Thursday, September 12, 2002

Well, don't forget that NBC threatened to cancel Star Trek after its second season, and a letter-writing campaign saved it. Then again, that was a more enlightened time.

So, you know, there are a couple of alternatives. And visit Fi's blog and Maayan's blog for more calls to action and specific methods of protest. But in broad strokes:

Encourage SCI FI to keep Farscape.

This probably won't happen. It's a matter of money and a matter of image at this point, and those things are the true currency of network executives. Farscape is an expensive show, and with the $1.4M SFC shells out for every Farscape episode, they believe they can make two or three episodes of other, less production-value-heavy, original programs. Michael Jackson, the new head of programming at SCI FI, has the goal of expanding the reach of the science fiction genre to reach mainstream audiences. As long as Farscape continues, in his estimation, to bring in only "sci-fi nerds," it's a loser bet. They look at the Nielsens and the numbers don't lie. So if you want to argue, research the ratings history of the show and use numbers to back you up.

But if we can convince the network that Farscape has brought in new eyeballs, it's our one chance. The open letter to SFC in today's Variety did a good thing when it appealed to the underwriters of the show, Mazda, Volkswagen, whoever. Talking to executives at those companies, or the ad sales departments of networks, would not be a bad move either. Money talks. If the advertisers believe Farscape is useful to them, they can exert power over the channel.

Encourage other networks to pick up Farscape.

There's a rumor that UPN has expressed interest, but it could be just a rumor. Showtime is also being bandied around as a possibility, and it would be wise to contact their execs, as fans of THEIR networks and tell them you believe Farscape would be an asset to their lineup. See some of the other blogs for that contact information.

Brainstorm other possibilities.

There was some gossip about some Farscape movies in place of a 5th season -- a strong enough campaign for that could show SCI FI that that's a worthy investment. And there are always alternatives that the execs haven't thought of -- with a braintrust like the internet fandom, we can come up with some viable ideas for Henson/Hallmark to research. Any ideas you have to keep the show alive should be sent to the folks at Henson, with a reminder that the fans are out here and that we will follow Farscape wherever it goes.

More to come. It ain't over.