I watched Wonderfalls…

I watched Wonderfalls last week, thought it was great fun with a fabulously snide yet charming female protagonist, am irritated that it's under threat already -- what, they weren't happy enough with killing Firefly and cancelling Angel, they have to cut off the new shows too????? So I'm posting this letter. Spread the word.

Tim Minear, Exec Producer of "Wonderfalls" has emailed the following open letter to lots of folks:

Hi. My name is Tim Minear and I write television. Usually. Right now I guess Im writing SPAM. But Im not asking you to donate to some shady or even worthy cause. Im not offering to enlarge any of your body parts (though I havent ruled it out), and I make no claims of miraculous cures for exotic diseases. What I can offer you is sixty minutes (really about forty five, minus commercials) of quality entertainment if you do one thing: turn on your TV to Fox this Friday night at nine.

For the last year or so Ive been working with a bunch of really talented people to make a new show for Fox called Wonderfalls. Weve made 13 episodes so far, and I really want you to see them.

Some of the folks at the network are telling me that Wonderfalls is the best reviewed new series theyve had in ages -- maybe ever. Im currently sitting on a stack of raves from all over the country, from major magazines, newspapers, small dailies, internet sites, etc. They seem to
be doing me no good. Also, uncomfortable because of the sitting.

The big brains at the network, while happy with the reviews, tell me that good reviews dont bring in an audience. Guess they were right. We premiered on Friday, March 12th to less than great numbers.

There are several things stacking the odds against us. Our time slot, charmingly known as The Fox Friday Death Slot is quickly living up to its name. There has been much confusion and differing opinion over just how to promote this odd little series. Maybe the unique charm, heart and volcanic snark arent coming through. I dunno. Fact is, I have no power over network promotion, I cant force Fox to air Wonderfalls on Monday nights, I dont have a Nielsen box or know anyone who does.

But I do have this keyboard, my cable-modem and a relationship with genre fans all over the world because of the internet. All of the shows Ive worked on in the last several years have had loyal internet followings. From Lois and Clark to The X-Files, from Angel to the short-lived but much-loved Firefly. Ever since Ive been associated with genre television Ive had the extreme honor and pleasure (and sometimes hair-pulling madness) of interacting with fans of these shows via the internet. You are the most dedicated, passionate and, frankly, smartest fans around.

And Im turning to you now because I believe youre a huge untapped resource.

I know that every one of you is connected to many others that I cant reach. If you can give a hand here, you might be keeping us afloat long enough for us to catch the tide. Worth a shot, anyway.

I know the network wants this show to work. Theyre willing for it to work. And if theres any way that my plea now will help Fridays numbers tick up just a touch, I think that would be a tremendous sign to them.

The next new episode of Wonderfalls airs Friday, March 19th at 9:00pm on Fox. Please tune in and mention it to someone else. Preferably someone with a Nielsen box.

So anyway, I thought Id mention it. Oh, also, the network is going to repeat our pilot on Thursday, March 18th at 9:00pm after Tru Calling. So if you missed it last Friday, heres your chance to catch it.

Thanks --

Sincerely,
Tim Minear

PS - I know the conventional wisdom says that good reviews dont mean anything to potential viewers, but heres a taste of them anyway:

TV GUIDE (3/13-19), Matt Roush
Ironic and romantic, WONDERFALLS is a true original. Surrender to its charms.

PEOPLE (3/22), Terry Kelleher
The reason to watch WONDERFALLS is Dhavernas. With a star like this, a series doesnt really need a gimmick.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (3/19), Ken Tucker
"A-" ...a revelation - a blessing, even.... Each of the four episodes Ive seen is better than the one preceding it.

USA TODAY (3/12), Robert Bianco
WONDERFALLS is such an unexpected treat

LOS ANGELES TIMES (3/12), Robert Lloyd
WONDERFALLS is so well done, so fresh and unpredictable, and so little in thrall to conventional virtues as to make the weary reviewer prostrate with joy... everything clicks here

NEW YORK TIMES (3/12), Virginia Hefferman
Beautifully shot and written with wit... Dhavernas is delightful.

NEWSDAY (3/12), Noel Holston
the best pilot of the 2003-2004 season... Dhavernas is a find, a marvelously understated comic actress and her supporting cast is impeccable

CHICAGO TRIBUNE (3/12), Steve Johnson
the series looks and feels like nothing else on television... it all remains, almost magically, in balance, a delicate, roadside-attraction wonderland where mysteries of the cosmos, lowbrow popular culture, family dysfunction, longing and, mostly humor can coexist.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (3/12), Tim Goodman
unquestionably the best new drama series of the 2003-04 season... this is your time to love TV

WASHINGTON POST (3/12), Tom Shales
WONDERFALLS is wonderful... a prime example of risktaking originality, a brassy blast of fresh air any way you look at it.

BOSTON HERALD (3/12), Amy Amatangelo
Executive producers Todd Holland, Tim Minear and Bryan Fuller have created a show unlike any other on television.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL (3/12), John Doyle
WONDERFALLS is the best new drama in ages... Caroline Dhavernas is impeccable

US WEEKLY  John Griffiths
The writing is deliriously clever, the plots strangely Zen and
uplifting, and Dhavernas is beyond winning as the loser-stamped Jaye. A fun, wild free fall."

POPGURLS (3/12), Allyson A Popgurl
...get together with some friends, order in some Chinese, watch Wonderfalls at 9pm on FOX this Friday, and then go out to your favorite dive bar and snark with each other. Make it a regular Friday thing. You'll be happier for it.

5 thoughts on “I watched Wonderfalls…”

  1. One thing I find interesting about this show is that I know at least half a dozen people who appear to have tuned into it more or less accidentally, and then liked it. But I could be misinterpreting what they’ve said. So I’m curious (though this isn’t at all relevant to your post): did you watch this intentionally, or did you just happen to be channel-surfing on Friday night?

  2. OK, never posted here before, but for Wonderfalls I take the plunge. I have taken the initiative and posted Tim Minear’s letter at places I post on the Web. This show is very quirky and borders on the surreal. It also has a self deprecating sensibility that I think is refreshing

    I have met Maryanne at local cons.

  3. Im a fan of the show and im from Argentina… and Im really tired that fox cancels all the good show for televisual poop. They already didit with firefly, and it hurt us, and now is going to the clasic that sells: alcohol and sex…
    I just started watching Wanderfalls, and you are tellingme that its made only 13 chapters??!!, that sucks.

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