CBS's "Cagney & Lacey" was a TV series about a pair of female police officers. While a female cop show might seem like nothing new now, in the early '80s, this premise was a big deal for the growing feminist movement. It started out as a made-for-TV movie and was so popular that CBS launched a series. So how did the show get canceled, and what saved it?
The second season of "Cagney & Lacey" suffered from low ratings, and the network canceled it in 1983, much to the dismay of rabid fans, as well as the show's supporters in the women's movement. Barney Rosenzweig, who wrote the TV movie, began receiving letters from fans who wanted the show back on the air.
The response inspired Rosenzweig to organize a fan letter-writing campaign, and some heavy hitters like Ms. Magazine and Gloria Steinem helped promote the drive. The fan response was overwhelming, and CBS took notice. The network renewed "Cagney & Lacey" in 1984, and it went on for four more seasons.