anne with an E Fan Projects)

As a petition to renew the Netflix/CBC co-production of Anne with an E passes 200,000 signers, the organizers are still waiting to hear from the broadcasters that cancelled it.

The series ran on Netflix and CBC Gem for three seasons, but was cancelled last November.

Unless a group calling itself the Anne with an E fan project gets its way.

"It was instantly," said group member Lisa Elksnitis of Toronto of how the group came together.

"I think it was the day the cancellation came or the day after, people were tweeting like crazy and they tweeted something like three million times that day," she told CBC Radio: Island Morning host Mitch Cormier. 

The group has developed several designs for the billboards. (Anne with an E Fan Projects)

It's an international movement. Cait Martin is campaigning from the U.K.

"It's a really lovely, kind of reimagining and retelling, but also kind of maintains the essence of Anne as this beloved literary heroine," Martin of what she loves about the show.

Billboard campaign

What started online has spread to the real world, with billboards in Toronto, Phoenix, and New York's Times Square. The Times Square billboard was noted on social media by series star Amybeth McNulty and series producer Moira Walley Beckett.

Elksnitis said crowdfunding to pay for the billboards followed naturally out of the online campaign.

"I don't even remember originally if we wanted New York or Toronto, but once we started reaching out to all the companies and getting quotes and attempting to raise enough money to get a billboard in either of those cities, it just kind of spawned from there," Elksnitis said.

"We wound up going with Toronto first, because that's the only one we could afford at first basically. And then when that one was successful we were able to just start raising more money quite rapidly, which then opened up the possibility of New York."

Elksnitis and Martin said it was the suddenness of the cancellation that upset them as much as anything.

"There's a big difference between when a show comes to its natural conclusion to when it's cancelled," said Martin.

"It's like going into a library and you find a really cool book and the end is just not there."

The two said the group is pleased with the response to the campaign from most quarters, but they still haven't got the reaction they want: a fourth season.

CBC reached out to CBC and Netflix, but neither responded. In past interviews, CBC has said there is little hope of reviving the show. Netflix did direct fans to make their pitch to save the show by filling out a form on its website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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