In this post-Jericho era, any network executive or TV producer who's just signed off on a potentially unpopular change now expects to spend their next day at the office buried underneath an avalanche of foodstuffs delivered by protesting viewers who now believe that even the most stubborn of minds can be changed with a metric ton of peanuts. Discussing the announcement of Jorja Fox's (officially voluntary) departure from CSI with TVGuide.com, executive producer Carol Mendelsohn marvels at how disappointed fans have escalated things since the now quaint-seeming NUTS to CBS! campaign:
What do you make of the intensity of the fan reaction to Jorja's exit? Mendelsohn: It has been astounding. It's incredible how creative our fans are. We got two cases of chocolate covered insects with the message "CSI without Sara bugs us."
We got a bouquet of red, pink and white balloons with Hershey kisses and the message was, "Don't break our hearts, keep Jorja Fox on CSI." We got two large cases of Lifesavers with the message, "You were Sara's lifesaver, now be ours, keep Jorja Fox on CSI." They've been sending money in from all over the world [as part of the] Dollars for Sense campaign. One woman named Kim West from Northern Ireland, she and her friends sent in 60 pound notes, and she wrote a four page letter. It's just been overwhelming how many people love Jorja.
Did you go back to her and beg her to reconsider?
Mendelsohn: I had done everything that I could. But in the end, I respect Jorja. This is something that she wanted to do, and I would never stand in her way. She's coming back at some point anyway.
Reinforcing the story that leaving was Fox's decision alone and that the producers were powerless to stop their beloved star from following her creative muse is a savvy move; perhaps the misguided fans will take the hint and direct their next act of devotion towards the actress instead of the show's staff, like hiring a plane trailing a "JORJA! GO BACK TO CSI! WE LOVE YOU BUT WE'RE PRETTY SURE THIS IS THE BEST GIG YOU'LL EVER HAVE!" banner* to circle her house until she realizes the terrible career miscalculation she's just made.
[*OK, maybe they'll need to break that up across a couple of planes and banners.]