Archive for May 18th, 2006

Invasion fans fight back

As I wrote the other day, Invasion got cancelled. But its fans now are fighting back and they have a petition online. I personally don’t believe in petitions. They just don’t work. The software industry has shown us that much. But I signed it anyway and even forwarded the URL to my ABC PR contact.

There are a lot of things discussed for Invasion’s future, but the only future will be its DVD Season-1 release and nothing else. The CW network found the series too expensive to run so they didn’t adopt it, while SciFi is even… poorer and can’t handle its over-$1 million per episode cost. Some suggested a SciFi mini-series tele-movie, like the ones SciFi prepares for each December. I don’t expect SciFi to do that though as they prefer original series. As for a VCR/DVD-only movie, that can be done with $3-5 millions, but I doubt Ficthner would agree to star in such a project. So, it’s the end in my opinion.

Anyways, the Series Finale last night was intriguing and well done (only some of the CGI were still under par). It left us with a major cliffhanger and some questions about the aliens(?) unanswered, but other parts of the story were given a conclusion, so I guess not all things are bad.

Invasion’s cancellation happened because of a couple of reasons:
– ABC didn’t promote it enough. When there would be 20 “Lost” commercials in a day, there would be 2 for Invasion.
– ABC ordered two hiatuses just when the story was getting interesting, losing lots of the viewership.
– The first 6-8 episodes were boring as hell and not much was happening. ABC asked Invasion’s writers to speed it up, and they did. But when Invasion became interesting, half of the initial viewership had already decided to not watch it again. And the few that came back to watch it again were very confused because Invasion has a pretty complex storyline and if you don’t watch all episodes, it becomes confusing.
– Invasion is a family drama with sci-fi underpinnings. Problem with this mixed genre is, people who only watch dramas find Invasion “weird”, and people who like sci-fi (like myself), were left with zero explanation about what these sea creatures were and where they came from. The show didn’t explain anything about them.

Nevertheless, Invasion averaged about 9.5 million viewers, which is a lot. But JBQ suggested that probably the cancellation happened not because of the number of viewers being low-ish but the fact that the series was not profitable. Warner Bros was maintaining an artificial lake at their studios just for shooting Invasion, for example.

And all this, while “Veronica Mars”, which doesn’t score more than 2 million viewers on average, got the props for a third season. “Lost” did too. And while “Lost” Season 1 was excellent (sure, much better than Invasion IMHO), Season 2 is sleepy as hell. Nothing happened in the last two episodes for example. Nothing. They might as well shows us the characters taking a piss too, as the show looks like it’s becoming real-time. And speaking about “Lost”, there is a lot of talk in Hollywood right now about J.J. Abrams becoming a virtual boss at ABC. The company is so desperate to not lose him that they resurrected “Alias” as a favor to him just so he can give a conclusion to the series, and they even added a new mystery series next year, also produced by Abrams.

Finally, because all three new sci-fi shows of the last season got cancelled (Invasion, Surface, Threshold), there are NO science-fiction TV shows currently on the main networks (neither they are any scheduled for next year). Some see this as the “death of the science fiction genre on networked/syndicated TV”. Which is sad, of course.