From Voy.com/14810Wonderfalls - An open letter from Tim Minear
By Tim Minear
Wednesday 17 March 2004, by Webmaster
Date Posted: 18:17:50 03/16/04 Tue
An open letter to the Grass Roots from Tim Minear, Executive Producer of “Wonderfalls”:
Hi. My name is Tim Minear and I write television. Usually. Right now I guess I’m writing SPAM. But I’m not asking you to donate to some shady or even worthy cause. I’m not offering to enlarge any of your body parts (though I haven’t ruled it out), and I make no claims of miraculous cures for exotic diseases. What I can offer you is sixty minutes (really about forty five, minus commercials) of quality entertainment if you do one thing: turn on your TV to Fox this Friday night at nine.
For the last year or so I’ve been working with a bunch of really talented people to make a new show for Fox called “Wonderfalls.” We’ve made 13 episodes so far, and I really want you to see them. Some of the folks at the network are telling me that “Wonderfalls” is the best reviewed new series they’ve had in ages — maybe ever. I’m currently sitting on a stack of raves from all over the country, from major magazines, newspapers, small dailies, internet sites, etc. They seem to be doing me no good. Also, uncomfortable because of the sitting.
The big brains at the network, while happy with the reviews, tell me that good reviews don’t bring in an audience. Guess they were right. We premiered on Friday, March 12th to less than great numbers.
There are several things stacking the odds against us. Our time slot, charmingly known as “The Fox Friday Death Slot” is quickly living up to its name. There has been much confusion and differing opinion over just how to promote this odd little series. Maybe the unique charm, heart and volcanic snark aren’t coming through. I dunno. Fact is, I have no power over network promotion, I can’t force Fox to air “Wonderfalls” on Monday nights, I don’t have a Nielsen box or know anyone who does.
But I do have this keyboard, my cable-modem and a relationship with genre fans all over the world because of the internet. All of the shows I’ve worked on in the last several years have had loyal internet followings. From “Lois and Clark” to “The X-Files,” from “Angel” to the short-lived but much-loved “Firefly.” Ever since I’ve been associated with genre television I’ve had the extreme honor and pleasure (and sometimes hair-pulling madness) of interacting with fans of these shows via the internet. You are the most dedicated, passionate and, frankly, smartest fans around.
And I’m turning to you now because I believe you’re a huge untapped resource.
I know that every one of you is connected to many others that I can’t reach. If you can give a hand here, you might be keeping us afloat long enough for us to catch the tide. Worth a shot, anyway.
I know the network wants this show to work. They’re willing for it to work. And if there’s any way that my plea now will help Friday’s numbers tick up just a touch, I think that would be a tremendous sign to them.
The next new episode of “Wonderfalls” airs Friday, March 19th at 9:00pm on Fox. Please tune in and mention it to someone else. Preferably someone with a Nielsen box.
So anyway, I thought I’d mention it. Oh, also, the network is going to repeat our pilot on Thursday, March 18th at 9:00pm after “Tru Calling.” So if you missed it last Friday, here’s your chance to catch it.
PS - I know the conventional wisdom says that good reviews don’t mean anything to potential viewers, but here’s a taste of them anyway:
TV GUIDE (3/13-19), Matt Roush
PEOPLE (3/22), Terry Kelleher
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (3/19), Ken Tucker
USA TODAY (3/12), Robert Bianco
LOS ANGELES TIMES (3/12), Robert Lloyd
NEW YORK TIMES (3/12), Virginia Hefferman
NEWSDAY (3/12), Noel Holston
CHICAGO TRIBUNE (3/12), Steve Johnson
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (3/12), Tim Goodman
WASHINGTON POST (3/12), Tom Shales
BOSTON HERALD (3/12), Amy Amatangelo
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (3/12), John Doyle
US WEEKLY - John Griffiths
POPGURLS - Allyson A Popgurl