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8 fan campaigns that saved series

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  • Elders (Admins)

That's a very interesting article, model, thanks for posting it.

I really do think that Hollywood needs to have a very serious re-think of its business model. The market for quirky/sci-fi shows has always been small relative to "comedy" or "reality" shows, so they should be aiming for a small yet solid fanbase and have shorter seasons. UK TV has done that, with one-season shows such as Ultraviolet; and Canadian TV has done that with 13-episode/year series such as ReGenesis. But the USA seems to be stuck on a pattern of 20+ episodes per season and focussing on the sweeps months - that makes sense to management, but not to the creative people nor to the fans who all know that there will be "filler" episodes. TV sci-fi has become increasingly more expensive to make over the years, because there seems to be the expectation the special effects should be as good as sci-fi movies. But I don't think it's fans of good sci-fi who are the ones expecting that, I think that's more a marketing thing.

It is good to see that sometimes the beancounters do actually listen to the fans, but there should be a more effective system in place so that each side has more confidence in the other.

My personal random thoughts (and everyone please feel free to object, if you wish):

X-Files didn't break the mould as such - it became mainstream because there were two elements: the sci-fi/supernatural, and the M&S relationship. I suspect there are other sci-fi TV shows that last more because of the relationships between characters rather than the original premise.

Much is often made of the ratings for the premiere episode of a TV show/series. But that can be misleading, because there's usually a huge marketing buzz about new shows or returning shows, and that can skew the ratings. See: http://millennium-th...gs_analysis.php where the figures show a significant drop from the premiere episode - and that's because MM was marketed as being from the creator of the X-Files so people were expecting something similar. There should really be a reality programme called "when marketing goes bad".

Sci-fans have always been more techy-minded than the general population, and illegal downloads have been around for a long time. That was the start of the "time-shifting" where the standard Neilson methods don't work. The industry has had a long time to figure out how to deal with that, but even now are barely coming up with positive strategies for dealing with that (i.e. making money). Incidentally, MM was badly aired in the UK, and if it hadn't been for people (illegally) uploading episodes, and me (illegally) downloading episodes, I wouldn't have ended up being part of this community.

I really don't understand the idea that straight-to-DVD is regarded as second-class. To my mind, there is a huge benefit to that, along the lines of a complete series like Ultraviolet - just like books! Amazon's marketing strategy of making a few pages of a book available to read is a brilliant idea, one which Hollywood should be looking at.

Anyway, my ongoing computer problems means that I might not be able to (illegally) download episodes of Alcatraz while that's still airing. If it gets cancelled a few episodes in, it won't end up here on UK TV. Another example of US TV shows that I might have been prepared to shell out some money to watch.


"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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Wow, there's a few on the list that I don't even remember hearing about. Surprised there weren't more listed as well, including MLM.

Thanks David for the info.

I also sooooooooooooo appreciate being able to download episodes to certain shows that I would probably never see otherwise. For example, I only have basic and extended cable, and can't afford to pay for more since it's expensive, and the cost just went up again. So, I don't receive any of the movie channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. For that reason I miss out on some awesome programming, for example, "Game of Thrones," (HBO) that is getting ready to start season 2 in April. Having season 1 in my downloads folder and being able to watch it is very appreciated.

I too am a fan of Alcatraz, and so hoping that it doesn't get cancelled. It's a fresh new story, and very intersting. I'm thinking Sam Neill's presence on the show helps the ratings. I like Same Neill.

Speaking of shows that are character driven, NCIS is one of them, and the interaction between characters is one reason it became a hit. Sure it had good stories, etc., but the characters sold the show. There have been some shows with great stories, but I for one didn't connect with the actors/characters, and lost interest.

Libby, hope your computer problems get sorted out.


"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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I know what you mean about the cable prices. Last year they went up and my wife and I both agreed to drop it and switch to DVDs and online shows. When she called they said we could have our same rate for two more years because we were a good customer. If in a year they raise it again and make it too expensive I may still drop them.

Right now I'm waiting to see if they drop Fringe or Person of Interest. I may not join a campain but it may make me mad enough to quit watching shows on broadcast and wait for them to come out on DVD. I really do watch a lot of DVDs these days.

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