ABC shocked viewers on Friday when it announced its decision to cancel Rebel. While the cancellation came just five episodes into Rebel's freshman run, the series had already earned itself a loyal fanbase, with many members now fighting to keep the show alive. After fans created a Change.org petition calling on the network to save the series, leading star Katey Sagal backed the move online.
In a Tuesday tweet, Sagal shared the link to a petition titled "Help Save Rebel." The fan-created petition notes that "Rebel Fans and fans of Katey Sagal" are trying to "save her show Rebel," calling it unfair that "ABC hasn't given the show enough time to prove it could be a hit show!!" With more than 500 signatures as of this posting, the petition noted that Sagal's "fans are so upset, please all Rebel and Katey fans help us save this show!!! PLEASE HELP SAVE THIS SHOW!!"
The petition was created just after ABC announced on Friday that the series, from Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff, would not be returning for another season. Following the announcement, Sagal admitted in an Instagram post that the "abrupt announcement that there would be no Season 2 based on the response from four airings came as a shock and a heartbreak."
The actress noted that the series "tells the story of a woman who speaks up for what is right, the show has heart and purpose, funny and tears, and we, the cast, are all scratching our heads at the reversal of support from ABC." In the post, Sagal encouraged fans to "fight for what you want, make people listen, and in this case, if our show can find another, more suitable place to land, we will do the happy dance." She also encouraged fans to sign a different petition to save the series. That petition, which has more than 35,000 signatures, called ABC decision to cancel the series "rash," explaining that Rebel "was not given enough time to establish itself and to build an audience! The show deserves a second season!"
Explaining the decision to cancel Rebel so early into its first season, Craig Erwich, President, ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals, told The Hollywood Reporter that while the network gave Rebel "a really big launch" and "focused a lot of our efforts across the entire company in telling people about this show… the audience didn't amass the way it needed to." Erwich added, "we tried to give the decision and the show every benefit of the doubt, but ultimately we just couldn't find a path forward." Erwich called the decision "carefully considered" and "methodical."