A New Campaign To Save Hundreds Of Jobs! (or Fire Dawn Ostroff)

So while I had friends over watching the Magic beat the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals we came up with an idea.  It may be an alcohol induced idea, but some rather brilliant ideas have been formed while under the influence.  Of course some rather bad ideas have been formed while under the influence as well.

We were talking about how the whole #savereaper campaign appears it may work.  A lot of people will keep their jobs and the CW may take a small PR hit if the show is successful.  When you consider the #savechuck campaign also worked it’s a good year for internet campaigns and TV series.  So the idea is:

What if we did a campaign to save a Network?  #savethecw for instance.  The network is on the verge of cancellation and it’s being lead by Dawn Ostroff who has stubbornly decided the Network shouldn’t take scraps from other networks (even shows watched by over 10 million people!) and should focus entirely on the 18-34 female demographic.  The problem the CW doesn’t have one hit at all for that demo.  The CW PR department may get you to think otherwise but the product on the CW isn’t even as watched as similarly aimed shows on ABC FAMILY, DISNEY, etc.

So we campaign for firing Ostroff.  I know it sounds crazy.  However we were reminded of sports.  When a team whether it be college or professional is being run poorly the fans generally start “FireCoachX.com,” sites, sell t-shirts, you name it.  The number of coaches who survive “FireX.com,” sites are few and far between.  When the fans get going they generally get heard.  Of course it’s egg on the face of the management (be it a professional team or school) but it gets the job done more often than not.

When you save a show it saves a lot of jobs.  Think about saving a network.  Think of all the jobs you’d save.  Think of all the shows they themselves air.  We’re talking about a really good thing here.  Karma would love us.

So how about #savethecw and #firedawnostroff campaigns?



49 responses to “A New Campaign To Save Hundreds Of Jobs! (or Fire Dawn Ostroff)

  1. So there’s still time to save the network if we can get Dawn fired soon?

  2. Sure, the new head of the network would have a different agenda and a better business plan (hopefully). If we just sit and let this all play out, the network is dead. It’s a dead man walking right now. No one want to admit it, but that is what it is.

  3. It’s a good idea. But like you said NO ONE watches the network. Do you really think that enough support could be rallied to save an entire network of mediocre programming? Beloved shows are one thing, but if no one watches the CW shouldn’t it just give way to something/someone better? Because it will be replaced (something has to go on that channel).

  4. Why would you want to save a network that can’t save itself?

    You’ll have to explain to me. Generally business practices come from the head down. Whoever appointed Dawn and keeps keeping her in that position must be stupid too. So why think that they would appoint someone better? Just learning from mistakes?

    I’m half-kidding, half-serious.

    But you’re right, saving that many people from losing their jobs is a worthy cause.

  5. Nick, you say that Dawn does not pick up shows from other networks..wasn’t she going to pick up Chuck if NBC passed?

  6. While I’m sure Dawn is part of the problem (it’s hard for me to see how the network is supposed to get that demographic watching it using its current schedule), isn’t the “18-34 women” thing likely to have been approved at a higher level? Is it even possible Dawn was put there by a some suits saying “You know, she’d be great at getting us the highly sought-after 18-34 year old women segment, ‘cos, like, she’s a woman and stuff.”?

    Part of the problem is Dawn, but part of it are decisions that Dawn can’t possibly have made all by herself.

  7. I’m in.

    @suqiggleslash, I agree. It definitely could be coming from higher up, but the problem I see with Dawn (or whoever is pulling her strings, if indeed someone is) is that they’re not appealing to the demographic they’re supposed to be. I’m in that demographic (the lower end, as a matter of fact) and there’s not a single show that appeals to me. They spend more time providing airtime for the 12-15 yr. old bracket than they do the 18-34. If they did try to appeal to the wider bracket, they might actually have an audience. It’s time the network trusts that their demo actually wants something smart and not the same old “white, rich kids getting drunk and the drama of it all routine.” I think the CW is done in, but I’d like to eventually see some network actually trust its audience.

  8. While Dawn is the problem the CW has, I’m not sure that there’s any salvation possible at this point, other than turning it into a cable network, and trying to start all over again. At this point, it needs to be completely rebranded so people aren’t scared to watch it. Starting with a new name would be great. And hiring a marketing team that actually knows how to appeal to people, rather than covering everything in green and figuring that will work.

  9. I would love to save the network and scrap Ostroff, but like imkeh, I’m skeptical. It can’t be just Dawn who has all the say in this whole 18-34 demographic female demographic. Like Julia says, it’s not just a matter of firing the higher-ups, it’s really a matter of re-tooling and rebranding the entire network.

    I also have a a horrible, cynical feeling that no one will listen – Ostroff has gotten a bad rap on the internet ever since she took over the CW (and even before), and no one seems to care.

    Chrissy, I’m also in the demographic, and while I *do* enjoy Gossip Girl and Privileged (say what you want, NickC, but I feel like the ratings are pretty steady on GG – and probably much higher on DVR and internet downloads, though I admit defeat on Privileged), I haven’t watched any of the other shows on the CW in years. I don’t know if that’s just me getting older or the shows getting crappier, but I’m pretty tired of good shows being passed up by the CW because of their idiotic branding/targeting strategies. So yeah, I would still help out with this campaign.

    And NickC, I think it would be amazing if the CW would just get over themselves and start picking up shows from other networks. That would be an amazing way to rebrand themselves, AND steal some viewers from the other networks.

  10. Jennifer Roland

    If you can get the Supernatural fandom involved, you’ve got a real chance. There is a lot of hate for Dawn and her poor decisions there, as we have had to fight nearly every year for renewal.

  11. So what you’re trying to say (Tiff) is that Gossip Girl is one of the few quality shows left on TV? I hope you’re not being serious, there’s millions of shows like that out there (alright, not millions but come on I’ve seen the same crap all too often, be it in movies or other TV shows). They make a lot of garbage like that sadly, the only show on CW that I’m really into is Reaper, I used to watch Supernatural as well and liked it but I haven’t watched it in awhile so I wouldn’t comment on whether it’s still good or not but in any case Reaper/Supernatural would be the only shows I’d watch on CW. I’d go as far as saying 90210/Gossip Girl and all the other predictable chick shows (aimed at 13 year olds rather than 18 year olds I think) are what’s wrong with CW along with Dawn Ostroff. I heard her say somewhere after announcing which shows would be continued that ‘CW would be the TV to talk about with all that quality programming’, well I don’t see any quality programming? I suppose that’s why it’s the ‘TV to talk about’ then, CW is garbage now and I’d like to see Dawn Ostroff fired.

  12. I actually don’t care. Smallville and Supernatural will be over this season. Reaper may be going to syndication. Gossip Girl is good, but not good enough for me to be in a save The CW campaign. Why? Because I want WB back! They actually had good shows!

  13. Adam, something doesn’t have to go on that channel. Lets take a look at our history here. FOX became the 4th network, and has become the number 1 rated network on TV. The WB and UPN started the 5th and 6th networks. UPN floundered around lead by mainly 2 nights, 1 night aimed at urban culture, the other aimed at STAR TREK. The WB however flourished and seemed to be finding a spot. Half the line up was watched by over 5 million people, some as many as 9 million people.

    The WB however started to die. UPN hired Dawn Ostroff and started to aim at the same audience that the WB did well with. For one whole season she technically passed the WB. Warner decided they were losing too much money on the WB and were going to close shop. CBS thought they were losing money with UPN and were going to close shop. Instead the two networks merged.

    So we’ve already lost the 6th Network, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason someone else will step up and give a 5th Network a try.

  14. imkeh, Ostroff is good at selling herself. Just as Ben Silverman is over at NBC. Neither are doing a good job, but they get people to say that they’re doing the right things. I thought the right thing was making money. NBC has given up 5 hours of programming a week! BS’s decisions have already cost hundreds of jobs.

    If we create a campaign that is part of the reason she is ditched, they will hire someone who specifically won’t follow the same path.


    At least then we will have Reaper back haha.

  16. Current CW affiliates would probably just turn into independents if CW went away. At this point that would only mean filling 10 hours a week that they don’t currently fill already.

  17. squiggleslash, she was hired at UPN to out do the WB at their own thing. It technically looked like she was succeeding, but what was really going on is the new head of the WB was an idiot. The WB turned its back on shows like ANGEL that were steady performers and replaced them with shows that didn’t do as well. The WB was on a dive, so Ostroff benefited from it.

    Yes, people up above approve her plan, because technically it could work. If you have a hit show that has a primary audience of 18-34 females you have a gold mine. It would only take 2 real hits to make the CW profitable with the split costs that CBS shares with Warner.

    The thing is she isn’t even good at the job she has. Someone somewhere could probably provide the Network with the hits it would need. Dawn has been unsuccessful at luring them to the network.

  18. Chrissy, you make a valid argument. The CW seems to think the key to the demo is “Rich beautiful kids and their drama,” because it worked for FOX long ago. The biggest teen drama hit since 90210 and MELROSE PLACE was actually DAWSONS CREEK on the WB, and that show most definitely was not about rich beautiful kids. Now Dawn thinks its vampires! The problem is that VAMPIRE DIARIES has Kevin Willimson on board and the scripts he has lining up after the pilot are his kind of thing, which means they may actually have 1 hit in the works.

  19. Julia, the network would definitely need a new Brand and a Brand Image that doesn’t scare away more people than it invites.

    Tiff, GG is solid. It peaked and then lost viewers, but since then it’s steady. The problem is it’s steadily bad. They shouldn’t be happy with a 1.1. That is garbage. SUPERNATURAL pulls 1.2s and 1.3s with no where near the marketing that GG receives. That leads me to believe that if they marketed SUPERNATURAL better it would pull 1.5s which for the CW in that time slot is big.

  20. Nick, do you think if the CW survives another year they will have to extend SUPERNATURAL and SMALLVILLE for another year out of necessity more than anything else?

  21. Jennifer Roland, between SUPERNATURAL fans and SMALLVILLE fans we can probably get the numbers high enough to force Moonves to do the right thing. This will be egg on their face big time if done right.

    There is no reason that SUPERNATURAL shouldn’t be marketed better. It’s a solid show that would provide much better ratings given the right opportunity. Plus it’s perfect for their targeted demo. I know the guys on the show should be pulling in a lot of female viewers.

  22. TheWatcher, I hear ya. However there definitely should be some quality shows aimed at the demo that the CW is aiming at. I think picking a night like Monday and devoting it to that demo is smart. I’d however provide them higher quality product until a hit is actually found.

  23. Ant, I know the guys at SUPERNATURAL, they’re done. No season 6. The stars are done. They won’t renew a contract.

    SMALLVILLE is done after next season too. Welling has one more year left after next season but that is for the spinoff. If there will even be a spinoff.

    The CW is betting everything that VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE are hits and I mean 1.8+ in the demo for them. If they can pull that they can buy one more season for the network. If they can’t the network is toast.

  24. That kinda blows about Supernatural. Very good show.

    If they had promoted Reaper more and gave it a more better timeslot THAT would of been a hit. Even more that it has.

    There must be some dissention in the rankst at WB/CBS about Dawn

  25. Nick, even though Bret Harrison is supposedly following me on Twitter (I think I “won” Follow Fan Wednesday last week) YOU are my favorite new best friend. This is an awesomely hilarious idea. We’ve been saying for the two years that Reaper has been on, it’s a great package with Supernatural and even Smallville. But no. This network needs to be saved, and you’re just the guy to do it. I’m in!

  26. ETA: Keep drinking, more ideas! (Aw, just kidding. I’m sure you have great ideas sober, too.)

  27. Chrissy – In fairness, no station “aiming at a demographic” is going to find content that appeals to everyone in that demographic. Save for the occasional movie, I find Spike unwatchable, for instance.

    But, thinking about it, I think there’s a bigger logistical issue the CW’s bosses have overlooked.

    You can’t really become a significant network and aim at either just men or just women, especially in the 18-34 age bracket, where most men and women live in homes with the opposite gender and, indeed, want to spend primetime together, watching TV.

    If you are going to go down that route, and try to get a small minority of 18-34 year old women (or men, in the case of MyNetwork), then you have to do things the Lifetime Channel or Spike ways, and broadcast the same syndicated crap over and over again. You’ll not get the ratings, but you will at least earn enough to be profitable.

    That’s my entirely unscientific take on it anyway. The CW isn’t one thing or the other, it’s trying to get a large percentage of a group that will not watch it during primetime for purely logistical reasons. Does Ms 30something kick her SO out of the livingroom and watch the CW, or does she find something they both want on Fox? No contest. No primetime viewers. Bad strategy.

    Ostroff’s issue is not that she was able(? If she did) to sell the concept to her superiors – that’s their fault – it’s that she doesn’t realize if she’s going to go down that path, she needs to give up on primetime altogether and start running the CW like a cable network.

  28. squiggleslash, then why are shows like GRAYS ANATOMY, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, DAWSONS CREEK, 7TH HEAVEN, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, etc. hits now or in the past? I don’t buy your theory at all. Shows aimed specifically at one demo and one sex have worked in the past and will continue to work. They just have to be [b] good enough! [/b]

    I think the problem here is that GOSSIP GIRL isn’t good enough. It’s good enough for what it has: a solid audience that delivers a steady 1.1 demo and spikes to 1.2 on occasion. It gets beat by SECRET LIFE on ABC FAMILY in total viewers (sometimes by as much as twice as many) and in the demos that Ostroff says matter. The kicker? Brenda Hampton pitched the idea to Ostroff before ABC FAMILY.

  29. Because there’s a difference between a one occasional show sandwiched between other more general audience shows, and a three hours a day, five day a week operation?

  30. squiggleslash, there you go! The real problem with Dawn’s plan is that she dilutes the pool with too many choices. A network with so many choices is going to split up the targeted audience. Some flock to GOSSIP GIRL, others to 90210, others to PRIVILEGED. One thing I’ve found is that few ever say they watch them all, you get “I love X, but don’t watch Y.”

    The real reason The WB was successful is because they had shows that were specifically aimed at different target audiences. 7TH HEAVEN was aimed at families. BUFFY was aimed at 18-34 male and female. DAWSONS CREEK was aimed at 12-24 female. CHARMED was aimed at 18-49 female. They were also good product for what they were aimed at.

    The combination provided good numbers without diluting the pool. The CW is confused and thinks that 8 hours of programming of their 10 hours should all be aimed at 12-24 females and it’s a trap. It’s just bad business.

  31. catko, I’ll be drinking today, it is a holiday after all!

  32. Nick, what are the chances of another WB network if/when CW fails?

  33. zero.

  34. i love that idea. Dawn O needs to go because she is killing the CW with crap that no one really needs anymore

  35. Pingback: Save the CW? « Pop Culture Curmudgeon

  36. There is total wisdom in this (alcohol or not). The WB and UPN merged originally to save themselves (as CW). When one show (in this case: Reaper) outperforms other shows like 90210 and you’re keeping the underperformer there is a problem.

    She seems bent on catering to one demographic (which she is barely getting). This leaves 3 scenarios (about her leadership):
    1. She is hell bent on revenge for all the “chick shows that were ever cancelled and this is her chance to “right the wrongs”.
    2. She is acting on other peoples’ advice.
    3. She just doesn’t know what she’s doing.

    Moving Smallville in it’s last season to Friday night and testing out a “Twilight” rip-off with Supernatural illustrates to me that she just doesn’t know what she’s doing.

    Oh well…R.I.P. CW….

  37. flexnfx, I don’t know enough about “Twilight,” is it a teenage girl in love with a vampire who protects her from other things that go bump in the night? That is how VAMPIRE DIARIES was pitched to me (but not quite what the pilot was). So I’m not sure how much a ripoff it is (especially since the books its based on are older too right?) , but the pilot wasn’t bad.

    As for your scenarios. It’s number 3. There is definitely an audience for what she wants. I think the WB did a good job of mixing up product to suit different demos and thus allow the 12-24 female demo to rally behind one or two programs vs choosing between a multitude of programming. Even FELICITY was aimed at a different demographic than DAWSONS CREEK. Neither was a show about rich kids and their drama. However 90210, PRIVILEGED, GOSSIP GIRL, ONE TREE HILL, and the upcoming BEAUTIFUL LIFE, and MELROSE PLACE are about that.

    It’s just not well planned at all.

    So I suppose there seems to be some agreement this should be done. So how do we go about it?

  38. Nick..can’t you just call her?

  39. Who is her boss? We could go above her and express our disappointment. Seems to me they (CW) has to see some backlash regarding Reaper. There is an active campaign and expressed willingness by local affiliates to keep Reaper going. Not every cancelled show gets this treatment.

  40. How about an internet petition that can be printed and sent directly to Ostroff’s boss?

  41. I’ve been after her head since she cancelled Veronica Mars. I’ll suply the pitchforks.

  42. Ant, sure I could call her. However me saying “Dawn, you’re fired,” isn’t going to mean anything.

    flexnfx, Les Moonves and Nancy Tellem at CBS.

    Tiff, yeah, I’m about to write a post just on firing her. First I put up a little history on the network.

  43. Nick, you cant tell me you dont wanna be the guy who gets to say it though haha

  44. Nick, thanks. Yeah, that’s exactly my problem with the network and why I never watch it. I have no problem with shows geared towards that target audience– the “we want to want the drama of white rich kids with too much free time” audience, but when all of your shows are catered towards that audience with a few sci-fi/supernatural shows thrown in, that, from a business standpoint, doesn’t make sense to me. The WB was successful for years with the same demographic because it had shows that different people within that demographic could enjoy–from Dawson’s to Charmed to things in between. It wasn’t just one or the other, and I think that’s what frustrated me so much about Body Politic not getting picked up. Yeah, I would have loved to see it, but I can deal with the disappointment–it just didn’t make sense to me from a common sense point of view because how can you expect to bring in new viewers if you have nothing that will? BP not only would have appealed to the other end of their demographic but it had exactly the cast to bring in the viewers the CW has lost over the past few years.

    I didn’t realize FOX was the no. 1 network at the moment. Makes sense why they’ve been the only network to impress me with upfronts. It’s not that I think they’re schedule is anything spectacular, but they seem to be the only network taking risks with something new and different (i.e. Glee, which I think is really good thus far but easily could’ve/still could completely bomb). I guess they have the money to take those risks.

  45. One thing I’ve been wondering lately: what’s the difference between a network like The CW and a “programming service” like MyNetworkTV is about to become?

    Gossip Girl should have become a hit for The CW based on the first season, but the second season saw such a dip in quality that I doubt they’ll ever be able to gain viewers. I watched it because a new soap-style show from Josh Schwartz seemed promising, but like The OC it came out of the gate strong but then immediately started to falter in its second season. I at least hope that Leighton Meester finds work when the show ends, I have to assume she’s the main reason people are still watching.

  46. Early seasons of One Tree Hill wasn’t about rich kids and their lives.

  47. AniMatsuri, sure it was. It was about the bastard child of the richest man in town and how he came to terms with it and his half brother.

  48. Three of the five main characters in OTH were middle-class in season 1, and by the end of season 2 the other two characters were’nt livinf at home.

    About The CW. I think the best option for them is to move to cable. I’d imagine the fees Comcast, WB cable and other cable oparators are cheeper than the affiliats’ take.

  49. The sad thing is I think more people would watch the CW if they didn’t think everything was about teenage girly shows. I have to The Beautiful Life does look like it good be good. In fact Gossip Girls first season was good (I liked the darkness of it at times) but then the second season went bad. I just think if like Nick said they mixed up the audience targets with a variety of different shows then more people would watch. But even my friends who are only like 15 and even the girls hate 90210 and see it as cheap crap. CW needs to change but I think it would be better for other networks if the CW did disolve.