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AngelInterview with Lisa Rowe from the saving angel campaign
By Ranting Ryan
Wednesday 31 March 2004, by cally
Interview with LISA ROWE, co-creator of the SAVING ANGEL campaign!
story by Ranting Ryan
By now you’ve probably learned that Angel has been cancelled. And if you’re an Angel fan, you’ve probably heard of the efforts the people over at SavingAngel.org are doing to try and save the show. We spoke with the lovely, smart and funny Lisa Rowe, who is one of the fans heading up the campaign. Not only does she kick booty for doing this, but she’s also a former Penn State student. On top of thanking Ms. Lowe for doing the interview, we here at Rewired.com would personally like to thank her and everyone else at SavingAngel.org for taking the initiative to try and save a show that we too love.
So tell me about the creation of Saving Angel. Tell us what you’ve done so far to save the show.
Well you see, there’s always been some animosity between the Angel and Buffy communities. There are the Sparklers, the Angel/Buffy shippers, Buffy/Spike shippers, etc. The day word of cancellation came out we got together and said “dammit, if we don’t do anything, then nobody will have their favorite characters or ships.” So we got all of the groups together and pulled them in one big ol’ chat. We decided what needed to be done. So we got two ads up, one in Variety and the other in The Hollywood Reporter. We got back page in Variety, which is a great place for that. That’s really good placement.
There’s an outlet called Guerilla Billboards, they get a big ol’ truck and drive it around a route of Los Angeles of your choice. So we got it for three weeks. It’s sitting in front of studios and executive offices and the Ryan Seacrest show every day. We’ve gotten really good feedback on this.
Have any executive or actors noticed?
The executives have noticed. We’ve gotten word that WB and FOX have seen them and they’re quite impressed that we’ve mobilized. We’re working on a rally. Some people are going to a convention in California that approached us about speaking about what we’re doing. We are being filmed and interviewed by the TV Guide channel and a couple other interviews as well. So that’s our game plan at the moment.
We’re not unreasonable and we’re not delusional. We realize that there is a slim chance at that. We just felt that we needed to make a stand. Good genre TV is dropping by the minute faster than we can say. TV is becoming a wasteland.
There is one other element in this also, we hear that WB is targeting the demographic that they had with Dawson’s Creek. We’ve just proven that we have funding and that we can mobilize about a show we care about.
Executives need to look at their TV demographics. The largest generation is the baby boomer generations and the Gen X’s. We are not undesirable. We kind of wanted to make our stand on this. If it opens the network’s eyes, that’s great. If that means that we get Angel TV movies, that’s great, if it means we get more Whedon stuff, that’s great. But we know that there is a slim chance.
It seems that the show was off to a great start this year with a new story-arc and new cast member, James Marsters. Were you surprised when WB decided to axe the show?
Yeah, I think we were all surprised. I think Joss was surprised. There was a WB event shortly before this, I think it was the 100th episode, and WB President Josh Levin talked about how they had room for two vampire shows (they are remaking Dark Shadows), and then a week later they just decided to cancel it. The ratings haven’t been super great, but it’s a genre show. But you know what? The viewers are very stable. With this show, they’ve moved it around so much and the ratings have remained stable. It’s not to be scoffed at. It’s not like the WB have the next Friends. They aren’t in the top three networks. So they’re basically trying to make room in their schedule for genre shows and Dawson’s Creek them up and they’ve all tanked... Birds of Prey, Tarzan. Genre audiences are a bit picky in good plots and good writing.
Have you been contacted by any of the actors, studios?
Not the actors. The week that we started this, I was out for the Wolfram and Heart party. The writers were all there. Jeff Bell, Drew Goddard, and I’m the kind of person who just walks up and says hey. I brought flyers for the campaign. David Fury expressed concern. He was afraid people would take food out of their children’s mouths to help fund money to post an ad. I said no we’re not doing this, we’re just contributing here and there, just to let you and them know we want good TV. Some are just pitching in a few dollars. We don’t’ want any more Get Me Off Survivor With Dates shows. So he knew we really were about making our feelings known about this. Especially initially, they felt there was no chance. Realistically, these are their jobs. They have to figure out how to pay their mortgages like everyone else. So they have to keep their eyes open on the next horizon as well. Living in limbo isn’t a cool thing. They were very touched and moved and they also felt that this is one more demonstration on how good the Angel/Buffy fans are for the show.
How long have you yourself been an ANGEL fan?
I’ve been a genre fan ever since I could read and watch movies. I’m a big fan geek. In some of the interviews I’ve done, I’ve been trying to communicate that we’re not nutty people. We’re normal people that have a love for well-made programs, some that have genre tendencies. And we’re kinda annoyed. That’s how we all got together on this. We’re pissed off that these shows are disappearing.
So what’s the age range of the people who are contributing to Saving Angel?
We range in age from around 20-mid-to-late-40’s. There are some women who don’t want to say as well (laughs).
The contributors that we’ve had spans from 15 years old and up. We’ve had kids who had their parents contribute for them. Most of our donations have been in $5-20 donations, and then some have given only a couple of dollars. It just shows how many people are out there.
We were actually pretty stunned by how fast we got donations. We kept looking at the totals and kept saying, “Oh my god, it’s that high already?” We shut off the donations when we hit our first three target goals because we didn’t want anyone second-guessing how our funding was being used. We’re not getting paid to do this; we’re contributing our own time. That’s how much we love this show.
How can people help?
They can go to the Saving Angel website and learn more. They can donate time, money, call their cable providers, etc.