Variety Reports on the Comic Book Campaign
– Tuesday December 24th, 2002
Fans keep those cards and emails coming
By Michael Schneider
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – Rabid fans of canceled series “Firefly” and “Birds of Prey” are pushing for a Christmas miracle.
Never mind that neither show pulled much of a Nielsen rating during its short life this fall. Supporters of the two shows are hammering email boxes at Fox, which recently doused the flame on “Firefly,” and the WB, where “Birds” flew the coop.
Hoping to convince network Scrooges to reconsider, the well-organized fan groups also are taking a page from past “Save Our Show” campaigns and asking viewers to mail quirky packages to the networks.
Fans of the superhero-themed “Birds of Prey,” for example, have been egged on by the webmasters at http://www.birdsofpreyonline.com to send in Batman comic books to WB Entertainment prexy Jordan Levin and Turner chief Jamie Kellner.
As for “Firefly” devotees, organizers of that show’s campaign have asked viewers to send emails that include their demographic information. One emailer specified that she was a 33-year-old female and homeowner in central Ontario whose annual household income ranges between $50,000 and $60,000.
Fans have plenty of precedent on their side. Networks have been known to give a series another shot after an overwhelming response from viewers. The WB, for example, decided to pick up a second season of “Roswell” after drowning in an avalanche of Tabasco bottles sent by fans trying to make a point. (The aliens on that show loved the ****y condiment.)
Still, even as they pony up another couple thousand dollars to buy an ad in the Hollywood trade papers, fans behind these campaigns know the odds of success are thin.
“It’s gratifying that so many fans are speaking up for these shows,” said one network executive. “But where were they in October?”