Dear Television: Please Stop Listening to the Internet

Stop the presses, Las Vegas is rumored to be canceled! What will we do without our weekly James Caan fix? What's that? It's Tom Selleck now? Oh. Huh. Well, then no one cares. Except, actually some people do. One of those Save the Show campaigns has been started! Maybe it'll work? Unfortunately these annoying, internety movements seem to actually have the networks' ears these days. Why just yesterday we heard that the much beleaguered Friday Night Lights seems to have been momentarily saved (or, maybe not.) Its zealous online fan base surely played a role in that. Ever since a bunch of crazed Jericho fans sent lots and lots of peanuts to CBS executives' offices, something odd has been happening. Networks are paying attention to the internet. And it's not good.

Used to be that when you wanted to air your grievances to a company or politician you had to sit down, get out a piece of paper, put it in the typewriter (or even hand write it!), seal it up in an envelope, dig around for a stamp, and eventually stuff it in the mailbox. It was a lot of work. So much work that when a few letters of protest arrived on some suit's desk, it meant something. A groundswell was occurring. Now, though, voicing your complaints is as easy as pressing a few buttons and making beep boop beeping sounds. Sure we have agency, but it's cheap and easy and it all generates a disproportionate, misleading amount of noise. But those crusty old network executives, who are shrewd and determined enough to endure a writers strike to protect their piece of an imaginary pie, but too out of it to understand anything else about the internet, take these noises as gospel truth. A campaign consisting of a few hundred emails and a couple of slapped together websites represents, in their eyes, at least ten million viewers.

Trouble is, they're really, really wrong. The rabidity of Jericho's fan base belied a plain and simple truth: no one, or at least not nearly enough people, had any interest in it. Its latest run of episodes has been poorly reviewed and mostly unseen. Oops! CBS took the internet at face value, rather than what it is: a bizarre place with no boundaries blocking a group of people from uniting over some weird, squirrely little cause. And the more these people are vindicated, the more they'll be encouraged to repeat the process for any of the silly little shows they like. Hell, even Cashmere Mafia has something of a Save the Show movement going on right now. I officially hate these campaigns. They're boring and useless and almost always are focused on some bad show that deserves to be canceled no matter what. Their clamoring never represents any actual viewer appetite for a particular program, just a few crazies with too much time on their hands. Whether it's an effort to be young and with-it or if it's just some perverted altruism, the networks simply need to stop paying attention to the internet. Nothing good can come out of this place. Except for this. Save this post. I mean it, please. Help.