You think ”Star Wars” fans are dedicated? Well, ”Once & Again,” it’s almost time for networks to announce their fall lineups, and show-obsessed folks are doing everything short of arming themselves with light sabers to save their favorite programs. Here, the campaigns most likely to elicit restraining orders… or 13 episode contracts.
ONCE & AGAIN
Home Base: www.saveoanda.com
Fearless Leader: Marc Levenson, janitorial services owner
Strategy: Billboards, ads in Variety. Levenson solicited $12,350 in pledges from fans, enough to run a billboard in Hollywood for one month.
What’s Next? Leveson wants to meet with ABC prexy Susan Lyne. ”Her schedule’s pretty booked, but I’d be willing to fly to California.”
Star Power: Zilch. Producers Edward Zwick and Michael Herkovitz have not responded to any ”O&A” fan site.
Just For Fun: Diapers for Michael Eisner: ”We are going to try and send ABC thousands of baby wipes as a way of helping them clean up the mess they have made of the network.”
Home Base: www.saveundeclared.8m.com
Fearless Leader: Dori Van Brocklin, aerospace technician
Strategy: Grassroots. On April 12, fans rallied at Fox headquarters in Los Angeles and New York.
What’s Next: ”Street teams” across the country will continue to download posters and write letters
Star Power: Show creator Judd Apatow’s note to the fansite: ”Word on the street is that it is looking better for ‘Undeclared.’… We came up with over a hundred stories we like and feel like there is still a lot of gas in the tank. Cross your fingers.”
Just For Fun: The turnout for the L.A. rally was ”disappointing,” but a post-protest trip to McDonalds raised spirits all around.
Fearless Leader: Web mistress prefers to go under the pseudonym Rory Parker
Strategy: Fans — who describe themselves as ”congenial and lovely” — mail letters containing tea bags to Fox, which cancelled ”AE” due to low ratings after just four airings.
What’s Next: Upon the producers’ request and because Fox is becoming ”rather irritated” with the influx of teabags, ”AE” fans have shifted focus to The WB, which may pick up the show for the Fall season.
Star Power: Executive producer John LeGraf posted the following message: ”Believe me, it is also frustrating to be an executive producer, to know you have something of real quality and value, and to not be able to convince a network to stick by your show.”
Just For Fun: Fans can enter the ”Write the Season Finale” contest.