Saturday, June 03, 2006

Save INVASION! (**VIDEO**)

by Mark Burbey

Heard some depressing news today. As recently as two weeks ago, ABC had green-lighted a second season of INVASION, the inventive and entertaining sci-fi series created and produced by Shaun Cassidy. Then, with no warning, ABC cancelled the series. The first season of INVASION quickly won a viewership of over 7 million fans. The average viewership for THE O.C. is a little over 6 million. If TV is a numbers game, it would stand to reason that THE O.C. would disappear and INVASION would survive, but INVASION is plainly a more expensive show to produce, so that could have weighed heavily in the decision to cancel it. Yet, if cost was a problem, why had the second season been green-lighted in the first place? Clearly the viewership was there, but comments on the IMDB website refer to a choice that had to be made between placing a new JJ Abrams show on the schedule (WHAT ABOUT BRIAN) or INVASION. Rumor is that ABC feels indebted to Abrams and went with WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, obviously a less expensive show to produce. Personally, despite my respect for JJ Abrams, I think WHAT ABOUT BRIAN is a real crapshoot. And if WHAT ABOUT BRIAN fails to find 6-7 million viewers in its first season and it winds up being cancelled, too, what a waste that will be.

If fans are shocked by the sudden and unexpected termination of INVASION, one can only imagine how the cast and producers must be feeling. INVASION wasn't just another show designed to sell another block of advertising; not entirely, anyway. In addition to being the perfect show to follow LOST in the Wednesday night line-up, the show was compelling and the characters were likeable, multifaceted and worthy of our emotional investment. While not without its flaws, INVASION was original enough and offered enough twists to render its minor blemishes all but undetectable. Each episode drove the storyline ever closer toward the inevitable invasion from which the series derived its title, and the first season finale left us with a whole new level of possibilities to look forward to.

A
nd now…what? The show may be cancelled, but it’s time for an invasion of our own. Many series have been saved by efforts made by the fans, namely petitions, letter-writing campaigns, and fund-raising to place ads in industry trade publications such as Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

The primary source for the petition, forums and other websites devoted to saving INVASION is http://saveinvasion.net (look for the link of the right side of this page).

Even if you never watched an episode of 7th HEAVEN, you couldn’t miss the hype for the final episode special. That show was headed to the boneyard, but some way, somehow, it’s found new life on the new CW Network (which will be combining/replacing WB/UPN in September). The same thing is possible for INVASION. Even if you watched the show only because it was the only other good thing on after LOST, please sign the petition at the SaveInvasion website.

If you do, and if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll see lights in the sky once again.

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