Quality Can’t Always Save a Show-Roswell Mentioned

Thanks to Carrie for sending this in. It comes from her local Indiana paper:

“Quality Can’t Always Save a Show”
By Bill Keveney
There’s a pic of them at the top and the caption says
“Shiri Appleby plays a teen-ager who learns that
several peers are aliens on the WB Network series
“Roswell”. The show has found a niche market on the
mini-network.”

When on TV season ends, networks look ahead to
their new fall programs. Many viewers would like them
to take a quick glance at something not usually
discussed: cancelled shows.
Before programmers start hyperventilating about the
promise of “Bette” and “Dark Angel,” maybe they should
explain what happened to “Freaks and Geeks,” “Now and
Again,” and “Sports Night.”
When some viewers were asked what they would ask
network executives during the summer TV critics’ press
tour in California, most questions were about the fate
of favorite shows. Why did CBS cancel “Early
Edition?” asked one respondent. Simple answer:
ratings.
For all hows, the final judgment is the Nielson
ratings, which measure how many people are watching
and determine how much can be charged for commercials.
It’s easy to understand the bombs, such as CBS’s
“Work With Me.” The sad fate that befalls better
shows isn’t as clear-cut. Their ratings sag for a
variety of reasons, including poor scheduling, lack of
promotion and ineffective marketing. Small, ardent
fan bases usually can’t save them.
“You try to listen to what people are saying. You
try to stay with shows that have a passionate
following,” said Sandy Grushow, chairman of the Fox
Television Entertainment Group. “But in the final
analysis, sadly and frustratingly, it’s a business.
The bottom line is, oftentimes, wins out.”
Fans shouldn’t give up fighting for their shows,
however. The WB renewed “Roswell” after fans deluged
the network with 6,000 bottles of Tobasco sauce- the
condiment choice of on the teen alien drama. Their
zeal helped save it.
Fans helped save “Roswell.”
“I had to change my e-mail three times because it
just kept getting full of thousands of e-mails,” WB
Entertainment President Susanne Daniels said.