December 7, 2007
Re: Can we help you to bring back John from Cincinnati?
Dear [Name of HBO exec],
You may have seen our (attached) advertisements and press releases praising HBO for making innovative programming like John from Cincinnati, and asking for a dialog with you to discuss ways that we, the viewers, can help bridge the gap and show that continuing John from Cincinnati makes business sense and is in the best interests of HBO and its subscribers.
We understand that a decision to cancel is a delicate balance of cost, ratings, fairness to all subscribers and reviews. It is our opinion that the show was a victim of circumstance and that there is a viable audience out there to be reached if HBO will show some sign of support for the show and our cause.
We have not undertaken this endeavor lightly. We are highly committed and will keep working on all avenues to bring John from Cincinnati back, for the simple reason that we believe John from Cincinnati to be one of the best shows of all time. It is humorous, uplifting, mysterious, raw and beautiful all at the same time. Itís exactly the sort of show that makes HBO special.
With changes in viewing trends, a new and different show faces an uphill struggle. Many subscribers deliberately avoided watching the first season of JFC until they could be sure of its fate. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are many subscribers who have now lost the only HBO original programming they watched.
This show defies normal genres and demographic boundaries. We believe it is a sleeper hit that can be brought back for all the right reasons. We think this is a win, win for HBO. We are not asking for anything other than a willingness to discuss what set of circumstances it would take to revive the show. We will perform the grass-roots work, and with a definite credible goal on the table, we believe we can succeed with viewer numbers, pre-funding, or finding a whole new model for a viewer/network partnership
Whether we succeed or not, HBO gets the good publicity of a subscriber base that is passionate enough about HBO's programming to work with the network to get a great show continued, rather than attack the network for its programming decisions.
Please don't bury JFC. Please rotate it back OnDemand soon. Please talk to us, your paying subscribers.
We understand that certain discussions may require a level of confidentiality, and are of course willing to respect that.
[BackInTheGame] (on behalf of the members of johnfromcincinnati.net)
HBO's Last Word
From BackInTheGame, To HBO Forum, May 5, 2008 12:39 AM
I have been meaning to post this for some time, and now my scanner is broken so there is no immediate hope of me getting round to posting a scan of the original. [Note: scans are now available, see below]
This is HBO's response to our January letter, and I can tell you we were not ignored; indeed I got a text msg from Nelson himself.
In the light of changes at the top, and the Emmy buzz + birdseed + some new support as a result of the DVD release, I thought I'd post this (otherwise at the time) slightly negative news.
First I'd like to say that Mesce seems like a stand up guy. One of the reasons I didn't post straight away is that I wanted to have further conversation in response, which I did, but that was off the record, so I won't directly share; however they were positive conversations and i believe his tone in this letter is genuine not patronizing.
I have been watching the show again, and am once again blown away. Who knows what the future holds, but I for one am so happy for what we have already.
All I'll add are my own observations, that
1) Positive media coverage of the show can only help (think Emmys)
2) HBO is not against selling rights to a show (they aren't making the sex in the city movies themselves) - they just won't give it away