Thursday, May 14, 2015

Can letters save a TV show?

I noticed this week that CBS has announce that it's canceling the TV show Battle Creek, a show that just started in March. It comes on Sunday nights, after Madam Secretary and The Good Wife.

I'll admit, Battle Creek got off to a slow start, from my perspective. I wasn't sure I liked it. The show is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and features an FBI agent who is sent there to work with the local police department. Mostly, he works with one specific police detective. They are the stereotypical odd couple, often at odds with each other over how to handle particular cases. The show stars Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters, Aubrey Dollar, Kal Penn and Janet McTeer, among others, and includes several sidelines, such as a budding office romance.

However, in my opinion, the show has gotten better as it's continued. The characters have been developed, as have the story lines. They're not perfect cops who always have witty things to say or who always do things right. The show is, at the same time, gritty and funny. Sort of like real life.

When I saw the news that CBS had canceled Battle Creek, I started looking around for information about it. I came across a Facebook page for the show. Many fans there were lamenting the demise of a show they like.

Of course, my first reaction was that they should start a letter-writing campaign to save Battle Creek!

According to what I'm reading online, such campaigns have worked for several shows in the past. Fans often send items pertinent to the show along with their letters of support. To get Friday Night Lights renewed, fans sent light bulbs. Arrested Development fans sent crates of bananas to the executives. Those who loved the show Roswell sent bottles of Tabasco sauce to those in charge of deciding which shows live and which ones die.

I don't know what Battle Creek fans would send the CBS executives...doughnuts? It's a cop show, and doughnuts are featured prominently in the opening credits.

I have no idea what the chances of saving a show like that are, but if there are enough fans who create enough media attention, they might succeed. A quick check online shows the CBS Corporation address to be:

CBS Headquarters
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188

Couldn't hurt to write a letter, if your favorite show has been canceled.

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