It’s not quite the revolution… but it’s certainly new.
Screenwriter John Rogers adapted the Warren Ellis comic Global Frequency for television, and garnered enough interest from WB to shoot a pilot episode. (Here in Vancouver, no less. Thanks for the bucks.)
All well and good, except that the folks at WB had a look at the pilot and said “Nice try. Next.”
This happens all the time in television, and producers pretty much always pound their heads on their desks and then move on.
But for Rogers, who has been blogging the whole experience, the ride hadn’t ended quite yet.
A copy of the pilot was leaked to the Internet and quickly spread using BitTorrent file-sharing software. Within days, tens of thousands of surfers watched the show and became instant fans of a series that has only one episode.
Their vocal support has revived Global Frequency’s chances, to the point where Rogers now reports:
Phone calls have been made, and we’re setting meetings….
In the meantime, spread the word (but not the file. Bad TV audience. Baaaaaad), organize yourselves, maybe check in here on the Fridays to say hi to each other.
In two weeks, we will know exactly where the rights are, what the plan is, and who you can bombard with email and cards (and vent unto).
Think about this for a moment. Rogers’ blog and the Global Frequency web site are becoming hubs for a burgeoning online community, activated by word (and a file) spread peer-to-peer. All of this is potentially influencing a pretty hefty financial decision on the part of a television network — not a species of organization known for participatory decision-making.
Can we expect to see the public — especially where a potential fan base is out there ready to be tapped — become a much more effective court of appeal on programming decisions?
And more importantly, wouldn’t it be interesting to apply that same approach, not to a TV network… but to a legislature?