lobbies for new shows
By Paul Bond
Christopher Burrell was one of the too-few fans of the Fox
bomb "The $treet" and the ill-fated CBS drama
The networks canceled both shows rather quickly,
prompting Burrell to devise an Internet strategy for making
it easy for fans to rally around new shows.
He recently launched SaveThatShow.com
as the first and only asset of Hit G7 Industries, his New
York-based company named for his old apartment number.
At the site, visitors are encouraged to fill
out a short online form in support of a new show that they'd
like to keep on the air. That form translates into an old-fashioned
paper letter sent by SaveThatShow.com via snail mail
to the appropriate network executive.
He also reviews shows at the site and lets
users vote as to whether a show should be saved as is or
with changes. Tallies and suggested changes are e-mailed
to network executives on a monthly basis. "But no ballot-stuffing,"
he said. "You can only vote once per day."
The lifeguard has been advertising the site
by distributing fliers in Times Square. After he builds
traffic, he intends on selling ads. "I just got tired
of shows getting canceled too quickly," he said. "Non-Nielsen
families don't usually know until it is too late that new
shows are in jeopardy."
©The Hollywood Reporter
click a day could keep cancellation away
BY MIKE DUFFY
FREE PRESS TV WRITER
Christopher Burrell's bright idea should strike a chord
with TV viewers.
Frustrated that so many of his favorite new
series were disappearing from the airwaves, the New York
lifeguard dreamed up www.SaveThatShow.com, a Web
site he launched in early December.
The site is designed to let people vote on
the current network schedules, including new midseason series.
"A lot of times, you never find out until
a show is canceled that it was even in trouble," says
Burrell, who became increasingly perplexed last year when
such new series as "The $treet" and "Titans"
disappeared weeks or months after their debut.
Though the site focuses on new shows primarily,
Burrell has added such highly endangered older series as
"Once and Again," "The Mole" and "Roswell,"
each of which has an intense, impassioned fan base despite
In balloting on "Roswell," for instance,
more than 6,000 votes (78 percent of those voting) have
been cast in favor of saving UPN's clever teen space alien
drama. Those who visit the site are permitted only one vote
per day per show in order to foil any attempt at extreme
Burrell e-mails the networks with the online
poll results and voter programming suggestions each month.
He hasn't heard back yet. But in just seven weeks SaveThatShow.com
has logged 100,000 hits.
"The computer is a perfect vehicle for
people to come and vote and share their opinions,"
says Burrell, who operates the site out of his home in New
York. "It's one of those ideas that people say, 'Why
didn't someone think of it before?' "
A New York University graduate who plans to
start law school next year, Burrell's favorite TV-viewing
options include "Law & Order," "The Practice"
and "Seinfeld" reruns.
Having opened a communal online clearinghouse
for channel surfers to talk back to the networks, Burrell
has especially enjoyed the depth of people's feelings.
"I didn't know just how many people had
a passion for certain shows like 'Roswell' or 'The Tick,'
" says Burrell. "People really love their TV shows.
And I also didn't realize how many people feel the Nielsen
ratings are outdated or inaccurate."
Even if you believe the ratings are a fair
reflection of what we watch, SaveThatShow.com offers
a user-friendly slice of alternative vox populi. And that's
©Detroit Free Press
Site for Canceled TV Shows
By PAMELA LiCALZI O'CONNELL
If you ever loved a television show that was prematurely
canceled (rest in peace, "My So-Called Life"),
tune into SaveThatShow.com. The site lets fans vote
on new programs they don't want to see taken off the air
before the shows are even in trouble. The results
of the voting are forwarded periodically to the networks,
according to the site's founder, Christopher Burrell. Fans
can also fill out an online form to have a letter mailed
to a specific network, with the site handling printing and
But why vote on shows not yet canceled? "Once a show
is in jeopardy it's too late," said Mr. Burrell, a
lifeguard at a public pool in Elmhurst, Queens, and a frustrated
fan of "The Fugitive" (CBS) and other recently
deceased programs. "Fans should have a voice from day
one, and the Net is the perfect vehicle. More people have
computers than Nielsen boxes."
SaveThatShow is already receiving about 2,000 visitors
a day, Mr. Burrell said, with "24" (Fox) and "UC:
Undercover" (NBC) among the most popular causes (the
site allows you to send an S O S on behalf of any given
show only once a day, to avoid ballot-stuffing). There has
been no response from the networks to date, though Mr. Burrell
said his server log indicated visitors from NBC and CBS,
among other media companies.
Over the years, many viewer campaigns to save shows have
been organized online (such campaigns even have their own
Yahoo (news/quote) category). None ever got a canceled program
back on the air. But fans of UPN's "Roswell" claim
that their efforts have helped get the show renewed for
one year, and devotees of ABC's troubled "Once and
Again" are conducting an e-mail bombardment to persuade
Oprah Winfrey to feature the cast on her talk show. ©
The New York Times
A Voice for TV Fans
Giving viewers a way to speak up about
their favorite shows before they're given the ax
Entrepreneur's Start-Ups magazine
By Devlin Smith
When Roswell was on the brink of cancellation, fans of the
show sent letters--many of them including bottles of Tabasco
sauce (a tie-in to the show's aliens-among-us plotline)--to
network executives. For years, loyal fans like these have
initiated similar campaigns, writing letters to save their
favorite comedies and dramas--and sometimes they work. Roswell,
for one, was saved from the chopping block (though it's
now in danger again). Unfortunately, in many cases, by the
time word gets out to the general public that a show is
in danger, it's too late. Even a letter-writing campaign
probably won't keep a network from pulling the plug at that
Christopher Burrell knew this--and he didn't like it. Last
December, Burrell launched SaveThatShow.com, a Web
site that lets viewers share their opinions on new and endangered
shows. Fans vote for their favorites and can write letters
via the site that are then delivered to the networks. "I
wanted to give people a chance to have their own say,"
says Burrell, a New York City lifeguard and future law student.
Burrell believes his site gives the networks a second opinion,
letting them and their advertisers see that even if the
Nielsen ratings for a show are low, there are still people
watching. "If they see maybe there's another place
where [the program] is showing heavily, that people do watch
the show, then maybe they would want to keep the show on,"
In the few months that the site, which earns money through
advertisements, has been running, Burrell has been amazed
by the loyalty people have displayed to their favorite TV
shows. "I know people love their shows, but I didn't
realize how much," he says. "For example, [with]
Once & Again, they mention how this is the only time
during the week that a mother and daughter sit down and
do something together. Since the show is in jeopardy, they're
afraid that if they don't have this, they won't have anything."
So far, most network execs haven't outright responded to
the letters from SaveThatShow.com users, but Burrell
isn't concerned. He's more interested in the response he's
gotten from users, which has made Burrell hopeful about
what people can accomplish when they work together: "If
people can get together for something like TV, then imagine
what else they can do."
|New Website Allows
TV Viewers to Be Heard
by Vanessa Sibbald
Zap2it.com, TV News
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - For those who feel like they
should have more of a say about which TV shows should stick
around and which should go, a lifeguard has created a website
that allows Internet surfers to vote on the current TV schedule.
On Dec. 6, Christopher Burrell launched SaveThatShow.com,
thanks to his frustration over the cancellation of the FOX
series "The $treet," NBC's "Titans"
and CBS' "The Fugitive." The site allows TV viewers
to voice their opinions about their favorite shows, before
they're yanked off the air via a short online form. Burrell
then prints the form in letter format and sends it to the
"There were certain shows that I wanted to stay on
the air that I really didn't have a say on. Usually, you
don't know how much a show is in jeopardy until it's off
[the air]. So I wanted a way for people to write in before
the networks make a decision on a particular show, from
the very first day that it's on," Burrell tells Zap2it.com.
SaveThatShow.com also features series reviews and
polls showing whether viewers think a show should be saved
as is, or with some re-tooling. The poll results and suggestions
for change are also sent to network executives by e-mail
on a monthly basis (although he has yet to hear back from
anyone). In less than a month, the site has pulled almost
500 hits since its launch.
While broadcast networks typically use Nielsen ratings
as one factors behind a show's success, SaveThatShow.com
appears to point to the growing feeling that Nielsen numbers
may not be so representational of American viewing patterns.
"Not everyone's a Nielsen Family," says Burrell.
"They could say that [those numbers] are accurate,
and it may be to a certain extent, but it's not everyone."
Burrell, who is preparing to attend law school next fall,
is currently manning the site full time. The site only covers
new fall season shows at the moment; however, Burrell says
he is starting to get requests for older shows, such as
UPN's "Roswell" and ABC's "The Mole."
Fans attempting to corrupt the results should beware. Users
are allowed to vote only once per day, eliminating ballot-stuffing.
The website's top shows to be saved so far, are both on
FOX -- the drama "24" and comedy "The Bernie
© Zap 2 It
IF THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, SAVETHATSHOW.COM
MAY BE ON TO SOMETHING
By William DiDio
One web-surfing lifeguard is rushing to the aid of TV that's
gasping for air. " If enough people participate, a
show is going to stay on," says SaveThatShow.com
founder Christopher Burrell. A fan forum aiming to save
endangered series from cancellation, The site also attracts
visitors from media giants Disney, CBS and Sony. What does
Burrell, a New York City Firefighter's son hope to show
everyone? " If people see that they can stan together
for TV, imagine what can be done with other causes."
||You've spent weeks growing to love
the characters on a new TV show, only to see cancellation
looming on the horizon. SaveThatShow lets you lobby
the networks to spare the ax when it comes time to review
your favorite ratings underdog.
© USA Today
Has there ever been a show that you wanted to stay on the
air, and you wished that you could have your say? SaveThatShow.com
feels your pain. They provide the means for you to voice
your opinion quickly and easily. by providing the means
for you to write the networks if there is something you
would like to say about a new show or just in general. Now
there's just no excuse for you not to beg for another season
of Reba! ©Internet Web Guide
for troubled shows
fans vote their hearts
By Jeff Bercovici
TV lovers trying to follow the new fall schedule can sometimes
feel as if they're at the mercy of a harsh and capricious
god. No sooner have they discovered a new show that seems
to have promise--"Freaks and Geeks," say, or "Ill
Fly Away"--then it disappears without warning, never
to return..A remedy for this may exist in the form of a
new web site, SaveThatShow.com. Launched last month
by a Queens, N.Y.-based entrepreneur and professional lifeguard,
SaveThatShow.com gives viewers a way to keep tabs
on and voice support for new series. And as the site grows
in influence, it may be able to offer networks the opportunity
to get to know a shows audience with a degree of intimacy
Nielsen could never provide.Or so its founder thinks.
Christopher Burrell says he came up with the idea for the
site after helplessly watching new favorites like "The
Fugitive" and "The $treet" bite the dust.
"Until they got taken off, you didn't even know they
were in trouble," says Burrell. While rumors of imminent
death for a show like "Emeril" may circulate in
industry circles for weeks beforehand, "What about
everybody else who doesn't read trade newspapers?"
he asks.The site lists the rookie offerings of the six broadcast
networks. Clicking on a show's name takes you to a page
where you can vote on whether the show should be kept as
is or preserved with improvements.Although you can't vote
to scrap it, space is provided for comments, which are then
emailed to the appropriate network.
You can also write a more detailed letter to a network to
express anything that's on your mind. Burrell says that
he prints out every such letter and sends them by the U.S.
Viewers without access to the Nielsen rankings or the insides
of network executives heads can get a sense of which
programs are headed for the rubbish heap by looking at how
their fellow users voted. Burrell, whose favorite new series
are "Alias" and "UC: Undercover," watches
at least a couple episodes of every new show and rates them
from one to four. (Rather than stars, he uses the SaveThatShow
logo: a cartoon television with a life preserver.) He also
features a review of a different series every day. SaveThatShow.com
went live on Dec. 6.
Despite some promotional efforts, including one that saw
Burrell dress up in a Santa suit and hand out fliers in
Times Square, in its first three weeks the site attracted
only about 300 users total. But after being mentioned on
the TV news site Zap2it.com on Dec. 28, it has been getting
about 5,000 hits per day, according to Burrell. As traffic
continues to grow, he plans to add advertising to the site.
Another possible revenue stream is to sell the information
he collects to the networks in the form of market research
rather than giving it away free."I just want to see
how it pans out," says Burrell. "Everything is
in the future." Also in his future is law school, which
he will attend beginning in the fall. That is, assuming
that he doesn't end up hiring a staff and turning SaveThatShow
into a full-time business.
"I don't think I would put off law school to do this,
but you can never say never."
© Media Life
By Kimberly Potts
Save Yourself Some Postage, and Save Your Favorite Show:
That's thanks to the cool new SaveThatShow.com, a
venture launched by a TV fan who's trying to let the networks
know which shows people most want to save from that big
TV wasteland in the sky. Surfers click on the site, fill
out a short form for the series they most want to keep on
the air (ironically, Fox's 24 and The Bernie Mac Show, two
of the shows least in need of saving, are the top vote-getters,
according to Zap2it.com), and the site's producer prints
the letters and mails them to the appropriate networks.
So far, SaveThatShow.com includes mostly new series,
with the exception of on-the-bubble Roswell and The Mole,
but couch potatoes can email the site with a request that
other ratings-challenged shows be added to the lineup, like
NBC's Ed (maybe it's that depressing new theme song) and
ABC's undervalued Once and Again. (Damn that Friday-night
time slot!)© E! Online
SAVE THAT SHOW
After The Fugitive and The Street
were canceled in 2001, fed-up fan Christopher Burrell
launched this site, which gives viewers a chance to
defend their favorite shows by casting votes and sending
comments to the networks. "They just don't give
up," Burrell says.©TV Guide