A reader asked whether write-in campaigns to keep your favorite show on the air has any impact. The answer is definitely YES. But here’s the key – the show must be a critics’ darling. No ratings and no buzz mean no renewal. So you have a much better chance of keeping FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on the air than you do mounting a big campaign to keep BINGO NIGHT IN AMERICA on the ABC schedule.
Networks need a reason to justify keeping a struggling show on the air. There’s the “shit, we got nothing better!” reason but that’s usually just a stay of execution. A new show that is heralded by critics, gets lot of coverage, even some award nominations – those have a legitimate chance. And networks can always point to CHEERS and HILL STREET BLUES and a few others that started slow but eventually became big hits.
When we did ALMOST PERFECT and were on the bubble we personally contacted all the TV critics who were fans of the show and asked if they’d do follow-up pieces. Most were happy to oblige and it did help.
Now there’s also the internet. Fans have more forums to plead their case. Websites and blogs and chat rooms dedicated to your favorite struggling show can generate buzz as well. I think it’s too late for ALMOST PERFECT however, despite my webmaster’s insistence that it could still work and for only $1500 he could make up a spiffy website.
Staging actual protests at the network might work if you get some local news coverage but if you don’t come in with BIG numbers you look like just a few cranks and that tends to hurt your case. And if you’re arrested, well…that doesn’t help either.
My only other suggestion is to convince the producers to add LAW & ORDER to the title.
Good luck, and if anyone wants to mount that ALMOST PERFECT campaign I say don’t wait. Let’s get it back on the air NOW while anyone at the networks even remembers it.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
By Ken Levine at 3:16 PM