Letter writing campaign against proposed split of BSG 4.0

Posted: September 15, 2007 in Scifi


I made a posting some time ago about what the Scifi Channel was planning to do with the last season of BSG. Recently, I was listening to the Slice of Scifi podcast in which the hosts of the show felt that if the Scifi Channel did do this, they would boycott the channel all together. Rather than being reactive, we need to be proactive.On the Show Me Scifi blog on WordPress, I mentioned about having some type of petition. Lolabuck wrote this great letter for us to send to the Scifi Channel. This gives us a good place to start. Below is the actual form letter or you can go to this link.

Hello everyone……

Here is a letter that has been drawn up to send to Scifi…..

Regarding the possible spit of 2008 to 2009 this is purely voluntary……

We need all the help we can get……..

Also you don’t have to use this letter write one of your own Instructions are listed below…………

I would like to say I didn’t write the letter………

ANGRY ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF ANOTHER LONG HIATUS?With Cheryl’s help I put together the following form letter. Please feel free to adopt as your own and pass on to friends to send NEXT WEEK.1. Personalize at will. I STRONGLY encourage you to personalize 2nd paragraph with something about who you and your viewer friends are, how you watch the show, how a long hiatus affects YOUR viewing patterns. Or just use this one.
2. MAIL out next week to Ms. Hammer and ALSO to Mark Stern (his address is below letter). Real letters are better than email.
3. If you cannot print out but want to send, let me know and I will send one on your behalf. Recommend Ariel font, 11 point, so it fits on one page.
4. If you would like Word File, PM me your email and I will send it on.
5. Rinse, repeat — get friends and fans to do the same.
Also let me know if there are typos.Go to it, folks!
September 7, 2007
Bonnie Hammer, President
NBC Universal/Sci-Fi Channel
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
Dear Ms. Hammer:I am writing to express my concern about a rumor that the network is considering airing the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica in two 10-episode blocks separated with close to a one-year break. Another long hiatus after a partial season would be disruptive to the storytelling and thus greatly disappoint viewers who have invested time and emotion in the show. A show with complex characters, relationships, and story arcs requires more than 10 episodes to qualify as a satisfying season to leave viewers with before taking a long break. I strongly urge you to reconsider this model, and to develop a schedule that allows either continuous airing of the 20 episodes or at least one with a short break between parts of the season.I am an avid fan of Battlestar Galactica and have convinced many friends and colleagues to watch the show. The airing of the full third season in a reasonable time frame with a modest holiday hiatus facilitated my viewing and encouraged friends to pick up the show. The reaction to this possible decision in my community has been universally negative.A split season with an extra long hiatus is disruptive to a good story and viewing experience, and serves to erode fan support. In serial television series like Battlestar Galactica, viewers tend to develop greater emotional bonds with characters, their relationships, and their fates than with ordinary shows and invest more time in following the program. If too much time elapses between resolutions and plot advancement, however, a narrative’s magic hold can turn to frustration. Although the end of the third season of Battlestar Galactica left fans in an intriguing place, many have grown weary with the duration of the current hiatus. The belief that the final season would be aired in full in 2008 has tempered that frustration among many viewers.

The network’s rumored adoption of a split season with a long hiatus would undermine relations with both current and new viewers. On its face, such a decision appears arbitrary and uninformed about viewer preferences. Additionally, there is speculation that the network wants to keep the well-regarded show nominally on its programming slate for marketing reasons in 2009 and deem it a fifth season. Others suggest that there is a profit-motive in having two sets of DVDs. Viewers understand that decisions about entertainment are driven by financial priorities, but find the prospect of another long hiatus for a show in its final chapter to be a violation of trust.

I believe a more consistent schedule during the show’s final season would strengthen the network’s relationship with its current fan base, ensure continuation of relationships with new viewers, and establish a position as a network that can be trusted with viewers’ commitment of time and interest. Fans would highly regard such as decision, make a date to see the show each week, and bring in more viewers to that show and other network programs. At the end of the day, a final chapter in a great story needs to be told in one sitting. Allow that pleasure to your Battlestar Galactica viewers, and you will be rewarded with new ones for future programming.

Thank you for your consideration.



Other person to send to….

Mark Stern
Executive VP Original Programming
NBC Universal/Sci-Fi Channel
100 Universal City Plaza
Bld. 1440, 14th Floor
Universal City, CA 91608

Please get the word out about this campaign. In this age of computers, we can simply cut and paste this letter, print and then mail it under 5 minutes. We can make a difference.

  1. Brad says:

    Hi Mr. or Mars VP

    I am sure receiving one e-mail from one person complaining about a show schedule wouldn’t be a big deal, but that’s what was thought years ago when a letter writing campaign was started about the decision to cut the old Star Trek program, and we know what happen with that. I heard it was only 10,000 names, or 100,000 I certainly believe with the power of the internet over what happen in the 1960 with letters, that certainly the power of the interests with the impact like the show Battlestar there could be 1,000,000’s. I personally don’t feel that the season should be spilt and make dedicated viewers wait to see the end, but I don’t agree with the word about the ending either, however, I am not the one starting a letter campaign either…..yet. Please don’t split the ending.


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