Beauty and the Beast Fans and TPTB

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When a fan sent her letter to CBS, she included a screw as a metaphor... "Enclosed you will find an example of how we, the fans, feel we have been treated by you, the writers, this season." -- from The Whispering Gallery #18/19 (March/April 1990)

Fans of the 1987-1990 television series, Beauty and the Beast (TV) enjoyed a high level of interaction with, and access to, the series' showrunners, producers, and actors - a relationship (and familiarity) that had many benefits as well as many drawbacks.

Some of the fan-TPTB interactions took the form of TPTB calling fans on the phone, attending cons, sending cards and letters to some fans' homes and to fan publications, offering fans tidbits of insider information, and agreeing to fans' requests for interviews. Fans attended theatrical events and met the actors backstage, toured the show set, and sent showrunners and actors their fanworks. TPTB were very involved in encouraging fans to promote the show to the press and CBS in letters, phone calls and other venues.

In the beginning, fans' comments and reactions about the show and its creators had been almost universally appreciative, and they were extremely generous in their praise. But as the show struggled in the ratings, fans began to become wary about the show's future. The 1988 writers' strike and ensuing disruption made for choppy waters, and the show's poor reception in dismissive, clueless mainstream reviews made fans angry. Fans were also receiving increasingly contradictory messages from TPTB regarding the show's direction in terms of plot and characterization, changes that came to a head in the third season, causing the fandom to implode.

In 1989, Ron Koslow and other TPTB warned fans that changes were coming: "Proceed with us in the spirit of adventure, I don't think you'll be disappointed There's going to be rich rewards in store." [1] Fans became especially leery about these and similar, statement's about the TPTB's decision to "retool" the show to include more elements of action and less exploration of relationships, a modification that was planned in order to bring back fans that had "gone astray" and to appeal more to a male demographic.

As many fans became furious and anxious and showed their anger and displeasure in a variety of ways, executives and showrunners began to regret their thin boundaries with fans and fandom. Their harnessing of fandom attention and power had its uses, but TPTB had underestimated the alarming fervor and relentlessness of fans. Koslow asked fans to "have some dignity" [2] and to not be "hysterical" and "paranoid" in their public and private support of the show. [3], and to stop their "harassment" of the networks, actors, and showrunners. [4]

Many fans found solace in fanworks to tell the story they wanted to hear with stories, poems, and art that deviated from canon in a variety of ways that jettisoned the TPTB's vision. Fans also focused on the long-hinted at movie, hoping Ron Koslow and company would eventually give them what they wanted. Other fans, disappointed and exasperated, left the fandom completely.

The show itself had declining ratings and was cancelled after a very abbreviated third season.

Enter Stage Right: Some of the Players

  • Ron Koslow (general head honcho and producer)
  • George R.R. Martin (writer, producer)
  • Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon (writers) (referred to as "the lads") [5]
  • Ron Perlman (actor)
  • Linda Hamilton (actor)
  • Roy Dotrice (actor)
  • Jeff Sagansky (president of CBS Entertainment)
  • David Schwartz (coordinating producer)
  • Linda Campanelli and M.M. Shelly Moore (writers)
  • Ray Faiola (Director of Audience Services, CBS)

Original Enchantment

Many fans fell in love with the show for its portrayal of a sensitive Vincent Wells who quoted poetry, had a sensual voice, a long mane of hair, and a mysterious origin. They extolled the romantic relationship between Catherine Chandler and her beast and felt that the show was the antidote to what they considered coarse, crass, and shallow offerings offered on their television screens.

TPTB Knows Our Hearts

Some fan comments:

[August 1988]: As soon as I saw [Beauty and the Beast], I was absolutely awestruck at the magic, the "beauty" of this show — and at the fact that someone had actually gotten a show of this caliber on the air, past the network executives. (We all know that they've never really understood what it is that we like, or want to see on TV.) It is true that this concept, if left in less competent, inspired, and (obviously) caring hands than those of Ron Koslow, his producers, writers, and actors, would have been a joke, an embarrassing one. But we really lucked out this time, guys. [6]

[August 1988]: This past weekend — April 23 & 24 — Howard Gordon, one of the Executive Story Editors of B&TB, appeared at a Creation Convention, He was really great — very enthusiastic, bowled over by the response they have gotten from the fans, and that he got at the convention, and obviously cared very deeply about the heart and soul of the show in the same way all of us fans do. I got to speak to him a little, and I really had a good feeling about him and the other writers and producers and their plans for future episodes (when Catherine's father meets Vincent — among other things!). And he seems to have a good feeling about fans as well; all of this makes me look forward to a long and happy association between the creators of the show and fans. [6]

[October 1988]: I am so very grateful to Ron Koslow, Ron Perlman, and all the others that have CREATED THIS SPECIAL WONDER!! You have all helped me to see the beauty in myself and in others!! THANK YOU, EACH AND EVERY ONE from the bottom of my heart!!! [7]

[October 1988]:

Ron Perlman does a spectacular job of bringing Vincent to life and Ron must truly be a sensitive and caring and astute individual for he can project more with a look, a sigh, or a gesture than could be conveyed in any words!! His talent is truly outstanding!!

B&B and Ron Perlman/Vincent have changed my life!!! I've watched and listened and I have looked deep inside myself and have not been found wanting!! Because he portrays good, nobility, caring and self-sacrifice, I have reached down deep and am daily bringing forth these qualities in myself and sharing them with those around me. I am seeing the magic of a kind deed, a smile or a helping hand. ..and it feels so right and so good!! Thank you, Ron Perlman. [7]

[October 1989]: It's often been said that the writers on B&B have "read the minds of fans" and given them what truly wanted in ways that they could have never possibly imagined. [8]

[February 1989]: It should be remembered that the "suits" at CBS are also on our team.... and sometimes you can be proud of them, too. And besides, everyone is a potential Helper. [9]

[December 1989]: I don’t think any of us would like to have the problems that Ron Koslow and his staff have at this moment. They are trying desperately to get this show back on the air and make it true to the original concept. And I, for one, have all the faith in them. I can't even imagine them doing anything but the right thing for this show — remember that it is their dream that we are fortunate enough to be living. [10]

[Winter 1994]: The audacity some people have to tell Ron Koslow what should and should not appear in any movie is beyond belief. At this point, with the fragility of the chance that we'll even get a movie, I hardly feel that agitating Mr. Koslow in any way is a good idea. I personally have faith in Mr. Koslow that he's going to please the fans. Why on earth wouldn't he? I think the fans - all of us - have to be supportive - period! No added commentary! No plot ideas! Let the man be! [11]

TPTB Reads Our Fanzines, Looks at Our Art, But Doesn't Want Our Scripts

Ron Perlman standing in front of the fan-created Beauty and the Beast International Quilt at the November 25, 1990 Creation Con, photo by Karen Witkowski, printed in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #29 (Jan/Feb 1990)
from issue #48, some of the actors and other TPTB shopping the dealer's room at Great Expectations in 1993

In October 1988, fans were asked to quit sending scripts and ideas to TPTB:

David Peckinpah asked us to let you know that outside script submissions will no longer be accepted. He said,

"We deeply appreciate our fans wanting to share their ideas with us, and will always be here to listen, but we must ask that they sympathize with our situation and not send in any more scripts/treatments/story ideas. This is a hard decision for all of us, but one we feel we must make. We've received literally hundreds of submissions, with no end in sight unless some action is taken. We hope our fans will understand, and not take this as a rejection -- it certainty isn't intended as such." [7]

It is with regret that the B&B offices have announced that unsolicited material not offered through an agent will have to be returned. The policy change apparently became a necessity when an overwhelming number of submissions were received over the summer and most definitely does not reflect on the quality of the material submitted. [12]

In late 1989, Sharon Wells put out the word that she wanted her personal copy of her own zine The Book of Secrets #4 returned: "I accidentally sent some lucky reader my own copy of "The Book of Secrets IV", with Ron's autograph on page six. If you are that person and wish to make a bargain, I would love to get it back. Please contact me." [13]

But while scripts were discouraged, other fanworks were not. TPTB acknowledged and supported non-fiction fanzines. While there wasn't a lot of fiction printed directly in these publications, there was a lot of exposure to fanfiction in them in the form of discussion of story ideas and such, reviews of zines, and many ads for fanworks.

photo by Sandie Whited of Edward Albert (Elliot Burch) and David Schwartz getting ready to judge the costume contest at Great Expectations, printed in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #48 (August/Sept 1993)
Edward Albert begs for bids at the art auction at Great Expectations, printed in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #55 (Winter 1994)

In 1988, Ron Koslow was in the loop in the planning of Pipeline, a newsletter that became highly influential. The editor of that newsletter said:

One year ago this month, the first proposed "Pipeline" mock-up made its way to Ron Koslow's in-basket. [14]

In October 1988, George R.R. Martin spoke of personally reading fanzines:

One point that some fans are not really cognizant of, the society Below is hidden. Vincent makes this point several times and you see Catherine getting lost. But I guess some people haven't gotten that because I have seen fanzines and so forth that say that there are people wandering down there all the time. [15][16]

In 1989, one editor wrote:

I would like to thank Mr. Roy Dotrice and Mr. George R.R. Martin for their gracious support of this publication. A thank you is so little in return for their timely gestures. [17]

In 1989, another fan thanked Koslow for his support of her fiction and art zine, The Book of Secrets:

I must once again dedicate this "Book or Secrets" to: Ron Perlman, who is always generous and unassuming in his kind acceptance of us, the fans; to Linda Hamilton, who went out or her way on a cold night to share a little time with me; and last, but not least, to Ron Koslow who wrote that he applauds the effort I have put into my zines. [18]

In 1989, Ron Koslow was quoted about the show's retooling and different direction in the third season:

This isn’t necessarily new news. Look at what happened last season. I’ve talked in some of my convention speeches about how glad we were to get away from the demand for action, and to be able to do straight character drama. But when we actually did that at the beginning of the 2nd season — “Passages,” “Once Upon a Time ...Is Now,” and the various other letterzines were full of letters from the fans complaining that something was missing from the show. And when we returned to that in “The Outsiders” and for the rest of the season, there seemed to be a great groundswell of happiness from the fans. So I don’t know, in some ways what the network wants and what the fans want might not be too far apart. [19]

Ron Koslow continued to read fan publications at least into 1990. The editor of a newsletter added at the end of an interview with him:

After mentioning the present delight over the syndie/cable dealings, etc., I told him that the March issue of "Pipeline" (yeah, he'd waded through it) was "my revenge on anyone who has ever asked me that question." [20]

TPTB interacted with fan art on many occasions, posing in front them for photos at conventions, helping auction off fanworks in auctions, and hanging out in dealer's rooms. Fanart:

In 1990 at a Creation Con, one BNF artist presented Ron Perlman with a racy illo of Vincent Wells:

"The Fire and the Rose," presented to Ron Perlman by Beth Blighton: "MMMMmmmmm! Well, it was a fantasy series."
Beth Blighton then stood and told Ron that she had something for him that she was pretty sure the Make a Wish Foundation would not want. She then presented him with a framed print of her latest full-color portrait of Vincent entitled "The Fire and the Rose", the one with the loincloth, sword and crystal. Ron looked at it and commented "Talk about a flight of fancy!" Everyone was shouting, "Show it!" He replied, "I'm gonna show it, I'm gonna show it. Settle down!" He looked at it again, then asked, "Are we sure we're ready?" "Yes!" from the crowd. He looked at it one more time, then turned it around, and the audience went wild! "I'll put that in a safe place! I'm going to put that right over my refrigerator." (Looks at it again.) "MMMMmmmmm! Well, it was a fantasy series." [21]

In early 1991, after the show had ended, "Republic Pictures" and "Carolco" tried to reign in fan-created merchandise. See The Beauty and the Beast Cease and Desist Letters.

In 2014, Stephanie A. Wiltse wrote in her blog:

At first, even fan fiction was discouraged as if it were a matter of intellectual trespass. As time went on, that seemed justified; as much a matter of practicality as it was a protection of Koslow’s creative freedom. For example, it was a fan who seemed the first to write a carousal into Vincent’s life history, yet while she was imagining it into his backstory an episode with the same idea had already been in the works.

This kind of synchronicity happened so often that had the production office ever accepted unsolicited submissions they’d constantly have been accused of stealing ideas. Ironically, once the series had ended, Ron K. would relent and leave his creation completely in the hands of fan writers. They have, and continue to keep ‘the dream’ alive in a myriad of ways that not even Koslow himself could have imagined. [22]

TPTB Come to Our Cons

Many of the actors, producers, writers and other people who worked on the show attended and interacted with fans at conventions with fans. Some of these were fan-run cons, many were the for-profit Creation Cons. The only fan who did not attend cons was Linda Hamilton.

[September 1988]: Howard Gordon was at a convention here in NY. It was his first convention, and he was so nice. Between his presentation and talking with a few of us afterwards, he must have spent about 2 1/2 hours chatting and answering our seemingly endless questions. He was thrilled by the attention. It was delightful. I'm hoping to talk with him again in June. He'll be at the con in L.A. on June 18, with Ron Perlman. I never thought I'd see a star and writers of a current prime time TV show appearing at conventions. I guess maybe dreams sometimes do come true. [23]

[October 1988]: It's only mid-year and I've already been to cons with Howard Gordon, Ron Perlman (sigh...), Ron Koslow, and Don Davis (Ron K. and Don just sort of "showed up" to check things out at the B&S con in L.A. — that was pretty wild, too!). I'm also looking forward to meeting George R.R. Martin in Philcon in November. By the way, has anyone out there read any of George's stories or novels?[7]

[December 1988]: ...Ron Koslow's appearance [at TunnelCon II] was the icing on the cake and a much needed injection of hope for fandom. What a nice person he is, who seemed very moved to see such truly loyal fans who, after the program being off so long, still are as keen as ever on his perfect creation...[24]

[April/May 1993]: I have gone to all of the national conventions and have met the stars and I cannot believe how they are interested enough in the fans to come to these and really go above and beyond the call of duty to be with the fans. They talk to the fans in discussions, judge costume contests, talk to us individually, help at celebrity auctions, come to Winterfest banquets, sign autographs until their hands have to be cramped, and during all this they are kind, generous, and just as gracious as if it were something they have to do. They do not have to do any of this. They have lives of their own but they are taking time out of their busy schedules to come and talk to their fans. Isn't this what the show was all about — the loving and caring for one another? [25]

TPTB Grants Us Things Other Shows Do Not

In August 1997, Roy Dotrice greets readers of the letterzine, Chatterbox

Fans were asked for their input in the LP Of Love and Hope:

[December 1988]:

In an unprecedented move, Artie Ripp of Ripp Entertainment requested the "Helper's Network" to come up with some kind of consensus as to what fans of the show would like to see/hear on the album. As of this writing, a meeting was scheduled for November 17th with representatives from both the "Network" and executives from Beauty and the Beast, Ripp Entertainment, CarolCo Licensing, Capitol Record's Research & Marketing Department and Republic Pictures to discuss the form and content of the recording.


Overall fan reaction has been one of total faith in Supervising Producer Ron Koslow, who will have final creative say in the project. Favorites from last year, like "Sonnet 29," and passages from "Surprised by Joy" and "Letters to a Young Poet" were highest on many a fan's wish list, as was hearing the musical score on its own. Other votes were cast for the inclusion in the album of readings by Linda Hamilton (Catherine) and Roy Dotrice (Father). As well as requests for literary selections that have yet to be used in the series...

Note: There is absolutely no guarantee that our input will be acted upon. In any case, this editor applauds Mr. Ripp and Mr. Koslow for extending such an extraordinary courtesy to Beauty and the Beast's devotees.[26]

Listening to fickle fans and their requests:

[January and March 1989]: The studio has listened to us and tried very hard to give us what we told them we wanted. We said we wanted more romance...they gave it to us. We said we wanted to see more of the tunnels and learn more about the society...they gave it to us. We said we wanted to get away from the danger and rescue episodes and they did. They have given us exactly what we asked for and now we are not pleased. WHAT exactly DO we want? Most of us have been amazed to be dealing with studio personnel who actually listen and deal with fans; who care enough to try to give us what we want. We are extremely worried that we are going to bum them out. We are going to teach them that fans can never be pleased and they will STOP dealing with us. It must be very frustrating for them to present us with what they view as the perfect season and have us react in such a manner. If we keep this up, we will probably see the end of the magic this season. Why should they continue with a no-win situation? Enjoy the beauty, for they have given us so much. [27]

From the editor of a letterzine:

[July 1989]: I would also like to thank Mr. Roy Dotrice and Mr. George R.R. Martin for their gracious support of this publication. A thank you is so little in return for their timely gestures. [17]

More than the usual TV show:

[October 1989]: Last of all, I want to have the chance to say a BIG THANK YOU to all those involved with the making of B&B. It is obviously a show that is made with lots of love and it shows. Thanks for giving us so much more than the usual TV show does. You give us a "movie" each week. It is too good to be called TV show. [28]

Participatory inclusion:

[October 1988]: The people involved in creating and producing B&B are really setting wonderful precedents. The show is still on prime time network tv and all these incredibly nice individuals are speaking at or coming to cons and showing a true interest in getting feedback from fans. Personally, it makes me feel completely different about tv. Whereas, in the past, the tv screen has always been a kind of barrier, or at best something that threw things "at" me, I now think of it as a way for friends to communicate. [7]

a letter from Roy Dotrice, sent to the newsletter, Pipedreams (July/August 1989)

Thanks for the photos and letters:

[February 1994]:

I lost my mother four years ago when I was twenty-two. I was in a black cloud then, that showed no sign of lifting until I got a letter from Roy Dotrice, giving me his love and support and the strength to look forward to the future. He's a wonderful man. I have never been fortunate enough to meet him but I feel very close to him. Just knowing that he cares for each and every one of us is enough.


Then as if that was not enough excitement when I home from school another night that same week, I had a card from Roy. If you join the British Roy Dotrice Fan Club, they send your birthday card to Roy and he writes on them and they send them to you. Isn't that neat. I really loved it. I am going to write to him and see if he might still respond to our class. I hope he will.[29]

[April 1997]: [S] joined [[#REDIRECT The Roy Dotrice Fan Association|Roy Dotrice's fan club]] in 93. Roy wrote often to her and rang her several times, in the months she was ill. [30]

[April 1994]: I got home another day after school that same week and I had a package from ARMIN SHIMERMAN. He sent five autographed photos and a very nice letter. I had given up on ever getting anything else from any of the stars this year. He had two pictures of himself as Pascal and three of himself as Quark. [31]

Thanks for the drinks:

[May 1989]: I'm not just writing this letter to get caught up. Back at the end of February, we had a CREATION convention here in NY and two of the guests were Roy Dotrice and Howard Gordon. Needless to say, they were great and we all had a marvelous time (e.g., several of us "family" members wanted to buy Mr. Dotrice a drink in the hotel bar, but he ended up paying for two rounds of drinks for ALL of us--he absolutely insisted!) Roy- -we love you, and not 'cause you paid!! [32]

Thanks for the card:

[April/May 1993]: To give you one example which just leaves me speechless is my anti-drug program which I do with my fifth grade students.....After reading about all kinds of drugs, watching many videos, and having speakers come to my class and talking to my students, I could see that the students still were not grasping the effects of drugs on their lives. So I decided to show an episode of "Beauty and the Beast" to my class I use "In the Forest of the Night" to show just how cruel drug dealers can be and how they do not care about the people they sell the drugs to and all they care about is the money they make... After my students watched this episode, they wrote letters to the actors in B&B and we put them together into books and I gave the books to the stars at the conventions. The response really astounded my students...I want you to know that Roy Dotrice even took time to send my class and I a Christmas card from Jamaica. Now do not tell me there is no Santa Claus. This is truly a caring man, and I will support these stars in all they do! [33]

Thanks for returning my calls:

[1988]: 'Thank You' to Howard Gordon for returning my calls. I know how busy you are. [34]

Thanks for your personal encouragement:

[Fall 1991]: Convention goers warmed to the story of [Ruth M], confined to a wheel-chair, who took the first two steps of her life because Roy Dotrice asked her to try, and the promise of a phone call from Ron Perlman. Roy commented at the closing ceremonies that one of the highlights of the Con for him was meeting Ruth. [35]

Thanks for your dreams:

[June 1990]: There is another Dream, you know...One perhaps you watched but never saw, one that the writers, producers and actors shared. That Dream was of a better world, a kinder world, a world based on hope and love. It is a world that does not exist in Hollywood, where the god is money rather than love, where writers and actors — the creators of magic — are necessary evils rather than favored children. But it is a world that the production office, the actors, the producers tried to build Above — with us, the fans — as well as Below. This is the Dream they believed in... [36]

TPTB Treats Fans as Human Beings

[October 1988]: Ron Perlman [at Space-Trek] was very articulate and gives as much thought to his replies as our beloved Vincent does, saying nothing just to "get through the moment"... He uses words with more than one syllable in every sentence. Boy, that sounds snooty, doesn't it? I didn't mean it that way. I just didn't realize how most celebrities either talk down to us or don't know how to relate to so many strangers that worship the ground they walk on... When women would bring him gifts, he didn't act as if they had some disease. He came around from behind the podium and listened intently to the message that accompanied the item, accepting it with a gracious smile and a heartfelt thank you. [7]

Danger at the Gate: Support, Demographics, and Gender

art by Leah Rosenthal: "Women... I'll never understand 'em..." -- printed in Starlog #154 (June 1990)
some commentary from Wishes and Dreams #2 (1990)
some commentary from Wishes and Dreams #2 (1990), Michelle Hawley: "Instead of the "Furry Batman" that CBS pushed Witt/Thomas to give us this season to raise Beauty and the Beast's Neilsen ratings, there were two other alternatives they really should have considered first. [...] #2 HEAVY METAL ROCK STAR - It would surely have attracted the "younger, hipper" audience Sagansky was looking for! Vincent reading Hemingway while playing a smokin' version of "Stairway to Heaven" on his southpaw guitar (a la Jimi Hendrix) to a screaming female audience. Vincent's next album, "Rock or Not to Rock...That is the Question" goes platinum. Too hip!"

The show's ratings were too low. Ron Koslow told reporters that "you are going to be seeing more danger, more momentum in the stories and some big surprises."

It was decided that the show need to be more appealing to males:

[1992]: Martin recounts initial network resistance to the development of the Tunnel World population or the more romantic aspects of the story; CBS, he suggests, saw Beauty and the Beast as "a cop show with a hairy hero who saved people." Beauty and the Beast appealed to female viewers and seemed capable of attracting a younger audience to its early evening time slot, yet it appeared to perplex and even annoy many male viewers. Only as the program began to gain a greater following were the producers allowed to break more fully with action-adventure formulas and to explore its romantic and fantastic elements. Yet, as ratings declined in the second season, producers responded to pressures to broaden its audience base by trying to attract more male viewers. Martin's account. of the series' production, thus, explicitly links its development to shifts in the network's perception of its ratings. Crudely put, romance- centered episodes meant more female fans, while action plots held the prospect of enlarging its share of male viewership. The program's audience continued to be dominated by women, while the series ranked 50th among 1987-88 programs and 78th among 1988-89 shows. The network could foresee no course of action short of cancelling the series altogether or radically altering its format. On Friday, May 19, the network announced that Beauty and the Beast would not be returning in fall 1989. [37]

The show was not, however, cancelled. Instead it was "retooled." See much more about "Beauty and the Beast" and audience, gender, and power at Retooling.

Roy Dotrice tried to explain some of the gendered "retooling" to fans. From a Q&A session at the Creation Con in Minneapolis on October 21st & 22nd:

[November/December 1989]: What we're doing at the moment is fighting for our existence. These 12 episodes are an attempt to retain the morals and everything we felt about the show — but to make it more exciting, to attract a male audience that will go for it. We realize that however devoted the fans are and they have been, they are basically 95 to 98% women. God bless 'em. Women are the most intelligent members of our society, (applause) But we do need the males and they've been switching off by the millions. Whenever we have a love scene or poetry, it's "(groan), where's the ball game?" So we've got to attract that male audience. If we don't, we will not get the ratings and we will not be back for another season. We have to pull out every stop and use every tactic we can to grab some of that male audience which has been so sadly lacking. [38]

The network decided there was too much emphasis on Vincent and Catherine:

[1992]: TV Guide ran a leaked synopsis of the season's opening episode, describing in detail a plot that involved Catherine's impregnation, kidnapping, and death and Vincent's ruthless pursuit of the murderer. This synopsis was denied by program spokespersons yet later proven accurate in every detail. Network executives also expressed publicly their sense that the second season had focused too exclusively upon the Catherine-Vincent romance and that the series needed to broaden its focus. (As CBS Entertainment President Kim LeMasters explained, 'The problem with Beauty and the Beast ended up being that stories between Vincent and Catherine just got more and more narrow, and we were unable to explore issues that we want to explore." [37]

This retooling was not popular with fans:

[March 1990]: Count me as one who opposes the retooling that brought about the third season... I know the greater effort is in saving the show, but I'm worried that enough of us haven't dealt with the idea of a show being discounted because it has a predominantly female audience. I'm worried that that audience was given a below the belt punch in the two-hour opener via the mistreatment of the lead female character and it was absorbed by a public just grateful to see the show back on the air. Sorry gang, there was more to Catherine's manner of death than just giving Linda a way to leave the series and setting up a villain for Vincent to chase for several episodes. [39]

Fans Tell Fans: Don't Complain!

[November 1989]: B&B is loved by all of us, but it's not our baby. We didn't design it; Ron Koslow did. He fashioned it into the show we adore and its development on every level has been miraculous. So, let's stop the carping and instead, let's make our voices heard in support of this treasure. I, for one, will be eternally grateful for its just being there. [40]

Fans Tell Fans to Trust TPTB: They Won't Betray Us

a 1990 flyer for a protest T-shirt, see Victim of CBS Beast Abuse
[December 1988]: I am intrigued by the writer's leaky faucet method of divulging bits of information about the characters and tunnel world. The viewer is not flooded with material but, week by week, drip by drip, we are allowed to savor each precious drop of insight into this fascinating world. This allows for our minds to construct our own fantasies and our hearts to ponder the connection between the last show's statement and our own personal values. It gives us the freedom to believe that, "we are such stuff as dreams are made of and "anything is possible". [41]

[February 1989]: The information [about upcoming changes to the show] it is not true, along with a request to help get the word out about it, comes to me through a telephone conversation with one of the series' executive producers. I trust his words absolutely and ask all the fans to do the same. [42]

[February 1989]: Kim LeMasters has once again steadfastly defended B&B and declared his stalwart support for it despite its ratings struggle, this time as he was facing the annual CBS affiliates meeting last week to explain why the network is still #3. Now, more than ever, he deserves our grateful and encouraging cards and letters, to CBS itself, the show's sponsors and to your local CBS stations. We are his best ammunition! [42]

[November 1989]: I know it's difficult, but we must endure even though accosted with "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." I did read an encouraging article quoting Ron Koslow to the effect that the 12 upcoming episodes will be about courage and faith, and that we must also show courage and faith. (Okay, Ron, I trust you, and I'll try to be brave. I liked the part where you said we will be richly rewarded in the end...) [40]

[November 1989]:

Come on! This is B&B we are talking about. The Creators have never wavered or failed us before. They would not be a part of something like this.... The last thing we want to do is blast the creators or each other or Linda Hamilton, before we see what is in store. Please do not prejudge. Ron Koslow deserves our continued caring and support. We can not know the battles he's fought for Vincent, Catherine and all of us.

I have faith that the Producers, the Writers, Bind the Cast will stand by her, as will I.

Of course there will be changes. For anything to grow and evolve there must be change. You can be sure that they will be handled as they have always been handled.. .with great sensitivity, much love, amazing empathy for the characters and for us as an audience.

Remember, this was their Dream first. We are very lucky to be able to share in it. [40]

[November 1989]: Some fans seem to be experiencing a high level of anxiety over Catherine's possible fate and/or the direction of the Vincent/Catherine relationship. Look, folks, there is nothing you or I can do, or should even try to do, about it so just calm down. Query: Have Mr. Koslow, et al ever let us down? I'm not talking about minor continuity slips or even the occasional bumpy script. What I mean is, have they ever betrayed either the characters or the philosophy of the series? Well then, what are you worrying about? Mr. Koslow has asked us to believe that none of them would be doing this if it wasn't what they wanted. Why not use our energies more productively, i.e. writing to sponsors, local affiliates, newspapers, etc. If we don't have faith in the integrity of the production company, then we have learned nothing in the past two years and may as well have been watching a test pattern. To paraphrase "Miracle on 34th Street", "Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to." I believe, I believe! [40]

[December 1989]: I am going to put my faith in Ron Koslow and CO. and trust that they know what they are doing. They have given us two wonderful years and he does deserve our full support. [43]

[December 1989]: No one who loves B&B should be writing negative letters to Mr. Koslow, CBS, etc. What's the point? Koslow and Witt-Thomas and everyone else involved in the production of this marvelous show have proven they know what they're doing. Have they ever let us down? Never. Should we tell them how to do their jobs? Not me! Can we trust them to bring us another wonderful, enthralling season? Absolutely. [43]

[December 1989]: I'm pleading with you all, relax, accept the insight of Ron Koslow as we all have since we first discovered it. With the feelings it stirs up in all of us, how can we lose? [43]

[May 1990]: I plan to stand by the show, no matter what and will take whatever is given to me. These people are experienced professionals! [44]

Fans Tell Fans: Don't Hurt TPTB's Feelings

[January 1989]: There is great concern in the production offices about details of unaired episodes getting out. Sometimes, as above, it's inaccurate; in others, it is correct. But either way, it hurts the show. Can you see it from their point of view? What if you were a writer and details of your unpublished plots were being leaked — would you not be upset? I know it's hard not to be curious about future episodes-a great deal of the fun is in trying to figure out what will happen next - but constant digging and prying is only going to result in less response to fans and more headaches to the producers. [45]

[December 1989]: I hope that you are taking the time to send positive comments to all the people involved with creating our show. They need our support now too. The wait for the new season to begin is as difficult for them as it is for us. (Except for one small detail: They know what's going to happen!) Since we have honed our letter writing skills on CBS and the sponsors, a quick letter to the gang at Witt-Thomas should be a cinch. [10]

[December 1989]:

A word of caution to those who are saying they are not going to watch the new season if Catherine is not there. Think about what you are truly saying. You are telling Ron Perlman who goes through four hours of makeup each day he is on the set - that his contribution of talent, and his efforts as Vincent, on behalf of this show is at best, nominal. You are also telling Koslow and company that their efforts to make the best of a bad situation (Linda sitting out because she wants to spend time with her newborn) is unappreciated. You are giving everyone associated with the production the impression that their efforts to bring us a worthwhile, value-filled show is wasted.

And let's not the impression you are giving to the other actors on the show. You're letting them know that they have wasted their time appearing on it. [46]

[July 1989]: I feel very badly for all the production staff, cast and crew of this wonderful show. I know that they are aware of all our support and love for then, and the work we are doing to fight for their show and ours. I'm sure they all are affected very deeply by all of this, but I think, second only to Ron Koslow, Ron Perlman is affected the most. This show is his first real big break. The character of Vincent is so very much a part of his heart and soul. It would be so unfair if it were taken away from him now. Keep the dream alive in your hearts and continue those letters, phone calls, and telegrams. God bless you all. [47]

[December 1989]: I hope that you are taking the time to send positive comments to all the people involved with creating our show. They need our support now too. The wait for the new season to begin is as difficult for them as it is for us. (Except for one small detail: They know what's going to happen!) [10]

[February 1990]:

I write to express my anger and disappointment at the cancellation of B&B. I feel a great deal of anger towards CBS, but I feel equally angry at those fans who criticized the 3rd season of this show and ultimately forced uncertainty to be come a reality. I do not feel you are fair to Witt-Thomas Productions or to the writers.


CBS was looking for a reason to cancel B&B. By writing and calling and otherwise publicly criticizing the few shows that were aired, you gave them the reason they needed. Ultimately, I lose and you lose, because now we have nothing. [48]

[February 1990]: I write to express my anger and disappointment at the cancellation of B&B. I feel a great deal of anger towards CBS, but I feel equally angry at those fans who criticized the 3rd season of this show and ultimately forced uncertainty to be come a reality. I do not feel you are fair to Witt-Thomas Productions or to the writers. [48]

[March 1990]: If fandom keeps attacking, the whole team of Beauty and the Beast may just decide that their long hours and effort is not worth the aggravation and then Beauty and the Beast will cease to exist in any form. [39]

[March 1990]: Actually, Ron Perlman is my greatest concern in all this controversy over the show this year. I don't feel bad so much for us as for him. I think I'd feel better if I thought he'd remember portraying Vincent fondly right to the end instead of feeling rejected at the end. [39]

[June 1990]: ["Hate mail" sent by fans is] killing creativity and it's certainly killing fandom as we knew it. Heaven only knows why anyone connected with B&B would want to come back to do more original episodes or movies if they keep reading such hateful and most likely untrue things about themselves. [36]

[1994]: ...there is nothing worse for a creator, be he writer, actor, composer or than for his efforts to be savaged by those who, ignorant of everything except their own bias, take it upon themselves to rubbish one part of his work while accepting the rest. [49]


Fans scoured newspapers, television broadcasts, and con appearances as they looked for clues regarding the future of their show. Several of TPTB's phrases and words stood out and were featured prominently in letters and other rallying calls. Many fans came to despise these terms and what they meant.


"Nay-Sayer," a term used by Stephanie Wiltse of Pipeline, as well as Roy Dotrice, caused fannish divisions and was fuel to the fire.

Many fans who did not like or support the third season of the show took umbrage at being labeled as a "nay-sayer" because they felt they were shown in a negative light.

A fan wrote:

Stephanie Wiltse was making an effort to calm people down who were ready to storm Witt-Thomas before the series had even returned. She was saying that we shouldn't be nay-sayers and should wait to see what is in store before we condemn. [50]

See more at Nay-Sayer.

"More Bittersweet"

"More bittersweet" was a phrase Ron Koslow used in an article that appeared in TV Guide.

[July 1989]: When Koslow is quoted in TV Guide as saying about 'Vincent's romance with Catherine? "I think that will turn bittersweet".' What does that mean? I thought it was already bittersweet! I think most of us true fans want to see this romance grow even deeper, perhaps even sweeter. Yes, we know they still have trials to face, obstacles and fears to overcome. How much more tragedy, sadness, pathos can any of us stand? Well, I guess we have to put our faith in these guys, and pray the core of this fandom doesn't become the ones betrayed in the efforts to please the couch potatoes with the Nielsen boxes. [47]

[August 1989]: Speaking of response, fans’ anxiety was certainly not alleviated by CBS’ self-professed good intentions. The phones kept the production office hopping with callers trying to fathom “What does CBS mean retooling? What do you mean bittersweet !?” To this Mr. Koslow replied: “I know a lot of people were ...quizzical about some comments I made in the [American] ‘TV Guide.” [That Vincent and Catherine’s relationship would become “more bittersweet.”] ...I was speaking in pressure to take the shows in new directions.” [19]


See much more about this topic at Retooling.

"Retooling" was a term first used by Kim LeMasters in late July 1989. As reported in Pipedreams (July/August 1989): "LeMasters gave an awkward, defensive little speech about "retooling" BATB because it is a "precious commodity" to the network."

Roy Dotrice, who portrayed Father, tried to explain some of the "retooling" to fans. From a Q&A session at the Creation Con in Minneapolis on October 21st & 22nd:

[November/December 1989]: What we're doing at the moment is fighting for our existence. These 12 episodes are an attempt to retain the morals and everything we felt about the show — but to make it more exciting, to attract a male audience that will go for it. We realize that however devoted the fans are and they have been, they are basically 95 to 98% women. God bless 'em. Women are the most intelligent members of our society, (applause) But we do need the males and they've been switching off by the millions. Whenever we have a love scene or poetry, it's "(groan), where's the ball game?" So we've got to attract that male audience. If we don't, we will not get the ratings and we will not be back for another season. We have to pull out every stop and use every tactic we can to grab some of that male audience which has been so sadly lacking. [38]

Many fans were suspicious of the term, "retooling," off the bat, and these suspicions were later confirmed.

[March 1990]: Count me as one who opposes the retooling that brought about the third season... I know the greater effort is in saving the show, but I'm worried that enough of us haven't dealt with the idea of a show being discounted because it has a predominantly female audience. I'm worried that that audience was given a below the belt punch in the two-hour opener via the mistreatment of the lead female character and it was absorbed by a public just grateful to see the show back on the air. Sorry gang, there was more to Catherine's manner of death than just giving Linda a way to leave the series and setting up a villain for Vincent to chase for several episodes. [39]

[July 1989]: This retooling the silly network uses as their excuse for not having B&B on the fall schedule is scaring the hell out of all of us. Only because Koslow is back, and hopefully Martin, Gansa and Gordon as well, do I have any faith at all when B&B comes back that it will be the same show we've all grown to love passionately. Still, having inhabited this earth for 36 years and having seen network television screw up or cancel just about every show that dealt in fantasy and/or romance that gnawing knot of fear will remain. [47]

"Richly Rewarded"

"Richly rewarded" has its origins in an interview with Ron Koslow in Pipeline.

[November 1989]: Okay, Ron, I trust you, and I'll try to be brave. I liked the part where you said we will be richly rewarded in the end... [40]

[Feb/Mar 1990]: So, before Catherine is offed in a sadistic, meaningless manner, we get a consummation that we don't see, that Vincent doesn't remember, and the bond is severed because of it. Oh, and by the way, he even forgets her name. Thanks a lot, fellas, and a happy holiday to you, too! If this is truly Ron Koslow's idea of "rich rewards,"may he be just as richly rewarded in all of his future endeavors. [51]

[February 1990]: I find myself unwilling to watch anymore; I don't want to find out what Mr. Koslow means by a "rich reward" — frankly, I'm afraid to find out. [48]

[May 1990]: ... Well, after months of letter-writing, calling, hoping and praying, the fans received their "reward" from Ron Koslow and his writers, i.e. something purporting to be Beauty & the Beast. Of course it wasn't, really; after all, Beauty died, and the literate, sensitive, interesting man-beast was transformed into a unidimensional furry hulk. It's exactly as if Gene Roddenberry had killed off James Kirk and then sent Spock rampaging through the galaxy —- disgusting. Not to mention that their "retooled" format was not one of action/adventure, but sadistic violence. I was hoping at least for King Lear instead of Stephen King. [52]

"Relative Few"

"Relative few" came from an interview with Ray Faiola (Director of Audience Services, CBS), in which he soundly dismissed fans' letter campaigns. From Pipeline Interview with Ray Faiola: Letters... and the Eye of the Beholder (February 1989):

What doesn't carry a lot of weight is organized campaigns. They call attention to themselves immediately, as cleverly disguised as they may often be (laughter) — we've been in this business too long. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm of the relative few seldom outweighs the inevitability of the majority (of the many) out that we then pass along to our there in Nielsen land. [53]

Stephanie Wiltse, the fan who'd conducted the interview with Faiola later addressed fans with these comments about "relative few":

[February 1989]:

As with the networks, simply writing to an address below and saying, "Thank you for sponsoring Beauty and the Beast," may actually be counter-productive because it will have 'campaign' and therefore, 'relative few' written all over it Again, the idea is to be indicative of a majority of millions rather than a minority of loyal thousands.


It is also obvious that our aim is not served if the letters we write are dismissed as the product of "the relative few." (Sounds like a good T-shirt or club name, "Member of the Relative Few ...and proud of it." [9]

[September 1989]: The "relative few," the proud, the ratings invisible. ...The proud? Yes, with every right to be. Last May we were but a handful, a few groups, individuals scattered through as many states and countries, most if not all thinking themselves alone. Yet by June, network and press alike wanted to know about our "organization?!" By July, one reporter likened us to the French Resistance of World War II. [1]

In January 1990, a fan wrote:

I've never been prouder to be 'One of the Relative Few' (a motto which should be on our team sweatshirts - tell Creation!). [54]

The phrase angered fans due to its dismissiveness, and it how, to them, it appeared TPTB were either tone-deaf or not being truthful with their public statements. One example of this was in May 1990 in an article in Starlog which had an interview by Ron Koslow:

"The show was different without Linda. It had to be different. Many people were upset after the two-hour movie, no doubt about it. Then, after the first regular hour, the tide really turned. Everybody seemed intrigued by Jo Anderson and her character," Koslow says. "Everybody seemed to feel the show was back. Our fans were very supportive. [55]


See The Beauty and the Beast Wars.

from the meta rpf zine, The Closet Beast... and Beyond, art by Rita Terrell (1990)

The third season, to many fans, was distressing. They felt betrayed and powerless and turned their ire on who they felt was responsible.

From Textual Poachers (1992):

Fans wanted something from Beauty and the Beast its producers were unable or unwilling to deliver. Initially, fans could find textual explanations for the couple's inability to achieve romantic fulfillment (Father's divisive influence, Vincent's anxieties and fears about his bestial nature, Catherine's desires for autonomy). Yet these explanations crumbled in the face of progressively more "teasing" and exploitation. Some fans shifted their anger onto the producers who would not deliver what the series appeared to be promising. [56]

Betrayers! The Networks and the Evil "Suits"

[January 1989]: Let's not rush [the writers and actors]; let's trust them. Now if we could only trust network bigwigs! [57]

part of a poem printed in the special issue, "Once Upon a Time is Now... And Forever" (~summer 1993)
[April 1989]:

CBS's understandable reticence to divulge near-current scheduling plans (until both Monday night try-out figures were in) added to the anxiety. Finally, March 6th's ratings seemed to confirm the death sentence. In response, what had just recently been characterized as a "kinder, gentler fandom" suddenly, in a fit of righteous indignation, bared its fangs and proceeded to dine royally on rump of network. Several CBS offices and execs, not to mention other companies involved with B&B, were treated to calls accusing them of everything from negligence to outright malevolent intentions, on everything from on-air promotions, to scheduling, to pre-emptions, to advertising, to press coverage. Needless to say, this kind of kibitzing did not win Beauty and the Beast any new friends and it badly abused some tried and true allies.

One of "Pipeline's" own contacts had thought, and rightfully so, she'd been doing a pretty dam good job for B&B, that is, until she received 50 irate phone calls all in one day! Jamming industry phone lines is like interrupting the medic administering CPR to tell him that he could be doing it better. Warning: This may be hazardous to the patient's health, no matter how good the intentions are! [14]

[August 1989]: Well, congratulations, CBS; in spite of all the letters written by fans to you, the show's sponsors and anyone else who would listen, you have (at least in your mind) killed the best show you've ever broadcast! But I have news, CBS; the fans aren't going to let you do it! Unless you wake up soon and see what you are really losing, Fox or another network is going to pick this show up and tell its creators "have at it"—give us the magic you've so successfully created to date! So, one big raspberry, CBS; you deserve bottom place in the ratings—forever!!! [58]

[August 1989]:

On the morning of Saturday, May 20th, CBS ripped the rose-colored glasses from my eyes and shattered them, along with my heart, into a thousand pieces. I was walking out the door, on my way to work, when the early morning newspaper arrived. Impulsively, I flipped it open to the entertainment page and scanned it briefly as I had for the last several days, searching for some news on the fate of B&B. The lump in my throat was immediate. There it was in black and white: "CBS announces new fall line-up. Cult fave B&B has been CANCELLED...."


I am upset, dammit! I am disillusioned, angry, sad, bitter, and most of all disbelieving. Somehow, my mind still cannot accept that B&B has been cancelled. And if I'm this devastated, what about those directly involved with the show? It was obvious that B&B meant more to Ron, Linda, and all the others than a mere paycheck.... [58]

[August/September 1990]: We want to thank [the people from the show] and honor them for giving us such a wonderful 3 years. 3 years of quality shows, 3 years of reaching out and forming friendships with people all over the world. 3 years of fighting for a show that CBS turned its back on. (We know it mattered even if the powers that be at CBS showed a total lack of taste by replacing us, God help me! with "Grand Slam"). [59]

[October 1989]: My letters to CBS have been polite as everyone has told us they should be, but I'm really reaching my limit... CBS has this prize show and they seemed to do everything in their power to make sure it is not a success. They have a show that has won many awards, has sold many, many products relating to it — not only the obvious recording of Ron Perlman, but all the other, less publicized items from T-shirts to posters — and yet they decide the one polling company says there aren't enough viewers so we'll pull the thing and tack on another mind-numbing sit-com. I pray that all our letters are doing some good to bring about change. And if that change DOES come, I pray that CBS wises up... [60]

[November 1989]: The Network's lack of faith toward this program has been clear and sometimes just short of seeming like deliberate sabotage. All of the preemptions, the conspicuous lack of promotion, the scrambled showing of the eight re-runs we did get to see, not showing the ending trilogy as promised and not including it at all in their fall line-up. It is enough to get you down. [40]

[December 1989]: HOW TO GET MORE OF THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - WE WANT TO SEE! The FOX Network has shown interest in buying "Beauty and the Beast" and showing us new episodes! The production office says it is possible. The beauty of the FOX Network picking up the show would mean that the executives of CBS would not be telling the writers what to write, and the censorship (Beast-touching) would not be as stringent!! Can you imagine seeing the "Beauty and the Beast" you've always wanted to see, free of the demands of the Bozos at CBS?? Then write now! Let them know you want to see "Beauty and the Beast" and we trust FOX to "un-do the re-tooling." [61]

[early 1990]: Although "Beauty and the Beast" has been cancelled by CBS, we perceive this as a silver lining - who needs it on that rotten network anyway? [62]

[March 1990]: Following the cancellation, my first emotion was anger, my second was relief that the show would finally be free of CBS. [39]

[March 1990]: Thanks a million, Mr. Big Shot Network, Ratings-crazy, money-hungry, ax-wielding POND SCUM.[39]

[April 1991]: I just pray if they DO do a telemovie, it's not on CBS. I know we should be thrilled that it's on at all, but I don't want to owe that pathetic network anything. [63]

[December 1990]: We have gone through a trying time. It all began on Thursday. aka: Black Thursday May 18, 1989, and has come again, like a bad recurring nightmare, on Thursday January 4, 1990. So... CBS is once again guilty of "Beast Abuse", yet this time we are all the victims. But this is the "Beast that would not die", as Kathy Costello has said. Letters do change the tide, and it looks like we shall have our Beast, and his Beauty back, if we persevere. Do not give up hope. And please, remind the CBS sponsors that you no longer patronize that network. Who could could? They have proven themselves to be liars, promising us 12 hours and giving us a measly nine. They have lost their credibility. Who could trust their news shows after that? [64]

[2017]: I felt that the unspoken contract between the show's creators and its audience had been violated, and probably in one of the most torturous ways possible, emotionally speaking. The series that begins with "Once Upon a Time" has an unwritten obligation to end with "And they lived Happily ever after." Fantasy does this with almost soothing regularity. That's part of what makes it 'fantasy'. It's okay if there are serious bumps along the way. But the outcome is almost a given. [65]

Betrayer!: Ron Koslow

back cover of Once Upon a Time...Is Now #15 (October 1989), Beth Blighton
[October 1989]:

[Fans] are beginning to blame Koslow and Company—to the point that they are sending him hate mail and threatening to stop supporting the show and never watch it when it airs! I seriously cannot believe this! We have fought so hard these last few months and now this? Who are you ridiculous people? Why are you blaming Ron Koslow? You are taking the words of seme asinine news paper articles such as "The Globe" over the words of Ron Koslow? What is happening with everyone? Don't you realize that this negative attitude will definitely hurt the show? Don't you realize that you are jumping to conclusions WAY before you should? The two-hour premier hasn't even been aired and there are people stating they will not watch it simply because of what they have heard. COME ON! ! Cut the man some slack!

Do you honestly think that Ron Koslow, the creator of B&B would be out to murder his own show? Where is the faith that everyone has had for the last 2 years? [66]

[January 1990]: Just one more general comment, then I'll close. Unlike other people, I really don't like the idea of Ron Koslow writing the script of a B&TB movie (if there is going to be one) simply because I personally feel he really lost sight of his own characters. I also can't forgive him for what he did to Catherine/Linda (and Vincent), which, as I mentioned before, will probably always affect the way I feel about and approach B&TB. To me, he deliberately set out to destroy his own creation with the third season, and I would feel more comfortable and happy if the project was placed in the hands of someone else. [67]

[January 1990]: I only wish that Koslow was more like Roddenberry, and displayed more concern for the characters he created. I agree that no one deserves bashing — however, I believe Koslow must accept the blame for what was for many of us the perversion and destruction of B&TB, whereas Linda remained true to the spirit of her character and the show. I do not blame her at all — I applaud her. Given that point of view, I hope you can understand why the words "Koslow" and "Beauty and the Beast" together do not inspire confidence in me. [67]

[February 1990]: I find myself unwilling to watch anymore; I don't want to find out what Mr. Koslow means by a "rich reward" — frankly, I'm afraid to find out. [48]

[June 1990]: One magazine printed a "thank you" to Ron Koslow for the program, and here is where I speak up. I appreciate his original idea, but I strongly disapprove of the way he gave in to ratings pressure and changed the show's direction so much. In order to draw the young male audience, the story line became more "dramatic," with much more violence (I know the first two seasons had some), and mostly emphasized the males... [68]

[August 1990]: This issue [of Keepin' the Dream Alive (Beauty and the Beast letterzine)] is dedicated to Ron Koslow. I know, a lot of people feel he "dumped" on them with the third season, but without his "vision" B&B would not even exist! Stop and think of the emptiness that would be in your life had you not discovered this wonderful show. I know that mine is richer because of it. Thanks Mr. Koslow, you've opened up so many doors and allowed us to reach for the stars![69]

[May-June 1991]: I am sick unto death of hearing what low-life sleazebags Ron Koslow, et al, were. I am tired of hearing the writer's (with the exception of the female writers, of course) talents, mental capacities and morals impugned at every opportunity. And I am totally disgusted with this implication that a man as talented as Ron Perlman "ain't crap without the girl!" It turns my stomach when they imply that because he didn't stomp off the set in a snit the minute the show didn't go his way, that he is somehow less deserving of our admiration now. These lies profane everything that B&B ever meant, much more than anything the writers could have thought of doing to the show, and it spits on all the hard work, talent and dedication of Ron Perlman who broke his butt for that character! [70]

[Winter 1994]: As for the idea that Ron Koslow "would never let us down, " as one fan recently argued here. Oh, please. I think that's confusing the "magic with the magician" (those of you who still believe in magic, that is). I think the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." Remember?... I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Koslow, who after all gave us Vincent and the original Dream; but in bowing to network pressure to "retool" (and for purely financial reasons), he proved himself just as susceptible to corporate pressure as anyone else. He's human, and fallible. What began as his dream, we have made our own. In a way that's a tribute to him; it's part of what, as a writer, he meant to do. [71]

Betrayer!: Linda Hamilton

Most fans were supportive of the character, especially in the beginning. They saw Hamilton as an advocate for fandom and fans:

[February 1990]: I believe that Linda and Ron fought very hard to keep this romance progressing, but it wasn't meant to be. I have heard and refused to believe that there were creative differences between Linda and Ron Koslow and it became apparent to me as the episodes progressed that she lost the battle, but in reality we were the real losers. [48]

[June 1990]: I believe if Linda Hamilton had been given her druthers, she would have had a much more acceptable and popular Catherine. In an interview I read, she wanted the kiss at the end of Season One, and cried when she didn't get it. It would have changed their relationship, irrevocably, for the better. We would have seen forward movement, not stagnation. [68]

[April/May 1993]: Linda has always made it perfectly clear that she wanted her character to go forward. SHE WAS ON OUR SIDE! [72]

While there was nary a word of criticism for Ron Perlman and the character of Vincent Wells, the same was not for Linda Hamilton and her character, Catherine Chandler:

[December 1989]: We all love Vincent and Ron Perlman, but have we unintentionally overlooked Linda Hamilton's role in B&B? B&B fans have extolled Vincent, but what of his leading lady? Surely by now, Linda must feel a LITTLE slighted. Even the merchandise available is almost totally "Vincent". If she has decided to leave, who can blame her? We had better wake up and give thanks to and extol the talents of Linda Hamilton as well, if it is not already too late. We all need to write her as well and express our sincere appreciation for her hard work and dedication and that we are supporting her — no matter what her/CBS's decision is about her future in B&B. [43]

[September 1989]:

I am afraid that all to often the fantasy of possessing a soulmate, companion, and friend like Vincent is overwhelming. Overwhelming for the viewer and dangerous for the character of Catherine, aka. Linda Hamilton. Linda has given each of us a great gift, a porthole through which we can imagine a life with Vincent, if one wishes to do so. With a gifted and beautiful talent, Linda, aided by numerous writers and producers, allows us, the viewers, to step into her body and act out our fantasies. She does not stand in the limelight and demand attention and accolades for this accomplishment! That is one of the reasons why it works so well. Instead of throwing away this wonder treasure as a selfish child would, we should be ever grateful and infinitely appreciative!

I ask you, the reader, would a statement approving a replacement for Ron Perlman ever be made without your input? After all any ignorant person could say that any actor could play Vincent. All an actor would need is makeup and shoulder pads! NO! that would be incredibly insulting and disrespectful to Mr. Perlman not to mention very untrue. Should we regard Linda Hamilton with any less respect? Should we be that apathetic to her devotion to B&tB, hard and exhausting work, crafted talent, sacrifices on and off the set, sweat and tears? I know that I can only speak for myself in responding to the above questions but I do so with a resounding NO! And you can quote me on that! [73]

[November 1990]:

The loyalty I feel towards Linda Hamilton has always been there. I just never felt I had to defend her the way I do now. My interpretation of the facts are as follows: As one fan wrote, "She owes us nothing but a good performance every week, and she delivers." If anyone thinks Linda Hamilton owes fandom anything else, then I believe that they might not understand what an actor does. They act. That is all. Anything else— interviews, conventions, etc — are a gift (even if they are paid for them) and should (in my opinion) be looked on as such. She did not/does not owe us any explanation of why she does/doesn't do interviews.

Ron Perlman should not be held up as an example for Linda (or anyone else) to emulate. Yes, he worked tirelessly on the publicity for this show. That was/is his privilege, and we were ALL grateful that he did so. I was so thrilled (and still am, to this day) whenever I see him on TV. I wondered why Linda wasn't out there too, but I never thought of penalizing/punishing her for not "being there" for her public. [74]

Something that likely didn't help fans' views about Hamilton were remarks Victor Lobl (director) made in an interview when describing which actor Lobl thought was the easiest to work with. He chose Perlman, mentioning Perlman's dedication and sense of humor. Regarding Hamilton, he said:

[August 1990]: Linda was a little more difficult. Linda is much, much more vulnerable than Ron, so she has to be handled a little more carefully. And the first tool to get to Linda is not through humor; it's to find out what she's worried about in the scene. In a way, you have to do your homework as a director much more with Linda than you do with Ron. Ron doesn't work from that base so much. But Linda, that's where she comes from absolutely. Unless you can communicate with her on that level, it can be a little difficult. [75]

Hamilton's popularity with fans was also negatively affected by some remarks Hamilton made about fans, and this was something that became a topic of strife:

[June/July 1991]:

I do think it's true [Linda Hamilton] doesn't understand fandom. I think she really CAN'T understand how people could be so attached to fictional characters. From her point of view, it's unhealthy to rely so heavily on the return of those characters. I can understand all that. I may wish she'd been a bit more diplomatic, but no, I wasn't offended by anything she said once I had a chance to think about it. Even there I can find reasons for her behavior — she's probably highly annoyed at the constant harping on B&TB when she's trying to promote her new movie; she views B&TB as the past, and wants to get on with her life; perhaps there's been some behind-the-scenes pressure we know NOTHING about, etc., etc. One friend even proposed a theory (and I think it has a lot behind it), that Linda, who throws herself into her roles, was still in her "Sarah Connor" mode! And on TV shows ifs so easy to make off-the-cuff remarks. But she's right in one sense—there are some truly obsessed people in this fandom who live for B&TB alone, to the point of becoming hostile and off balance if they see "their show" threatened, and I can see how it would be very hard for her to understand such people.

The thing is people have a hard time remembering is that for her, it was a SHOW, a JOB, not her entire life. She made the magic, but didn't experience it the way we did. How could she, after doing take after take of the same scenes, long grueling days, fights with Koslow? She KNEW it was "only acting." We can't hold her to the same standards. She could never regard it the way the fans do, even if she hadn't had bad experiences. I think people become far too proprietary of the actors, as if they BELONGED to us, and we expect them to return our devotion. That is such a mistaken attitude. These actors are ACTORS, not the characters they portray. They have other lives and things far more important to them than B&TB.


One or two of my friends take her words to fandom very personally. I don't. Linda doesn't know me — I'm part of a faceless mass. I'm realistic enough to know I would never be anything else. If my liking her depends on her doing what I want her to do, or acknowledging me personally, then I am being every unrealistic I'm living in a fantasy world. Unfortunately, many fans will take that attitude.

[Anyway, that brings us to the repercussions Linda's remarks will have on fandom, and on her fans. I am definitely a Linda Hamilton fan apart from B&TB. Frankly, I've been afraid of the backlash we'll (Linda's fans) be getting. Linda's career certainly won't suffer if a few hundred B&TB fans resent her, but I could see the attacks coming thick and fast from those angry with Linda and consequently with those who support her. [76]

Hamilton, unlike some of the other TPTB, did not attend conventions [77] and generally did not interact with fans in other way. This may likely created a distance between fans and Hamilton, and without these "personal" moments, fans were less forgiving of her.

While some fans were supportive of Hamilton, others were not. This came to a head when it was hinted, then officially announced, that Hamilton was leaving the show, citing her pregnancy as a reason. Fans became much more vocal in their dislike of Hamilton herself. This criticism from fans, at least the vocal ones, entwined Linda Hamilton's departure from the show with increasing frustration with Catherine Chandler's characterization:

[December 1989]: I know that there have been a lot of rumors about Linda Hamilton and I understand everyone's frustration, but she needs your love and good wishes now, not your hatred. She is struggling to have a family, something she has wanted for a very long time. Are we so selfish that we can't be happy for her. [43]

[February 1990]: It is not so much that you are repulsed by the new direction of the series, but rather that Linda Hamilton was no longer a part of the show. Please do not forget that Linda Hamilton made a conscious decision to leave the series. [48]

[March 1990]: I don't know how others feel, but I love Diana and even in the few shows she featured in I prefer her character to Catherine's. I am sure I will be hung from the highest tree for this remark but I never could believe in Catherine and always wondered what Vincent saw in her. The flaws in Catherine's character (not Linda Hamilton), who I thought did the best with what she was given) never gave me the satisfaction I wanted, I could never truly believe and care enough for her. I believed in the romance but not the woman. [78]

[March 1990]: I cannot imagine a successful show without Linda Hamilton. It is her acting as well as Ron Perlman's that makes this show believable. It is the combination of the spirit and innocence of Catherine and the trust and faith she places in Vincent, being fragile and brave at the same time, a very complex character - indeed. After Linda, anyone else would be a disappointment. Catherine has made Vincent what he is now. Without her he is but a shell, as is the show of its former self. [78]

[March 1990]:

I wish that Linda Hamilton herself would stand up and say, 'I am happy, and I am no longer interested. Beauty and the Beast is in my past.' Then, I think I could bury Catherine and let it go. But I feel tugged between the lies of one faction and the other, cheated over a loss that did not have to be, and for all that Ms. Hamilton had to go through.

[the editor of "Pipeline" added: Rumours. Again untrue. Ms. Hamilton has never complained of any duress. She also requested last summer that all questions about her past involvement in the show be directed to Witt-Thomas itself. A couple of readers have since reported that their mail to Ms. Hamilton has been returned unopened. Her besieged personal manager has had but one request of all callers, 'PLEASE, leave Linda ALONE!"] [39]

In 1992, Edward Albert (Elliot Burch) said:

[April/May 1993]:

Linda got a very bad rap. The show ended when it should have. She took a lot of bad press. She had a very heavy schedule, demands on her were great, even if she hadn't been pregnant. [He gave the example of their working at 4:00 a.m. shooting a scene next to a Paper Mill, with its harsh chemicals and danger to anyone who was pregnant.]

No one wanted to give up any moment of glory. Linda's performance never wavered. She was there for you; gave you respect - actor, grip, producer, she was always Linda, true to herself and the show. If Beauty and the Beast fans had known the whole story and cared about the woman and the role, they would have supported her to quit sooner than she did. [79]

In 2017, George R.R. Martin said:

If Linda had not left the show we could have gone for five years at least. [80]

Betrayers! Republic and Carolco

See The Beauty and the Beast Cease and Desist Letters.

In early 1991, two fans (Kay Brinkley and Lynette Combs) who produced zines were sent cease and desist letters by "Republic Pictures," the entity that owned the rights to Beauty and the Beast (TV).

a copy of one of the letters, printed in Pipeline v.4 n.2/3

The letters, of course, caused much consternation and fannish discussion regarding the legality of fanworks, fear of being sued or harassed, questions about why the letters were sent, and future actions against fans.

Betrayers! The Family Channel

See Beauty and the Beast and The Family Channel Controversies.

The Family Channel, a cable channel, was the first to buy the rights to broadcast the newly-syndicated episodes of Beauty and the Beast (TV). The show aired there beginning in September 1990.

Controversy One: The Family Channel showed the episodes "out of order," therefore altering continuity and perceived characterization.

Controversy Two: The Family Channel edited, or removed, scenes they considered offensive, non-Christian, and did not portrayal "family values." There was also a proposal to add and/or manipulate original footage in the third season to show Vincent Wells and Catherine Chandler getting married, therefore "legitimizing" the birth of their baby. Another proposal or rumor is that The Family Channel would removed any mention or scene with the baby.

In the end, The Family Channel simply did not air the last episode of the second season, certain "offensive" episodes, or the entire third season all together.

Betrayers? Linda Campanelli and M.M. Shelly Moore (Not So Much!)

A fan dedicated her zine, Definitions of Love #2, to Linda and Shelley:

[1989]: I would like to dedicate this book to Linda and Shelley, who have shown us all that there is hope for IT: that wonderful balance of professional and personal successes. Their visit to StarCon was an inspiration. May there be many more.

A fan commented about meeting these two writers at Star Con Denver (Fall 1989):

A question asked several times, Shelly would not reveal what "M.M." stands for. It evidently is a family joke or secret, but certainly makes her name distinctive among the writers in Hollywood. Almost as good as "George R.R...."

As the only women writers on the staff, they expressed their struggles at keeping Catherine's personality strong and her self intact. The fans expressed concern that Catherine had seemed indecisive, and even unsympathetic at times. In response to that they would like to write if given carte blanche, they replied with two "pitches". In one, Catherine has the flu and is being nursed by Vincent, who reads her a fairytale, and they lapse into that tale as the characters themselves. In another, Vincent and Catherine meet an old woman who has had an invisible? ghost lover for years... sort of the continuation of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", with some of the magical possibilities touched on in "Bluebird". Both ideas were received enthusiastically. [81]

From a fan's con report for The International Beauty and the Beast Convention (1989):

Shelley Moore and Linda Campanelli proved to be just as entertaining as I'd anticipated. They confirmed much of what I already believed, and commented that they felt Linda Hamilton would not have left the show had they "been in charge" (exact working can be obtained from someone who taped it!) — something I believe entirely to be true. As women, they understood Ms. Hamilton's understandable dissatisfaction with the gradual weakening of her character and the failure of many of the male writers/producers to listen to a woman's viewpoint.


As I and several of my friends listened from the rear of the auditorium, the writers talked of how they, along with Linda Hamilton, had tried to keep Catherine's character true and strong; how they had objected to seeing Catherine walk out on Vincent during the "trilogy" instead of standing by him, which would have been in keeping with her character as established. The writers admitted that though they felt very strongly about this issue of Catherine's character, the male writers and producers "saw it differently." It was at this moment that a disgruntled fan charged down the aisle beside our group as we applauded, snarling "THEY were a lot smarter than YOU are!" At first I thought this comment was directed at our wildly applauding group, but later a friend told me the remark had been directed over the speaker's shoulder at the writers. Quite apart from the rudeness of this gesture, I have to take exception to the logic of the remark. If, indeed, the male writers were smarter in what they did than the woman writers, then why was the show cancelled? If the women writers and Linda Hamilton had been allowed some input, perhaps Linda Hamilton would have stayed on. If she had stayed on, the radical changes in Season Three might not have been necessary. Had they not been necessary, perhaps the show would not have alienated and lost millions of viewers (NOT just fans) each week. Had the show not lost so many viewers, perhaps it might not have been cancelled. Where, therefore, is the logic behind the argument that the male writers were necessarily smarter in keeping Catherine weak than the woman writers, who wanted to keep her strong? It seems the disgruntled fan was speaking from her own fears and not from any sort of logic. [82]

A fan commented about meeting these two writers at Fan-Out (1990):

We got to meet and talk with B&B writers, Linda Campanelli and M.M. Shelly Moore. They were very nice, but they didn't have any new info regarding the status of the show because they have no contact with Witt-Thomas. They said that they have heard what we have heard." They talked to us in general about their ways of writing and how they felt. Of course, we all know that these ladies are wonderful writers and they told us that they write according to how they would like to see the show progress. However, once they hand over their scripts, they no longer have say as to what will actually be filmed. That's a shame be cause they read us some sections of scripts that were mind blowing and would have been wonderful to see (i.e., in "Walk Slowly," they had V&C kiss — both were alive. After Catherine is gone, Vincent stands outside the Central Park tunnel entrance remembering her. He then sees Catherine running towards him and when she gets to him, she kisses him. Can't you imagine what that would have done to us? There were some controversial opinions made about the third season, but one major concept we did learn is that the cast and writers did put up a fight regarding the "retooling" of B&B. I finally asked Linda and Shelly if CBS was the major fault of this entire problem and they answered ...YES! They did tell us that they didn't like the third season simply because it wasn't the B&B that they wrote for in the past, that B&B was Vincent and Catherine. [83]

Betrayers!: All of TPTB (But Not Ron Perlman!)

When a fan sent her letter to CBS, she included a screw as a metaphor... "Enclosed you will find an example of how we, the fans, feel we have been treated by you, the writers, this season." -- from The Whispering Gallery #18/19 (March/April 1990)
an unknown fan portrays George R.R. Martin on the cover of Pipedreams (Nov/Dec 1990)

Many fans felt manipulated, unappreciated, and screwed over.

Fan anger about the changing characterizations, the "retooling" to add more action in order to attract a more male demographic, and the loss of Catherine Chandler was mostly put on the shoulders of Ron Koslow and the network "suits." George R.R. Martin was mostly spared, perhaps because fans found him mysterious and perhaps a bit intimidating. Fans also, to a much lesser extent, left Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa alone. [84]

[October 1989): I feel like kicking Gordon, Gansa, and Koslow for putting us through this... [85]

[October 1989): In checking in with all my contacts this month, one disturbing piece of news was repeated from every department. There has been an alarming number of threatening and negative mail pouring into the studio and addressed to the stars. We, in this fandom alone, enjoy the rare privilege of accessibility. The fans who are doing this are not going to change the storyline, and are, in fact, only going to alienate those people who have been so kind to us in the past. We all need to be passing along POSITIVE thoughts and hopes, not dwelling on the negative. [60]

[January 1990]: I just can't figure out what was going on in the writers' heads sometimes, and I would go so far as to say that they probably didn't know either. [67]

[January 1990]:

I find that I don't blame the actors for anything in the third season, either... I don't think Jo Anderson (Diana) or Stephen McHattie (Gabriel) made what could be considered wise career moves in choosing to play those characters, but they had to make a living, too. I have never felt that the actors had much say in what happened to their characters, EVER.

The people I am still upset with are the producers and writers. Their lack of faith in their own creation caused them to rewrite the show. They were the ones who set up the scenario that destroyed the work of the previous two seasons. That scenario --Catherine's long imprisonment, her almost-rescue and off hand death — was particularly nasty because (this is my opinion) Linda Hamilton stood up for herself and Catherine Chandler. Actors are expected to be like good soldiers -- they don't ask questions and they follow orders. Linda Hamilton broke that unwritten rule. [67]

[March 1990]: I feel as if the writers deliberately set out to take everything away from us....Witt assured us that the writers would never violate the spirit of B&B, yet I feel that this is exactly what they have done. [39]

[March 1990]: For two years we have been manipulated and finally betrayed. [78]

[March 1990]: We were betrayed. We were lied to. We were used by CBS and Ron Koslow. What a shame that the man who had this beautiful dream and convinced us it was real should be a part to its destruction. [78]

[March 1990]: To the writers and producers, I would like to express my disappointment at shattering the dream after being told everything I was reading and hearing were lies. Who was lying to whom?... [78]

[March/April]: Once I realized that the writers forced Catherine to deal with her pregnancy ALONE, to go through labor ALONE, and to deliver her child without her LOVED ones, I dissolved into tears. It appeared the three writers of the movie got together to come up with their worst nightmare for Vincent, Catherine, and us. [86]

[March/April 1990]:

Mr. Koslow, I pity you. To take your own creation, something you have said is as close to you as your own child would be, and to destroy it so completely, so deliberately speaks of a desperately unhappy person. The wantonness of such wholehearted devastation Invokes images of self-destruction. Apparently you are unable to accept the responsibility of what you sparked, but to show such contempt for the audience speaks of a vindictiveness totally out of proportion with the reality of the situation.

You said "Don't listen to the rumors - watch the show". Well, I watched the show and all the rumors were true. Paul Witt said 'Those who are distressed will ultimately be pleased'. Well, I'm not pleased - what an I supposed to be pleased about???!!! And I know for a fact that it isn't going to get any better. You said that you wouldn't do anything to violate the spirit of the show. Well, you oust have an extremely warped idea of what the "spirit of the show' constitutes. No, you didn't violate it, you have raped, plundered and pillaged it out of existence! Last May, you begged and pleaded with us to save your show, and we mobilized with an unparalleled effort. We agonized with you for days until miracle of miracles, we won a reprieve for you! We trusted you and then you betrayed us!! We SAVED your precious show for you only to have you turn around and stab us in the back!! Apparently, the male writers have deliberately refused to understand what the female viewers want, and what's worse, you don't even seen to care. You toss In a cartoon villain, a bunch of sophisticated toys, turn Vincent into "Rambo-kitty" and you expect that to replace Catherine??? No number o£ explosions, car chases or shoot-'em-ups are going to replace what was the fundamental core of the show - the relationship between Catherine and Vincent. Your failure to realize and accept this is too blatant and studied to be accidental. [87]

[March 1990]: ...the writers should have considered the feelings of the loving fans. Never again will I become so attached to a show, and after all the letters and things I did to keep this show on the air. [39]

[May 1990]:

Divide and conquer... it happens every time! CBS has divided us by their ordered "retooling" of our beloved show, and conquered us by putting us at each others throats. We fell into their trap like most wild animals would, and we are caught there, helpless. I say that because, with all of the fighting, name calling, finger pointing and the like, the trap will never let us out! I can see it now,....Jeff Sagansky "bowing" before Howard Stringer and Lawrence Tish… them throwing him a bone, saying "atta boy, we knew you could do it to them! Good dog!"

I believe this was all planned, orchestrated by them, knowing how united this fandom was, how organized. They did it on purpose, and now we are all losing because of the many different reactions. [83]

[May 1990]: ...And Cancellation Shall Have No Dominion. That about says it all for the B&B fans, doesn't it? Actually, at the Creation Con in NYC March 10, 11, it basically was the theme. Everywhere I looked, I either saw it on shirts or buttons, or someone was saying it. Maybe we should write a haunting theme to CBS? You know, just to remind them of what maggots they really are? [83]

[May 1990]: The ads said: "It's not a fairy tale anymore." Well, they got that right. For the first two seasons, it was a fairy tale... It was better than reality. Beauty and the Beast made me feel great. They should have let this fine series go out with the dignity it deserves. One final movie ending with Catherine giving birth to Vincent's healthy son. And then they lived happily ever after... But no. Ron Koslow and whoever else is responsible have to mile it for every dime they can get. And now it's ruined. They should have let it stay a fairy tale. [88]

[June 1990]: After the initial stunning, numbing shock of TLBL, my reaction... I addressed one of the many letters I wrote that night or in the following days, to "The Brotherhood of Pain," and asked them if they had always hated the fans — or what? Had they always held us in such contempt and loathing? I was so bewildered — I couldn't understand how all this could happen — how the same people who wrote "A Happy Life" and other favorites could unleash such violence and brutality on a woman at her most vulnerable and helpless. What was done to Linda Hamilton/Catherine was so vicious, so cruel, so vindictive, so humiliating and degrading. [68]

[June 1990]: I was one of those who believed that the writers who gave us two beautiful and sensitive seasons couldn't possibly let us down. I assumed there would be a powerful, if all too brief, resolution of Catherine and Vincent's story, a time of joy and openness, the pay-off to the exquisitely crafted storyline inherent in all good drama; that Catherine's death would be meaningful and noble, rising logically from the premise of the story, leaving us sad, but enriched with some new message of idealism that would compel us on a new course. They were perfectly capable of doing that; they chose not to. [89]

[July 1990]: Loved “No Way Down” last week on CBS. Still hate them, though. Hope they sink through the seas and never rise again. I have been one acquainted with the jerks. Sagansky walks in stupidity like the night. Angrily, I think on thee. See, really I CAN recite poetry. [90]

[November 1990]: They wanted to hurt us with TLBL. I can't imagine that ANYONE would think that we would like TLBL CBS and Koslow & Co. had to know that most fans would HATE it. This was done on purpose, to hurt us. Why exactly anyone would want to hurt us, I do not know. I have felt, from the beginning of season three on, that CBS (or whoever) was out to hurt us as fans. [67]

Never Ron Perlman!

Ron Perlman almost entirely escaped the wrath of fans' criticism. [91]

Ron Perlman by Sheri, from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #31 (1991)
[December 1989]: Why anyone would want to write Ron Perlman hate mail astounds me. This man has forsaken his family to play this part and we should hope that by the grace of God that he can continue. We should be lighting candles not sending hate mail. [43]

[December 1989]: Ron Perlman. Just a note of confidence: No matter what anyone says, in our hearts, you DID win that Emmy! We thank you for everything and hope you will continue to portray Vincent in the loving and compassionate manner that only you know how to do. I'm sure I can speak for all of us. Here's to you, Ron! - A big hug and kiss from all the fans!! [43]

[May/June 1990]: We have Ron Perlman to be grateful and thankful for in more ways that we can count. His battle to slow down the entrance of the Vincent/Diana love story was heroic. I heard a lot about that - about his refusal to say and do things that had been written, about script rewrites that he demanded, about his absence from the set to underscore the point. [92]

A rare miss-step in the eyes of a fan:

[April 1989]: A note about who, or what, Vincent is. We all have our own ideas. It appears that most of us would like to believe he is a compassionate human being with some beastly characteristics. At Space Trek, Ron Perlman stated the HE believes Vincent is "a beast with a lot of humanity." We, the audience, disagreed with that definition, loudly. Thinking about it later, I realized that if Ron changed his PERCEPTION of Vincent, that could change his PORTRAYAL of Vincent, however minutely. We could lose the Vincent we've all come to know and love. I guess what I'm saying is I've agreed to disagree with the man. You go ahead and believe what you like, Ron. As for the rest of us.... [93]

And Stop Calling Rodney!

Ron Perlman's agent was not a fan of fans.

[July 1991]: By the way, Ron has changed agents again. STOP CALLING RODNEY!! He no longer has the time or desire to discuss Ron and will tell you so in pointed detail should you wish to waste your dime. Save your time and the man's nerves. He has no great love of fans in the first place. There is no word yet of who is replacing him, but we'll let you know as soon as we find out. [94]

Betrayers! Each Other -- The Good, True Fans vs. Bad, Ill-Behaved Fans

An extreme dichotomy was set: Good fans were true fans filled with with blind devotion, loyalty, adoration, and true love. Bad fans were close-minded, ungrateful, nay-sayers. This created factions that pitted many fans against each other.


I must admit, the entire situation has created an interesting opportunity to observe the unguarded reactions of fellow fans. Ever since that fateful Thursday, on May 18th, when we discovered that our show was in trouble, each of us has had to deal with the stress of anxiety, anger, fear, and disappointment. It is those who have accepted their emotions and acted in a responsible, mature, and trusting manner who serve as an example of what can be accomplished when you bring tunnel community concepts into the "real world".

They are the ones who have been supportive (no matter what their personal position is) in the faith that Witt-Thomas et al will continue to create under the motto: "only the best is good enough". They are the ones who made their numbers known by writing letters to CBS, politely "thanking" them for renewing our show and expressing their excitement at the prospect of an early debut.

They are the ones who carefully examined any newspaper article or rampant rumor and found their truth "within" the quotation marks — not in the emotionally charged suppositions of those who have an ax to grind or a newspaper to sell.

They are the ones who have found the strength to continue their efforts to unite fans, offering moral support and a positive atmosphere in which we wait for the return of B&B.

They are the ones who did everything they could think of to help the show then channeled their efforts toward what B&B is really about — shelters for the homeless, food kitchens, and kind of volunteer work, just people helping people.

They are the ones who have no need for empty platitudes, for they have shown by actions what it means to be a Helper in the truest sense. I applaud each and every one of you.

I only wish that every B&B fan could earn this right to be called a "Helper". Maybe then the whole world could have "A Happy Life". [10]

[1990]: I disturbed by the inference made in one LOC that "44 and no more" fans aren't "true" fans exactly should we define a "true" fan, any fan, way? Given the diversity of feelings out there, I kind of think it is impossible. I was a fan of "two soul-mates who shared a unique bond," as [Elaine L] so eloquently stated. Consequently, I can easily say I AM a TRUE fan of what I was a fan of -- no more or less. [67]

[1990]: We really have to remain united in this, our most desperate fight. In unity there is strength, as Father is so often repeating, and that is the truth. The dissenters, the detractors, we would appreciate a zipped mouth for now. While we do not condone what you say, neither are we denying you the freedom of your dissension. But if we want the show back, conditions on its return, have to be put aside. Our fight is to get B&B back, period. Then, if you don’t like what you see, the freedom to voice your feelings is yours. But to put conditions forth to anyone thinking of picking up B&B presents a disunited front. [78]

[1990]: Those [fan] "advisers" pointed their fingers at any fan who had dared to dislike the 3rd season and placed the blame on them for its failure. [95]

[1990]: Is a dissenting view considered so heretical that those who hold it must be branded as 'ex-fans? ...I suspect there may be other people around the country who were confused about the apparent drawing of a line between those acceptable as fans and those who are now to be excluded. [39]


I and my friends were deeply upset by some of the misinformation generated at this convention,[96] particularly in regard to a specific group of fans who have now been labelled as troublemakers and traitors. Since I know some of these fans, and I certainly have found them to be rational, polite, and intelligent, I had quite a different view of the events outlined in San Diego.


Constantia said that she didn't know anyone who liked the Lifeline letter. In direct contrast, I don't know anyone who DIDN'T love and appreciate it! I'm not directly connected with Lifeline, though I live in the Bay Area, but the many people I correspond with, all over the U.S., feel as I did about the letter — we (and I know I CAN speak for the majority of my friends) wanted to stand up and cheer. My friends and I had most definitely interpreted the words of several established leaders in fandom the way Lifeline did — as an "order" to follow the party line or else be labelled "ex-fans" and traitors to B&TB. [68]

[1990]: We may not have liked the new B&B but we didn't give it up and continued to support it, even if teary-eyed. If blame is to be targeted, just, remember CBS has the ultimate responsibility. We were given their retooled product. Were we supposed to accept it gratefully no matter how changed it was? No matter how we felt about it? If B&B demands blind worship, then we are a "cult". If we are not allowed to voice our opinions, even to disagree with each other, then watching B&B for the past 2 years has taught us nothing and has not changed us for the better in the smallest way. If true, the fairy tale has indeed become a nightmare and we helped create it. [78]

[1990]: I fought for a 3rd season — and got burned. But if I don't fight for a 4th season, that burn will never have a chance of being fixed, of being truly being healed. I may only get hurt again - maybe even worse than I am already - but it's a chance I have to take, because it's the only chance there is. Which is crazy, of course. It would be so much easier to swill beer & watch football till your brain dries up and more socially acceptable, too. If we're all crazy, it's a fine madness. But it is madness. [95]

[1990]: I think it is unfair to think of all of the fans as 'a collective mind.' Each individual has their own thoughts, likes, and dislikes. That goes for feelings and thoughts about Beauty and the Beast too. In the first 2 seasons people were 'allowed' to have episodes or moments they didn't like, but somehow, if a person didn't like the direction the show took in Season 3, you labeled her an ex-fan. How can you do that?! We are all loyal to the show we love. ...Stephanie, PLEASE, don't split fandom. ! [39]

[1990]: I feel if we stay quiet, supportive and positive in actions — and give them room to maneuver — we will get our show back.! [39]

[1990]: Judging from the letters I've gotten, there are a bunch of people out there who feel that because the story they wanted to hear wasn't told — then the story that was told is trash! How horribly, horribly wrong that is and damaging to the effort to keep the show on the air! I appreciated the show's return and how impressed I am with the quality of the shows. But how drowned out will I be?... Please people, if you don't like it, shut it off! But damn, don't stomp on it!! Give it a chance. Give us a chance... If you don't like the direction the show has taken, spare yourself — don't watch - but grow up and realize there might be people out here who do want to watch. Like me! [39]

[1990]: The people that you refer to as 'ex-Beasties,' 'dark-siders,' and the lunatic fringe' who were trying to get their message across to CBS have a right to their opinion, as you do editor. What is left now of Beauty and the Beast is sad and unacceptable to what this exquisite series promised from the beginning. ...I hope that you hear from others who object to your inference about those who do not like the turn this series has taken. [39]

[1990]: The only way for the show to have continued to a happy ending, whatever that may have been, was for the viewers to remain loyal, apparently enough didn't So who was hurt? All of us, from Ron Perlman to you and me. [39]

[1990]: Although I am one of those who want the old show back, I am following your advice to be non- demanding and supportive of all efforts to have the show picked up anyhow — anywhere. [39]

[1990]: CBS can not take all the blame for Beauty and the Beast's cancellation. We also must look at ourselves and see just where we also failed. CBS and some of its fans did not let the show heal from the loss of Linda Hamilton. Given enough time Beauty and the Beast could have been even better than what we saw during the first year it ran. [39]

[1990]: Will Diana Bennett be Vincent's new heart throb? It is doubtful because of his eternal love and devotion. Only true fans would begin to understand and accept this. The unknowing would be trapped by the prospect of another woman. How DALLAS! [39]

[1990]: How can they call themselves fans and then desert the show like this? [39]

[1991]: I think there should be a new club for "FANS WHO SHOULD NOT BOTHER TO CALL THEMSELVES FANS ANYMORE." Oh, I can hear the howling and hair pulling I've started with that statement. But I don't know what else to call these "fans" who think B&B's creator is an idiot. (Yep, so totally stupid that he ever came up with these characters at all. Too bad the future of your much-longed-for movie is in the hands of such a dangerous fool.) And how about the misogynist bastards those writers turned out to be, eh? Who'dve thunk they could get past us all those years by writing all that beautiful and sensitive dialogue, huh? Fooled us though, didn't they? [97]

[1991]: I have to tell you, I'm tired of fighting, of having to read about other fans bashing each other over who is the truest fan of all! Why can't we all be true fans? Who made up the criteria over 'true' fans vs. 'false' fans? And why wasn't I consulted? That's how ludicrous it seems to me! [98]

[1991]: I must APPLAUD the fans on how well they behaved around our "family" [at the con, South of Oz]. This VIP treatment will no doubt help guarantee their appearances at future conventions. [98]

[Fall 1991]:

One journalist noted that she felt fans thought they were supporting the show if they simply thought of it every waking moment, wrote continuous streams of fan mail directly to the stars' agents, and watched their video tapes religiously (wonder why they call us a cult?). Her point was that that was like rooting for the home team from outside the stadium. If you don't buy a ticket, you're not part of the game. The bottom line? If Republic Pictures gets its original, mammoth, million-dollar-an-episode investment back with interest, the more likely Republic, or some other studio, will finance further production later on. Film and television are 'commercial' arts, it may not be the artists' first thought, but money will definitely be his/her backers' major motivator. So, look for authorized memorabilia licensed by Republic Pictures from catalogs and at conventions, and if you don't already have one of everything land only if you can afford to, buy something. Writing commentary or fan mail, at least in care of Republic, does still demonstrate interest, but that's about all.

And as for commentary, 'the right to an opinion' notwithstanding, press and industry people have a hard enough time as 'tis taking our passions seriously, but when it comes to complaints or requests for what is not in the power of the entreat-ee to deliver, they simply write the passionate off altogether. It's too bad that enthusiasm's been given such a bad reputation — but one can see how it got that way. Perhaps it is time to let brand-new fans, people who couldn't care less about classic or 3rd seasons, to keep the powers-that-be reminded of all our continuing interests. Their spontaneity will shine from corporate mailbags just fine without coaching or coercion. [99]

[1994]: As for the stories of personal abuse and vandalism by so-called fans - I would personally take these low-life little Hitlers and put them out of their obvious misery as swiftly and painlessly as possible. Censorship by the masses is as obnoxious a thing as can be imagined and madness is not far behind. [49]

[1995]: ... most of all lend your support to the May Convention in Manchester then our efforts will reach the ears of Republic Pictures, who are watching us and our loyalty to this fandom. [100]

TBTB and Catherine Chandler's "Misogynistic" Death

Linda Hamilton herself was close to term at the time of filming, and the character of Catherine Chandler was murdered shortly after giving birth, and. Some fans were also very suspicious that Hamilton's character was killed in a misogynistic and brutal way, one they suspected TPTB angrily wrote in order to punish Hamilton for the complications her pregnancy and for what her departure from the show made them deal with:

[March 1990]: So was it Catherine's destiny to be idealistic, stupid and dead? To get pregnant after having sex with someone so out of it he didn't even remember, and die? Women's destiny to produce the next generation of "real" people, males? The baby had to be a male, you see. So he could have that destiny that's spelled with the big letter. She gets to be a cause. Of course so does the baby. [...] one asked Catherine if she wanted to be a cause, did they? What role would Catherine have really played if they hadn't assigned to her stupidity and death?[101]

[March/April 1990]: I want to know why the producers felt it necessary to end this special relationship in a bitter, traumatic and tragic way. Where is the truth? Did Linda Hamilton really want to quit totally or did her pleas for a little more time with her baby give the producers the open they needed to get rid of her. [102]

[March 1990]:

The two hour movie was one of the worst experiences of my life. How could the writers and producers of this beautiful romance portray Catherine as a woman alone and pregnant being tortured, drugged constantly, and then killed without ever holding a child being born out of such intense love and passion? Hey, Guys, were you smoking something when this script was written? This was a definite vendetta against not only the character of Catherine, but Linda Hamilton, as well. As a woman, I was totally outraged by the treatment of someone who deserved so much more. Linda struggled through this episode during a very difficult pregnancy as well as her own personal problems and this was very apparent in her face. She was simply used, abused, and discarded! What a horrible send off to a very classy actress!

That pathetic consummation scene was like something out of a Pee Wee Herman movie. Exploding roses and flowing lava! Vincent, if Catherine made "the earth move for you," you were still out in La La Land as were the viewers. All of us are a little more intelligent than that. Gone were any traces or hints of the tenderness and compassion that they shared. Instead, it was like watching 2 total strangers. "You're the woman I love, but I can't remember your name." Not only did Vincent forget making love to Catherine but he can't even remember who she is. I haven't met a guy yet who can't remember his first time! Even Ron P. and Linda H. seemed to have difficult in keeping a straight face throughout these scenes. Was the scene of Catherine vomiting due to the drugs or more Linda's reaction to the script? [78]

[June 1990]: The comments of misogyny were so aptly stated. How more humiliating, how more hurtful towards the character of Catherine could they be? I could not help but wonder if the producers/writers, etc., were so angry with Linda that they chose to punish her in that way. I was angry. Even more so angry in her isolation scenes/loneliness and ostracism. How much more abuse was this character to sustain before enough was enough? The final act of abuse or cruelty (if you will) towards Catherine (and us) was their utter act of inhumanity in not allowing her to even hold the baby — this was the final blow for me, and in my heart. I felt it was also a subconscious shot at Linda, who was nearly at term during the filming. Especially after watching "God Bless the Child" and the incredible demonstration of "longing" for a child (the acting was incredible, and I'm not even sure it was acting — it looked heartfelt to me), this was the ultimate in cruelty toward Catherine and — perhaps more subtly — toward women as well. I don't know and, frankly, I don't want to believe that the writers who gave us 1st and 2nd seasons of characters could change so quickly and decisively. Calling Catherine a "vessel" was so insulting. [68]

[June 1990]: I could enjoy playing with the Diana character. After all, isn't she the ultimate "Mary Sue" character? She's there to help our hero find his baby, to save his life, and — I thought — to bring Catherine back. She's us, our surrogate, solving all the problems. [Ed: In case anyone is unfamiliar with the term, "Mary-Sue" is a genre of story long used in STAR TREK fandom; it denotes a female character who is a direct cover for the wish-fulfillment of the author, who is almost always super-intelligent and capable, but also super-feminine and beautiful, who helps the hero save the day/saves the hero, and thereby earns his undying gratitude, admiration, respect, and love/lust. It has been suggested before in these pages, by Diane Davis, that this is exactly what the writers might have had in mind — to create a character that would —supposedly— appeal to us because we could imagine ourselves to be her more easily than we could Catherine. Guess again, guys. I've also been a long-time sympathizer with the ravages of testosterone poisoning, Sharon; they really ought to have a telethon for the poor things! - Barbara] Then the writers did the unthinkable — there's that testosterone poisoning at work again. They decided that Catherine was really dead, and Vincent would form a bond with Diana! I mean, it was right there in the first draft of the script, and as I read it, I felt as if someone had slimed me. What kind of eternal romance ends in tragedy so that one of the lovers can go off and have another eternal romance? [103]

[December 1990]:

I do understand the "realities" of having to work with TV censors, ratings, etc. I'm bent on becoming a professional illustrator, and that field too involves compromises between creativity and "reality" and the demands of the client. That, however, in no way lessens my anger at Mr. Koslow for what I feel was his total disregard for the very essence of what he'd created. It was his choice to kill the character of Catherine in a repugnant and sadistic way.


I am disgusted by the anti-woman slant of "Though Lovers be Lost" and the manner of Catherine's death. So many of my friends have brought up this very point that I don't think it's a matter of our imaginations. Nor is it merely because we are women... [104]

[February 1994]: There were dozens of choices [the writers could have made about the third season]; as long as it ended Happily Ever After, they reneged on the promises to us, the fans, and since most of us are women, they figured, so what: Vinnie in tight pants would suffice. But they were wrong: we are lots smarter than that. We would not accept such garbage!! [29]

[February 1994]:

Did you ever notice the lack of mothers and women in the show? There was a short piece in the Times last week, about Snow White. She doesn't have a mother, and neither does the Beauty in the original tale. Well, let's see. Catherine's mother dies when she is 10, and Jacob's wife dumps him and comes back and dies, and then also Grace, Devin's mom died in childbirth (in the fifties, with Peter and Jacob, both doctors?) and Catherine's father never remarried and where in all is Peter's wife? And also Anna Pater died young, and of course, Vincent never knew who his parents were!!

Those writers are mysyonists! (I am not a feminist, but I can see all that!!)[29]

{{Quotation2| [2017]: Ron Koslow and his horrid, misogynistic vision of how Catherine and Vincent and their story ended. Until it aired, no other show on television had shown the torture of a pregnant woman, followed closely by the murder of said woman once the baby had been surgically removed from her. What a disappointing ending to such an epic love story, and what a terrible disappointment it was for all of us who had been waiting and hoping for a happy ending. We had been promised a fairy tale, but we were given a horrible, awful ending instead. All these years later, I still cannot think of any reason for Koslow to do that to us except as an act of spite. It separated our fandom and caused friends to argue and leave the fandom. [105]

Mixing Worlds: Fans and TPTB Got Too Close to Each Other

The relationship between fans and TPTB was unusually close. Fans were given a lot of access in the form of interviews, con appearances, and insider information.

Pipedreams v.2 n.10 included a poem written by an CBS employee. It was in response to a letter (which included haiku poetry) a fan, Betty N, had sent to CBS regarding the tentative return of the show to the airwaves:

[October 1989]:
You weep, you bleed; we too, are broken and torn,
for the life of a creature, CBS born;
For the millions who care, to produce the best, not the least;
CBS will return to you your beloved Vincent, the Beast.
- Beth W. Bressan, Vice President and Assistant to the President, CBS Broadcast Group

Stephanie A. Wiltse scolds another fan with whom she is feuding:

[February/March 1991]: As a vociferous group of fans turned with a vengeance on the very production staff and cast that had tried to deal with them (against industry-wide advice) as thinking adults rather than spoiled children, I watched this fandom's 'image' with the industry and industry press go from a fascinated "something that had never been" to a ..."oh, it was really just the same old fan-type stuff" a fan 'type' situated somewhere between those supporting Elvis and Gumby (no offense intended to these institutions). After everyone had worked so hard to forge a new kind of more inter-active and less adversarial relationship between audience and creative community, this really hurt. And in some ways, I think I blamed some of the 'old hands at other fandoms,' like Ms. Storey, for this decline back into the idiom's evolutionary past. [106]

Fan Fervor and "The Dumpster Brigade"

In January 1989, a fan admonished and accused another fan of getting show information off the set from the trash:

I was downright aghast to find out that photocopies of hand written notes and/or interoffice memos have also surfaced! How would you like it if someone rummaged through your trash, found a private correspondence and published it? Even your grocery list wouldn't be sacred!


Their actions have violated the privacy of people who have gone out of their way to be open and accessible to us. It is hard work and takes more than a little courage to treat 20 million fans as friends. It is a rare gift. One that I hope the cast, crew, and production staff will never regret giving. In our hearts we have made B&B our own, and by our very natures we want to know more about something that we love, the people who make it happen. [107]

George R.R. Martin also addressed The Dumpster Brigade topic in a 1992 interview in Lionheart:

[Beth Blighton]: Some of us weren't prepared [for was the response of the third season] either. I mean, as together as the fandom was before that, it blew apart. I was really surprised. The openness that was between the B&B production office and the fans, I've heard was rather unprecedented. Do you think that was ultimately what kind of blew up in people's faces, or was that openness maybe a bad idea?

[George R.R. Martin]: Well, I don't know that it was a bad idea. I don't know that we were that open but I haven't been on other shows to really compare it to. The fans have amazing resources, which to tell you the truth, alarmed us at times. Actually, there was one thing in the middle of second season, where we got a foretaste of what the third season would be like. We started getting a series of letters about the decision to kill Charles Chandler. Angry and upset letters about the show "Orphans." What was startling about this is not only had "Orphans" not been broadcast yet, it hadn't been filmed yet and it had not been written yet! It was a concept that we were discussing in-house, and Alex and Howard were planning to write it later in the season, and suddenly, somehow, somebody gets hold of it and there's this, like, letter writing campaign, where we're getting these letters about how could we do this to Catherine, and how could we kill Charles Chandler, he's so crucial, and the other thing, these fans are so incredibly attached to Charles Chandler here and this character's appeared twice in the two years of the show! That was a little strange. It makes you a little paranoid, where you say, (laughs) what have we got here, is there a bug in our staff? [108]

Fan Fervor and Dead Roses

Emotions were high and angry. One fan sent a bouquet of dead roses to Witt/Thomas in protest of the third season changes.

Fans' comments:

[March 1990]: Roy lashed out very angrily at the third-season critics, especially the Michigan group and the person who sent a bunch of dead, black roses to Witt Thomas in protest of the death of romance. [109]

[March 1990]: What I do hate is some of the nasty, downright abusive reaction that I have heard regarding the new season; some of this has been totally ridiculous and totally uncalled-for, in light of what we have been given over the years." Good examples of this "abusive reaction?" Letters received at VQT requesting that they pull their quality endorsement of Beauty and the Beast. A bouquet of black, dead roses, amongst other things, received at the production office. [110]

[March 1990]: Whatever your feelings, they are valid and valuable and you have earned the right to express them without being accused of attempting to exercise or dictate "creative control". That argument is total nonsense. No, we don't support the right to make threats or subject those connected with Beauty and the Beast to vicious letters or phone calls. No, we don't consider sending dead roses to the production office constructive crititism. But we do feel that it is very, very wrong for a few highly vocal and visible fans to attempt to manipulate, frighten and intimidate others who don't agree with them. [111]

[1994]: There have been dead roses, vituperative letters, personal attacks, people spat on in elevators, conventions sabotaged, and other assorted nastiness I won't depress the new fans among us by listing. And those WERE the good old days. [112]

[January 1996]: BATB came to be more painful than fun because of rabid behavior (remember the black roses sent to the production office? Remember Mr. Roy standing on a California stage and blasting the fans for doing it? I do). It's because of this sort of behavior -- not to mention the behavior toward his wife -- that Mr. P so turned against the fans. If you had attended the first convention he appeared at --a Creation con-- [113] where he was grinning from ear to ear and promised to answer all of his fan mail (the fool) -- and then three years later had him yelling at you regarding the fans' behavior, perhaps you'd understand how it was in the beginning and how it came to be when they killed off Catherine and certain people went berserk BEFORE THE SHOW HAD EVEN AIRED! [114]

[January 1996]: All of the terms Teri used in that portion of her letter were referring to people who in their hysteria over Catherine's death were doing things like sending black roses to the productionoffices, and death threats to some of the writers (one of the reasons we don't hear much from George R.R. Martin at conventions and such - a real shame because he would have so much to offer those who have never been fortunate enough to have heard him speak. [114]

[January 1996]: I'd heard, of course, about the black roses and the vandalizing of one of the writers' cars. These things weren't done by third season fans. I do think it's important to keep the facts straight. [114]

[February 1996]:

Yes, I am saddened to hear stories of black roses and nasty letters and such. (And even though many of these stories are of events in the past, what upsets me most is that I "hear" such =lingering pain= from the folks who tell them.) But I am not surprised because B&B fandom is a social group and there is

always a wide range of behavior within a group. [114]

[February 1996]:

I can only speak for myself and I'll say that I'm probably the most 'rabid Classic fan' you're likely to encounter (in terms of philosophy) and never once have I considered sending black roses to anyone, nor know of anyone who has ever done so. Which doesn't mean that it hasn't been done, but I have to question it. I've heard this story before, but always from 3S fans. To me, considering the bad feelings by some, that's something that raises a question in my mind. Black roses to an actor who is doing nothing more than playing a role implies to me an inability to separate real life from fantasy, and as I've said above, IMO the Classic fans I've encountered are amazingly good at

doing this. [114]

Fan Access to TPTB and Resulting Jealousies

One fan's good fortune (and ability to leverage power) however, could lead to resentment among fellow fans. One newsletter editor in 1989 describes in great detail her personal tour of the set, and the dynamics she experienced:

[September 1989]: We had been pledged to secrecy about our visit (since the set was indeed supposed to be “closed”). This turned into a test of intestinal fortitude while attending a con a couple of days before. Some of my friend's “friends” at the VQT (Viewers for Quality Television) convention had themselves been denied entry to the studio the previous week. They became suspicious, and then resentful, when it was realized that both Sheila and I were staying over after the con. They had put two and two together …and realized she hadn't added them into the equation. With that, things turned unbelievably sadistic. They told [Sheila] of a rumor circulating the fandom that she had been “stalking Ron Ron Perlman while he had been back home in NYC.” She insisted it wasn't true – but was troubled that Ron might have heard and believed it. The thought of it ruined her weekend and made her more than a little trepidacious at meeting the man again. This, as I was to discover, was what the whole charade was designed to do. I will never forget the smiling glee displayed literally behind my friend's back as one of these women was supposedly attempting to comfort her. It's not comfortable for me to admit how shocked and ill-equipped witnessing this act of betrayal made me feel. [115]

But other fans appreciated the power and information certain fans had:

Hard-core fans from certain series have also been known to gleefully release classified information fed to them by "deep throats" on TV sound stages and in production offices. Perhaps the most fervent and best organized group of news-leakers is Beauty and the Beast partisans. They regularly bombarded computer screens with the latest news about Vincent, and when the series was in danger of cancellation. Their zeal in organizing letter-writing campaigns was probably instrumental in keeping the show on the air as long as it was, and finding it a new home on cable's The Family Channel this fall. [116]

TPTB and Fan Suspicions Regarding Their Image

[March 1990]: Please be sure to let Roy Dotrice know there is this overweight, gray haired (partially) old lady who says he can put his shoes under her bed anytime! (!) The powers that be at the %¢$#@ network already think those women who liked the show are a bunch of love starved old bags anyway! [39]

[March 1990]: The present level of gratuitous violence is offensive, and the contempt for the show's supporters palpable. [39]

[March 1990]: I had written a nice letter to CBS after the series came back on — I don't dare write them now — I would only be another bridge burner.[39]

[March 1990]: No network likes to admit it listens to a 'bunch of frustrated women'...[39]

Stephanie A. Wiltse told fans their (and her) attempts to be a better fandom had failed:

[February/March 1991]: As a vociferous group of fans turned with a vengeance on the very production staff and cast that had tried to deal with them (against industry-wide advice) as thinking adults rather than spoiled children, I watched this fandom's 'image' with the industry and industry press go from a fascinated "something that had never been" to a ..."oh, it was really just the same old fan-type stuff" a fan 'type' situated somewhere between those supporting Elvis and Gumby (no offense intended to these institutions). After everyone had worked so hard to forge a new kind of more interactive and less adversarial relationship between audience and creative community, this really hurt. [117]

Fan Empowerment: Mixed Messages

Fans: No Power

[August 1989]: Fans will no doubt take issue with the content/format changes 'hinted' at by Kim LeMasters at the recent TV Critics Convention. Those changes are either already a fait accompli or will be in the process of evolving right up until the moment they are filmed. Assume the worst or hope for the best as you please — it is unlikely viewer input will have any effect on episode content at this point.[118]

[February 1989]: ... all this about viewers, ratings, and audience shares, makes you feel like a grain of sand at the beach — waiting helplessly for time or tide to add to your multitude... [9]

[October 1989]: ... we neither know what will follow nor can we have any say in the show's future. I believe that is what hurts us most. We are just bystanders with no power to project our wishes. [60]

[March 1990]: I have done the best, I could letters, letters, letters, but it has not been enough. It is very sad to feel that I have no control over something that means so much to me. [39]

[March 1990]: I really do feel like I've had a family member in intensive care for two years with the Doctor telling me one day that everything's okay and the next that it is hopeless.[39]

[March 1990]: Since the beginning of the New Year many of us have been overwhelmed with a feeling of loss. And rightly so. The news of January Fourth spread like a blazing fire across the country: Beauty and the Beast was cancelled! Within 48 hours, our hopes were lifted with the idea of the Fox network taking over our show. Calls and letters began to pour into Fox. People begged and pleaded, some demanded — everyone wanted the same thing. We all rushed to request Fox to take on the challenge. We all wanted a new home. Sadly, nothing came of all our calls, all our letters. [119]

Fans: Perceived Power

[February 1989]: If worrying [about the show's low ratings] prompts you to seek out every Nielsen box within 100 miles: Be it a neighbor's. A friend's. A friend of a friend's. Or someone else's, located through the want ads. Then make sure it's tuned to B&B on Friday night. In fact, write me about your appropriation of a People Meter or TV Diary, and I'll tack another issue on to your subscription, gratis. The person who bags the most boxes during February gets a free subscription...and will have his/her exploits celebrated in April's "Helper's Gazetteer". "Granted the above is meant in jest, but I do think the reality of the situation is that our favourite series can live by the numbers or die by them, you takes your choice. Certainly,'twould be better to win the ratings battle before there's a need for war. And I never joke about subscriptions. [120]

[September 1989]: Have you notice what's going on? What are you going to do about it? Have you taken some time to write the networks about the changes? If your answer is no - then get-off-it and do something. If you feel this show is just some form of entertainment then you might as well stop reading here. Right here. However if you really believe in quality programming, love, romance, and freedom for all then you better get your word processors working overtime in writing to the networks, and the producers concerning what I perceive as the rating's game being played with the show. [121]

[September 1989]: I feel like a "helper" with all the letters I've sent to CBS and the local television station. It's a good feeling. [121]

Fans: Actual Power

[July/August 1989]:

If you want to read something truly frightening, surpassing the usual passing for horror in film and pulp, try reading "Who Killed CBS?" by Peter J. Boyer, "Bad Day at Black Rock" by Peter McCabe, and "In the Storm of the Eye" by Bill Leonard. These three tomes detail the downfall of the CBS News Department, and the subsequent trickle-down effect on the other departments (prime-time included). These should be available at your local library.

In particular, pay attention to the apparent white-knight in a "non-hostile" takeover, who eventually in a move beyond the rules, turns color and checkmates the king. He is in the persona of Laurence Tisch, who has recently earned the name "Paracelsus" to millions of viewers.


Become informed about CBS. [122]

[January 1990]: About the TLBL video: Enjoy it! I sure don't intend to buy it, since it is third season. What I resent is the not-so-subtle pressure to do so with the implied threat that Republic will issue no more B&TB videos otherwise. Nonsense! The sales receipts plus letters from fans requesting their favorite shows will provide the ultimate answer to future releases. Republic is in business to make money, not lose it. One last remark — that tolerance and respect be our guideposts for the New Year. Good health and happiness to all and B&TB movie in the near future. [67]

[January 1990]: I will not accept anything they throw at me. I can think for myself and decide on what I want to spend my time and money. I choose to spend my time and money on Classic B&TB tapes, fanzines, and other merchandise. For me, B&TB IS Vincent and Catherine and their relationship. [67]

[November 1990]: I don't know about you, but since finding out The Family Channel is editing B&B, I have not watched it on Friday nights. I would rather pop one of my tapes into the VCR and watch it in its entirety and at my convenience. Some of you are happy it is on at all, some have written me telling of new fans being added because of these reruns, and some refuse to watch anything at all on T.F.C. now. Again, this is your personal choice. Take your proverbial B&B ball and "run with it!" [123]

[December 1990]: I'd like to mention the video TLBL. I will not buy this video... I refuse to spend my hard-earned money on something that will knowingly cause me pain. [104]

TBTB Tells Fans: Write Letters! Be Active and Assertive!

TPTB fanned the fans, encouraged them to write letters and thanked them for their support:

[June/July 1989]:

Dear Friends of "Beauty and the Beast," There are no words to express our gratitude for your outpouring of support and love during these perilous days. The power and depth of your feeling raised a voice that the network simply, and finally could not deny. "And so we are alive."

We will produce at least twelve new episodes for the 1989-90 season. These shows will begin airing as soon as a suitable time slot opens (and from the looks of the CBS schedule — that should be sooner than later.)

Until then — Please know that there is power In dreams — You've proved that. We consider ourselves truly blessed to have so many sharing that dream with us.

On behalf of the Cast, Crew, and Production Staff, many thanks.

Be Well, Be Happy,


[August 1989]: My husband and I met George R.R. Martin at Aggiecon on April 1 in College Station, Texas, and he said that renewal still is 50/50. He said that he is staying optimistic and encourages everyone to keep writing, especially to Kim LeMasters. Should the show not be renewed, he said syndication/cable continuance would depend on (with the cost of production) a cost-effective deal being made quickly, as the cast and crew cannot be held but for a short time before they move on to do other things. [...] my husband, our friends, and I have been writing hundreds, of letters to CBS, sponsors, and local affiliates. We are really trying to do all we can for this wonderful cause. [125]

[October 1989]: Ron Koslow's letter was a great inspiration. It's nice to know they appreciate our efforts. [60]

[April/May 1990]: According to the press release [announcing the show was being picked up for "The Family Channel"], our continued positive contact with advertisers has also paid off. Did you receive a reply to your letter to a sponsor? Why not write them again and thank them for their support? It made a difference." [20]

[June 1990]: In the bad rumor department, it has been touted around the grapevine that CBS is interested in doing a two-hour TV movie with Vincent and CATHERINE. Folks — 'aint so. Upon checking directly with the CBS source mentioned in the rumor, it was discovered that what he had actually said to this fan was that if she wanted to see a project like this, she should write to the department that handles TV movies. It was made very clear to us that CBS has NO PLANS to make a movie of this type. What we are all reacting to is the hope of resurrecting our series. [126]

[June/July 1990]: All those who didn't give up (as so many did, including this editor) on pestering CBS — should (I think, maybe) pat themselves on the back. [127]

[March 1991]: When B&B was cancelled back in May of 1989, is there any doubt in anyone's mind that if not for OUR begging, OUR screaming, OUR threatening, OUR cajoling or OUR pleading we would've gotten our beloved show back? No way!! They would've simply swept us under the rug and went along their merry way. But we wouldn't let them. We buzzed around CBS Studio's head like a bunch of annoyingly persistent mosquitos and wouldn't allow them to let the show die. I'm DAMNED proud of that fact!! [128]

[April 1998]: The advice we took in this fandom to get B&B on reruns [in the UK] was from a visiting B&B guest, Christopher Toyne, at the A Moment In Time B&B Convention May 1997.[129] Christopher was a key figure in the making of all 1st season and a lot of 2nd season B&B. His advice to get Republic interested in giving us our much longed for T.V. Movies, was first to get the series on reruns. Then, the fans to write to Republic, telling them of our tremendous success, brought about by our petition.... please make sure this man gets the message in your brief one page letter. Our T.V. movie depends on this surge of mail to Republic. Please pull out all the stops to help 'Keep Our Dream Alive'! [130]

TBTB Tells Fans: But Don't Be That Active and Assertive

But the TPTB, when they realized the volume and nature of this support, told fans to stop, or at least modify their tactics.

After learning of the show's first cancellation, fans relayed this message in summer 1989 from Ron Koslow:

[July/August 1989]: [Our calls for fan action] have been modified in accordance with Ron Koslow's relayed wishes that "the fans have some dignity and not boycott." [131]

Another request to fans, "please stop writing":

[October 1989]: Producer Howard Gordon during his Q&A at the Creation convention in San Jose, CA August 19th, 1989 reportedly advised the assemblage that CBS had virtually requested that the producers ask the fans to please stop writing (according to one source 3,000 plus letters a week since May)! Later on, Mr. Gordon cautioned against outright harassment of CBS. It would seem that relations with the network have improved what with the two-hour movie premiere now 'in the can' and at least 5 out of the 12-episode order already having been filmed. [132]

Fans were also told their letters and calls were ineffectual. In February 1989, Ray Faiola of CBS told fans:

[February 1989]: ...organized letter-campaigns do not have an effect because usually they identify themselves very easily and they really cancel themselves out as far as according a certain weight to the volume of mail. [...] there is definitely a broad distinction between people writing in individually and in organized campaigns. What doesn't carry a lot of weight is organized campaigns. They call attention to themselves immediately, as cleverly disguised as they may often be (laughter) — we've been in this business too long. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm of the relative few seldom outweighs the inevitability of the majority (of the many) out that we then pass along to our there in Nielsen land.[133]

In a single issue of Pipeline, fans were simultaneously given some credit for their support when the canceled show was picked up by The Family Channel,[134] and then also told to back off:

[April/May 1990]: One way we can thank these people is to honour their request that fans not phone either Republic or Witt-Thomas.... Let's give the good people at Republic and Witt/Thomas a breather. [20]

TPTB Tells Fans: Your Efforts Really Mattered

Roy Dotrice's 1989 comments at the Beauty and the Beast Creation Con in Minneapolis on October 21st & 22nd:

I just hope that the fans who have been so loyal for so long will stay with us. We just don't exist without you, I mean that was obvious when CBS canceled the show. There was no chance that it would ever be on the fall schedule and then there was such an outcry, such a deluge from the fans that you made them change their minds. It shows the power that you have, you have. There was no way that we the actors, or the producers, could do that. But you the fans did it. [135]

In May 1989, George R.R. Martin was quoted in a newspaper article:

Martin said the fan loyalty is apparent to network executives as well. "I don't think there's been a television show since the original Star Trek that has generated so many 'fanzines' and 'letter zines' and amateur fiction writing and all of the associated phenomena," Martin said. "Since the announcement that we're not going to be on the fall schedule I understand that our fans have flooded the CBS offices with letters and telegrams." [136]

In May 1989, Koslow said:

"The show's fans can be thanked. We really are blessed to have such strong and loyal fans. I don't think any show on television has the loyalty of the audience that we have. That is the reason, I think, that we were not taken completely off. The network realized it would be a terrible P.R. move and it would create a lot of bad will." He said CBS got 3,000 telegrams on the morning after the fall schedule was announced. [137]

In 1990, David Poltrack, a CBS senior vice president for planning and research wrote:

We have been listening to all those people who have been writing, calling and sending us telegrams. The response of the Beauty and the Beast fans certainly helped us make the decision to bring it back next year. This is probably the biggest public response for a program that we've had since Cagney and Lacey." [138]

From a March 1990 press release by Republic:

The sale of 'Beauty and the Beast' to the Family Channel and the commitment by major broadcasters delivers on our promise to millions of fans through out the United States to bring the series back to television screens nationally. Not in the recent history of television has there been a program that has received such a tremendous outpouring of critical and popular support.


Tim Robertson, Family Channel President, said he was delighted to add "Beauty and the Beast" to the Family Channel schedule. "The amount of encouragement we have received from both fans and the advertising community is truly amazing," he said, citing the hundreds of letters from elated viewers who heard rumors of the show heading for The Family Channel. [139]

A fan referenced Starlog magazine and wrote:

[June 1990]: Mr. Koslow said it best in an article from Starlog. Whether or not the beauty of B&B, the manner into which it has touched so many lives, now rests upon the shoulders of its fans — those wonderful, creative, logical intelligent, romantic people who bring Vincent out of his darkness and lead him back into the warm light of love and hope. For the future, their world can be ours if we will only work at it. [140]

As quoted in the book, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture:

[1992]: By July 1989, CBS was writing to the program's vocal fans, thanking them for their "enthusiasm and interest," pledging their "deep commitment to this very special property" and promising that they have "no plans to make drastic changes in the format." [141]

TPTB Tells Fans: Actually, Your Efforts Never Really Mattered

[1989]: Phone calls to CBS are a negative influence and do more harm than good. As one Assistant Programmer put it, "I can't take a phone call and put it on my boss' desk." She continued that all it accomplishes in her office is giving the staff headaches. [142]

From "Conversation with a Net Exec" (1989):

[May 1989]:

Anonymous executive at CBS: ...this whole business of things like letter-writing campaigns. My colleague said to me, "here let me show you, and he threw 3 envelopes at me that were obviously done by the same person with 3 different names! (Laughter)

Stephanie Wiltse: You must realize these people are desperate.

Anonymous executive at CBS: On the other hand you get some well thought-out, intelligent letters. I do think they have some good psychological effect, if you read a good one. Some of course sound like they were written by somebody under the influence or something. [142]

After some of the dust settled, TPTB told fans their efforts didn't really matter.

In 1991, Stephanie A. Wiltse reported:

[Fall 1991]: ...look for authorized memorabilia licensed by Republic Pictures from catalogs and at conventions, and if you don't already have one of everything land only if you can afford to, buy something. Writing commentary or fan mail, at least in care of Republic, does still demonstrate interest, but that's about all. [143]

In a 1992 interview in Lionheart, George R.R. Martin said:

[1992]: I see letters from them about how they saved the show at the end of the second season, and got them to order twelve, by writing letters or something like that, and of course, some of them feel that we betrayed them by then killing Catherine, or coming back differently. That's not the way it was. I mean, I appreciate the fans. They did a lot of work, they contributed a lot to the show. But I was there. The decision to not put us on the fall schedule and the decision to order 12 shows as a mid-season replacement was made the same day. Tony Thomas called me up, I was at home, and said 'They're not ordering 22 but they've ordered 12 as a mid-season replacement and they'll put us back on the air when the first slot opens up.' It was made in the same meeting. It wasn't like we were off and the show was dead and then all the fans got together and they wrote millions of letters and they poured in and CBS said 'Well, okay, we'll order 12.' That's not how it happened. [144]

Fandom, Money, and Sponsors

Also see Viewers for Quality Television.

Fans supported and wrote letters to sponsors. Sometimes this was a measurable activity, and sometimes fans' support was one grain of sand on a beach.

One example of direct influence was in the form of a letter forwarded and printed in Pipeline v.2 n.8 (August 1989) from a fan who'd gotten a response from the manager of the Passenger Car Advertising Chevrolet Motor Division, General Motors Corporation:

[August 1989]:

Chevrolet receives hundreds of letters each month offering "opinions" on our choice of television programs. To a letter these are always negative comments complaining about our lack of good taste, insensitivity, low morals, etc. There is only one exception television show which inspires its fans to express their appreciation for our sponsorship. Beauty and the Beast is obviously a very special program to its' loyal viewers.

Until now I have not retained these letters or considered passing them on to anyone at CBS. However, per the attached letters, it appears the rumors of a cancellation for Beauty and the Beast have spread across the country. Of particular note is the one letter I did retain from a junior high school English teacher because anything that motivates male teenagers to read the classics is a treasure in itself! Not a bad testimony to the power of "good" television.

As a frequent advertiser, I would like also to add my voice to the support for a program that inspires — rather than offends — our prospective Chevrolet Buyers. [145]

Fans Support of Sponsors

[July 1989]:

Unfortunately, despite what we want, the function of television is to sell deodorant, or whatever else its sponsors manufacture, and the bottom line is that, if a show doesn't sell enough deodorant - i.e., doesn't attract the required number of buyers for the products of the sponsors who ultimately pay the bills, the show doesn't survive.

Now, of course, this doesn't seem fair, neither do the Nielsens, for that matter, but there it is. If we want to convince CBS that they've made a mistake in not placing Beauty and the Beast on the fall schedule, we have to use methods of persuasion that they will understand, economic ones. If they want Beauty and the Beast to sell deodorant, then we should make sure that it does. We should make sure that CBS realizes how much deodorant it sells. [47]

[November 1989]:

I feel anyone reading this would probably agree that the airing of the first episode of the third season of B&B will be quite an event, and I for one intend to treat it that way. When the very next new episode is on I'm going to celebrate with as many of the different products of this show's sponsors as I can afford.


First, make a list of the products you plan to use and write to each of the sponsors, (Whose products would have then been bought) "invite then" to "join" you this special night. Maybe even use printed "invitation" cards and send them with the store receipts along with a letter explaining what you plan to do with their particular product.

Once the airing date is known, arrange through FTD (a B&B sponsor) to send a rose to key people directly involved in bringing the show back. The rose, with a message, would be prearranged to arrive the day of the airing, before the show, so it can be strictly a, "Thank you for bringing the show back", and not be any comment on whatever is shown. (That's for afterwards.)

Then take that day off or something, so it can be spent making final arrangements and enjoying yourself with the business of other sponsors, like McDonalds or Wendy's restaurants, or maybe even Red Lobster. If there is a B&B sponsor place to eat that has a giant video screen, maybe it would be possible to arrange for that place to show B&B that night, if a big enough group wants it, by inviting B&B friends to go dutch treat with you or something. It would be a good idea to gather people together to form a club.

If your money still holds out, also spend that day getting pampered in a beauty salon with B&B sponsored products. Then, while you're all spruced up, go to a local event wearing a B&B t-shirt and pink ribbon, handing out flyers or cards asking people to write to CBS in support of the show, with CBS's address and information on how to find out more about enjoying and supporting the program, at the same time remind people what's on that night and encourage them to watch! Distribute the cards or flyers to your neighbors on your way to or from the local event. And if you're celebrating in a group, let the local newspaper know!

If you are celebrating at home, get back in time to pamper or further pamper yourself with more beauty products before the show starts. Then, wearing B&B sponsored products, like perfume or a comfortable nightie, get yourself comfortable and order pizza delivery from Dominos or something and let them know what it's for. Keep a bottle of Bacardi Import drink chilled and on hand. Let Bacardi know you plan to keep a bottle read to celebrate each time the relationship between Vincent and Catherine takes another step forward. (The first real kiss, etc.) Bacardi might then encourage CBS to let the relationship deepen, but as slowly as possible, to take full advantage of this. Get it? Use your imagination concerning other products, I mean! (Well, I meant the former as well...)

If you want privacy for your own little celebration, rent a hotel room for the night for you alone or with friends or that special someone. Maybe even have a "convention" that's not really a convention for that one day and night so you can all watch together. It might make good training for the real thing, or another way to get enough people together to form a club. Then publicly tape everyone's reactions to what is shown that night as it is shown and then afterwards interview for comments from your group and send a copy of that tape to CBS and other B&B VIPs.


If we can make this day an event for the sponsors, local affiliates, and CBS & Company, as much as it is for us, it could result in a gentle and yet I believe effective pressure to bring the show back and keep it back; especially if we treat the matter in a patient but insistent way. In other words, ask CBS to bring back B&B as soon as possible, but not so fast that it interferes with the quality of the show or health of the people involved. Ask them to take the time to be as certain as possible what day they wish to air (The better to arrange our celebrations and publicity pushes) and treat CBS like it WILL be bringing back the show because they are SMART...

Last but not least, don't forget to have fun while you're doing this. [40]

[November 1988]: Although writing to B&B's network personnel, actors, production team, and sponsors lets all of them know there really are warm bodies out here rooting for the show, the best 'rooter' for the show is CBS itself. The bottom line for a television show is number of viewers which translates into number of advertiser's dollars. When viewer enthusiasm establishes a firm core of support for a program, as has happened with B&B, the network is the powerhouse which can follow through with all of its resources to heavily promote the show to a national audience and lift the show into the higher ratings the network demands. [146]

Realizing That Fans ARE the Product

See more about sponsors, gender, and power at Retooling.

[May 1989]: [Anonymous executive at CBS]: Television isn't about selling programs to the audience, it's about selling an audience to the sponsors. [147]

[June/July 1989]:

What we are fighting against is ratings slavery — the practice of buying, selling, and treating the audience like numbers.

We are people. We are hearts and we are minds that win not be ignored or put off. It is not up to us to prove that television is important. For it certainly can not be disproved that television has be come, for good or ill, a factor in our lives — as individuals and as members of a world community. [148]

[January 1990]:

In some ways the fan community has literally become a part of the public personae of "Beauty and the Beast." We've even been credited with its merchandising success.

The following is what B&B officially says about its 'loyal [fans].' It's a description of the show itself from the first page of this year's press kit. Surprisingly, it does not speak either of plots or characters, it begins with you: "Very few shows in the history of television have produced fans as passionately devoted and outspoken as those of "Beauty and the Beast." ...Since its premiere on CBS in the fall of 1987, the series has inspired no less than 50 fan clubs in the United States, Canada, and West Germany; close to 100 amateur-published fan magazines devoted exclusively to "Beauty and the Beast" information, stories, updates and trivia; the hit record album "Of Love and Hope" featuring the poetry of such greats as Shakespeare, Byron, Wordsworth and Shelley read by Ron Perlman as Vincent; a paperback novelization of "Beauty and the Beast;" [149] an annual compendium of the show's literary references; a graphic novel entitled "Portrait of Love;" and an ongoing series of conventions to which fans flock to buy "Beauty and the Beast" memorabilia, to exchange information and to hear from guest speakers connected with the production. In short, "Beauty and the Beast" has become something of an international phenomenon." [54]

[March 1990]: I am tired to death of being made 'sport' of, or worse yet, looked upon as some type of idiotic 'cult' member because I care about something — a product that comes from a company in a business whose lifeblood depends on public (that's me, too!) approval! [150]

[March 1990]: Patience may be our only path to see these marvelous characters come to life again. As with Star Trek, I am hoping that if we continue to show interest in 'B&B' through buying related merchandise, attending conventions, etc. — we will someday be fortunate enough to see these characters brought to the big screen. [39]

[March/April 1990]: I owe the studio nothing. These are not friends I need to keep employed, nor are they buddies. I am a CONSUMER of their product. While the product worked for me I bought it. When the produce is changed and no longer works for me, I don't buy it any more. It's as simple as that. I don't do it with soap, I don't do it with cereal, and I don't do it with television. [102]

[April 1990]: To the fans who don’t understand why B&B was cancelled, I quote Linda Ellerbee: "...the product is not the program. The product is the audience." CBS isn't in the business of creating shows for fans. They are supposed to make money for their stockholders by delivering an audience to companies who pay them to show commercials. B&B didn't have much of an audience in any season. Maybe B&B will find a new home in a place where a small audience is OK. [151]

[June 1990]: I discovered I can't pin my Hope on a TV series, even one as "blessed" as B&B, because it is ultimately controlled by people whose sole motivation is money. Let's face it: everyone involved started out and ended up simply trying to entertain us and made money from us. The show was born and the show died and for the most part, these people never really understood. [36]

[October 1990]: Compiling the results of this and other 'research projects' is a service all our letterzines could painlessly provide. Many are still read by B&B functionaries. In this non-invasive way maybe we all can still have a part to play in that movie-to-be now burbling merrily on you-know-who's back burner. [152]

[February/March 1990]:

... there is obviously a lot of interest [in "Pipeline"] still out there. With this in mind, the April issue will also be a special promotional mailing aimed at reaching out to all those who have ever shown an interest in "Beauty and the Beast." The Helper's Network mailing list of over 5,000 is chock full of people who never followed through after receiving their 1st Network Directory ...or simply drifted away during 2nd or 3rd season. If my own mail is any indication, many may now assume we all are just not around any more!

Therefore, advertisers take note the next issue will reach app. 8,000 readers and will be as big as it needs to be to include your (see new rates last page) camera-ready or classified ad. We can't guarantee inclusion in this issue if rec'd after March 28th.... Ads in newsletter cost $25.00 for a full page, $12.50 for half-page, classified ads (selling something) $5.00, personal ads are $2.50.[153]

[July 1990]: I'm sure you've all heard by now that CBS is not going to make a B&B movie. Does anyone know? According to George R.R. Martin at the New Orleans Sci Fi & Fantasy Festival it is highly unlikely, and that they probably put the B&B episodes on to bring up their sagging ratings during the summer. He said that it would be more likely for Republic Pictures to make a feature movie, but that will take some time. He also said that in order for B&B to survive on TV or as feature films, it would have to be like "Star Trek" where the fans kept it alive for years after its cancellation. Next to ratings, the producers look at merchandise sales of related products (legitimate products such as books and items sold through chain stores). He said buy [these official] products and keep writing CBS about how much you are enjoying the reruns this summer. [154]

Fanworks in Direct Response

Similar Thin Fandom Boundaries

See also: TPTB's Involvement with Fandom/Specific Fandoms

Further Reading

Meta: By Fans

Comments by TPTB

Mainstream Press


  1. ^ a b from Pipeline v.2 n.9 (September 1989)
  2. ^ "Ron Koslow's relayed wishes that "the fans have some dignity and not boycott." -- from Pipedreams (July/August 1989)
  3. ^ "I really perceive an hysteria and a real paranoia that isn't justified, at least not yet." -- from Ron Koslow in Pipeline v.2 n.9 (September 1989)
  4. ^ "Producer Howard Gordon during his Q&A at the Creation convention in San Jose, CA August 19th, 1989 reportedly advised the assemblage that CBS had virtually requested that the producers ask the fans to please stop writing (according to one source 3,000 plus letters a week since May)! Later on, Mr. Gordon cautioned against outright harassment of CBS. -- from Pipeline v.2 n.10 (October 1989)
  5. ^ “'The lads' we called them. They were just starting out in the business" -- 2017 comments by George R.R. Martin at George R. R. Martin on Writing TV’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’: “It Was Such a Smart Show”
  6. ^ a b from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #1 (August 1988)
  7. ^ a b c d e f from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #3 (October 1988)
  8. ^ from Sometimes it seems we can only witness what we cannot defend against, like watching the last roses of summer wither after an early frost... (October 1989)
  9. ^ a b c from Pipeline v.2 n.2 (February 1989)
  10. ^ a b c d from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #17 (December 1989)
  11. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #54 (Winter 1994)
  12. ^ from Pipeline v.1 n.5 (October 1988)
  13. ^ from the editorial of The Book of Secrets #5
  14. ^ a b from Pipeline v.2 n.4 (April 1989)
  15. ^ from a talk given by Martin at the Ottawa, Canada Convention July 30th, 1988, as reported in Pipeline v.1 n.5 (October 1988)
  16. ^ In 1994, however, Martin both acknowledged denied the existence of fanzines, saying: "Crossovers may be great fun in zines (if any zines existed, which of course they don’t)..." -- from GRRM Discussion Posts 1993 to 1995 (Wed Jul 27, 1994). The latter comment likely was a tongue-in-cheek legal dodge.
  17. ^ a b Passages #16/17 (July 1989)
  18. ^ by Sharon Wells in the editorial for The Book of Secrets #3 (1989)
  19. ^ a b from Pipeline v.2 n.8 (August 1989)
  20. ^ a b c from Pipeline v.3 n.4/5 (April/May 1990)
  21. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #29 (January/February 1990)
  22. ^ JUNE 29, 2014 Chapter Sixteen
  23. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #2 (September 1988)
  24. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now (special issue, December 1992)
  25. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #43 (April/May 1993)
  26. ^ from Pipeline v.1 n.7
  27. ^ printed in both Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter (March 1989) and Once Upon a Time...Is Now #7 (January 1989)
  28. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #15 (October 1989)
  29. ^ a b c from Chatterbox (February 1994)
  30. ^ from Chatterbox (April 1997)
  31. ^ from Chatterbox (April 1994)
  32. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #11 (May 1989)
  33. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #46 (April/May 1993)
  34. ^ from Sharon Wells in the editorial to The Book of Secrets #2 (1988)
  35. ^ from a con report for Masquerades, printed in Pipeline v.4 n.8/9
  36. ^ a b c from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #23 (June 1990)
  37. ^ a b from Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture by Henry Jenkins (1992)
  38. ^ a b transcript of a Q&A session for a Creation Con in Minneapolis on October 21st & 22nd, printed in Pipeline v.2 n.11/12
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z from Pipeline v.3 n.3 (March 1990)
  40. ^ a b c d e f g from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #16 (November 1989)
  41. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.4 (December 1988)
  42. ^ a b from Passages #10 (February 1989)
  43. ^ a b c d e f g from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #17 (December 1989)
  44. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #22 (May 1990)
  45. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #7 (January 1989)
  46. ^ from Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter v.2 n.8 (December 1989)
  47. ^ a b c d from Passages #16/17 (July 1989)
  48. ^ a b c d e f from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #19 (February 1990)
  49. ^ a b from Wot, No Third Season, essay by Janet Kilbourne
  50. ^ from volume 3 Of Love and Hope, January 20, 1996 (Note: the fan misremembers the date as 1989 of this editorial. It occurred in 1990.)
  51. ^ from The Whispering Gallery #18/19 (Feb/Mar 1990)
  52. ^ a fan's comments in Starlog
  53. ^ from Pipeline Interview with Ray Faiola: Letters... and the Eye of the Beholder
  54. ^ a b from Pipeline v.3 n.1 (January 1990)
  55. ^ Starlog #154
  56. ^ from Textual Poachers
  57. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #7
  58. ^ a b from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #13 (August 1989)
  59. ^ from Pipeline v.3 n.8/9
  60. ^ a b c d from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #15 (October 1989)
  61. ^ from The Book of Secrets #5 (December 1989)
  62. ^ from The Spiral Staircase #1
  63. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #31 (April 1991)
  64. ^ by Sharon Wells in the editorial of Shadow Knight #1
  65. ^ from Winterfest Interview with Cindy Rae (2017)
  66. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #15
  67. ^ a b c d e f g h from Tunneltalk v.1 n.11 (January 1990)
  68. ^ a b c d e from Tunneltalk v.1 n.4 (June 1990)
  69. ^ from Keepin' the Dream Alive #7
  70. ^ from All I can see of fandom is something that was once beautiful which has now become painful and almost unbearable., an open letter by Beth Blighton (May-June 1991)
  71. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #54
  72. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #46 (April/May 1993)
  73. ^ from Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter v.2 n.7 (September 1989)
  74. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.9 (November 1990)
  75. ^ from an interview in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #25 (August 1990)
  76. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.6 (June/July 1991)
  77. ^ From Pipeline v.3 n.8/9: "We started sending out preliminary letters inviting everyone to Tunnelcon that was associated with the show. Our first decline came from Linda Hamilton's agent. We expected this because Linda does not do conventions."
  78. ^ a b c d e f g h from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #20 (March 1990)
  79. ^ printed in Helper's Network UK infozine n.10 (February 1992), reprinted in Once Upon a Time... Is Now #46 (April/May 1993)
  80. ^ 2017 comments by George R.R. Martin at George R. R. Martin on Writing TV’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’: “It Was Such a Smart Show”
  81. ^ from Pipedreams (September/December)
  82. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.3
  83. ^ a b c from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #22 (May 1990)
  84. ^ Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa's footprint in fandom was tiny. One example of some interaction was a 1989 interview with Howard Gordon
  85. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #15 (October 1989)
  86. ^ from The Whispering Gallery #18/19
  87. ^ from The Whispering Gallery #18/19 (March/April 1990)
  88. ^ from a fan in Starlog #154 (May 1990)
  89. ^ comments by Diane Davis in Tunneltalk v.1 n.4 (June 1990)
  90. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #25 (August 1990)
  91. ^ Not just the man himself, but the beast, too; Perlman said in August 1988 in his acceptance speech at the VQT Awards: "I thank Ron Koslow for giving me the opportunity to play somebody that can do no wrong." -- as reported in Pipeline v.1 n.6 (November 1989)
  92. ^ from Pipedreams (May/June 1990)
  93. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #9 (April 1989)
  94. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #33 (July 1991)
  95. ^ a b from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #20 (March 1990)
  96. ^ This con was one in San Diego in 1990.
  97. ^ All I can see of fandom is something that was once beautiful which has now become painful and almost unbearable., an open letter by Beth Blighton (May-June 1991)
  98. ^ a b from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #33 (July 1991)
  99. ^ from Stephanie A. Wiltse's essay It's too bad that enthusiasm's been given such a bad reputation.
  100. ^ from Chatterbox 6A
  101. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.1
  102. ^ a b from The Whispering Gallery #18/19 (March/April 1990)
  103. ^ from [[Tunneltalk v.1 n.4 (June 1990)
  104. ^ a b from Tunneltalk v.1 n.10 (December 1990)
  105. ^ from Winterfest Interview with Catherine Edwards (2017)
  106. ^ from Pipedreams v.4 n.2/3
  107. ^ from Stephanie Wiltse in Pipeline v.2 n.1 (January 1989), see more at The Dumpster Brigade
  108. ^ from an interview with George R.R. Martin: Lionheart Exclusive Interview: George R.R. Martin (1992)
  109. ^ Roy Dotrice's comments at March 10-11, 1990 Creation Con in San Diego: as quoted in the April 1990 issue of Shadows of the City
  110. ^ from Pipelines (March 1990)
  111. ^ from The Lifeline Letter by Diane Davis, Pamela Garrett, Carole Olson, Karen Silliman, and Kathy Trapani, printed in Beauty and the Beast Newsletter (March 1990)
  112. ^ by Nan Dibble from The good old days are a myth. We've always been a contentious fandom.
  113. ^ transcript and photos at: RON PERLMAN AT CREATION CON, 1988, Archived version
  114. ^ a b c d e from Of Love and Hope Newsletter
  115. ^ from Pipeline (September 1989), see "Pipeline". Archived from the original on 2019-06-08.
  116. ^ from Keepin' the Dream Alive #3 (May 1990)
  117. ^ from Pipeline v.4 n.2/3 (February/March 1991)
  118. ^ from Pipeline v.2 n.8 (August 1989)
  119. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.1
  120. ^ from Pipeline v.2 n2 (February 1989)
  121. ^ a b from Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter v.2 n.7 (September 1989)
  122. ^ from Pipedreams (July/August 1989)
  123. ^ from a very conservative Christian fan in Keepin' the Dream Alive #14 (November 1990)
  124. ^ from Pipeline v.2 n.6/7 (June/July 1989)
  125. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.6 (June 1989)
  126. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #23
  127. ^ from Pipeline v.3 n.6/7 (June/July 1990)
  128. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #30 (March 1991)
  129. ^ The con did not take place in May, but in August.
  130. ^ from Chatterbox (April 1998)
  131. ^ "from Pipedreams (July/August 1989)
  132. ^ from Pipeline v.2 n.10 (October 1989)
  133. ^ from Pipeline Interview with Ray Faiola: Letters... and the Eye of the Beholder (February 1989)
  134. ^ "Tim Robertson, Family Channel President, said he was delighted to add "Beauty and the Beast" to the Family Channel schedule. "The amount of encouragement we have received from both fans and the advertising community is truly amazing," he said, citing the hundreds of letters from elated viewers who heard rumors of the show heading for The Family Channel."
  135. ^ quoted in Pipeline v.2 n.11/12 (Nov/Dec 1989)
  136. ^ from "Producer hopes 'Beast' remains network beauty" by Gigi Sherrel Fort Worth Telegraph (May 29,1989)
  137. ^ "'Beauty'ful surprises" by Ron Weiskind, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (May 29, 1989)
  138. ^ as reported by Vicki Burke and Janet Dunadee in A Collection of Memories: The Beauty and the Beast Phenomenon, Whispering Gallery Press (1990)
  139. ^ as quoted in Pipeline v.3 n.4/5 (April/May 1990)
  140. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #23 ()
  141. ^ quoted in Textual Poachers, comments by Ray Faiola, Director, Audience Services, CBS. Ray Faiola's "Dear Viewer" Letter (July 1989). Reprinted in Vicki Burke and Janet Dunadee in A Collection of Memories: The Beauty and the Beast Phenomenon, Whispering Gallery Press (1990)
  142. ^ a b from Pipeline v.2 n.5 (May 1989)
  143. ^ from It's too bad that enthusiasm's been given such a bad reputation.
  144. ^ from Lionheart Exclusive Interview: George R.R. Martin
  145. ^ Pipeline v.2 n.8 (August 1989)
  146. ^ from Passages #7 (November 1988)
  147. ^ from "Conversation with a Net Exec" quoted in Pipeline v.2 n.5 (May 1989)
  148. ^ from Pipeline v.2 n.6/7 (June/July 1989)
  149. ^ This is the 1989 Barbara Hambly novel
  150. ^ from "Conversation with a Net Exec" quoted in Pipeline v.3 n.3 (March 1990)
  151. ^ from Once Upon a Time...Is Now #21 (April 1990)
  152. ^ by Stephanie A. Wiltse in The Helper's Gazetteer Proposal, published in Pipeline v.3 n.10 (October 1990)
  153. ^ Wiltse, editor of Pipeline v.4 n.2/3 (February/March 1991) utilizes the newsletter's and The Helper's Network US's mailing lists for profit
  154. ^ from Keepin' the Dream Alive #6
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