Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Event Fanbase Project Part 13 - The Letter Writing Campaign, sweetened by Splenda!

Reposted from The Event Fanatic (This post has been updated May 5, 2011):

If you're like me, the possibility of The Event being canceled after season one is quite a concern to you, but why should you just let the decision be made without telling NBC know how you feel about the show??? If we do nothing, and the show is canceled, why wait for its cancellation to send in a letter to NBC? Why not send them what we think NOW, when it's needed the most?

In the past, many shows were saved with write-in campaigns. One of the first and most famous is the original Star Trek. Some will tell you that they don't work, but Chuck, Dollhouse, Reaper, Jericho, and Roswell are recent examples where a letter campaign worked for at least one season.

So that's the first part of this post, let's start writing in NBC right now and let them know that we want them to bring back the show for season 2!!!

Here's the second part: Some successful campaigns, in addition to letters, had fans send in something to the network. In Jericho's case, fans sent in nuts. In Roswell's case, fans sent in Tabasco sauce. In Chuck's case, fans sent in Nerds candy. This is not a guarantee that a fan effort will succeed, but networks can at least know that people are watching and care about the show and there was an organized effort to save the show.

If you are caught up with the show, you probably know that...


Martinez was poisoned by Jarvis and Sophia using a yellow packet of sweetener, which was very similar in design to what is called Splenda in the U.S. and many other parts of the world. Splenda is a brand name of the artificial sweetener Sucralose, so you may know it by another brand name where you live. The actual sweetener brand you see in the episodes ("Cut Off The Head" and "Strain") is called "Sure Sweet", but that's a fake Hollywood name, and it was effectively Splenda.

Now, for the details (some of this is borrowed from the 2009 Chuck campaign, as shown here, but also from my own research and experiences):
  1. WRITE your letter... I'll try to give you an example of what you should say in the letter, but MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Don't use what I have as a form letter. Personalize it.
  2. Tell the network something about yourself, particularly if you may be in an attractive demographic. They want to know what kind of people are watching their shows, and giving them an idea of who's writing in can help sway their decisions. For example, if you belong to a demographic they didn't realize they were reaching, that might help them realize the show has an audience they didn't know about. 
  3. If at all possible, WRITE THE LETTER IN YOUR HANDWRITING. That's right, write in pen. That might seem counter-intuitive, but in a world where people tweet and text message, where an email seems too much trouble, a hand-written letter will make an impression. It shows that you took the time to write the letter, and that it meant something personal to you. If writing by hand is just something you cannot do, print your letter on good paper, even on letterhead if possible, and sign it. If writing by hand, you may want to practice write it, or type it out first and then write out the final version.
  4. If you don't have time to write out a letter, send in a post card. A post card will have more effect than an email.
  5. BE RESPECTFUL!!! Do not threaten to never watch NBC again. That's not something they want to read.
  6. State your heartfelt love for The Event. Don't just say that you want The Event to be renewed. Tell them why you want it to stay on the air.
  7. Be specific about the show. If you like certain actors, praise them. If you like episodes written by a certain writer, praise them. If you like certain characters, praise them. If you have criticisms about the show, don't be afraid to mention them, but don't use this letter as a big, long winded analysis of the show. Be specific, but the focus of the letter should be that you want the The Event to be renewed, and not your critique of it.
  8. WHO DO YOU WRITE TO? That's a big question. If you follow Apple, you know that Steve Jobs answers his own email, and if you email him, he'll answer you. That's why it's important to send your letter to the head honcho: Send your letters to:

    UPDATE: Blair Underwood posted this on Facebook, on May 5, 2011:


    If you'd like to see another season of "The Event," please show your love by sending your shout outs to Vernon Sanders, Executive Vice President of Current Programming for NBC/Universal Media Studios. They need to hear from us, so they know you're out there! Mail letters to:

    NBC/Universal Media Studios
    c/o Vernon Sanders
    100 Universal City Plaza
    Building 1320
    Suite 4M
    Universal City, CA 91608


    With that in mind, I would suggest you send your letters to Vernon Sanders, as Blair suggested, but there's nothing wrong with Robert Greenblatt, either (his boss):

    Original Address Given:

    Robert Greenblatt, Chairman
    NBC Entertainment
    c/o NBC's The Event
    3000 W. Alameda Ave
    Admin Building
    Burbank, CA 91523

    There's nothing wrong with sending in a second letter if you, like me, have already sent in your letter.

  9. If you are not from the U.S., it doesn't matter. Write NBC anyway, but it wouldn't hurt to send another letter to the network or TV station that shows The Event where you are so that they know that the show has fans.
  10. Don't mention that you DVR the show to fast forward through the commercials, if you do so. That will NOT help the show. In fact, that may hurt its chances. However, it's OK to say that you DVR the show, but it should be in addition to watching the show live.
  11. To that end, commit to buying products advertised during the show. If you have any specifics about the commercials airing during The Event, that would be nice to mention in the letter.
  12. IF NBC RENEWS The Event, send in another letter to the network, THANKING THEM for renewing the show.
  13. IF NBC CANCELS The Event, send in another letter, asking them to reconsider, even if its for a short season or a mini-series.
  14. If you are planning to send in Splenda, you may add packets of Splenda or boxes of it. It is up to you, but you should make it obvious what it is you are sending.
Here is an example of a letter, which is my own (I'm going to add a little more personal information to the version that I send out). I'm leaving certain parts blank.
Dear Mr. Greenblatt, 
{First paragraph - about you and why you are writing them} My name is Brian, I’m (age) and I watch The Event on (channel/network). I (add personal information here). {Personalize} I’m writing you to let you know that I am a huge fan of NBC’s The Event. I love the show, and I really hope you renew the series for a second season.
{Second paragraph - how you got into the show, and how you watch the show. This should be personalized. Make this your own!} I originally became interested in the show while watching commercials for it in the summer of 2010. I didn't watch Lost when it was on the air. I missed the premiere, and never got into it until I watched it later on Netflix and Hulu, and watched it in its entirety. I had been looking for a serial I could get into from the beginning, and The Event looked like it. I found a couple of podcasts that were covering the show, started listening to those, and I started visiting regularly to see if any new information had been posted about the show. Since its premiere on September 20th, I have watched the show religiously. I usually watch episodes live on the air, though I am recording it on my TiVo, so I can discuss the show over Twitter. I'll then watch it again later that evening via TiVo, and then yet again on from my computer and from Hulu Plus on my Roku once they've been added.
{Third paragraph - why you like the show. This should be personalized. Make it your own!} I love the mixture of science fiction, action, espionage, romance, and political thriller of The Event - it's a truly unique mix. The show's cast is one of the best on television. Blair Underwood, Jason Ritter, Ċ½eljko Ivanek, Laura Innes, Bill Smitrovich and Taylor Cole are fanastic on the show, as are the rest of the cast members - too many to mention. Also great were Clifton Collins, Jr. and Hal Holbrook, and I was sorry to see them go, as well as shocked that the producers killed them off, but that shows bold storytelling. The writers have created a complex yet extremely compelling story arc, and I cannot wait to see where things go next. It was torturous not to have the show on during December, January and February, and I waited quite impatiently for it to return. I keep trying to predict the next move. It's a show I've had some great conversations at work about, and I've turned on several people to the show, as well as enticed some people that were giving up on the show, that had gotten behind on the episodes, to catch up and watch all of the episodes... and they became hooked just like I am. In fact, I have become so hooked that I started a website called, where I blog and post articles about the show, as well as becoming known on Twitter as @TheEventFanatic. As such a big fan, I’m doing all I can to get the word out about my favorite show, but my since my household is not a Nielsen family, there's only so much I can do. I’ve also become an active member of as well as TheEventCast, We Want a Second Season of The EventThe Event Online Facebook fan pages, other fan websites, and I've also contributed to both the What is The Event and The Eventcast podcasts.
{Address criticisms - optional} I know the show has had its detractors, and there were some valid criticisms about the show, particularly the overuse of flashbacks in the first half, although I did not find them confusing as some did, and there have been some plot holes or conveniences that drive the plot. I believe the writers in the second half of the season have improved the pacing and the overall storytelling, and those that gave up on the show are really missing out now.  The show isn't perfect, but I am not expecting perfection. I expect a good story, and an entertaining one, and I have that in The Event.
The Event has been in one of the toughest time slots on television, and while ratings aren't what they were at the start of the season, the show has developed a loyal following that I believe is not reflected in the ratings. Many of us time shift or store those episodes to watch later and do so after the seven days that show up on the Nielsen ratings. Many of them are catching up now, and I expect ratings to go up in the month of May. 
{Why they should renew the show - recommended} Many shows struggle in their first season. 24 and The X-Files, two shows that The Event share some similarities, both struggled to find an audience in their first season. The X-Files didn't take off until season 3. The Event fans everywhere, please give the show a chance at a second season.  If you cannot find room on the schedule, please consider bringing back The Event as a mid-season replacement. In some ways, bringing The Event back later in the season may prove better than in September. A DVD/Blue-ray release, along with Netflix streaming, may allow new fans to start watching the show, as could happen if you have Syfy air episodes over the summer and into the fall until the new season starts. If you do renew the show, I believe that the show would do better if the episodes could air in succession, without a break.
{Prop - optional} As I am sure you know, President Martinez was poisoned using a packet of sweetener. With that in mind, please accept this box of Splenda sweetener in support of a second season of The Event!

Brian Meloche
That's the long version. A shorter version would be to focus on the fact that you love the show and want the network to renew it. The short version is perfect for post cards or a single sheet of paper.

If you have any comments on improving this, or questions, please post them in the comments.

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