Thanks to Kate6058 for sending this in!
This is from the Futon Critics Weekly Rant! As always, please be sure to check out this excellent site.
Monday, May 8, 2000
Some Final Appeals: “Roswell,” “The Pretender” and “Sports Night”
By Brian Ford Sullivan
We only have a week to go until the networks roll out their new fall schedules and as my inbox and the site traffic indicate, you’re just as antsy as I am. :) I’ve received passionate pleas about the fates of everything from TFC mainstays like “Roswell” and “Sports Night” to lesser mentioned shows like “Norm” and “City of Angels.” Please don’t stop sending them as I love hearing from all of you. Remember that anything can happen next week. So for my last column before “All Things Change in Television” I figured I’d write my final testament to three series I think the networks are being idiots about and the specific reasons they should be back.
Last week I placed a wager with Susanne Daniels over at the WB that if she could provide a legitimate reason why “Roswell” should not come back then I would gladly hang up my writing gear and remove myself from this site. (You can read the original post by clicking here.) The reason I did this is because she can’t. And here’s a list of reasons why she can’t. (The scariest part is that most of these come from the WB’s own press releases.)
1. “Roswell” is averaging a better rating than any other series in the Monday, 9/8c time slot in women 18-34 (2.0/5), men 18-34 (1.2/4), adults 18-34 (1.5/5), adults 18-49 (1.4/4) and men 18-49 (1.0/3).
2. It holds an astounding amount of “7th Heaven”‘s audience, including season records in women 18-34 (96%,) women 18-49 (91%), persons 12-34 (84%) and females 12-34 (87%). It also had stellar retention in persons 18-34 (84%).
3. On May 1, “Roswell” set time-period season bests for the WB in adults 18-34 (1.9/5), women 18-34 (2.4/6) and men 18-34 (1.4/4). The out-of-this-world drama has shown tremendous growth since shifting its time period four weeks ago. Comparing the 18-34 results to two weeks ago, the last time it went up against an original episode of “Ally McBeal,” “Roswell” improved +46% in adults 18-34, +41% in women 18-34 and +56% in men 18-34.
4. “Roswell” currently ranks 125th in the Nielsens with a 2.62/4.08 average rating/share. That’s higher than “Popular” (129th, 2.31/3.64), “Felicity” (131st, 2.27/3.39), “Jack & Jill” (139th, 1.94/2.84) and every sitcom on the network.
5. The ratings for the Wednesday 9/8c timeslot have dipped significantly from the time “Roswell” left to go to Mondays. (Anybody know which show replaced it? :)) Conversely as the previous reasons have stated, “Roswell” has built astronomically on all previous holders of the Monday, 9/8c time slot.
6. “Roswell” was the only television series in recent memory to grace the cover of “Life” magazine. It also has an extremely well received partnership with Levi’s jeans.
Basically folks we’re talking a no brainer here. I mean would any, any network turn away a show with this kind of growth? The worst part is that by the WB saying the show is on the bubble the news disseminates to the mass media where they assume it is low rated and unsuccessful. (The New York Daily News just said it was low rated in its recent interview with series star Brendan Fehr.) That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Moves like this show that there are some real morons out there when it comes to measuring a show’s success. The bottom line is that the only thing the networks care about is ratings. “Roswell” has GREAT RATINGS. Let me say that again: “Roswell” has GREAT RATINGS. Maybe, just maybe the WB will pull their heads out of their collective asses to realize this. It’s a scary thing when the one standard all series are held to (this being of course high ratings) isn’t applied.