‘Galavant’ exclusive: Karen David on ABC cancellation, #MoreGalavant campaign, targeting Hulu

As many “Galavant” fans likely know at this point, ABC decided earlier this week that they were canceling the beloved comedy after only two seasons. It was a sad end to the run of an extremely-funny show, and it was one of many fan favorites removed from the schedule which also included “Agent Carter” and “Nashville.”

Is there still hope for something more? We are in the era where cancellation is far from a death sentence. Look at “The Mindy Project,” “Longmire,” “Community,” “The Killing”, and “Cougar Town” as examples of shows that transferred networks, and managed to find additional success. There are still some potential suitors out there for the show, and knowing what we do about “Galavant” fans, they’re not going to go down without a fight.

These fans have massive support from the cast, who are putting in their own time and effort in hopes of making this quest for season 3 into a reality. Specifically, Karen David (who you also know as Princess Isabella Maria Lucia Elisabetta) has been working alongside Timothy Omundson and many of the fans to ensure a renewal happens. We spoke with her earlier today about some of her thoughts on the cancellation and what fans can do from here.

Below the interview, we’re going to compile a few resources for fans out there that want to help. There’s still hope for a renewal to happen, but now is the time to act! If you’re a fan motivated to take action, specifically focus on the part of the discussion focusing on #MoreGalavant Week, and how you can do your part to help Hulu pick up the show.

CarterMatt – So when did you all first find out the news about ABC’s decision?

Karen David – The day that [former programming head] Paul Lee left ABC was when we were all a bit nervous, since Paul really loved our show. There was a lot of love for ‘Galavant’ at ABC, and I think that’s the main thing that we are all really grateful for. We got to do two seasons; we had an opportunity to bring a unique, groundbreaking show to network television. Hats off to ABC for giving us that chance, because we wouldn’t have the amazing fandom that we do and the community that we have if it wasn’t for that. And the fact that the show is critically praised; we have an 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for season 2, which is so unheard of. Having all of that love from ABC, and having one of our biggest fans in Paul gone, we were a little nervous but we thought ‘let’s see. There’s still a 50-50 chance.’ We were hoping with our passionate audience base, our fans who are so committed and love our show so much, that maybe we’d have a shot.

It’s a ratings rat-race as everyone knows. We were in a very challenging timeslot, and that played a huge factor in it. Going up against Golden Globes and football; I don’t blame people for being torn, because those are things I want to watch, too! But, at the same time, it’s challenging. Our DVR ratings were great, they bumped us up too, but alas, that didn’t seem to be enough in the end.

We then found out literally on the same day everybody else did. We sort of knew it might happen, but we were holding out hope. We all still feel in our guts, genuinely, all of us, that ‘Galavant’ can go somewhere else. We don’t know where or when, but we still feel in our hearts that there’s much more we can do with the show. The fans know this, and they see that too, and that’s why over the past ten days the fans have been banding together from all over the world on their own accord, and with their own initiative, and started this #MoreGalavant campaign. It’s been so moving to see so many people from all over the world take the time out of their lives to send a letter in. Letters have been flooding ABC over the past ten days, and they’ve been taking pictures, posting them on social media so that people can see. They’ve been sending Tad Cooper dragons, mini jewels of Valencia, pictures holding signs saying ‘we want more Galavant’ from Texas, from Rome. It’s just been phenomenal, and all of us have been sitting back, looking at this and thinking ‘this is a testament to the quality of our show, to how much our show is beloved by so many people.’ We really feel grateful and excited to support this campaign. We’ve all been talking on the phone, so overwhelmed and smiling. It gives us hope.

What have some of those conversations been like with the cast? I’m sure it brings back great memories, but at the same time it’s tough because you are floating out in the ether unsure as to what could happen.

Emails were circulated, and over the past few days there have been a lot of phone calls. I’m friends with all the crew — we all are — and the one thing we’ve all noticed is that everyone is involved in this, from the runners to the extras to the props department to the art department to the editors. Every single person came in and wrote a message on a feed or a response to a feed saying that out of anything they’ve ever done in their lives, this has been the most magical and memorable. They’ve never had so much fun and joy in their hearts, and that’s unanimous across the world. That doesn’t happen every day. The unity, the synergy that the cast and crew have, knowing that this has been the most special chapter of their lives [is incredible].

I say this to you knowing that it’s really hard to capture our adoration and our love that we have for the show, and I think our fans can see it right down to the blooper reels! People can see how much laughter there is; I can’t stop laughing! [Executive producer] Dan Fogelman told us the first day when we all met for the first time ‘guys, get ready, because this is going to change your life. It’s going to be life-changing in the sense that the memories that we are going to make and the show we’re going to make will be so special that people years down the road are going to watch this and enjoy it like ‘The Princess Bride.” This is such a funny, silly show that attracts people from all walks of life, different ages. It has something for everyone. That’s the one thing that has been so heartfelt for us. We’ve been flooded from all people on social media, by people of all ages, saying that ‘this is the one show that unifies my family together.’ In this day and age, where people cannot commit to one show at the same time, this is one show where people sit in front of the TV and enjoy half an hour or an hour of television together. That’s why no matter what happens, all of us can walk away with our heads held high, knowing that the critics and fans love the show. That’s what we’ve all been saying on the phone and over emails.

Of course, a lot of us feel bittersweet. I was talking with Tim [Omundson], he’s in Germany right now, he just told me that it’s a mixture of emotions. It’s going to be like that for a while, maybe. We’re just happy that this show happened.

Today’s the first day of our #MoreGalavant Week, in our bid for Hulu to consider the show. The fans have come up with a brilliant idea and we have nothing to lose. If [something else] happens, great, if it doesn’t, it’s okay because we know that we tried.

You bring up Hulu, and that is a streaming home for the show right now. What exactly can fans do in an effort to help secure the show lands there?

First of all, a lot of fans have written in and asked ‘why Hulu, because Netflix and Amazon are amazing.’ We’re not on Netflix, and Amazon, we are, but Hulu we’re also on. The main reason why we’re going for Hulu and we’re encouraging fans to go for Hulu is because first and foremost, Disney owns a part of Hulu. Hulu and Disney can see their ratings, so there’s a partnership and there’s a stronger chance of being picked up at Hulu than anywhere else … for now, at this time. Hulu is best-known for rescuing shows like ‘The Mindy Project,’ so they’ve set that precedent. Obviously, we’re not stopping them from Netflix and Amazon, but I’ll get to that later.

Hulu has a seven-day free trial. We thought from talking with all the fans in the last 48 hours, we came up with the idea of having a #MoreGalavant Week, which starts today, May 14, until the 20th. Fans can sign up for Hulu absolutely free of charge, and within this one week we want fans to watch season 2 of ‘Galavant’ on Hulu. That’s their homework! Please watch ‘Galavant’ on Hulu this week. What that does is it boosts the ratings up on Hulu, and it’s the fans’ way of showing Hulu and ABC that we want more ‘Galavant,’ and this is happening. We’re determined to make this happen.

I know a lot of fans have written in and said ‘we don’t have Hulu,’ and we get that. But, for the sake of getting another season, we’re asking fans even from abroad who can’t get Hulu to go online, go on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, and tell them that ‘we would love to see another season.’ If Hulu picks it up, that gives us a whole lot of other opportunities to be seen everywhere, and who knows? Hulu is looking at expanding into other territories, so this is food for thought for them, as well, because we have a big audience all over the world.

They can [also] call Hulu. A lot of fans have been calling Hulu and speaking to the customer services line, because every call they make has to be recorded. All of that is used as consumer research, which is taken then to development. There’s a social-media aspect, there’s a phone-call aspect, and there’s a [writing] letters aspect to that where many fans have written Hulu in the same way they have ABC. Physical letters do count! (Note: You can see the address for letters at the bottom of the article.)

That’s kind of what we ask. Fans can also go onto the IMDb page for the show and rate the show, rate the cast, and that can also help the show and its rating. We also have a petition that the fans have started up, and that’s been incredible. It’s so wonderful because fans from all of the world have been leaving mini-testimonials and comments. It’s so genuine, and they’ve been talking about their love of ‘Galavant.’

As far as the other digital platforms, Netflix and Amazon, fans have been calling into them, too, and the folks on the Netflix customer service line have been really grateful. They’ve said that even though they don’t have ‘Galavant’ yet on their platform, fans should type in ‘Galavant’ in their search engine. That is recorded for consumer research, and they’ll know. They can also type in any of our names in there, and related results can come up. We’re just being honest right now; realistically, we have a stronger chance at Hulu right now. One other thing that they can do is tweet and support advertisers … I don’t think any of us had any idea what goes into these fan-driven campaigns, and it’s been such a big experience for all of us on the cast and crew! Even the showrunners, we’re in awe of what the fans are doing. They know their stuff! (Laughs.) It’s so impressive. Bravo to them.

We’ve also had so much celebrity support. We’ve had Zachary Levi; William Shatner has been so gutted about the cancellation! We want him as the Dark Evil Lord, wouldn’t that be fun? We’ve also had Paget Brewster, Rob Benedict, Maggie Lawson, many others who have been coming aboard and getting involved in the social media campaign, saying that they want more ‘Galavant.’ So, I hope Hulu, if you’re listening, you know that you are going to inherit a bunch of amazing, wonderful human beings because if this campaign is any campaign of the love and adoration for our show, it’s also the reflection of such great people out there in the world who just believe in good quality television.

Has Dan or anyone else talked with you about some potential ideas for the future of the show?

I’m trying to decipher in my head how much I can say! We were obviously talking about Tad Cooper becoming the dragon, and we all know that Madalena was going off to become more powerful in the Dark, Dark Evil Ways. Then, we were looking to see what life for Isabella and Galavant was like.

I know fans have seen news of [Joshua Sasse] going off to another show [in ‘No Tomorrow’] that is such a fantastic opportunity for him. But the thing about ‘Galavant’ is that it’s an ensemble. I know fans have made references to ‘Game of Thrones’ where anything is possible, and anyone can leave at any moment! We are a fairytale, and because we’re a fairytale flipped on its head, anything is possible. Anything wonderfully-creative story that taps into the imagination is possible with our show. Even if we had got a season 3 pickup knowing that Josh was going off to another show, we still were at the ready with stories. It was a different journey that we would have taken, and they had laid the groundwork for that, just in case. This is what I’m telling the fans now: There is so much to come. For now, just be reassured that the writers room, they are not short on ideas! (Laughs.) There are stories to be celebrated with Cid, with Gareth, with Madalena, with Isabella, with her parents, everyone. Our stories, there is so much room for them to grow and move forward, and I think the fans know that too, and that’s why this #MoreGalavant Week is happening.

I know [composer] Alan Menken was on social media talking about bringing the show to Broadway, and there have been talks about that. Right from season 1 there were talks about doing a Broadway show. Dan was saying to us that right now, that chapter with ABC might be finished, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it might be finished elsewhere. That’s how we move forward, and we’ll just wait and see.

Ultimately, don’t be sad; trust me, there is a part of me that is heartbroken. Many of us feel that way. But, let’s not be sad; let’s celebrate what we’ve had the past few years, and celebrate that this is something that we can take with us, no matter what happens. We bonded as a community.

Thanks again to Karen to devoting a tremendous amount of time to speaking with us about the show, her reflections on it, and how it can be saved.

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