Virtual seasons are a form of fanac where fic writers write an unofficial continuation of a show that has been cancelled, is on hiatus, or to replace a season which is considered to have jumped the shark, or needs denying.
They are often done as collaborations with different writers contributing individual stories as episodes, often with the new episodes "airing" at the same time the show would've aired. Sometimes they are multimedia projects with accompanying fanart or trailers. Some fans go as far as to make fan films such as Star Trek, The New Voyages.
Many virtual seasons are presented with elaborate ancillary apparatus. These vary widely, but frequently include character descriptions, title pages, brief synopses of episodes (similar to those in television program guides), and background on the world of the series. In some instances, the episodes of a virtual season are published weekly or biweekly in a semblance of the schedule of an actual television series. In such a case, promotional "ads" may be created for upcoming episodes.
The very first virtual season was in 1979 in the print zine Moonbeam #5/6. It was a zine that took Space: 1999 into its third season. From the flyer for that issue: "We're aiming for 24 different episodes, at about 20 pages each (typed and double-spaced). Stories exceeding that length may be considered as 2-part episodes."
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was cancelled in 1997 and spawned several virtual seasons, which continued the trend.
Sites Listing Virtual Seasons
- Phoenix Virtual Television - on again/off again website listing numerous virtual seasons (and virtual original series), divided according to whether they are complete, ongoing, or never finished.
- MZP-TV - one of the largest virtual series sites currently running, MZP-TV is a virtual network comprising original series and continuations, as well as 'Buffyverse' fiction.
- untitled site
List of Shows with Virtual Seasons
- The Adventures of Sinbad Fan Fiction Seasons
- The New Fanfic Adventures of Sinbad (archived on Reocities)
- American Gothic The Virtual Second Season (WaybackMachine link)
- In Another Life (alternate third season)
- Three Deep
- Buffy Season Noir
- The Buffybot Adventures - original site (archived), current
- Slayer Academy - follows young Slayers at the newly-formed Rupert Giles Academy
- Hell's Gate - the last members of the Watchers' Council team with the last of the Initiative
- Buffy: The Chosen
- Cordelia the Vampire Slayer
- Faith: The Series
- B3 Buffy Fanfic Series
- Watchers Central
- Fate - Dawn at college
- Buffy Season 8
- Buffy: The Virtual Continuation - the Scoobies relocate to Cleveland
- Virtual Lunatics' Virtual Season Eight
- WaTchers: The Virtual Series - website
- Harsh Realm Virtual Season (archived copy)
- Highlander: The Fanfiction Season (season 6)
- Kung Fu the Legend Continues FanFiction Season (Waybackmachine link)
- Quantum Leap: The Virtual Seasons (seasons 6-14)
- Cascade Virtual Tales by Black Panther Productions
- Faux Paws Productions Virtual Seasons
- Novation Productions Virtual Seasons
- Sentinel Slash Virtual Season
- The Sentinel Slash Movies Project
- The Sentinel Slash Stories of the Month
- Sliders Season 6
- Sliders The Lost Sixth Season
- Sliders Earth 214
- Sliders Earth 317
- Slide Override
- Infinite Slides
- Spy Game Central - (includes a virtual Season 2, archived)
- Starsky and Hutch Virtual Season (online)
- Starsky and Hutch Virtual Season (zine) (slash)
- Starsky and Hutch Gen Virtual Season (5th and 6th on the Hutchfans Yahoo Group)
- Strange Luck: The Virtual Second Season (WaybackMachine link)
- Fox & Rat Virtual Series (1999 - 2017) (Season 11 premiere! 2 September 2017!)
- The X-Files Virtual Season 1-3
- X-Files Virtual Seasons 8-16
- X Files: VCU ("Violent Crimes Unit"), by Deslea (2003)