October 21st, 2005

When Polter-Cows Attack!

Whinge over the River Cry

I want you to put your feet into Rob Thomas's shoes for a second. You've created a cult hit beloved by thousands (maybe millions!). By sheer luck, it ends up getting renewed, but you know you only get that free pass once. In year two, television Darwinism takes over, and only the watched survive.

Now, the fans love you. Understandably, because you gave them a great show to love. So you want them to continue loving your show.

There's just one problem, see: the fans don't control the ratings. As much as they like to pump themselves up and feel important, in the end, they only make up a small portion of the television-viewing audience. If you want to stick around, you have to get other people to watch your show. You have to lure them from their C.S.I.s, from their One Tree Hills, from their—no, wait, you're not going to lure them from Lost.

You have to make some concessions. But in doing so, you know the fans will complain. It's what they do! Fandom is a fickle bitch. If you pander to the casual viewer, the hardcore fans will not be happy. But if you pander to the hardcore fans, the casual viewer will go do his laundry and eat veal piccata. Then you get cancelled. Hardcore.

You remember what that's like. Hell, this is the first time you've had a second season to play with. But you're doing what you can, and you're happy with what you're doing, and you hope the fans are happy, but you really, really hope Johnny Football Hero with a Nielsen Box is happy.

inigo whinges about fan reaction to the second season much better than I can. If you don't like invading other people's journals, try out v_m or seahorsies, especially because I'm interested to see if flame wars erupt over this.

In other news, Michael Muhney invited me to dinner on the town.