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Monday, May 22, 2006

Save Invasion campaign

by Jennifer Squires Biller

I have one thing to say to all of you Invasion fans working tirelessly to get the show back on the fall schedule. In the famous words of Cristina Yang of Grey’s Anatomy, “Good for you. Fight the power!”

When I signed the online petition, earlier this week, it had more than 16,400 signatures. That’s impressive for only one week up and running. Fans have flooded TV show-message boards, recruiting any Invasion fans to join the campaign. It may seem like David-Goliath odds to get ABC to reverse its cancellation decision, but these fans aren’t going down without a fight. Neither am I.

In my job as a television critic the past few years, I’ve watched a lot of horrible television, and I’ve watched some inspirational, groundbreaking television. When those rare programs come along, it seems more often than not, they rarely make it long enough to become a footnote in popular-culture history. I’m so tired of year-after-year unique, quality television shows being dumped, in favor of silly reality shows, unoriginal procedural-crime shows and mindless sitcoms with annoying laugh tracks. The death of Invasion is the last straw.

I ranted when they canned Jack and Bobby. I asked why when they cancelled Freaks and Geeks. I angrily accepted the inevitable when they prematurely ended Ed, Felicity, and Angel. And I barely had time to get attached to Love Monkey and LAX before they got the ax. But I refuse to let Invasion join this list of shows that died before their time, without inciting you, the viewers, to do something about this trend. It comes down to ratings, folks. So, please, when these kinds of shows make it on to the television schedule, watch them.

The bottom line is that networks renew shows that get ratings. So, why didn’t enough folks watch Invasion? I call it bad timing. First, in late summer when previews and ads are pivotal for creating buzz about new shows, Invasion took an early hit. The pilot episode and plot setup was rooted in a hurricane, not exactly something anyone wanted to promote or advertise, after the still-raw devastation of Katrina. Second, the show was incorrectly tagged as a Lost clone. The two shows couldn’t be farther apart in genre, in my opinion. Third, Invasion was unfairly labeled as just another sci-fi drama, and some critics unfairly grouped it in a class with the two other debuting sci-fi dramas of the fall, the yawn-worthy Surface and Threshold. So, chalk the low ratings up to timing and the fact that I still haven’t figured out what possesses the viewing public to tune in week after week to watch the King of Queens, but not thought-provoking, suspenseful shows such as Invasion.

I’m not giving up hope yet, especially after reading in TV Guide that the plan for next season was to turn up the romantic tension between Russell and Mariel. Curses. I’d been waiting all season for that. I did “see the lights,” ABC, and I want to see them again. So, here’s hoping that ABC will “see the light” and give Invasion a reprieve. Hmm…I’m sensing a campaign slogan here, people.

If you’re an Invasion fan, or even if you’re not and want a second chance to see an original suspenseful drama, please visit these links and let your voice be heard.

The online petition:

Fans are organizing a campaign here:
http://www.saveinvasion.net/ and also here http://www.invasion-forum.com/

Contact info for ABC:
Mr. Steve McPherson President of Entertainment ABC, Inc. 500 S. Buena Vista Street Burbank, CA 91521-4551
818-460-7477, follow automated response to Invasion messages

See what else Tube Talk Girl has been saying about Invasion by clicking here.


Bunny aka SomeBunny said...

You rock TubeTalk Girl.
"Fight the power!"
"Damn the man!"

Explain to me exactly how they tabulate those viewers anyway...
I did the Nielson thing, and thats a journal they mail you, and you log a weeks worth of television, and send it back. To my knowledge,
Ive not met anyone else that has been contacted by Nielson to help with the ratings thing...

so how DO they figure that. As far as Im concerned, its NOT ACCURATE.

logo looks GREAT!

frank said...

I agree with you about why Invasion started slow in the ratings...after all, it was just after katrina and nobody wanted to tout a show that opens with a hurricane. And shame on ABC for the dumb way they treated Invasion. I mean, how can you build an audience when you yank the show off for weeks at a time?! What were they thinking!!!!

Nadine said...

Great article Jennifer! Thank you so much for getting the word out about the Save Invasion campaign. We need all hands on deck at this point. Failure is NOT an option!!

tube talk girl said...

Frank, excellent point that the erratic schedule also helped kill Invasion. A show as complex as
"Invasion," and even "Lost" for that matter, cannot keep viewers when it's on and off so much.

Bunny, thanks for the logo use. It does look great! As for the Nielsen ratings, well, that is way too complicated to describe in this comment section. Besides that, I'm not sure I really even understand how it works because I refuse to believe that people actually prefer shows such as Wife Swap to Invasion. If you look up Nielsen ratings at WikiPedia it gives a pretty good explanation, and www.nielsenmedia.com can explain it better than I can.

nonny mouse said...

We in the UK have yet to see the very last Invasion, looking forward to it later this week. I have to agree with you about the abysmal quality of television these days, both in the US and the UK. I refuse to get cable and only receive four channels in the tiny northern village where I live. A neighbour has Sky Satellite and I had a chance to take a look at what I was 'missing' during a stint of dog-sitting. Not much. Not much at all. Not worth paying for, in any case. I cannot stand the reality show 'invasion' of the airwaves, and what's left is more and more like generic clones of each other. The only good thing I can say is that one benefit - since I work from home - is I get a lot more work done without distractions!

And yes, although it started slow and took me some time to get into, Invasion was one of the few better quality shows on offer. That it wasn't picked up for another series speaks volumes for the state of popular entertainment. Very sorry to see it go, and wish you the best of luck convincing the powers that be the error of their ways. I have signed your petition as well.

Guess I'm going to get even more work done now. Too bad; I was really getting into the Sheriff Underlay v Russell thing and enjoying the deputy's will they won't they love story with Kira. Now we'll never know.

Tymbrimi said...

This was an excellent and thought-provoking show. They should have moved it to an earlier time slot.

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