Pipeline (Beauty and the Beast newsletter edited by Stephanie A. Wiltse)

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Zine
Title: Pipeline
Publisher: Starving Artists Workshop, out of Albany, New York
Editor(s): Stephanie A. Wiltse
Type: newsletter
Date(s): 1988-1992
Frequency: bi-monthly
Medium: print
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
Language: English
External Links: cited here (archived link); excerpts; Pipeline Issues, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Pipeline is a Beauty and the Beast newsletter edited by Stephanie A. Wiltse.

It was published for five years, beginning in May 1988. It was first issued as a legal-sized letterzine, then became an 8"x10" magazine, and lastly a tabloid newspaper.

This publication started with 15 subscribers and a year later had 1,000. In fall 1989, there were 1,200 subscribers.

It won the 'Best Newsletter' Award at Tunnelcon #1.

For Profit

In 1988, the editor stated that it was a "for-profit" enterprise:
There was some question... as to whether Pipeline was the front end of a volunteer group. This news letter is a bit of an anomaly in that it is not affiliated with any fan organization, with "Beauty and the Beast," or with the CBS Television Network. Pipeline is published for profit and distributed nationally by the Starving Artists Workshop, a small 'Desk Top Publishing' firm based in northeastern New York state. [1]
In 1989, the editor gave more description of the company and its history, and announced she now had a paid employee:

I've received no end of mail wondering, who or what the 'Starving Artists' were and how "Pipeline" was done ...well. Confession #1: The Workshop is basically a one-person operation, made possible through the use of a Macintosh computer. Thanks to my 'Mac' this editor maintains a 1200+ mailing list, keeps the budget balanced, did the artwork that be came "Pipeline's" banner and cover, all the writing (unless noted otherwise), and the final layout of each issue ...which is then sent out, along with the appropriate photos, to a local printing company...

Starving Artists Workshop started out in 1986 as a 'DBA' (business nom de plume) so I could offer freelance computer & desktop publishing services from my 4-ft. square home-office. Thanks to the success of "Pipeline," that space has proven totally inadequate and I've taken over a second apartment in my budding in order to expand. (Which means the rest of this year's issues will be born out of even more chaos than usual. Arrrgh)! The burgeoning daily mail has also necessitated the Workshop's first, unofficial, under-paid employee. (Thank you, you wonderful, kind, sweet, patient, forgiving, long-suffering 'Earth Mother' you)! In fact, it will be Jeanette who will be stuffing, stamping, sticking, and stapling V2#10 when it returns from the printers — so it will be in your hands on-time even though yours truly will be away on holiday. From now on she will be the first to open your missives and attend to subscription and back issue requests. As always, even though I can't answer everyone, I will continue to read each note & letter that comes in.

A fax-modem has also been added, though for the time being it wUl not have a dedicated line. [2]

Purpose

From the first issue:

Are we all the same, only in different ways?

You're reading this, so we have one interest in common — the television series "Beauty and the Beast."

Yet we differ, bringing to each episode our own unique experience, and so coming away with impressions uniquely our own. Likewise, there's more than one imagination at work, contributing to the "B&B" we see every week. These people weave the illusion that suspends our disbelief. All touch us, each in his/her own way.

We fans? followers? votaries? devotees? supporters? zealots? students? enthusiasts? (well, whatever your favourite moniker) of Beauty and the Beast have much to enjoy in what we share and how we differ. That's something to be celebrated and looked into, and that's what this newsletter is all about. Pipeline is for people who agree that it is not an idle pursuit to ponder "such stuff as dreams are made on."

On the practical level and as the title suggests. Pipeline's main aspiration is to open up communications for its readers and be a regular source of information on and about B&B. Starving Artists Workshop hopes to publish Pipeline on a monthly basis... provided there is news/etc. enough to fill a minimum of pages and/or whenever there is an important announcement to be made.

[...]

Classified advertisements will be accepted (at our discretion) and will be free to subscribers.

Your input is not only welcome, it's needed! Comments, questions, and/or opinions are much appreciated. Editors are happiest when they get mail! What's more, if your submission is used in an issue, or you're the first to send this editor a clipping (preferred) or photocopy (perfectly acceptable) pertaining to the production, crew, and/or cast members, I'll add an extra issue to your subscription, gratis (be sure to include the source & date whenever possible). WANTED: Taped and/or written transcripts from the June Convention [3]

Please note: Fan fiction will not be accepted for publication at this time.

Controversies Sparked

Some fans cited "Pipeline" as a major pipeline for fan controversies during the The Beauty and the Beast Wars. They also accused Wiltse of fanning the flames of rumors and strife.

[1990]: Tell me, what exactly has this show taught you, [Stephanie]? Autocracy? Despotism? Disloyalty? The attitude you take toward people throughout your newsletter, which is quickly becoming one giant editorial, I have never found in this beautiful show. Not even in the third season. I truly believe that you are misusing your authority as the editor of Pipeline. ...For this reason, I am asking that you cancel my subscription...[4]
[1990]: It is a shame that fandom is split and to see you widening the schism even further is just horrible.[5]
[1990]: I'd never subscribed to "Pipeline" because (with respect and affection for those involved) I was put off by the air of censorship apparent in the first issue... [6]
[1990]: ... I felt as if I'd had the door slammed in my face by a very old and dear friend. To be chastised, and then told I have no right, in your newsletter, to speak in my own defense, is not fair. I have a mind, and I choose to use it, not let it be used. It is fine though, to publish a letter from an editor who has done more to prolong with "War of Words" than all the so-called "naysayers" and "dark-siders" combined. Honestly, I really didn't know about this great, raging battle until I read about it in "Pipeline". Oops! That was a no-no. They can put us down, but we're not allowed to defend ourselves. Isn't that how it works? [7]
[1996]: As for "Pipeline", it was my perception that this was a conduit for fuel [of arguments], each time it arrived in my mailbox, I felt like I'd been torched and left to burn. [8]

Origins

Ron Koslow, one of the showrunners, granted the editor of "Pipeline" "access" to information and communication in this postcard, Archived version.

Comments from Stephanie A. Wiltse:

Roy Dotrice, one of the stars of the 1987 television series, “Beauty and the Beast,” replied to a fan letter. Within months a correspondence grew into the infozine “Pipeline.”

At first, none of the fans knew there was anyone else ‘out there’ interested in their favorite show. Even though an “International Club” was also organizing in that Spring of 1988, as was the fandom’s first letterzine aptly entitled “Once Upon A Time.” Exec and creator, Ron Koslow, did not want to officially sanction any one of us, but he did grant exceptional access.

Thus started a 5-year adventure writing for a little fanzine that gained an international readership in the thousands and landed its amateur journalist/editor a byline in “Starlog” magazine, and favorable review in American, British, and Canadian “TV Guides,” mentions in “USA Today,” a job offer from a Hollywood ad agency, reference in a college textbook (“Textual Poachers” by Henry Jenkins), and even an interview on TV’s “Entertainment Tonight.” [9]
Stephanie A. Wiltse, editor of the "Pipeline" fan publication about the 2-year-old show, says half of her 800 or so subscribers "joined after the show was canceled because they were upset. What we're finding out is that the Beasties are coming out of their closets, as it were, and they're standing up and being counted like those students at the end of 'Dead Poets Society.' [10]

In 1991, the editor of the Pipeline did gave a cable TV interview in which she and Angela Fernan discussed their plans to do a video version of the Pipeline. The interview can now be seen here. At least one issue of the Pipeline video newsletter may have been filmed.

In 1993, there were plans to publish "The Best of Pipeline." This would be "with Stephanie's most memorable interviews and articles, photos, artwork, and all that made Pipeline so special. The Helpers Network Gazette members would get a substantial discount on the price at which this book would be offered to non-members." [11] It is unclear if the compilation was ever published.

v.1 n.1 (May 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.1 was published in May 1988 and contains 2 pages.

cover of v.1 n.2
From the editorial:

Are we all the same, only in different ways? You're reading this, so we have one interest in common -- the television series "Beauty and the Beast." Yet we differ, bringing to each episode our own unique experience, and so coming away with impressions uniquely our own. Likewise, there's more than on imagination at work, contributing to the "B&B" we see every week. These people weave the illusion that suspends our disbelief. All touch us, each in his/her own way.

We fans? followers? votaries? supporters? zealots? students? enthusiasts? (well, whatever your favourite moniker) of Beauty and the Beast have much to enjoy in what we share and how we differ. That's something to be celebrated and looked into, and that's what this newsletter is all about. Pipeline is for people who agree that it is not an idle pursuit to ponder "such stuff as dreams are made on."
  • To Be or Not to Be - Beauty and the Beast Next Season? (article about the possible cancellation of the show, and a plea to fans to write the showrunners and contact the sponsors: "There's nothing wrong with getting a little evangelical, doing a little recruitment for something that you care about.")
  • Tappings: (short blurb about John McMartin, James Avery appearances and in the news)
  • B&B Convention: June 18, 1988
  • From the Editor
  • Ozymandias of Egypt (poem) by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Media Watch - Today Show Interview (excerpts from the March 24, 1988 appearance of Linda Hamilton & Ron Perlman)

Excerpts

From "Media Watch":
Apologies, but the transcript below lacks its intro and is short by about the amount of time it took me to fly up two flights of stairs and turn on my VCR." From the interview, when asked if the "relationship may be consummated in some fashion" -- [Ron]: "The only thing we are sure of is that we have absolutely no idea of what to be sure of with regard to this relationship and its ramifications, and where it might be going. We're swept up by the experience of living Vincent and Catherine every week and hopefully this will take us to the next logical step. We don't want to tip any scales here." [Linda]: "Yes, and keep people guessing, right. I mean, that's part of the charm, is everyone's need to see these two people resolve it somehow. But, we have many more episodes in which to do that.

v.1 n.2 (July 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.2 was published in July 1988 and contains 2 pages.

cover of v.1 n.2
From the editor:
There was some question in response to issue #1 as to whether "Pipeline" was the front end of a volunteer group. This newsletter is a bit of an anomaly is that it is not affiliated with any fan organization, with "Beauty and the Beast," or with the CBS Television Network. "Pipeline" is published for profit and distributed nationally by the "Starving Artists Workshop," a small "Desk Top Publishing" firm based in northeastern New York State.
  • Beauty and the Beast Renewed... as Strike Continues, article by Stephanie A. Wiltse
  • Media Watch - Season End Coverage
  • Roy Dotrice Recovered, update on Dotrice's accident in his swimming pool
  • From the Editor
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Readers Forum, excerpts from fan letters

Excerpts

I was disappointed in the [episode, "An Impossible Silence"] with the deaf girl. It included most of the misconceptions about the deaf that make life so hard for them. If that girl was so profoundly deaf that she could "hold an alarm clock against her ear and try to hear the stolen sounds" then there is no way she could have lip read. It is true that in front of a deaf person you should always face them when you speak. It IS NOT true that they will understand you. The lip reading is just an extra hint added to the signing as to which of the words match a sign you are using. The girl signed about the way a deaf person would. Vincent was very sloppy but I attributed that to the makeup and nails and hair on his hands. He probably couldn't form the letters even if he wanted to.

One point that was carried into the underworld just as it is above is that the guy who plays the "father" of Vincent had to rely on Vincent to communicate even though this girl had lived with them since infancy. In 19 years he had not learned her language. That is common in hearing families who don't want to admit their kid has a problem.

The interpreter in the police station really signed like an interpreter would and I think it was right" that she went out into the real world at the end. (Unrealistic with no job skills, but morally right). The thing that bothered me though was that you felt sorry for the deaf character throughout the whole thing.

I hope the show doesn't plan to go through all the handicaps each week to give Vincent someone to be nice to even when the rest of the world dumps on them.

v.1 n.3 (Aug 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.3 was published in August 1988 and contains 2 pages.

cover of v.1 n.3
  • Production Still Halted on Beauty and the Beast, article by by Stephanie A. Wiltse
  • Media Watch - Hour Magazine transcript by C.A MacMasters (Gary Collins interviews Ron Perlman)
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Readers' Forum, two letters from fans
  • Convention News (Two Creation Cons with David Greenlee (Memphis on July 23/24 and Albany (Aug 13/14) where there was to be a slide show, plus an amateur B&B theatrical). Howard Gordon will be at the Creation Con in Oakland on Nov 5/6. George R.R. Martin will be at MapleCon in Ottawa July 25/Aug 1.)

Excerpts

From Production Still Halted on Beauty and the Beast:
Viewers have little recourse [with the writers' strike]. There is no arbiter or lobby to protect our interests. We can only make as much of a show of our support for B&B as we can muster. And as the characters and environs of Beauty and the Beast no inhabit our imaginations, they must certainly live on in the minds of the series' writers, if not for the moment at the tip of their pens. The hope is that all those creative back-burners on the picket line sill stay alight... perhaps in some small way our appreciation can help fuel the flame. We should not let them forget that we are their fans, too.

Regarding the ongoing writers' strike:

Among readers, sympathies seem generally with the producers, especially those who also write, as they are literally on strike against themselves and their own interests. Their concerns are most like our own: When can production resume? How late will the new season begin, if at all? Will the network's audience share be diminished? Win advertising revenue then be able to cover the minimum fee-per-episode required for the series' survival? Some of "Pipeline's" readers also worry that desperation measures might be taken to resume production at any cost, even if it

adversely affected Beauty and the Beast's quality writing and production.

Viewers have little recourse in all of this. There is no arbiter or lobby to protect our interests. We can only make as much of a show of our support for B&B as we can muster. And as the characters and environs of Beauty and the Beast now inhabit our imaginations, they must certainly live on in the minds of the series' writers, if not for the moment at the tip of their pens. The hope is that all those creative back-burners on the picket line will stay alight ...perhaps in some small way our appreciation can help fuel the flame.

We should not let them forget that we are their fans too.
The editor paraphrased a letter from a fan:
...the "weekly sledge hammer-symbolism" and that there was nothing new under the sun, so to speak, in visual (as opposed to written) Fantasy or Science Fiction — at least not since the film "2001.... Sorry, but even B&B is not much more than a recycled "Kung Fu:" 1. State philosophy of peace and humanism. 2. Rescue Catherine (or whomever). 1. Refrain from killing outright tn underscore compassion. 4. (Re-)Statement of philosophy. 5. Adulate Catherine, but don't touch — at least, not in public."

v.1 n.4 (Sep 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.4 was published in September 1988 and is 2 pages long.

cover of v.1 n.4
  • Movies of the Week
  • Writers' Strike Over - Beauty & Beast Back in Biz!
  • MapleCon 10 - George R.R. Martin Speaks (Part I of a talk given by Mr. Martin at the Ottawa, Canada Convention July 30th)
  • Emmy Nominations
  • Tappings
  • Readers Forum, fan letters
  • Convention Update

Excerpts

From the Martin interview:

The network has a certain influence over the shows that they purchase; be cause of course, they control the purse strings. But it's not a direct influence, I mean the network is not doing the shows. So what you have is a constant tug-of-war going on between the producers of the show , the creators of the show, the people who are writing for it on the one hand and the network on the other hand try ing to give you a certain amount of creative input. How much the creators of the show get to do what they actually want to do with the show is in direct proportion to the ratings of the show — because it's a constant battle, a constant clash. What you see on the "Bill Cosby Show" is what Bill Cosby wants you to see. He doesn't have to take any **** from the network.

[...]

On a new show, a show that hasn't been on the air yet, I think you get some thing in between the two extremes. You get the network giving you creation input, giving you reactions — what they want, what they don't want. Then you have to take some cognizance of them. And then as you go on the air, you either get more creative help from the network if you aren't doing so well, or you get less, if you are doing moderately good points.

[...]

In the case of "Beauty and the Beast" when we first assembled and discussed the kind of shows we wanted to do we discovered that we were in a real problem right at the beginning ...because the show that all of us wanted to do, who were on the staff, was not the show that the net work thought it had bought.

But when they actually got into problems was when we started doing it. The network began to apply a substantial amount of pressure to make it a 'formula show.' That's what the network under stands, it understands formula. And the formula they thought they saw for Beauty and the Beast was "The Hulk" (with fangs and fur) or "The Fugitive."

couple of the things that the network won in the early going were: 1) They were leery about the Underground society, which struck us as crazy, because the Underground is what Ganza, Gordon, David Peckinpah, myself, Ron Koslow, every body diat was on the show, everybody was writing about. We were all fascinated by the Underground. We wanted to create more down there. We wanted to do more with the Underground. The network didn't want to know it We arrived and we found [the network said], "We would like every show to be about 80% above-ground and 20% underground. You can vary from that formula, but please don't too much. And to elaborate on that, you know it's kind of weird these people living in the tunnels and the viewers might not like this weird, you know it might make 'em think it's a science fiction show. (Laughter) We wouldn't want anyone to think that it was a science fiction show." The reason they think this is because, at least in 'television-speak,' science fiction shows fail on television. This is the conventional wisdom, a science fiction show cannot be a success on television.

[...]

So just as Winslow says, "How do you get through 20 feet of solid bedrock? One foot at a time." That's the way we had to deal with the network, and episode by episode we began to wear them down, and to erode this.

v.1 n.5 (Oct 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.5 was published in October 1988 and is 4 pages long.

cover of v.1 n.5
  • Beauty and the Beast on the Move ... Across Town and Around the World
  • George RR Martin Speaks Pt. II
  • Page 2: George RR Martin Speaks cont'd
  • Profile: Linda Hamilton
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Readers Forum, readers' letters
  • "The Amish Story"
  • Marketplace: (Republic Pictures release of Pilot and A Happy Life on single "Special Collector's Edition" videotape
  • Convention Update
  • George RR Martin Speaks (Part II of a talk given by Mr. Martin at the Ottawa, Canada Convention July 30th)

Excerpts

From the editor:
Keep those cards and letters coming ...let CBS know what you want to see on Friday nights. And that you wouldn't dream of checking-out what's on the other channels, even during commercials (a.k.a."Zapping") ...'cause you wouldn't want to miss even a minute of B&B!
Don't send your scripts and stories to TPTB:
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.
From the Martin talk:
We had some particularly difficult shows early on that were more behind budget than usual. And this

put more pressure on our production company to do a cheap show, which is sometimes called a 'bottle show.' Those of you who are "Star Trek" fans. Star Trek had several bottle shows. The most notorious bottle show was called "The Menagerie." They took

[...]

Many of our early shows were very, very self- contained. Another instruction we had gotten from the network was that they did not want to do a "Hill Street Blues" type of show with on-going continuous story lines from week to week. Those shows have (it's all commercial, you notice I'm not giving you any artistic reasons) but, "Hill Street Blues" and "LA Law" type shows do very badly in syndication be cause you have to watch them in exactly the correct order, they can't reshuffle them all around. And if you happen to miss a segment then you've missed a lot because it's hard to know what goes on in the fol lowing segments. Television in the last year or two, except for Steven Bochco, who can make his own rules because he's so successful, other TV shows have been moving against that and back to the self- contained episodes.

[...] We had some particularly difficult shows early on that were more behind budget than usual. And this put more pressure on our production company to do a cheap show, which is sometimes called a 'bottle show.' Those of you who are "Star Trek" fans. Star Trek had several bottle shows. The most notorious bottle show was called "The Menagerie." They took the original pilot ["The Cage"] and they chopped it up and put some people talking in a court-martial scene around it That's a very cheap show to pro duce. You see bottle shows all the time.

The real bottle show, the classic one, is the memory show. You know, "Family Ties," there's Alec and Mallory sitting on the couch saying "Say, do you remember when... you traded our little sister for a duck?" "Oh yeah, I remember that" Then you get a flash back and then they come back and do that. That of course is dirt cheap, it's essentially a rerun in a clever, plastic disguise.

[...]

We get letters that say, "I really enjoy your show, I love it and I hope it stays on for 30 years. Next season will you please: A) Marry Vincent and Catherine (laughter). B) Explain where Vincent comes from. And C) Tell us the history of the Tunnels. Well, if we do that all, we're not going to be on or 30 years. Because having done that, what do we do then? Do we then go to the 'Case-of-the-Week?' Does Vincent take a pad in the East Village and operate the "Vinnie and Cathy Detective Agency?" I mean, these things have to be handled with some delicacy. We will continue to get clues about the history of Vincent but, we're going to drag it out.

v.1 n.6 (Nov 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.6 was published in November 1988. here

cover of v.1 n.6
  • Beauty and the Beast - A New Season Begins, article by Stephanie A. Wiltse
  • John Mansbridge - Designer of 'Such Stuff as Dreams' set (transcription of a September 1988 interview in Los Angeles)
  • Cartoon by Patricia Young
  • David Greenlee - Mouse and Me (transcription of a phone interview, Los Angeles, October 13, 1988)
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Viewers for Quality Television ("Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Quality Drama" went to Ron Perlman)
  • Convention Update

Excerpts

Regarding fans taping the show:

Meanwhile, those summer reruns have introduced Beauty and the Beast to a whole new legion of fans, who have since written in to the production office asking about what they've missed! Sorry, but there is no one source for videos of last season's episodes. Republic Pictures has released a tape of the first and last, and may add more next year. Most B&B fan publcations, including "Pipeline," will make mention of your tape needs — so that other videophiles can

get in touch and oblige you with a copy from their own collections. But it is this editor's duty to inform you that any form of copying is, according to an informed source at Republic, definitely illegal.

v.1 n.7 (Dec 1988)

Pipeline v.1 n.7 was published in December 1988 and contains 4 pages.

cover of v.1 n.7
  • Beauty and the Beast's Mid-Winter Festivities, article by Stephanie A. Wiltse (updates on filming)
  • Marketplace: Album in Progress (about the LP that became Of Love and Hope)
  • Convention Quotes (comments about "Masques" and "Promises of Someday" -- excerpted from a talk given by George R.R. Martin November 6th at PhilCon '88, includes a photo of Martin in his "fashionable Tunnel Togs")
  • Jay Acovone: The Rubberband Man (a bio of the actor who portrayed Joe Maxwell)
  • Gifts, an short essay by Charelle MacMasters about incorporating talking about the show in her 4th grade classroom
  • Comments by Roy Dotrice (from a Q&A session at "StarCon 12" in Denver, CO on September 24th, 1988)
  • advice by Stephanie A. Wiltse on starting a fan club

Excerpts

About the LP that became Of Love and Hope:

The poetry recording by Ron Perlman (Vincent), originally to have been released late last September through Arista Records, has now been undertaken by Ripp Entertainment/Fidelity Studios for projected release on February 14, 1989 (St. Valentine's Day). Distributors will be under Capitol Record's label nationally and the EMI label world-wide. 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.

Tentative selections that would be read 'in character' by Mr. Perlman include poetry quoted during the first season. And an 'Overture Style' treatment of the show's musical themes by composers Lee Holdridge and Don Davis.

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.

v.2 n.1 (Jan 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.1 was published in January 1989 and contains 4 pages.

  • Beauty and the Beast: A Change of Times?, article by Stephanie A. Wiltse (topic is general show news)
  • An Open Letter to the Media
  • Terrylene - Laura's Journey (a transcript of a December 10, 1988 TTY interview conducted with the actress by Linda Melnick)
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Reader Forum, a letter from a fan about the sign language used in an episode
  • Media Watch - CBS Interview - Ron Perlman (transcript of Ron Perlman's Q&A with Kathleen Sullivan of "CBS This Morning" from December 16, 1988)
  • Convention Update

Excerpts

Wiltse straddles a line:

An Open Letter to the Media:

You may be wondering why you've been getting complimentary subscriptions to "Pipeline" recently, not to mention material from the nearly 40 other fan publications devoted to the series "Beauty and the Beast." It is admittedly our hope that by making our resources available, you will in turn give coverage to this unique series and the extraordinary people responsible for it.

CBS, itself, has remarked on 'B&B's' loyal following — and credits that following with the network's solid foothold on Friday nights. But though 'word of mouth' can make a smash out of a sleeper at the box office, it's not quite so effective in delivering an ever-increasing audience in the tens of millions every week — what television is all about.

So, we the fans are asking your help.

As a member of the print and/or broadcast press, you have a remarkable opportunity. That is to either promote a series that is worthy of people's attention or let it continue unnoticed. The decision rests with you. If you give it a look, I think you will find that there is much more to "Beauty and the Beast" than sex or symbolism —much more that your reader/viewers will find interesting.

Special thanks go to 'USA Today," the Gannett Newspaper Group and "Starlog" magazine for their continuing efforts. Know that it's appreciated...

About rumors, and The Dumpster Brigade:

This year Pipeline may have to open a new Scuttlebutt Department, which is kind of a shame since we've gotten along so well without one. It seems that there's some crazy gossip going around about what will take place in future stories and/ or how the season will end. I'm tempted to say "if you didn't read it here..." but I'll only offer the observation that, if something put forward as 'inside info' sounds too bizarre to be true, it probably is. It's certainly not worth getting upset over, nor worth repeating. This editorial asks you to consider the sources of such ****

Speculating [on the show] is half of the fun for most — but a few like having dessert before dinner and reading the last page of a novel first. It's come to this editor's attention that a few Beauty and the Beast fans are of the latter persuasion, and have since turned healthy curiosity into ill-gotten gain. Some person or persons unknown have actually been raiding the production office's dumpster on a regular basis!

OK, I can hear you laughing from here. It seems common knowledge that that this is how some Hollywood shops obtain the television scripts they sell (mind you, it is a fair guess that no writer has ever gotten royalties from these enterprises). But 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!

The production staff might feel flattered that there are fans who so love B&B that they will brave the odd banana peel and coffee grounds to find out more about the show. But it is this editor's opinion that the culprits are old hands at being fanatics, fans more used to an adversarial relationship with the objects of their affections.

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. It is natural to conjecture, even as it is to gripe about this or that that mightn't be true to our own private imaginings. If I am angered, it is out of concern that all of B&B's viewers might be penalized by the actions of a thoughtless few.

It is my hope that future dumpster raids find nothing but very long, very thin shreds. And the next time, dear reader, someone comes up to you and says, "Isn't it terrible what they're going to do in episode #31?" or, "Would you like read about EVERYTHING that's going to" happen in next week's show?" you will Just -- Say -- NO. Let's not spoil the surprise... or the friendship.

v.2 n.2 (Feb 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.2 was published in February 1989 and contains 8 pages.

cover of v.2.n.2
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Reader Forum
  • Convention Update
  • The Helpers' Gazetteer
  • Classifieds
  • Subscription information

Excerpts

About the show's low ratings, and what fans can do, including "bagging a box":

Mr. Waldron continued: "The bigger picture is that if a program is not performing up to snuff nationally then the network may or may not remove that program, or change it in terms of its content or style (aka 'script-help'), or of course, change the day and/or time. They have a lot of leeway as to what they could do. But, I think that they (CBS) feel the program has got a lot of potential, and I'm hopeful that relief will come in terms of better rating performance. I don't want to sound totally negative about the show, but we think that it's got to do better to last for years to come. It's going to have to attract more viewers." If 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 — you are not alone. There is an infant fandom all around you which is endeavoring to make up in 'clout' what it lacks in numbers. (Like the show, we haven't found all our people yet either.)

But! Should you be worried? Well, lest we forget; February is 'Sweeps Month.' A time when television takes an accounting ratings-wise — and charges the sponsors accordingly. And by spring, the network programmers will have formulated their first tentative schedule for next season {which they usually announce by early June). There cannot nor will there be any guarantee that Beauty and the Beast will be on that schedule. Now can I worry? Go right ahead... If worrying 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.

From the January 5, 1989 phone interview with Roy Dotrice:

Q: Last year you attended your first convention...

A: That's right, in Denver.

Q: What was it like being on-stage without a script as 'twere?

A: Frightening.

Q: Frightening?

A: Because one had realized there were 5,000 people there at that hotel and nearly all of them had come to see the Star Trek people (fellow guests, Michael Dorn and George Takei) ...and who was this idiot up there that's supposed to be Father from Beauty and the Beast? They were all science fiction people basically. The first day when I started my first question & answer thing and the little chat I gave them before hand, it ran for about an hour and a quarter. When it started the house was half empty and by the time I finished they were standing at the back. So we had converted quite a few to Beauty and the Beast by then . I did 4 one-hour autographing sessions and still didn't get through everybody. One was amazed, because the whole Star Trek cult has been going on for umpteen years and yet we were getting almost as much interest and appreciation of our show after just one season. So that was remarkable for me. It bodes well, I think, for the future because it does seem to me that whilst we carry on getting the critical acclaim and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominations I don't think, hopefully, the show is going to go off. I do think that this year the writing has been far superior to last year. We did have some very good episodes last year, but I think by and large all the episodes we've done this year have been much better I think.

From the January 5, 1989 phone interview with Roy Dotrice:

I got very peeved with the last episode we did. A) I had nothing to do and that always annoys me. B) what I had to do was totally inaccurate. It was about a chap that some 16 years ago had a drunken driving accident and had killed a child. He had broken from his confinement and sought refuge down in the caves, and Father knew about this, and Father befriended him. He realized he was a reformed character and for the last 16 years he hasn't had a drink. And not only that, but he's brought up a family. He's got married down there to a girl in the caves and he's got a baby, a little, tiny, baby in a cradle. Because he's been spotted up above, Father says that he is afraid for the safety of the community and he has to give himself up. This was totally un-Father-like, you know. I had to do the scene and you will see the scene eventually. But, I mean there we are, we've had Russians down there, we've had all kinds of people down there. Young prostitutes who are pregnant, and we've befriended them without ever questioning the fact that they would jeopardize our safety, and yet this poor guy has been down there totally reformed for 16 years, got a wife and kid, and there's a baby I'm rocking in the cradle, and I'm saying, "Get on up there and give yourself up to the police!"

Sometimes new writers have been brought in, that don't understand the character of Father, or Vincent. The gentle Vincent was saying things like, "Cathy tells me, as it's your first offence, (laughter) that they might not give you the works." And that was the only kind of sympathy he was getting from us....George Martin is wonderful and Alex and Howard are absolutely brilliant and of course Ron Koslow is always spot on. But occasionally they get new people in who write episodes or sell episodes. They pitch an idea to Ron Koslow and he'd say 'T like that, would you like to write it?" And if it's good enough then they accept it. Because they've got a lot of slots to fill. But not always, I think, do they fully understand the characters they're dealing with.
From Wiltse, comments about ratings and "the suits":
CBS had been suffering from "a palpable mood of despair after record low ratings," according to CBS-Broadcast Group President, Howard Stringer. But relief has come, literally, out of left-field. Mr. Stringer, in recent press reports, credits a $1.1 billion dollar major-league baseball contract with anew feeling of "confidence and progress" at the network singling out programming chief Kim LeMasters as having his "full support." (Remember him? It was his idea to do a series based on the Cocteau film.) No mention was made of B&B, or the Friday at 8 slot, as being a "trouble area" as far as the network was concerned. Whew... praise by omission? Stringer emphasized that "What audiences want is stability," and also referred to the current fad of "trash television" as "the dark at the end of the tunnel." He made it quite clear that CBS will have none of it. Kudos! 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.

v.2 n.3 (Mar 1989)

cover of v.2 n.3

Pipeline v.2 n.4 was published in March 1989 and contains 4 pages.

  • The Best of Times ... or the Worst of Times for Beauty and the Beast?
  • Speech, Speech!
  • Marketplace: At Long Last ... When? (about Of Love and Hope)
  • Roy Dotrice - Life With Father, interview transcript continued from the previous issue (Dotrice talks about Kirk Douglas, some of his non-B&B movies, spending time as a prisoner of war in WWII, television and storytelling as a way to deal with trauma,
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Convention Update
  • Classifieds
  • The Helpers' Gazetteer

Excerpts

Fans and Helpers in the spotlight:

An unexpected consequence of "Impressing the Press" has been that the fans are finding that they, themselves, are a newsworthy aspect of "Beauty and the Beast." Deb Hense of the "B&B International Fan Club" has been interviewed several times and both she and Kimberly Hartman of the "Helpers' Network" have been asked to participate in an episode of the CBC's (Canadian) radio talk show "PrimeTime." Candy Cartwright, publisher of "Condos & Caverns" was interviewed in the Jan. 4th "De roit News" as part of an article called "Beauty and the Beast — An improbable romance blooms, and a cult is born," by Diane Hofsess. The same article got the local CBS affiliate into the act; WJBK-TV's Pro motion Manager, Katy Baetz Matthews "didn't know of any local club ...but invited anyone interested in starting one to write her at the station.

This article then had something of a ripple effect. "Kelly & Co." on rival station and ABC affiliate, WXYZ-TV, decided to do an episode on B&B and its fans. Originally to be broadcast in April, the show was brought forward to replace a cancellation. This left Producer Laurie Wise, one week before the air date of Feb. 13th, still trying to arrange for guests, even though 200 ladies ("very interested in Vincent" and yet completely unaware of the show's fandom) were already set for the studio audience. Arghh! Laurie called both the "Helpers' Network" and "Pipeline" requesting information and help in assembling the fan members of the guest panel — offering to fly those chosen to Detroit for the show. Ms. Wise was "impressed" with the support that came her way on such short notice, from both B&B's ad agency (that arranged for the celebrity guests) and the Helpers. She was pleasantly surprised that we had had "the whole world calling her by the next morning."

v.2 n.4 (Apr 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.4 was published in April 1989 and contains 4 pages.

cover of v.2 n.4
  • Beauty and the Beast Lives!
  • From the Editor ("One year ago this month, the first proposed "Pipeline" mock-up made its way to Ron Koslow's in- basket.")
  • Small Victories, short reports of good news from fans
  • The Ratings - Quality Blind?
  • Convention Quotes
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Reader Forum
  • The Helpers' Gazetteer
  • Convention Update
  • Classifieds

Excerpts

From Wiltse in "Beauty and the Beast Lives!":

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 damn 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!

[...]

Realistically, sooner or later, someday, sometime, the network programmers will decide to cancel our beloved B&B (hopefully in the far, far future) ...but only because they will believe it to be in the best interests of CBS, the company they work for. This doesn't make them misanthrope monsters; 'oft times the people that have had to wield the ax are the very ores that fostered the shows in the first place.

Someone once said that "Worry is praying to the wrong god." This editor thinks irate phone calls and 'hate' (not to be confused with constructively critical) mail, all go in that selfsame direction. For now, what we can do is write letters and recruit as many new viewers as possible — it is what the production office and other industry insiders suggest we do. Word from the production office is that they really predate everything the fans have been doing on

their behalf and that "No letter is a waste of time."
From "The Ratings - Quality Blind?":

The Nielsen box hunt results are still coming in. So far, out of an approximate mailing of 1,900, only one Nielsen box belonged to a "loyal" household, while three others told of boxes belonging to friends (who, rest assured, were well visited on B&B nights). Many readers wrote in, wondering how they themselves could get one of these 'people meters' or how to find people who have a box. The answer of course is that people with boxes are chosen "scientifically" at random, and are actually asked to keep mum about their participation ...so that special interest groups (like ourselves) can't affect the results.

It was some thing of a shock to discover that there are only 4,000 boxes employed nation-wide to divine what 90 mil lion households are watching! But they do give some pretty convincing arguments — in laymen's terms — as to why sudi a small 'sample' is accurate: through checking multiple samples against one another, and by testing their statistical 'scale model" (in situations where complete national records are available). Even a diehard skeptic would have to concede that the bulk of their findings may well be correct However, there were 3 unexpected replies to the February 'Box Hunt' that do cast doubt as whether 'quality television' is actually being fairly represented in the ratings. Two loyal viewers approached by Nielsen were under the impression that they did not watch enough television to make having a box worth while. And a third was actually told by a Nielsen representative that she did not watch enough TV to be eligible for a people meter. (If you or someone you know has had this experience, industry sources suggest that a letter of complaint be registered with the address above!)

Is this a case of the discriminating being discriminated against? Have those people who view only two or three shows a week ever been able to cast their votes for the programming they watch? "Pipeline's" little impromptu survey was neither scientific nor indicative of the entire population of the United States. But, when it is known that 3 out of a possible 7 Nielsen households have not been factored into "Beauty and the Beast's" ratings, it gives one pause — if not a few more points to ponder.
From remarks by Howard Gordon at the February 25-26th Creation Convention in New York City:
Vincent has been more of a romantic hero, but we can't forget that the guy's got fangs and these are not hands that are meant to play piano.

v.2 n.5 (May 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.5 was published in May 1989 and contains 4 pages.

cover of v.2 n.5
  • Beauty and the Beast Trilogy, article by Wiltse
  • Conversation with a Net Exec
  • Once Upon a Time ...
  • His script was about what he knew best - himself (Robert John Gutke - When the Bluebird Sings)
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • Vader Forum
  • The Helpers Gazetteer
  • Convention Update
  • Classifieds

Excerpts

From Wiltse:

May... the month of spring flowers, the songs of returning birds, the time when network executives pore over pilots trying to pick next year's new hits and local stations adjust their advertising rates ac cording to the quarterly sweeps. Yes, and hopefully the month within which we will hear that "Beauty and the Beast" has been 'picked up' for a third season.
From "Conversation with a Net Exec":

April 13, 1989 was a day spent trying to read CBS's corporate mind, if not to see whether "Beauty and the Beast" would be renewed, then at least to get an idea of the decision-making process at work be hind the scenes. The following phone conversation with a CBS executive was the end result. The exec wished to remain anonymous.

Q: Thank you for returning my call, frankly I'm surprised.

A: Ooooh, I talk to people! (Laughter) First of all I think I'll start off by establishing Beauty and the Beast and its relationship to the rest of television, if you will. Of all the 73 regularly scheduled evening programs, B&B is ranked by its rating of 61. It had an average rating of 10.4, which means that 10.4 per cent of all U.S. television homes watch the average minute of Beauty and the Beast. Or roughly 9 million households tune to B&B each week. Now, who are the people who watch? is what I'm going to attempt to tell you next.

[...]

On average, a B&B episode reaches 1,553 people in every thousand homes.... Of those, 1,555 or 1.5 people, 805 (or .805) are women (18 or over), 515 are men, 80 are teenagers, and 153 are children. Of those women who are watching, 372 are under 50 years of age, 433 are 50 and over. Of the men who watch, 288 are under 50 years of age, 227 are 50 and over. Of the teenagers that watch, 45 are female and 35 are male.

Q: I'm amazed, where are these figures from?

A: The basic source for all this kind of audience data is the A.C. Nielsen Co. And the numbers that I have been reading to you are averages starting with the premiere of "Beauty and the Beast" through April 9, 1989. This report is called the "Nielsen Television Index." And this is the bible. This is what this business is all about... (Note: Tape problem here. But the gist of what was said was: "Television isn't about selling programs to the audience, it's about selling an audience to the sponsors.") ...What they talk about is, oh, $7.00 to reach a thousand men or some such thing. And this (the Nielsen Index) is how they know how many thousand men, or thousand women, or women 18 to 49, or whatever it is you're looking for, that the program reaches.

[...]

From the ratings point of view "Beauty and the Beast" isn't really doing all that well, but from the enthusiasm of those who are its fans, it's quite apparent to us that there is a lot of enthusiasm. A colleague of mine here who was lucky enough to have his name in some newspaper somewhere and therefore became identified, has been receiving a significant amount of mail.

Q: And been basically vilified I imagine? The more I talk to people at your network the more I realize that's it's a tough job that somebody's got to do, if we are going to see any shows on the air at all!

A: The thing is this, the place where a lot of con fusion exists is this. And I've been doing this kind of work for many, many years and I realize my view points may have been coloured thereby, but I consider this to be a very democratic system. The choices are mostly made on a quantitative basis there are some qualitative judgments mixed in, but for popular entertainment shows which are not, not the terminus of society's behavior, they're not, they're not... They simply are not that important!

Most of those decisions are pretty much quantitative. And if there's a lot of people who watch it then we keep it on. If there's a lot of people who don't watch it we don't. Now, what is a lot of people? (Laughter) That's what the problem is. You and your friends like it so you think that everybody likes it, but in real life that's not necessarily so.

Q: That's true. But I think the reason you get a lot of guff from people is that they feel that they can change somebody's mind on a qualitative basis rather than a quantitative one.

A: That's right. Every once in a while certainly it is alleged that they have succeeded in doing it. The reason 1 said 'alleged' is that on those occasions when it seems to have worked there's usually some thing that the world doesn't know about that came into it as well... There's usually something in the back room somewhere that also came into the mix.

[...]

Q: We fans have our uses though, recruiting new viewers, persuading the affiliates not to preempt the show. I was talking to a cable network programming director this morning and she was telling me what a great asset an organized fandom might be for a series. (Laughter) But we need a statistical model to cover fandom, at the moment we're 'worth' something but we don't know quantitatively what!

A: There are funny things that happen, you know. But 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)

Q: You must realize these people are desperate.

A: 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.

n.2 v.6/7 (June/July 1989)

Pipeline n.2 v.6/7 was published June/July 1989 and contains 10 pages.

cover of v.2 n.6/7
  • Beauty and the Beast's Third Season Delayed ... or in Danger?
  • Congratulations, Linda! ("On Sunday, May 21st, Linda Hamilton (Catherine) was at her Alma Mater, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland to receive their Alumni Citation for Theater Arts.")
  • Letter of Thank You from Ron Koslow
  • Keeping in Touch, A Tappings Tattler
  • Sonnet for Beauty and the Beast
  • Thanks Sponsors
  • Of Love Hope and Music - An Interview with Lee Holdridge
  • Bio File: David Greenlee
  • Convention Update
  • Readers' Forum
  • Addendum: Help - Notice - You - Blurb- Omission - Just in
  • August '89 Addendum (map)
  • The Helpers' Gazetteer
  • Classifieds
  • National Survey
  • Why a National Survey?
  • Promotalk Inc ad

Excerpts

[From Ron Koslow]:

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,

RON KOSLOW
[From the editor]:

Oh, what a tangled web... its audience's in revolt, its affiliates irate, the sponsors uncertain, the press bashing merrily away ...these must be bad days at 'Black Rock.' And there are very few left who will sympathize.

For "Pipeline's" readers, it all started when rumour spread of a life & death meeting to be held at 'Black Rock' [the nickname for CBS' New York offices] Thursday evening. May 18th. Suddenly aware of their '11th hour,' telegrams and phone calls began pouring in to CBS from fans of "Beauty and the Beast" in hopes of saving the show from a premature demise. But by 11 p.m. E.S.T., word came from an unimpeachable source, that the 'ax' had indeed fallen. In shock and horror, the loyal fell silent for nearly an hour. That was their last moment's peace. Suddenly, the phone here at the 'Workshop' began to ring ...soon call began to interrupt call over and over again. Names on a mailing list suddenly all had voices (yes, this editor's number is listed), and what they said as one was, "No way!" Through the night fans, and friends of fans, and friends of friends woke one another and the flame was passed from Helper's candle to Helper's candle til the blaze entirely lit Western Union's switchboard.

By 3 a.m., 1,500 had already been tallied and as one operator put it, "Heck, if they cancel this show, I'm sending CBS a telegram!" According to a source within CBS, upwards of 3,000 telegrams were received in that first 12-hour period alone.

[...]

The first article to break the news of Beauty and the Beast's hiatus was by Associated Press writer Kathryn Baker, in it Executive Producer Paul Witt stated "They went out to murder the show. They did give us a backup order for 12 shows, but that's a face-saving gesture. We're not angry yet. We're still too stunned." A similar statement ran on CNN's 'Head line News' cable-channel every hour till noon on Saturday, the 20th. (Yes, they were thanked.)

The following week not an hour would pass with out at least one call coming in to this office, each telling of a telegram sent, a letter mailed, or a station manager spoken with. One affiliate who complained to the network, "why did we have to hear about this from the fans first, why didn't you tell us?" was given the answer, "Tell the fans to go get a life..."

[...]


Resentment toward the network hit an all-time high, and the idea of boycotting CBS programming — for as long as "Beauty and the Beast" was not on the air — occurred to everyone at once. Besides, as one caller put it, "It wouldn't be like we were giving up all that much."

[...]

Newspaper stories continue to appear nationwide with titles like, "Fans come to rescue of 'Beauty and the Beast," "The Fur Is Flying Over Beauty and the Beast" or "Beasts about Beauty" ...a Daily News article which sported the by-line, "'Beauty and the Beast' attracts unusually loyal fans who just won't let the series die."

People who thought they were alone (Well, if you were being called a 'Beastie' wouldn't you hide in the closet?) took up the fight anyway, found to their astonishment that they had simply joined ranks with a veritable army. Others who mustered their courage and contacted the media directly, found themselves interviewed on the local television news. And/or found that the usually cynical press listened nevertheless and shared in many of their concerns. Favourable articles were written even by those who had at first appeared hostile. Cherish these allies especially, for anything done in the future by the network to B&B's benefit, or detriment, will be done under their scrutiny. More than once flowers have been sent to these reporters as thank you gifts for their help. Have you hugged your columnist today?

In the 'warm fuzzies' department, this editor has been complimented many times these past 2 weeks for our fan 'organization.' But in truth, there is no one group or one publication that encompasses everyone. The speed of the first response, and the deluge of support since, far exceeds anything we might have hoped to accomplish. But then, who's arguing with a miracle?

v.2 n.8 (Aug 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.8 was published in August 1989 and contains 4 pages.

cover of v.2 n.8
  • Beauty and the Beast... Back in Production, article by Stephaine Wiltse (includes quotes from G.R.R. Martin, Ron Koslow and others, includes four photos from Ron Perlman's appearance at a Sam Goody in New York City to promote the sound recording Of Love and Hope)
  • Reader's Forum (excerpts from letters: one from an advertising exec from Chevrolet, one from Lee Holdridge crediting Artie Ripp for his work on the just-released LP)
  • photos of Ron Perlman and Joan Lundin on the set of the new television show "Everyday" ("this show looks like Quality TV's answer to Morton Downey, Jr..."... "...Joan seemed to enjoy her first, exclusively Beastish studio audience. The taping of the next segment after Ron's — about the pros and cons of violence in films and TV — found most of us rather biased 'against.' Which seemed to surprise the horror experts who had brought some especially grisly props with them to show off. A few of our number even joined in the discussion, and were particularly well-spoken.")
  • From the Rumour Or, How I died and lived to tell about It., article by Wiltse (addresses various rumors)
  • Editorial: "The Never Ending Story", by Wiltse (essay about fan power, quality television, bad decisions by CBS)
  • convention news
  • classified ads, requests for help from fans, zine submissions/other info

Excerpts

[Ron Koslow said]: "...fortunately, we got a reprieve [when CBS bought 12 new episodes]. It’s pretty humbling to all of us to believe that there are people out there who are helping us and hold our best interest at heart. We realize how lucky we are. There aren’t a lot of shows that have that. I hope that we can continue to live up to it. I really do believe it was the outcry — the outpouring of sentiment from the fans — CBS realized that what they were doing was just terrible PR for them.

What other show do they have that would have elicited that kind of response? Would they get that kind of response if they canceled ‘Jake and the Fatman?’"

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.” But he also reminded that, “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.”

A majority of subscribers are also concerned that "more action" will simply mean more violence or even brutality, a "Hairy Incredible Hulk with Fangs." "Hollow Men" is often cited as least liked, especially by parents who hope the series will not become "something that they can't let their children watch." George R.R. Martin gave the writers' perspective: "Most action-adventure shows have cathartic violence, the ending in which the good guys beat the bad guys and they have no aftereffects from it. But I think the whole point of our end-of-(2nd)-season arc was that violence has consequences. If Vincent is going to tear people apart, it's at least going to bum him out for the rest of the day .. .and probably threaten his humanity itself. The metaphorical underpinnings of that whole last episode {The Rest is Silence) is that a per son who engages in regular violence, in however good a cause, is ultimately tainted and diminished by that violence. His humanity is in danger as his bestial impulses rise, that's our symbolic statement, our philosophy here."

CBS found that fans are rather jealous of the privilege of critizing their favourite show. An "I can call my kid ugly, but you better not call my kid anything!" kind of attitude prevails. Many are quick to point out that it was the show as it has been so far that cultivated their loyalty in the 1st season .. .and was worthy of their loyalty in the 2nd. Often as not the comment is that "the network is trying to fix something that

simply isn't broken."

Discussion and debate aside, the production office and studio are open, the writers are writing and filming has resumed. For 4, perhaps even 6 months the afterglow of this victory will have to tide us over. In the meantime, as Ron Koslow put it: "People should rest easy knowing that none of us would be involved in doing this if it wasn't the way we wanted it to be. There will be some changes. There will be some surprises. But I think that they will further this myth that we are all working on. I

hope people are willing to journey along the adventure with us."

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.

In making light of the 5,000 letters his office (as opposed

to CBS as a whole?) has received, because "most seemed to be from nuns;" Howard Stringer has managed in his own in imitable way (if this morning's phone messages are any indication] to insult both those who proudly are nuns (3 out of "Pipeline's" app. 1,000 subscribers are) and those who proudly are not. If goading viewers into further outrage was the idea, then CBS has certainly succeeded.
B&B fans don't seem to want to be lumped in with the 'pressure groups' calling for censorship, or governmental controls, or product boycotts, but many have been left feeling very cynical. In many ways "Beauty and the Beast" has become a test case in the eyes of the public and the industry. If a series so loved, so generally agreed by network, sponsors, audience, and media alike to typify 'quality,' cannot survive... then 'Free TV as 'tis is worth exactly what one pays for it. A not-so-Great Nothing.
Creation Conventions have changed their schedule drastically in the past month. Producer Howard Gordon will not be able to attend the Washington, D.C. multi-media event but however, be in attendance in San Jose August 19 & 20th, as will Roy Dotrice. The event will be the first full-scale, 2-day, commercial convention devoted solely to "Beauty and the Beast." (A photocopy of the ad will suffice for the 'Tree gift"). Something of a "test run," Creation is confident that fans will pitch in and make this event a mega-hit; needless to say, some pretty nifty future events will hinge on its success.

v.2 n.9 (Sept 1989)

cover of v.2 n.9

Pipeline v.2 n.9 was published in September 1989 and contains 4 pages.

  • Beauty and the Beast's Maelstorm of Mail, essay by Stephanie A. Wiltse that includes many Koslow comments
  • Of Things that are not...and that should be, part one of an interview with Robert John Guttke
  • Tappings, info on cons and various news items
  • Note: The K-Mart Conundrum (about CBS and K-Mart's poor marketing of Beauty and the Beast in general, and specifically V.I.P. Weekend: Beauty Meets the Beast)
  • What can I do to help?, article about some things fans are doing to promote the show

Excerpts

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. By August (and this writing), mailing lists are just starting to be exchanged around the world, and within a few weeks of trying to map out all of our U.S. groups (V2#8), Helpers Network already has word of 25 more to add. One year ago "Pipeline" had 15 subscribers, it now serves 11 hundred. At this point B&B fandom is about as close to "organized" as we have already been accused of being. But what CBS would prefer to think of as a fixed minority, guided in will and action by a few outspoken heads, is in reality a hydra of a different colour indeed.
The "Of Love and Hope" album should not be the success it turned out to be. Capitol's advertising efforts have been abysmal. And if fan sources are correct, fewer than a third of the K-Mart stores nationwide announced and/or displayed the "Beauty Meets the Beast Contest" promotional materials supposedly distributed to them. (This editor wishes CBS luck in its dealings with the department-store chain). [See more at V.I.P. Weekend: Beauty Meets the Beast and Of Love and Hope]

One of the more amazing things about B&B's loyal viewers is that they never need any 'organized' urging to write to CBS, or the sponsors, in the first place. Most reading this newsletter for the first time will not only have already writ ten letters — but will have already undertaken what can only be described as their own personal campaigns. One or two even noted on their new subscription orders that they had gone out and purchased typewriters just for the purpose!

Many have made staunch allies out of skeptical friends, introducing them to the show by giving them copies of the record or the B&B videotape as gifts. Many more, like [Mrs. l] of TX, wear their B&B t-shirts, or buttons reading "Ask me about "Beauty and the Beast," or carry copies of CBS' address on 'Save B&B business cards' (to pass along to other prospective letter-writers) at all times and occasions. Almost just as prevalent are those, [Kathy T] of San Francisco for one, who take the fight to work with them — using their mailing lists to alert customers and business contacts to the series' struggle.

Some hardy souls, believe it or not, have even been calling their local phonebooks — from A to, well I doubt these guys are to ILsA yet — politely inquiring of each name and number: "Have you ever watched the television series Beauty and the Beast?"

A goodly percentage of "Pipeline's" subscribers could be called 'care-givers.' One maternity nurse never misses an opportunity to indoctrinate new mothers with her favourite television program. There must be a lot of babies in Philadelphia who enter the world to strains of B&B's music... [Sister Judy M] of Clearwater, PL uses themes from the show in her high school religion and literature classes. And more than a few grade school teachers didn't just discuss "Johnny's grades" when meeting with parents before this summer's break.

[...]

Then there are those who take B&B's advertising into their own hands: [Dawn A] of Becket, MA writes that: "I was browsing in a mall department store when I heard some very familiar strains of music coming from behind the jewelry counter. I approached and asked the two clerks, Felisa & Micky, 'Isn't that the Beauty and the Beast tape?' I looked closer and realized that they had set up a small B&B display behind the counter. We traded stories and addresses, etc. As we were talking, another woman, Kathy, overheard our conversation and joined us... It turns out that there is a network of people in the mall who are all B&B fans!"

Along similar lines [Diane H] of Glen Bume, MD worked with a couple of her local libraries setting up elegant "Beauty and the Beast" displays complete with roses, a poster, and an assortment of all of the books in the library's collection that have been quoted or referred to in the series. She's also convinced local record stores to set up special displays with the "Of Love and Hope" album — surrounded by recordings of the classics also heard on the show.

I've lost count of the people who, like [Nanci C] of Savoy, IL, have written in saying,: 'I wrote to my local newspaper asking them to do an article on B&B — so they interviewed ME!

[Jeanne H] of Los Angeles, CA had a novel approach, she put this ad in some of her local newspapers: Attention: Theater-Goers — Did you know that you can see "Phantom of the Opera" on television every Friday night on CBS? It's called "Beauty and the Beast."

[...]

One of this editor's favourites is an interior decorator in Maryland (wishing to remain anonymous) who specializes in making model homes look inviting and livable. In every one of the houses she works on there's a B&B calendar hanging in the laundry room, a B&B record by the stereo, a B&B jigsaw puzzle semi-finished in the kids' room, and a "Pipeline" (thank you) gracing an open desk. She even studied Father's chamber to give her libraries and dens that well-used look.

These scant mentions are barely indicative, tip of the iceberg as 'twere, of the vast resources being expended on this show's behalf, one person at a time. It only serves to illustrate that there are an infinite number of answers to the question, "What can I do to help?" But... what happen when all those individuals do get around to "getting organized"?

v.2 n.10 (Oct 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.10 was published in October 1989 and contains 6 pages.

cover of v.2 n.10, includes a photo of G.R.R. Martin: "George R.R. Martin, looked tunnel/biblical in this snap taken in June at the Dallas "Galaxy Fair & Art Con II" in Dallas. George is the most well-traveled of the B&B team, being a celeb in his own right at science fiction conventions for his many stories and books." -- photo not credited

Excerpts

Producer Howard Gordon during his Q&A at the Creation convention in San Jose, CA August 19th 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.

One week after the convention, however, most viewers were surprised to see "The Rest Is Silence" instead of the scheduled "What Rough Beast." Two-thirds of the trilogy had been dropped to make room for a quartet of cartoons on September 1st & 8th. West Coast fans, looking forward to an uninterrupted airing of "Ceremony of Innocence" (sans Dan Rather), were particularly disappointed. It's little consolation that the cartoons didn't do as well ratings-wise as the previous B&B episodes had. And like the myriad other missed opportunities, too numerous to be accidental, not even a voice-over advising viewers to watch for the show's 'return-to-be-announced' ran during the closing credits. Never mind congratulations on the show's 8 Emmy nominations — yet another glaring omission.

Dare this editor remark that until CBS has bought an entire 22 episodes and is forthcoming with an air-date, we have only actions like these by which to judge their true intentions?

[...]

CBS has an odd way of demonstrating its "affection" and/or commitment. It is hoped that our friends at the network (yes, this editor truly believes we do still have some) will continue to bear with our distrust half as well as we have borne their supposed good intentions.

v.2 n.11/12 (Nov/Dec 1989)

Pipeline v.2 n.11/12 was published in November/December 1989 and contains 8 pages.

cover of v.2 n.11/12
  • Beauty and the Beast Revealed?, article with MUCH about sponsors and fan influence ("As the first chill wind of another winter shivers, the leave-less [sic] trees ...the actual date of "Beauty and the Beast's" return becomes of increasing concern. The indecision is tough on cast, crew, and fans alike who, as the 12th episode finishes filming around December 7th, will have to wait out the interim not knowing when, or if, there will be a Beauty and the Beast to come home to after the holidays.") (includes a photo of Ron Koslow and Ron Perlman)
  • 5th Annual VQT Convention, very lengthy report, includes a transcript of Ron Perlman's speech there (includes photos)
  • Roy Dotrice Speaks Out (a compilation gleaned from two Q&A's at the Minneapolis Beauty and the Beast Creation Con on October 21st & 22nd)
  • Voices from Behind the Scenes (a September 26, 1989 interviews with photos with Gus LePre - hairdresser on the show, Fred Blau, Jr. -- make-up artist, Tom O'Brien -- set painter, and David F. Schwartz (coordinating producer)
  • Readers' Forum (samples from letters this newsletter has received)

Excerpts: Comments from Stephanie A. Wiltse

Meanwhile, it's been a pretty windy Fall as well. More a testimony to the intense interest being generated by the series even while at hiatus. Beauty and the Beast has another unique claim to fame to add to the collection; that of being the first series to have an alleged synopsis of an entire episode/movie published nationwide before it's aired. Few could ignore the expose-style report, nor its sensationalistic [sic] follow-up 2 weeks later on October 14th — concerning the 'Fans' Outrage." Especially since all this appeared in the respected and venerable "TV Guide." (The article had its genesis, however, as coverage in "Star" weekly, another publication owned by tabloid tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

As you can see from this issue's "Readers' Forum" there's a lot of debate going on out there — there's pockets of paranoia, some healthy skepticism — not unexpected considering the press "Beauty and the Beast" has received of late. Fans seem divided between those who would not believe that B&B could ever be capable of torture or brutality ...and those who believe it could. The latter perhaps being the saddest revelation of all.

[...]

I felt an obligation to honour Ms. Hamilton's express wish for privacy .. .and to honour the professional judgment of the producers and advertising staff, and not try to second-guess them an when and how the new season should be publicized.

Here's yet another alternate reality — the one 'that should have been:' The public's (and therefore) the press' curiosity is turned up to a furious boil. Two weeks or so of news blurbs and interviews would have preceded the season's premiere movie — surprises and suspense fairly intact Yes, what they would have seen is Catherine's kidnap and demise — hardly a picnic for her — but only the most timid of souls would have labeled it torture or brutality. Fans would have reveled in the return of Vincent, not to mention Ron Koslow's conception of the worlds above & below. They would also have seen what everyone who worked on the upcoming episodes, Ron Perlman included, proudly point to as some of their best work to date. They would then have come away satisfied, or not, with the new season ...at their own discretion. They would have seen it with their own eyes and judged the contort and merit of the work for themselves ...unprejudiced by anyone else's preconceptions. But more importantly, Linda Hamilton would have be allowed to be the "Full-time Mom" that she wants to be in peace.

I'd rather never write another editorial than to have to tell the good people reading this that their fandom itself has a dark side. That that very openness, unheard of in the television industry, where fans were allowed to visit the set or could call the production office and talk to whomever chanced to pick up the phone, that mutual love and respect that developed because the fans were treated as thinking-adults and equals, that openness has made the double-edged sword that our fandom is becoming all that much sharper. There are fans for whom the fantasy is all too real; change of any kind, the very intrusion of reality itself, is an evil to be physically fought against. Worse yet, they are for the most part indistinguishable from you and me. Whether we/they are dangerous or not, nobody wants to find out the hard way ...and so, the set is now closed, and public appearances will probably be made more secure and more rare. There are fans of the old-school among us whose full-time hobby seems to be the collection of information. There would be little harm with their possession of the odd ill- gotten script, or their plugging into the studio-grapevine on a regular basis, etc., if it weren't for the fact that the studio-grapevine is just about as notorious for scrambling its facts as the fan-grapevine is. And the fan-grapevine is where all this bonafide 'information' —the stuff that gossip junkies swear to and by— winds up! Everything, "gross inaccuracies" and all, could be found making the rounds of the 'rumour mill' prior to when they were leaked, ah, published in the tabloids, et al. These fans may never have intended to do the show harm, but it would be a very good idea to always treat anything said to you by a friend or acquaintance working on the show as a confidence not to be repeated without their permission. You may be doing them and the show an extremely big favour.

[...]

Some ex-fans are trying to organize efforts to keep "Beauty and the Beast" from ever returning! It's bad enough manipulating the rumour mill to their own ends and flooding the B&B offices with hate mail.

These folks are apparently making a good stab at coercing the very media people and sponsors that we have all worked so hard to win over. Forgive me, but I'm nearly done,.. Why don't these people just quietly leave our community? Why try to ruin the experience for everyone else? For some it is a matter of love being so close in temperature to hate. But for others, I'm sorry to say, it is quite simply a matter of grudges, jealousies, or axes to grind. No workplace or community is without at least a few of these desperately unhappy souls .. .people who feel that life itself, let alone fandom and the production office, just hasn't shown them enough deference. They can come into a situation wanting far more out of it than they are prepared to give, and they are nearly always sorely disappointed.

Why have I risked making you, dear reader, also unhappy? Because I have an extremely low tolerance for injustice, that's why. And I think, as the "Reader's Forum" demonstrates, that the majority of B&B's loyal should not be tarred with the same feathers as the fans mentioned above. Nor should the producers of this show be treated like criminals because they won't reveal what is in our own best interest not to reveal. Nor should CBS be blamed for every bump in the road along the way. I have heard enough about what people deserve or what is owed them. The fans deserve the best "Beauty and the Beast" the producers can give them. It is safe to say that if the show survives this present test by fire, that is precisely what the fans will get. We'll just have to be patient and wait for it. Those of us who aren't children don't have the right to act like 'em any more, and we might as well start setting a better example.

The producer/writers deserve at the very least respect, if not our trust.
One came away from the weekend-long [VQT] convention with the feeling that television is on the threshold of an inevitable metamorphosis, as cable continues to gather strength through diversity and VCRs find their way into nearly as many homes as have television sets. This may not be good news from the quality standpoint. As network audience share and consequently advertising profits diminish, quality could be come an all too expensive luxury. As much as we rail against the present system —and take a certain 'I told you so" pleasure in watching lesser network offerings fail — an even vaster wasteland may await us as the 'big 3' feel the pinch.

Television, itself, is not a democracy, but one of the most un-business-like businesses this 'exec-sec' has ever seen:

Corporate oligarchies whose fortunes, read from the numerical entrails of a chimera, rise and fall ...constantly reaping whirlwinds of their own devising. We may never, as individuals outside of the industry, be able to appreciate what it is like to dwell within this beast. It is obvious, however, that cranking out what 'sells' is far more often rewarded than following one's own creative conscience.

From where we sit, it is quite another matter. Television teaches our children to spell and keeps company with our elderly. It often is a continuous presence, an environment, within our homes even as the family hearth once was. On a global scale, this mere entertainment is nothing less than our national face as it is most often seen by the other peoples of the world ...Just ask any Israeli about the last episode of "Dallas."

Television is not important enough to censor, or bend our laws of free speech. It is not important enough to make the entire industry a public charge (PBS being a good example). It is important enough to care about, to have an opinion on, and yes, on those rarest of occasions, to "exercise our passions." It is important enough that more be expected of it than just what sells.

The ratings system is not, as it is so often defended, a "democratic system." Luckily, our governmental affairs are not dictated by a simple body count. Our country is moved and shaken by citizens who care enough to step forward and vote. What Viewers for Quality Television is offering us ...is the only ballot box in town.

Excerpts: Comments from Roy Dotrice

Excerpts by Roy Dotrice gleaned from two Q&A's at the Minneapolis Beauty and the Beast Creation Con on October 21 st & 22nd, 1989:

I do get a lot of fan mail. I have to date answered every letter I have ever received; it's not been easy, sometimes I have to sit down for 3 days and do nothing but write letters and if I've had a busy schedule they do pile up. But I do finally answer them in the end. They're not the usual fan letters, they're always very erudite, very sensitive letters, talking about the show and what aspects of the show have touched them most. I was amazed, actually, on Father's Day. I didn't realize the significance until it happened this year. I received 285 presents ...bottles of Eau de Cologne from Cologne, boxes of Mozart chocolates from Austria, I got all kinds of things, even a pair of tickets to a Dodgers game in San Diego.

[...]

They didn't get it quite right in The Star, but there is a semblance of fact there. Maybe you'll be a little disturbed when you see Catherine die in the first episode. But the splurge you get in those terrible gossip magazines, like the Star this week, where they describe the whole plot like 'Beast kills off Beauty' and all that stuff. You cannot de scribe what we are trying to do, what we between us have achieved, the strength of our feeling ...you can't describe that in two or three words in a gossip magazine. Therefore, please don't pay any attention to it. It's not that at all, all the great love stories that have ever been written have really been tragic, Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra. They've all ended in death. Perhaps that is the most divine love. I think that it emphasizes Catherine. The image of Catherine is very much alive in all of these episodes, and not just through Vincent's mourning but with flashbacks of her. "Whether Linda returns or not at some later date I don't know, I would like to think so. I've always enjoyed working with her. On the other hand, Jo Anderson (Diana) is delightful and I think you're going to like her.

[...]

...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. Nice to see a few sensitive males here today, (cheers, applause).

[...]

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.

It's amazing the kind of reality that's been brought into this fantasy world. You're all very much part of our family. We feel that desperately and I hope you feel the same way. Without your belief we do not exist and we would not have existed. We would be finished, over it and doing other things in various parts of the globe by now — things nowhere near as exciting. You've given it a second life. We do value your trust and your faith in this series and we will not spurn that. We will not misuse that trust, and I think that the writers have tremendous ethics and morals about where they want to go with the show. I promise you that we have given tremendous integrity to this series and therefore will not fail because we wouldn't dream of failing you. It's wonderful, you know, having that great strength behind you when you're doing something, it makes it all feel worthwhile.

Excerpts: Comments from Fan Letters

Fan letters addressed the TV Guide article, fan behavior, CBS and distrust, the future of the show, loyalty and betrayal, and more.

To the producers not know what a beautiful, charming, magical show they created? Why do they think people were

outraged that the show was taken off the air? Not because of gross violence and the relationship between Catherine and Vincent to be ended. The chemistry between characters is fabulous — the show had so much to offer us, such a wonderful message. How can they stray from the magic and beauty they created. Please if there is anything your organization can do to convince the producers that butchering this story is not what we, who love the story, want. I am very up set over what I have been reading."
Obviously, our focus must be on getting CBS to honor its commitment to televise the 12 episodes that it ordered. And how do we ensure high numbers for this quality show, and the appropriate publicity, to allow the 'dream to continue?' CBS' actions with respect to the show itself should be of concern to all television viewers, not only fans of 'Beauty and the Beast' So much media attention is given to those few outspoken people who are determined to keep certain shows on the air, television executives decry this attempt at censorship. Yet the CBS brass refuses to support a show that has received rave reviews from the critics. What is so infuriating is that the large numbers of supporters of B&B are so loudly ignored.
After seeing that thing in this week's TV Guide I need a more human —and humane— source of information.
I just read a horrible article in the TV GUIDE saying Catherine is going to get killed off! ...What would "Beauty and the Beast" be like without a Beauty? It would be horrible! Oh, please say she isn't leaving! Please!
We had had a long talk concerning the hysteria and rudeness of some fans, especially at convention question-and-answer sessions with producers and writers of B&B. We agreed that it's time to 'stop the madness.' We were all appalled at the impression people could come away with: that B&B fans are loud, obstreperous and unpleasant people. NOT TRUE! Our point was this: It's 'just' fiction. B&B was created (conceived, cast, written, etc.) by fallible human beings and continues to exist because of (well-intentioned and talented) fallible human beings. No matter what they decide to do with the plot, etc., from here on out — the story, the whole 'point' and spirit of the show — will live on in our hearts. We've been moved and changed — that's the important, the enduring point.
I found your "From the Editor" column very needed — judging from my exposure to other fans in my area. I attended Ron Perlman's record-signing in LA this Spring and stood in line for 4 hours with people from various clubs and I was very dismayed at some of what I heard coming out of some mouths of adult women. Several had submit ted scripts and/or plots via letters and were more than a little bent out of shape to not have had them put to use and were making dark comments toward the series, CBS etc. This just amazed me beyond words. The writers/producers of "Beauty and the Beast" have done a wonderful job and brought us a beautiful, badly needed series against no small odds. They are professional men who do not even need to consult or catered toward the fans' wants even as much as they have done. Here these people were making threats because they hadn't been allowed to rewrite the series to their exact wants. I was alarmed. And what they claimed to be writing to CBS surely would not help to keep it on the air... We have come to save Vincent, not bury him!!!!! We are here not to point fingers, but to join hands!!!!!!
T have tried not to listen to the rumors about B&B's 3rd season... I've ignored calls frcrm hysterical friends, articles in newspapers and tabloids. I've tried to take Rem Koslow's veiled & secretive & vague reassurances to heart. Now, after reading the article in this week's TV Guide, I've given in to the rumors... but I don't want to. Please, please ask the production office for a clear statement. My curiosity and that of my B&B watching friends is turning to frustration & anger. Catherine... pregnant, tortured, and killed!!!! I would rather the show never came back on the air.
Enough prejudgment of Beauty and the Beast. If the plot of last season's trilogy had been leaked, it would have sounded no less disgusting. Vincent overwhelmed by the beast with in! Murdering Father with his bare claws! Smashing up Catherine's apartment, then spending three fevered days with her in bed! Losing the power of speech, stripping to the fur and burying himself, howling, in a pit! On paper? A nauseating betrayal of a sensitive, poetic show. In actuality? The most sensitive and poetic episodes of all ...and the most be loved. Based on this track record, how about a little benefit of the doubt? The very concept of the show has been mocked from the outset, yet it has yielded treasures no other show can match. Sum up King Lear or Medea. They'd sound dis gusting too.
Is this a hoax that is being perpetrated by the tabloid that TV Guide has become? Is it a planted story by CBS so they can cancel the show without us caring? Who are these name less people they mention as a 'Focus Group'? I really pushed the panic button on this one.
I've read your editorials and listened to the hotline with hope at first and now increasing frustration. While I know you're trying to keep us calm and encourage us to believe in CBS and the producers, I've become more and more irritated with the language of "doublespeak." Can't we hear some facts instead of illusions for a change? Is Linda Hamilton re turning? A simple enough question and it should be easy enough to answer. Bribe somebody. If you are trying to say in your editorials that "yes, Catherine is dead but the writers will continue with the same ideals," then you're misleading both us and yourself. If they have killed Catherine, they have destroyed the dream, the love story and the show.

I can just imagine the calls that you're getting now. Are all the real 'crazies' going into a CBS feeding frenzy?

... I'm excited by the new direction of the show. I think that they were in danger of painting themselves into a dead end corner. Now it's all opened up again. As far as I'm concerned they can throw it at at me, I'm ready to jump on whatever Mr. Koslow wants to toss out.' Tell the whiners to lighten-up.
All of you out there who: Want to petition the B&B production office into producing only what YOU want to see and spread the most depressing rumors I have ever heard in my life... even if everything we've heard is true. We don't own B&B. We never did. We were attracted to the vision Koslow had, and now we want to tell the original artist that he's not good enough for his own creation any more?... If you haven't been part of this in sanity, congratulations. However, as someone once put it, if the shoe fits, kick yourself with it.
Now I'm feeling as if I've been lied to. If they knew all along that Catherine Chandler would disappear as a character, then why the denials from Paul Witt in the LA Times back in June? Trying to maintain suspense about the new season is one thing, but it seems to me that the fans deserve honesty from the producers.
...suddenly a lot of stuff that I've been putting off as inflammatory rumor of questionable validity gains some credibility.

v.3 n.1 (Jan 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.1 was published in January 1990 and contains 8 pages.

cover of v.3 n.1

This issue contains remarks by Wiltse which scold fans who are out-outspokenly distraught about Beauty and the Beast: The Classic vs. Season 3 Fandom Split. These comments were quite inflammatory and were like gasoline on a fire. See Notice to All Naysayers.

  • Beauty and the Beast Returns!, article ("Once more into the breach, dear friends! 'Beauty and the Beast' returned semi-triumphant to prime-time on December 12-13.")
  • "Loyal" Press Blitz, article about how the press gives attention to the show, the fans, and the editor of this newsletter
  • BioFile: Jo Anderson
  • BioFile: Edward Albert
  • Readers' Forum, a long consolidation of unidentified, edited fan comments
  • Beauty and the Beast Cancelled! ("On January 4, 1990, negotiations broke down between Witt-Thomas Productions and CBS resulted in 'Beauty and the Beast's' cancellation. According to the Producer George R.R. Martin the decision was made to 'not even air all twelve'.")
  • Helper's Gazetteer (news about clubs, fan activities)
  • Classifieds (ads, pleas from fans for copies of the show on VCR tapes, personal statements...)
    • One fan wrote: "Notice: To everyone who read the Dec. 14, 1989 LA Times article, 'Fans Accept Turn of Events on "Beauty, Beast' by Martin/Haithman, please know that I did not criticize or say anything attributed to me in that article! These are the best episodes ever done, and for me the magic still lives! -- [Donna K]."
    • There is information about a Beauty and Beast quilt that fans are creating
  • Tappings (short bits of news about what the actors and such are up to)
  • Convention Update (mostly about Creation Cons and what actors will be where, and when, but also brief info about Mostly Eastly Con, Tunnel Con, REVELcon, and GrandCon)

Excerpts

A fan cites a bit of TPTB-speak, and ties it into money that Creation Con can make from it:

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

About how the fans are the product, and how TPTB recognizes this, and publicly utilized their fanworks and enthusiasm for profit:

A new and interesting wrinkle is how group leaders and fan representatives around the country were swamped by requests for Interviews in the local and national media this December. This time the press came to us — wanting to know what we thought and felt both before and after the season opener.

[...]

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;" [12] 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."

You don't say !?! Kudos, people!

The editor of "Pipeline," Wiltse, describes a frenzy of attention she is receiving from the press:

Diary of a Newsletter Editor, [Stephanie A. Wiltse]:

This time I was ready for it, 4 local radio talk shows, the local TV-news, at least 6 newspaper mentions not counting syndicated columns; I knew that on the 13th of December directory assistance would have a nervous breakdown ...and my phone would ring. It started unexpectedly early, 6:30 in the a.m., another radio gab-test.

"Can I do this in my sleep?" they ask.

"No. Call back later."

Regarding some other phone calls:

The weekend saw the only 2 really disgusted phone calls to come in to date. Not about B&B mind you, but about a Winterfest party in the Mid-West! Like ripples on a pond, word of this gathering had radiated out over the grapevine. And word was that what was spreading wasn't good cheer nor Peace on Earth. Hurt and confused, the callers wanted to know whether the rest of fandom was in such bad shape!?!

Both Helper's Network and the Production Office had had a couple of pretty vile phone calls on the 13th. Why was I exempt, I wondered? "Do I really want to look at this stack of mail (50 that day)?" I thought with trepidation Monday afternoon. I needn't have worried, as usual there was dissension, but little or no malice.

Letter from a long-time subscriber:

Le As we now know, most of those dark rumors were true, and I know a woman who is mad at you and the several other editors of publications because you kept being optimistic and she felt lied to. She's mad at Ron Koslow, too, and just about everybody else. I know there have to be a certain number of those people, but I hope they aren't in the majority, because what else could Koslow do, when he knew his leading actress was determined to leave the show and he was fighting for its life, depending on the enthusiasm of the fans to keep it alive until it got back on the schedule? If he had said bluntly in June, 'Well, Linda's leaving and we're afraid you won't accept a recasting of Catherine, so we have to kill the character off in the first episode, or Linda will give birth on the tunnel floor,' would there have been a vast falling off of Interest, and the show never got back on the air? I think it's possible. People were behaving rather hysterically then, and were beginning to savor their power over the media. They began to think that they could get anything they wanted if they wanted it at the top of their voices. But they couldn't force Linda to stay. Catherine had to die, then. But some say the death could have been kinder. It could not. What would be accomplished for the show if Cathy died in a traffic accident? Vincent would be left grieving and helpless. He couldn't very well go and tear the head off a careless driver. He would do what he often thought he would do without her: die. No way to end a series, let alone begin a season.

Wiltse describes at length (the comments are very abbreviated and difficult to parse out when one person stops talking and another begins) the variety of comments she has received about reception of the changes that the new season brought:

[The presses' responses regarding the show] were in marked contrast to the calls I was getting from long-time "Pipeline" readers. The worst said was akin to: "I felt nothing, the spark is gone." Most simply called to say that their emotions were so mixed they couldn't even begin to grasp their import. Every one of these people called me back either immediately after Wednesday night's episode, "Walk Slowly," or the following day. Their doubts had vanished. The 'spark' had re-ignited.

Jo Anderson won "instant respect" from one viewer, her acting ability was likened to that of Meryl Streep by another. As yet another put it: "After meeting Diana, I don't care if Catherine comes back!" High praise went to Jay Acovone: "I'm so happy to see more of Joe!" and Roy Dotrice," and "If only I had had 'Father' to tell me 'to be crushed' when I needed it most," and "Those scenes with 'Father' saved the show for me." Special interest was paid to the "very, ah, handsome" Edward Albert. The jury, however, is still out on how many fans will 'love-to-hate' Stephen McHattie's "Gabriel" — "He makes "Paracelsus" seem cuddly!"

George R.R. Martin was frustrated but saw that future exposure and money could still be possible, especially with fan help! Wiltse reports on some personal attention from Martin, citing "The Loyal" (Wiltse's word, not Martin's):

Mr. Martin said: "It's sad, I've been through this before with "Twilight Zone" and "Max Headroom." I always hate this thing where [the networks] don't even air what has already been filmed. That's the thing that really drives you crazy because there's 3 episodes that have already been filmed that may never be seen. They might be shown in syndication, with 56 episodes there is the possibility of selling them to cable. Actually, all will probably air in foreign countries — Australia, India, Japan."

Feeling, for obvious reasons, pretty fatalistic — George attempted to contact as many of the 'Loyal' whose numbers he had at his New Mexico home — to let them know as gently as possible: "The unfortunate thing with the way it works in television is that you don't get a chance to do an ending. I think we all had shows that we would have liked to write, the last show. We won't get a chance to do those."

Still when considering the show's supporters, he perked up momentarily, "I think 'Beauty and the Beast,' like 'Star Trek' may have a life beyond the show. I suspect that the comic books, the novelizations, some of these spin-off products will continue for quite awhile. There is nothing to say that eventually there won't be more things — another series, or a movie. If that's going to have any chance of happening, a lot depends on the fan interest surviving the way it did survive, I think, for 2 years, or 3 years, or 5 years down the road."

Wiltse and The Loyal Collective have a plan:

Needless to say, word spread like wild-fire through the evening and into the night. Again, as last May, the 'Loyal Collective,' for lack of anything else to call our group-mind, came up with a 'game-plan' of sorts and informed this editor over the phone of its intention ...many times (lost track of the number of incoming calls sometime around 1 a.m.). The 'fire' it seems would solidify into action: First, to make CBS and its affiliates as aware of our displeasure as possible. Second, to contact the Fox Network (often rumoured to be a possibility) and other national networks, broadcast and cable, to inform them that "we want a new home." Third, to contact the media (press, television, and radio), informing them ourselves, hopefully before CBS' announcement (just for effect), of the cancellation.

Now, at 6 a.m., it is impossible to tell whether or not we are being quixotic in trying to restore "Beauty and the Beast" to those who still, very badly, wish to continue to use it as an instrument of expression. It is a certainly that venting our ire is at least good for our own constitutions. What remains is the gift of an idiom — the joys of which we can still share and be enriched by.

George R.R. Martin gives his permission to a fan to summarize a publicly already-aired episode for other fans:

Good Samaritan: For those without VCRs, confused due to the news blackouts, I would like to make available a written summary of "Ceremony of Innocence" (George R.R. Martin Ok'd distribution). I can't copy tapes, but I can write. (Ed. Note: She's even had some stories published in Analog magazine!) Send a SASE + $1. to Amy Bechtel

The first of the SND publications:

For fans having trouble being, as one newspaper reviewer dubbed it, "deCatherinated, fan-fiction zine editor Kathy Cox is the first to offer an "alternate timeline in which this love does not meet a tragic end" in the third volume of her publication "Destiny III" ... "Destiny would continue as 'Classic' B&B, (with) Catherine very much alive and well." Taking a "wait and see" stance as well, Kathy speculated, "Should Season 3 open new directions which we as writers and artists find exciting and appealing ...we'll begin a whole new zine series devoted to 'Current' B&B, titled 'Legend'."

v.3 n.2 (Feb 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.2 was published in February 1990 and contains 4 pages.

cover of v.3 n.2
  • In Search of Beauty and the Beast..., article
  • The Cancellation
  • Statistics and Rumours...
  • The Beast and Worst "Pipeline"
  • "How can I help?"
  • Insurance and the Name of the Game
  • a copy of the Beauty and the Beast Videotape Pledge form
  • a list of official addresses for fans to write

Excerpts

This issue was put together in a hurry, something that saved money:

This is the best issue of this newsletter yet published if you take into account that it directly responds to the needs and wishes of its readers. But it is also the worst issue, since it is the result of 2 days' work instead of 3 weeks. After this newsletter has been mailed out this editor intends to take to her bed for no less than 2 days nor more than 3 weeks. Arrrrrgh... Zzzzzz...

Since time was of the essence, photos, glossy sheets, and classified inserts had to give way to same-day photocopies from 'Sir Speedy Printing.' This way not only is this in your hands over a week early; the extra $1,000. mailing and printing expense that the "Video Campaign" would have cost were absorbed into "Pipeline's" usual monthly budget. Quality suffers but the February issue that would have been, scrapped on the eve of its going to the offset printer, is now languishing on the cutting room floor waiting to be reconstituted into a March issue that should have the usual scope, look and feel — barring acts of God and unforeseen whims of fate.

Speaking of money, it all comes down to money in the network's pockets:

Advance hype and hoopla for B&B's return was unsurpassed, yet the outcome was still disappointing for all concerned. It simply be comes more and more apparent that people who watch quality television are not the people that Neilsen watches. Are the reported 45% who would not agree to have a box in their homes factored into the ratings? Are the 3 in 7 (See V2#4) that are refused a box be cause they don't watch enough TV ever counted at all? We can at least hope that our loud and long entreaties have helped point out the inequities of this system. Neilsen itself needs to be watched.

But why was B&B canceled when so many other shows on CBS are ranked lower? As much as one would like to blame internal politics at the network, it is more likely a matter of moolah. "Beauty and the Beast" was the most expensive show on CBS - its correspondingly higher price tag must not have allowed much leeway. Mr. Sagansky saw a show with a downward trend not covered by advertising dollars, and he simply removed a liability. We can argue till blue in the face that there should be more to this nation's most popular medium than dollars and cents, but there 'tis.

Speaking of moolah:

Averaging about 50 letters a day, with the new subscription rate nearly tripled since the cancellation announcement, it's been tough keeping up with the statistics. It has become, however, a priority.

Wiltse records fans' overwhelming support for the third season and the changes:

So far, only 1 out of every 74 new subscribers professes anything but love and excitement over "Beauty and the Beast" as it now stands. From general correspondence/opinions expressed by those already subscribing to "Pipeline:" 57% are wholly supportive of the 3rd season. 29% are ambivalent yet still supportive. And only 14% wish the show had never returned. Reports are just starting to come in from other publishers & groups but the ratio seems to stay fairly consistent. 3 letters and 1 phone call were also received critical of this editor's "intolerance" of nay-saying, I thank these people for coming forward and identifying themselves.
Forget about the traditional fan campaign of the past:
Lest I myself be misquoted or misconstrued, I ask readers to beware of any campaign involving 'demands,' specifically for Catherine's return, aimed at either Witt-Thomas or a prospective network. Not only are they totally ineffectual in restoring the character to us; when perceived as blackmail, these letters and phone calls are having exactly the opposite of the desired effect. In fact, this type of campaign literally works against the show's return in any form.

But tying up the phone lines is good:

How can I help?

That’s the single most repeated phrase since our fandom’s first outing in the pages of the January 13th “TV Guide” and on Paramount - TVs “Entertainment Tonight” January 10th. “Where do I write?” “Whom do I call?” “What if anything’s to be done?” Plenty.

Already underway, is the ever popular, WRITTEN REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE: “Yes, We want YOUR network to pick up “Beauty and the Beast” ASAP!!! Take us, we’re yours. We’re the biggest, brightest, bubbliest, brawlingest fandom you’ll ever see in your Lifetime (pun intended). Put these ever so sincere, marvelous media darlings to work and just watch the sponsors take notice!”

On rumours alone the Fox Broadcasting Network’s switchboard began to light up on January 5th as Beasties queried and flirted through different departments looking for encouragement. That evening a phone number began to circulate world-wide for a “Beauty and the Beast Telephone-Survey Hotline.” Multiple conversations with operators that evening had led to the ah, ‘little’ misunderstanding. At first only Fox’s answering machine was filled overnight, but then Fox’s main phone line was tied up for nearly 3 business days the following week. Fan contacts tried in vain to stem the tide. By January 9th, “USA Today” reported that “phone representatives at Fox are pleading for mercy. ‘There must be millions of them out there,’ guesses a glazed publicist.” May we all observe a moment of silence for that poor man in “Message Center...”

And this fan campaign is good:

After the cancellation, the subsequent 'Fox-up' and the initial wave of publicity and en masse letterwriting had subsided, amid all the calls and letters to the Workshop in the last 2 weeks... speculation, brainstorming, problem-solving, a "what can we do about this" state of mind began to prevail. Two different strategies were suggested over and over again, but it wasn't till the weekend of January 20th that the ideas suddenly took on the shape of action.

What we need is insurance against network hard times and harder hearts, but for a show as fine and grand as "Beauty and the Beast" the name of the game is ...money.

On the drawing board, the "Great Expectations Project" would be a privately owned corporation that, through shares sold to fans and grants given out to selected series, could make up in production costs what is not covered by advertisers' dollars. Stipulating in its by-laws that there will be no interference in a sponsored series' creative content or business dealings, the corporation would help to balance some of that 'ratings bias' against quality programming. Donna Haarman [phone number redacted] East Coast coordinator, and Elizabeth DuVall [phone number redacted] West Coast coordinator, are looking for business professionals: MBA's, accountants, entertainment and tax lawyers, to donate consultation time on a feasibility study and/or form a board of directors pro tem.

And this campaign is also good:

The idea for more immediate insurance in the short-term came from a Senior Editor for Writer's Digest Books, Nancy Dibble. An internationally published author and past college president, Nancy did not consider herself fan material, only knew of fandom through a friend's copy of "Pipeline." Yet she woke in the middle of the night with an idea that wouldn't quit, and the next day put the marketing division of F&W Publications (publishers of Writer's Digest magazine) to work on "shooting it full of holes and making suggestions."

The end product is the "Beauty and the Beast Video Campaign" on the next page. For fans it is a way of putting their money where their mouths are, without spending a dime until the goal is achieved. It is also a way of being counted. Even if Republic and Witt-Thomas don't take us up on the idea, they will still have in their hands a very publicity-worthy vote of confidence from the 'Loyal'. However, 'should they decide to accept it' it could mean a no-strings-attached source of extra income. This might make up the difference in production costs, while not even affecting the episodes' finally being broadcast right along with the rest of the syndied repeats. Each set of episodes would simply be made available on video to subscribers first.

v.3 n.3 (Mar 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.3 was published in March 1990 and contains 16 pages.

cover of v.3 n.3

This issue has copies of two paid ads in "Variety." One was by Kathy Cox and Jeanne Cloud (editors of Once Upon a Time... Is Now) and one was unknown. There was also another paid ad in "Variety" from January 4, 1990 that was paid for by Kimberly Hartman of Helper's Network US, however that one is not in this issue of "Pipeline."

  • A Fable for Beauty and the Beast (text of a January 11, 1990 fan-paid ad printed in "Daily Variety") [13]
  • Beauty and the Beast -- A Thing of Magic (text of a January 18, 1990 fan-paid ad in "Daily Variety") [14]
  • Readers' Forum: Who Speaks for Fandom? (short quotes from mainstream press, excerpts and commentary from fan letters)
  • Whither Beauty and the Beast (mostly remarks about the show's cancellation and possibility of it being sold in syndication: "Sources close to the production have intimated that Russell Goldsmith, head of Republic Pictures, has been working very hard on our behalf. The silence, however, has indeed been deafening. Negotiations may either be at a critical stage or no stage at all. All we can hope is that no news is good news and to paraphrase William James: "Our belief will help create the fact."")
  • And the Video Pledge Drive? (progress about the project where fans had been tasked with sending Witt/Thomas pledges in the mail promising they would buy videotapes)
  • a letter from Lee Holdrige thanking fans for their support and apologizing for not answering all their letters personally ("Whatever happens to the series in the uncertain future, the two and a half years of its life are a magical reality and will forever exist as a very special and unique chapter in television history.")
  • a letter from Don Davis thanking fans for their support and apologizing for not answering all their letters personally ("I would like to convey my thanks and appreciation to all of you for your expressions of support and encouragement, and for making Beauty and the Beast the truly magical experience that it was.")
  • Fandom Surveyed ("Last summer's "National Beauty and the Beast Audience Survey" results are in. Out of 4,826 respondents, the average viewer as of September 30, 1989 was, according to the highest percentages, a woman between the ages of 35 and 44, married with children. Having had some college, she worked in a profession making between $20,000 and 35,000 a year. She tended to watch between 10 and 19 hours of television every week and usually watched B&B with 2 other people." -- this issue contains the much more detailed results)
  • much info about cons
  • many classified ads
  • BioFile: Stephen McHattie (short bio and credits)

Excerpts

Two Paid Ads from Fans

The January 11, 1990 paid ad in "Daily Variety" -- "A Fable for Beauty and the Beast":

Once upon a time... many many people were moving through a dim wasteland that was brightened here and there by small sparks of sunlight. Suddenly they came upon a beautifully wrought crystal sculpture standing on a pedestal and shining brightly in a sunbeam. Their hearts were caught not only by its beauty but by the unexpected joy of finding it. They began to explore and discuss the crystal's complex design and to gather more people to enjoy the sight. When suddenly the crystal object shattered in front of them. The shards might still shine brightly in the sun and be attractive in their own way, but they are still the broken remnants of something that in its wholeness was lovely and magical and their hearts mourned for the loss of BEAUTY...

To Republic Pictures, Witt-Thomas Productions, Linda Hamilton, Ron Perlman, Roy Dotrice, and all the talented people who have been connected with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, this little fable is offered as an expression of gratitude for the 44 marvelous stories that gave wings to dreams and touched the best in so many hearts. It is also offered as a regretful farewell from the many, many people who find they cannot support the third season in its current cop-show format. If the crystalline structure cannot be mended, they will remember the gift "Of Love and Hope" even though the dream has been shattered.

[One fan's comment in "Pipeline v.3 n.3]: This week, in California, there is in session the Newspaper Critics Convention. In time for this convention, a group of fans took a quarter page ad in Variety (See "A Fable for Beauty and the Beast") stating in effect that they do not accept the third season and demanding that Catherine be brought back to the story. This does not help at this point, it can only hurt. We are no longer a united front. There isn't even a show to argue about at this point and won't be if fans continue to act in an obnoxious manner.
The January 18, 1990 paid ad in "Daily Variety" -- "Beauty and the Beast -- A Thing of Magic":

For 53 hours we've embraced an enchanting story, knowing it was fragile and delicate as are all things of magic and wonder, coming to treasure it, learning to protect it. 53 hours ...so far. 53 hours ...and counting. Perhaps some have been so blinded by the controversy over the creative changes in the third season of Beauty and the Beast that they have lost sight of these simple concepts: The most wondrous nature of magic itself it its very ability to take any number of forms. Championing a beloved past does not have to mean condemnation of the present. When one's touchstones are tolerance for other viewpoints and acceptance of honest differences, there is always, always hope.

To the millions of devoted fans who accepted the series' changes, with sadness for the lost past yet excitement for the glimpsed future, we say that you must not give up. To the millions more who were only beginning to discover this compelling story, we say that It would be unbearably sad to let it stop for you now. To Tony Thomas, Paul Witt, Russell Goldsmith, Ron Koslow, producers, writers, cast and crew of Beauty and the Beast, we say you have the wholehearted support of these many millions, perhaps not yet fully counted, perhaps not always the most vocal, but nevertheless out here, Provably out here.

And to any entity — network, independent, syndicator or whomever — who becomes the champion of this honored series, please know that you will gain an audience unprecedented in its loyalty and support.

Reviews and Comments in Mainstream Press

From the February issue of the "AFA Journal" of the "American Family Association," another organization directed by the Rev. Wildmon of CLeaR-TV (Christian Leaders for Responsible Television):

Beauty and beast have illicit child on CBS series: part-human man/beast and his human lover have a child in the season premiere of CBS's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The two-hour

episode, written and produced by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, is a real stomach-turner.

The series focal point has always been the relation ship between District Attorney Catherine Chandler and Vincent, a part human-part animal character who lives with sub-culture friends in abandoned subway tunnels under New York City.

Even Vincent is not sure what he is, once asking a friend, "Am I a man?" "Part of you is," replies his friend. "And the part that is not?" "I don't know the answer to that, Vincent" In its early seasons, the series left to the imagination Catherine and Vincent's true relationship, but this episode leaves nothing to doubt When Catherine is told by a nurse that she is pregnant, she wears an expression of total shock, as if she just cannot imagine how such a thing could happen.

When she tells her animal-faced lover they're going to have a child, she's upset that he is not elated. "A child?" Vincent asks. "What kind of child?" "An extraordinary child," purrs Catherine. Safe as assumption!

Catherine is kidnapped — before human friends know she is pregnant — and immediately after her baby's birth, her captors inject her with a lethal drug and flee with the baby.
From a column by Ruth Butler in the "Grand Rapids Press":
So the loyal fans didn't like the new changes. And new fans, some quite positively enthusiastic, didn't add much to the low ratings numbers. And just one week into the new year, CBS cancelled the show. Done, Finis, no more changes. The show's creators said they felt had, that they had tried to maintain the show's spirit, even as poetry was re placed by semi-automatic weapons.

"The calls and letters we got on the first few episodes were really terrific," Paul Witt, executive producer with Tony Thomas, was quoted as saying "They were staggeringly in favor of the re-tooling we were doing; everything was coming together."

Vicki Burke, the Grand Rapids-based editor of "Whispering Gallery," a fanzine for "B&B" devotees, had a bit different view: "I would no more support this third season crap than anything," said the woman who helped rouse the 'B&B' troops last year. "I hate to see it end this way because it had the potential of being something good." Burke faulted the recent episodes for violence and lack of continuity: "Nobody's doing the research, nobody's in character," she said.

[One fan's reaction to this article]: Contrary to what you may think, there are many of us who enjoyed the third season episodes and were looking forward to more. Did you even bother to find any people who liked the new format? ...I am also a member of the " Whispering Gallery," and I resent someone speaking out for me, and assuming that just because she does not like the show, no one else does. The comment about a sadistic scene toward a female character was absolutely ridiculous. Why is it that no one was bothered by the 'sadistic' treatment of Catherine Chandler in the first two seasons? We saw her face slashed in the pi lot episode, and in subsequent episodes we saw her get shot, brutally beaten, drugged, nearly used as a human sacrifice, and chloroformed, locked in a car trunk and driven into a lake to drown. This was acceptable treatment of a woman?
I was also offended by your comment about the poetry being 'replaced by semi-automatic weapons.' Apparently, you have not been paying very close attention to the shows this season, or perhaps you have not watched them at all. The meaning behind the poetry and literary excerpts is still as strong as it ever was, and each episode is filled with symbolism, if you look beyond the surface.
Speaking for myself, I have enjoyed the third season immensely, even without Catherine. I really liked the new character of Diana; her strengths, her individuality, and the very fact that she was so different from Catherine. I felt that if we had to lose the character of Catherine, then the last thing I wanted was to see a Catherine clone. I had no problem in accepting Diana as a possible love interest for Vincent in future shows; as long as it was done subtly and with taste and dignity. ...I think the writers have done an excellent job in these episodes, and in no way do I feel let down or betrayed. The writing was still as high quality as ever; I was looking forward to seeing all of the twelve episodes, and more beyond that, and I feel cheated that they are not being aired.

Fan Comments

Even if we do advertise in newspapers and flyers etc. and get more viewers, it really doesn't matter be cause they don't look at our ratings, do they? Could you please pass on to Roy Dotrice that even though Canadian viewers may not count in the ratings or in the eyes of the CBS network, nevertheless there are many thousands (and maybe more) of loyal viewers here in Canada. And although no one has asked our opinions many of us are making our feelings known all over the place. We too appreciate and love Beauty and the Beast both for its wonderfully creative dimensions and for its unique quality.

Sorry, the count is not in as far as how many Video Pledge Drive sheets Witt-Thomas has received. Envelopes numbering in the thousands are being bundled over to Republic Pictures, but no word yet on the tally.

[...]

Who knows? We may see the idea of first run videos, if not first run videos by subscription, adopted by the industry at large — most especially as an adjunct to network and/or cable first runs (or as first run 'repeats'). Whether B&B will be the show to pioneer the concept remains to be seen. But, I suspect most would be just as happy if Republic doesn't feel the need to take us up on our little 'insurance policies' in order to get Beauty and the Beast back on the airwaves again. In any case, the idea and the efforts behind it have not gone unnoticed.
This is the day after! Last night 'Beauty and the Beast' had its season finale. I watched it this last season hoping Catherine would return. Ron Perlman, Jay Acovone, and Roy Dotrice did wonderful acting jobs, but the story was Terrible. The least the writers could have done is have a Happy Ending... I think they probably wanted it to end, but 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. My husband wasn't crazy about the show, but so what. I don't like football either but they don't cancel football. All shows don't appeal to everyone.
Frankly [I] don't see where asking for less than what we might be able to achieve makes sense. The show returning either as an hour-long or movie-length series of continuing or individual episodes is certainly preferable. And supporting these goals certainly does not rule out a finale as 'a last resort' And aren't the terms "End" and "Final" pretty self-limiting? Had the producers of "Star Trek" seen the writing on NBC's wall back in the '60's and decided to let the Enterprise blow up with all hands in a blaze of heroic glory for the show's final network airing, would its genre, its fandom exist as it is today?

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!
When the third season began and was found to be filled with vengeance, hatred, and obscenities, the fans' positive focus was ripped away quite brutally. When people tell them they stink for not supporting these dark ideals, I get scared. Now that the show is gone and fandom is split into factions that seem to be attacking each other, where will all these people who used to have nothing, go? Which 'side' will they take? I don't know.
Talk about screwing over half of what the show was about. Why even make a wonderful show if you're going to disregard what you put in it just to have an exciting remake to satisfy fans. Yet another 'all violent' show. It is not Beauty and the Beast anymore and it never will be again. ...You may think me morbid or cruel, but to me the perfect, most kind and beautiful end to the series would be for Vincent and his son to join Catherine in Heaven.
The other day, I received a letter from the International Fan Club' encouraging me to vent my anger, by letter, to CBS. This is just the kind of letter that has hurt our cause from the start and (along with low ratings) may have led to the swiftness of the second cancellation. I'm sure that CBS got thou sands of outraged (& outrageous) letters after the first episode or two that convinced them that too much fan support was eroding. By not giving Season #3 a chance, those letter writers (& phone callers) have helped to kill the series I so enjoyed. I have al ways resented the heavy-handed tactics encouraged by so many fan clubs & support groups. These tactics have only served to alienate sponsors, networks, and Witt/Thomas.

Through all this I thought that we were presenting a united front. Well, here also, with all our good intentions, fandom is becoming split and it is Beauty and the Beast that will suffer. All of us mourned Catherine's death and then in just one short month Vincent was also taken from us by CBS. The fact is that LINDA HAMILTON SIMPLY DID NOT WANT TO CONTINUE IN SERIES TELEVISION. It is too demanding. There was nothing the production company could do. Yet, there are now fans who insist that Catherine be brought back. There are petitions being circulated and demands being made.

[...]

We do not own this show. There are professionals who have given us two of the best years on television and the promise of a different but wonderful third season despite strikes and a balky network. The chemistry between Catherine and Vincent was extraordinary, we all felt it. It cannot be duplicated, at least not right away. We all needed time to mourn Catherine. LINDA COULD NOT BE REPLACED. The writers' decision was sound and given the chance this would have proved provocative and exciting. Not the same. But life changes. And who knows, maybe after a time and our memory of Linda's wonderful performance had dimmed a little, another actress could have been introduced in the part.
I believe the actions by those you called 'nay say-ers' was not even in their own best interest. I believe that the best possibility for reuniting the cast would be in another movie, but it would have to be a great deal more positive than the last one. I still think that Catherine's return would bring fans out of the woodwork, because they would want to know how it could be done after autopsy, burial, and the passage of time. It would reunite the masses and probably attract the curious. After all, anything is possible on television and the movies. Remember Dallas and the resurrection of Spock. Perhaps a way of reuniting the fans would be to solicit financial contributions which could be given to Witt-Thomas Productions toward that end. ...This would allow the fans, and not the television stations to determine what would happen.
Please do not misinterpret me, however. I am not one of those disaffected 'ex-Beasties' the media has been so fond of quoting this past month or so. The series still has potential for powerful myth-weaving even without the Catherine character; however, to work at a deep psychological level as all myth does, the narrative needs to focus more on human relationships, human emotions, not simply action-adventure... This sad last season B&B has drifted dangerously far from its original source of power.
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.
I have been going this third season on Faith and Love, and, because it seemed so fragile, I wouldn't even dare a letter to anyone. I just sat back, and held my breath. Those who said (loudly) that they 'Didn't want the show if they couldn't have Catherine' made a choice for me that I was trying desperately not to have made.
In spite all the assurances and denials to the contrary, the T.V. Guide article was accurate and if what Catherine suffered wasn't 'torture' then I don't know what else it could possibly be called. I feel as if the writers deliberately set out to take everything away from us.

v.3 n.4/5 (Apr/May 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.4/5 was published in April/May 1990 and contains 12 pages.

cover of v.3 n.4/5
  • Beauty and the Beast Reprise on Cable, this is the full text of the press release from Republic Pictures, Los Angeles, CA, March 30, 1990 (includes a photo of Roy Dotrice at the Boston B&B convention March 31th, reading a fax to the cheering audience.)
  • A Bigger Canvas: Interview with Ron Koslow on April 20, 1990
  • Kudos, Republic! by Wiltse (all about cable and money and business regarding the show)
  • BioFile: Ron Perlman by Wiltse (credits and comments)
  • Report from non-Neilsen [sic] country, article by Nan Dibble (an updated about the Beauty & the Beast Video Pledge Drive)
  • Printed Matter (excerpts about the show in mainstream press articles, including "the fledgling trade magazine 'Entertainment Weekly'")
  • The Sincerest Form, article by Wiltse (about how prime time television is offering more "romantic fantasy shows" like the mini-series: Phantom of the Opera and the NBC remake of Dark Shadows
  • A Convention Report by Wiltse (about the late March 19990 Creation Con in Boston)
  • Compromise?, comments by Wiltse over The Family Channel's procurement of the show and possible "editing"
  • mainstream press clippings
  • ads and requests from fans
  • MANY descriptions of fan clubs such as "Perlman's Posse " and "Feisty Beauties for Their Beast" (some photos, too)
  • Winterfest 1990 -- In some tunnels, far, far away, a long report (with photo) by Uschi Brecht of a fan gathering ("On March 24th, people from all over Western Germany travelled to Solingen, and our friends from the Belgium/Netherlands fan club "Keep the Dream Alive" arrived car-load-wise. The most wonderful thing was to welcome three members from East Germany — it was the first time for them to travel that far away into their Western neighbour-country.")
  • while they'd been included before, this issue is the first one to have extensive fanfiction and zine ads (several have statements to fans that they are sexually explicit and fans should not purchase them "if this troubles you")
  • there are many, many ads by fans asking and offering help with video tapes
  • a ballot for TunnelCon Awards

Excerpts

From one of Wiltse's many comments about the syndication:

According to sources at Republic the plan announced in the above press release is unprecedented, a real coup. Never have the repeats of a series been put into syndication this quickly, nor so orchestrated to succeed over the long term. Russell Goldsmith and Chuck Larsen deserve all our thanks for their care and their commitment to "Beauty and the Beast." Not to mention obtaining those 3 un-aired episodes that everyone's been so looking forward to.

This took a lot of very hard, very fast work on everyone's part to accomplish — even while every other phone call seemed to be a fan inquiring about the show, or some person bent on picking a fight about storylines, the number of pledge drives received, or the production of new episodes. One way we can thank these people is to honour their request that fans not phone either Republic or Witt-Thomas. Until actual announcements are written and approved for release, no information can be given out over the phone anyway. If it's any consolation, this editor was read the above press copy by a Republic rep [Thank you, Lee Wedemeyer!] the evening of its release. The next day, or day after that, newspapers nationwide had already run the story. So, even if you had called late March 29th and been given the news, you would not have had that much of a jump on the general press anyway. Whatever else might be discovered through a phone call is subject to the comparative optimism or pessimism, or current humour of the person you wind up being able to talk to. It has been many fan 'reporters" experience that even informed opinion can be wrong, no matter who your source is.

With hindsight official announcements aren't always totally accurate either, but they're the closest to fact you can count on. The press release above, for example, speaks of "done deals."

So let's give the people at Republic and Witt-Thomas a much deserved breather.
Wiltse had these comments following the interview with Ron Koslow:

Editor's Note: Looks like we're in for another cliff-hanger. Yes, I think Ron K. likes to draw out side the lines, ignore all the boundaries, and tease the audience with ALL the possibilities in doing just that. No doubt, after the admission above, his office will be digging out from a mountain of story-suggestions for some time to come. Though, quite honestly, he doesn't strike me as a man who necessarily takes a vote when he makes a creative decision. This doesn't mean he doesn't care about what we think — but the guy has earned his 'sanctum sanctoram.'

I couldn't help but lament the series at one point, though we both agreed B&B was better off "out from under CBS in any case." Toward the end of the conversation, he asked, "what the feeling was" out here. 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." Later on, of course, I thought of all the 'brilliant' observations I could have offered, but after all the unpleasantries associated with having an opinion lately, I'm glad I didn't add one more.

A con report by Wiltse (took place in Boston, late March):

The last few conventions, Creation and otherwise, have sounded pretty interesting. This was my first one this year. The turn-out was light for such an event, only about 200. According to Creation, with out the show on the air at the moment there was no 'place' to advertise the event locally. The majority (from as far away as South Carolina) were there through the "Con Update" mention, since Creation's notification cards hadn't hit town till the day before. Guest of Honour Roy Dotrice, traveling from Los Angeles, figured he had flown about 40 miles per attendee.

Through a slight mix-up, I found my own Q & A sessions had been omitted, so Barbara Storey graciously shared the podium the first day. I was pretty ambivalent about this since Ms. Storey and I very rarely see eye to eye on anything — from the Video Pledge Drive to how to run a campaign. On the other hand, what better place to hold a reasonable discussion than in front of a hundred or so people — not to mention Creation's video camera....

Anyways, letters gently chastising me for not making the New York convention (which I had also been scheduled for; sorry, sick bird) had complained about "a Creation spokeswoman's" attitude. One woman felt ashamed that she had not had the courage to speak up and say "But is it all right to say you liked the third season?" How this situation had deteriorated, I thought, if now someone needs courage to express her own personal tastes.

Imagine my surprise in Boston when the expected "Freedom of Speech" — Don't be afraid to tell 'em off for the 3rd Season" (Excuse me, correction: "Nicely, please let 'em know what you don't like") rhetoric gave way for the most part to a reading off of good news and fandom's good works. The lusty debate which I was given to believe would be championed was non-existent. Indeed, Barb said what I would have said, better than I could have said it {Her poise and public speaking experience are the reason I gave her name and number to TVs "Entertainment Tonight" for their B&B segment last January). This afternoon you couldn't have told our viewpoints apart without the proverbial scorecard

[...]

One rumour did surface in regards to a hypothetical B&B TV-movie to be filmed this summer for CBS. This was credited to Jill Coplan at Republic Pictures and supposedly confirmed by Producer Ho ward Gordon. Would that it were true, but Jill denies having ever said it in the first place; and both Howard Gordon and Producer Alex Ganza are now working on developing their own pilots. (Let us know what's in the works when you can, fellas!)

[...]

Shortly thereafter, Creation's volunteer security pressed me into service; at 5'10" and not the slenderest of reeds, I guess I looked like a good candidate. It seems a couple of the attendees had been identified as people who had be come a little violent while at a previous event, trying to punch and kick their way through security to yet another handsome British actor, guesting at a horror films salute. (Small comfort that they didn't seem of B&B fandom.) The fracas had actually been immortalized on videotape.

I must emphasize that in the roughly 10 years I've attended Creation events, or conventions in general, this is only the second incident I'd ever heard of and neither was serious. My respect for "the secret service" increased enormously, as amidst a swirl of well-wishers I tried to keep between you-know-who and possible you-know- what. This involved being outright rude, while at the same time trying not to provoke the incident we were trying to avoid. Mr. Dotrice, not yet fully apprised of the situation, kidded later about my intentions, what with the sudden tendency to cling.

By the time the Q&A was over the hotel had supplied armed guards for the autograph table. Some how that didn't make me feel any better. If they had truly been needed, this was fast becoming the kind of news I didn't want to have to cover.

When the 'people in question' appeared over and over again in the autograph line, my heart came up in my throat. But each time Roy unquestioningly obliged them with more autographs, photos taken, and conversation. Twice he had one of them lean over or come back behind the autograph table for a hug and a snapshot pose. I glanced at the guard nearest and saw the snaps being quietly undone on his 'weaponry,' his hand coming to rest on the belt neatly. Can you say "oh" 40 times real fast? It was bad enough that some of the easy camaraderie had been noticeably absent at this convention (healing was evident but still at the itchy stage) ...but to have some kind of physical altercation happening to anyone — let alone our presiding Father figure — was simply unthinkable.

After the autograph session the guards escorted our party all the way out of the hotel and into the bar next door — which had us all chuckling sheepishly.

[...]

With hindsight I realized that the only protection Roy really needed that weekend was his own kindness. That admirable code of courtesy we've all come almost to take for granted, did him far better service than any armed bodyguard could have done. It is well to remember that the original purpose of shaking hands was to assure each person that the other carried no weapon. Without defense there was no danger. If only the same could be said of open arms and open hearts. Perhaps sometimes it can.

v.3 n.6/7 (June/July 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.6/7 was published in June/July 1990 and contains 8 pages.

cover of v.3 n.6/7
  • CBS Repeats Beauty and the Beast!, article by Wiltse about how CBS was now going to run all the shows and includes two rumors
  • Family Channel... Uncut and in Order (This is a press release from The Family Channel, Virginia, Beach, VA, April 4, 1990, and it has this added bit: "DREAMSEEKERS" a new B&B community in Virginia is, literally, just up the road from the Family Channel's headquarters and were treated recently to a tour of the facility by Vice President Earl Weirich. During their visit Mr. Weirich confirmed that FAM does not intend to edit in order to add more commercial time.")
  • The B&B Network (a list of TV stations "signed up for the B&B syndie deal")
  • BioFile: Linda Hamilton, text of an ad ("The following paid ad, printed in flowing script and entitled "She Walks in Beauty," was run in the March 7th daily "Variety trade paper. It pretty much stuns up what many fans feel about Linda and her performance as Cathy and though issue might be taken with some of the statements made, I doubt anyone would contend with the eloquence of its text or the sincerity of the sentiments expressed...")
  • the original description of the character and info about Linda Hamilton from the original 1988/89 press kit

Excerpts

Wiltse printed two rumors going around fandom. One had no source (though since one topic was some "misspellings," it appears it was in print somewhere...) and one was one she'd heard at a convention:

...a couple of rumours started traveling around fandom at the speed of sound June 1st. The first seemed tailor-made for the Catherine-prone: "They (CBS] are going to show all Catherine & Vincent stories —12 episodes — barring pre-emptions. A CBS VP, Michael Ivanberger (sic], called *a fan 'luminary"" and told her that CBS thought it would be disastrous to show the 3rd sea son because it was so controversial. If sufficient interest were shown in Vincent & Catherine stories, they might do a TV-movie. Michael therefore advised the fans to deluge Pat Saulstich's (head of CBS's mo vie division, also misspelled] office with telegrams, letters, etc. and to do it as soon as possible. ...But... leave Michael's name out of it because he would deny it if asked and because department."

A variation on the same rumour, one that even surfaced at a recent convention, was obviously designed for general fan consumption. It went like this: "Mr. Saulstich himself is conducting a survey and is actively soliciting viewer opinions on CBS doing B&B TV movies. Write him at ..." The address given for CBS in Los Angeles was incorrect. Sound familiar? Over and over again calls came in to the Workshop trying to confirm one or other of the above.

[Michael Eisenberg (aka Ivanberger), who is a CBS VP, spoke to this in a telephone interview on June 5th with Wiltse]:
Q: And what about the rumour?
A: Let me give you the whole story here. I know ******* is very much a big fan of the program. When I saw these were going to repeat I called her. I figured it would brighten her day a bit. Then she called me back, she'd been asking about a movie for quite awhile, and she asked me whether it was possible for CBS to do a movie. Well, anything's possible, I wouldn't say impossible. I wasn't encouraging her, but she said "how could she find out?" And I said "why don't you write to Pat Faulstich?" So I gave her that information. That's really where we left it. I didn't tell her to make her do a campaign! You can quote this in the way I just said it to you.
Q: Would this all be awkward for you, as well as Pat?
A: Yeah, it would put us both in a very tacky position. Pat doesn't know about any of this at all! (Confirmed June 5th with Faulstich's office; they knew of no plans to do a B&B TV-movie and as they put it, Faulstich should know since he's the head of the department.)
And another rumour bites the dust... Sony it didn't turn out to be better news. Thankfully, all par ties know by now that the 'campaign' was due to a simple misunderstanding ...and was not intended to give anyone's secretary a nervous breakdown. Apologies have been tendered. Despite everything, we have always had friends, no. Helpers, within CBS who respect and support our efforts — sending 'em a bushel basket of ultimata is poor thanks. Hopefully there will be no hard feelings, bridges burnt or chances diminished by fannish machinations. If anything, misunderstandings like this one can still be a good excuse to bring the subject up and put our oars in once again. So don't kick yourself if you dashed off a letter, you can't do much harm to 'plans' that don't even exist.
There are some interesting recent developments in terms of extremely strained relations be tween all 3 networks and the A.C. Neilsen Company. Some sort of change in procedure seems in the wind. How soon, how much more accurate ratings will be in future or how much less invisible' we might consequently become, remains to be seen.
From the Family Channel's press release:

The show, which has a loyal following, was recently canceled by CBS, where it has had its home since debuting in September, 1987. It was threatened with cancellation once before, and returned with new episodes in January, 1990. Viewers were strident about the loss, writing let ters, sending 7,300 tel^rams to CBS and purchasing ads in Variety. There are more than 50 major fan clubs with a combined membership of 350,000, according to writ er Timothy Carlson who researched the show's sup port for a TV Guide article Jan. 13, 1990. There are at least 90 magazines and newsletters inspired by "Beauty." The literary level of many of these publications is high. Kimberly Hartman of Fullerton, Calif., pub lishes an annual compendium listing the six to eight references per show to the works of Tennyson, Shakespeare, Dante, e.e. cummings and Wordsworth.

"'Beauty and the Beast,' with its classic, chaste love story told in contemporary terms, is an exciting purchase for us and an opportunity to draw new viewers to The Family Channel," said Paul Krimsier, vice president of programming. The Family Channel is in nearly 49 million homes and is one of the highest- rated basic cable networks.

The Family Channel received hundreds of letters from "Beauty" fans asking that it air on FAM. "We have never had so many people call or write requesting a show," said Krimsier. "No one ever requested 'Moonlighting' or 'MacGyver.'"

v.3 n.8/9 (Aug/Sept 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.8/9 was published in Aug/Sept 1990 and contains 8 pages.

cover of v.3 n.8/9
  • Beauty and the Beast... What's Happening: Coming to a theatre near you? (interview transcript with Ron Koslow on July 17)
  • Beauty and the Beast... What's Happening: Family Channel - Out of Order (article about how the FAM Channel was showing episodes in the order Republic was sending them to them, which was out of order. Some fans attempted to straighten this out.)
  • It All Started on the Kitchen Table, essay by Darrilynn Malone (the origins of TunnelCon)
  • Con Report for TunnelCon by by Stephanie A. Wiltse (see that page)
  • a review of the for-profit book "Above & Below: A Guide to Beauty and the Beast"
  • Tappings (actor news)
  • On the Road... The Making of a New Video (about a "visual Pipeline")
  • More TunnelCon comments
  • Classifieds
  • More TunnelCon Comments, including addressing many fandom rumors
  • ads for zines
  • Convention News (many, many Creation Cons)

Excerpts

[Stephanie]:

At any rate, just as rumours about celebrities are assuredly absurd and unfair, rumours about fan-folk are no less distorted nor the likely product of some over-fertile imagination. The fact that these people were indeed peaceably present and, I think, bravely trying to shed more light than heat in conversation with everyone else, not to mention this editor, proves it. I cannot deny keeping an ear to the 'mill' (yes, "Wiltse the Witch" (chuckle) has more than a few friendly grapes on the vine herself) but I would never form an opinion based on vine 'info,' let alone spread it further, let alone act upon it. I have and will continue to advise everyone else to do the same. 'Nuff said.

[... comments about TunnelCon, see that page]

A few people came up to me all concerned over rumours of an anti-third season rail, that they had heard was to be held next year in San Francisco. This may have been confused with a convention called "Crystal Chamber Con 1." Now really, it's pretty far-fetched to believe anyone would knowingly weigh down their event with such baggage. Detailed flyers that gave no hint of this stance, requesting volunteers and/or registration/hotel fees were left on the freebie table at TunnelCon. As far as we know, none of the show's stars, etc. are scheduled or have been asked to attend as yet. Though as of August 28th, Robert John Guttke had received a "very business-like and cordial letter" and was considering it. According to Barbara Storey in TunnelTalk," that letterzine has been designated the con's "official" news source, and Vicky Clark and Ms. Storey will be in charge of all panel discussions. For more info send a SASE to: Ralon Chamberlain. Look for more in future "Convention Update" columns should the Workshop receive further confirmation.

The oldest rumour making the rounds maligns Ron Perlman's treatment of fans generally and also states that he's not interested in doing B&B any longer. In actuality, he is simply not interested in guesting at conventions at the moment — acting being preferable. All power to him.

The very latest rumour involves moi (!) According to Gary Berman at Creation, they have received some negative mail (though I have not) about my Q&A at their Philadelphia convention on August 4th. Oddly enough, the subject, and the mail it generated, were reportedly brought up by someone in the audience during Creation's Manhattan con on August 25th — during a B&B slide show that Gary was narrating.

I commend Creation on the wisdom of their remaining neutral (apparently, they have been through this many times over the years). But I can and will state that I have never slandered Linda Hamilton from on-stage or anywhere else. Neither I, nor to my knowledge, does anyone at Creation harbour ill-feeling towards the actress. They may be used to this but, suffice it to say, I for one consider it slanderous for such a thing to be said of me.

I suppose it's not surprising for yours truly to be a step away from some sort of vendetta's guillotine. Now's my turn to be misquoted ... or worse, (Uh oh, paranoia again.) At least I am in good company. I'm not get angry over something that isn't true, what I really resent is having to waste the space of this entire column on all the rubbish. Believe it or not how ever, I have gotten mail saying readers have enjoyed my tilting at rumour mills, futile as it may be. One fella thought that reporting gossip was better than nothing at all when there was no "real" news to be had. Perhaps it is also human nature to enjoy when other people, this editor included, make fools of themselves (probably because it makes you feel bet ter 'bout your last flight on a banana peel — no offense intended)! But aren't there far, far better things for me to do with my time and yours... than to count each Madame Defaiges' every knit & purl?

This does call for an editorial thunk, an operation on one's own modus operandi: I confess I have had this simplistic tendency to treat unhappy people like birds with broken wing; find for them the right in sight or rationale (or just tell 'em to straighten up and fly right) and they instantly mend and take cheerfully to the air once more. Ha, ha. I've lately found that that attitude has its pitfalls. It may be a caring response but it is not however treating people as one's equal. Nor does it allow for those who want to be unhappy. Or those naturally scrappy individuals who will argue regardless of whether you or they take it personally or not. Indeed, if you become too empathetic you may find yourself siding with a team you are not on, where does that leave self-determination?

I've always equated being a "fan" of something with being an "amateur" at something. Far from meaning an unprofessional dabbler, the term amateur literally derives from the French and Latin as a lover, or one who loves to the point of taking up that which is loved as a study. When this newsletter is most satisfying for me is when it succeeds at being a form of portraiture.

The enmity that Pipeline and/or Beauty and the Beast (of all things} has engendered in some people continues to absolutely boggle me. (Although there is an evil fascination with being beheld as a villainess.) The fact that old hands at things fannish consider this attitude 'normal' behavior had me once feeling vaguely insulted on everyone's behalf. But now I too find it difficult not to become hardened to it.

v.3 n.10 (Oct 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.10 was published in October 1990 and contains 4 pages.

Excerpts

Comments by Wiltse:

Why does this Pipeline look, well, kind of anemic? Well, it’s because I had hoped to do one more bi-monthly just to catch up on everything, but I wanted you guys to know about the above as soon as possible. So, instant monthly — didn't even have time to halftone any photos — I literally hashed together whatever was ready to go and called it an issue, (highly unethical!) ...But if printer and postman oblige I hope no one will mind ...or miss out on all the doings above because they didn't hear in time ...

Comments by Wiltse regarding censorship, editing, fan behavior and Beauty and the Beast and The Family Channel Controversies:

Beauty and the Beastly?

Again, fans are divided between those who were simply appalled by the editing of the episodes aired so far on Family Channel and those that found the editing itself unobtrusive and were simply happy to have "the dream kept alive." Most who have respond ed to FAM have been the latter, but to the former this editor offers the following:

There are organized groups who look one look at B&B and just saw more evidence that the networks had gone to the devil, literally. What is Beauty for some is "Bestiality" for others. I believe that when the Family Channel bought this series, they made no less a significant break with these lobbyists as when they began to call themselves the Family Channel rather than the Christian Broadcast Network. Obviously, they could ill-afford a puritanical or prudish image and still remain competitive as an entertainment service. This has not, however, made the network any the less devout or idealistic, its programmers simply saw the same values and quality in this series that we have. Their beautifully crafted and extensive on-air promotion attests to that sensitivity.

A rumour that FAM was considering somehow working in a marriage ceremony before Vincent and Catherine's, shall we say, already as chaste as possible liaison at the end of 2nd season ...is quite true. But before we get embroiled in an argument that starts with a snipped scene or two and extends all the way to questions on freedom of speech and the National Endowment for the Arts... it is well to re member that the network itself reels it is protecting the rights of the vast majority of its loyal viewership and their families. The fact remains that organizations claiming to represent that viewership have virtually banned (burned??) Beauty and the Beast for a variety of perceived evils far more heinous than Vincent merely being considered "frightening."

For myself I agree with Granville Hicks that "A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to." But FAM has to continually compromise between their 'old' loyal audience and the new viewers they hope to gain. Because of this I think we will be unable to convince FAM not to edit the episodes they air, either for time or for content. To be fair, they had always been very tentative in statements to that effect. So far no damage has been done to story lines or continuity, only to all our hopes for a complete video collection. This must be particularly galling to those who went out and bought satellite dishes for the purpose.

The point is the "blame game' has never worked to our advantage, being rude or abusive has made more enemies than it has ever won arguments. The public-relations people many of us have spoken with have had to deal far longer with a far more righteously indignant crowd than we would ever want to be — people who would prefer B&B had never aired at all, anywhere, ever. Perhaps we can make more brownie points in Heaven for being more tolerant than they. It is also well to remember that the people who field our mail or answer the phone at the Family Channel do not make editorial decisions, they only have to deal with their consequences. I don't think this would strain the quality of our mercy so much.

Much introspection by Wiltse:

[an excerpt from Is all Art useless?]:

I came away from TunnelCon feeling that we are all very lucky people. Any show that makes it on the air, let alone stays there for 3 seasons (no matter how uphill a battle it was) is considered a success by industry tradition. And thanks to those last 12 episodes we have enough "in the can" to carry us into perpetual syndication (hopefully). Such an airwaved afterlife has nurtured the "Star Trek" genre to this very day. Because of these accomplishments, more is yet possible for us and the show's alumni in a theatrical sense. And it's particularly satisfying to think that in some small way our support not only benefited B&B, but so many careers as well.

For ourselves, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that as Mark Hartman (of Helper's Network) put it at TunnelCon, we have reached a "critical mass" that insures that the community will endure and continue to grow.

From a fan: an apology, a thank you, and a mixed message regarding manners and friendship:

FROM THE TUNNEL CON MEDIA ROOM: To all those people who were unable to see something they especially wanted to see (and that includes virtually everyone at the convention - staff and celebrity guests as well) my sincerest apologies. And my heartfelt thanks to all the disappointed people for being so gracious and understanding about it. I would also like to thank all those fans who brought their music videos and allowed me to show them. They displayed a staggering amount of creativity, invention, and plain hard work. I suspect that there will be a new award category at Tunnel Con II. If you have any suggestions, comments, or ideas; or if, for some reason, you want to write to a 38-year-old, tall, thin, balding, B&B fan, write to Mike Smith [address redacted]. However, I must warn you I am the world's worst at answering letters. So if you don't get a reply I'm not inconsiderate - just extremely lazy. A phone number would considerably increase your chances of getting a reply.

v.3 n.11 (Nov 1990)

Pipeline v.3 n.11 was published in November 1990 and contains 4 pages.

cover of v.3 n.11
  • Beauty and the Beast's Captive Audience?, article by Wiltse (topic is The Family Channel's editing of the show, Republic's edit of the show on VCR tapes...)
  • Aye, Aye, Armin (news about Armin Shimerman)
  • On The Road (some comments about TunnelCon and David Greenlee's remarks to reporters there)
  • On the Recommended List: Book Review for "Above & Below: A Guide to Beauty and the Beast"
  • Tappings (news bits)

Excerpts

More flapdoodle involves Director Victor Lobl. Rumours circulated that he had said something at TunnelCon to the effect that the entire movie "Though Lovers Be Lost" was the biggest embarrassment of his career. Let's not make the man regret his candor. Yes, the word "embarrassment" was used, but in reference to the love scene's fireworks and roses collage, not the entire production.

Less than a week after the October issue [of "Pipeline"] was in the mail, Rich Heldenfels of the Schenectady Gazette and Mark Dwadiziak, syndicated columnist with the Akron Beacon (and Cinefantastique contributor) called to correct me on Family Channel's intentions. Checking my info out with VP Earl Weirich, they had discovered the network was indeed leaning toward additional 'wedding' footage. The alternative being to edit out all reference to Catherine's baby in subsequent episodes — FAM apparently has a problem with an illegitimate child being a regular on one of their programs!

[...]

Soon thereafter Knight-Rider had picked up on the bruhaha as well, and headlines like "'Beast' in a Family Way," and "Will Beast make honest woman of Beauty?" appeared in the New York Post and the Daily News. 'To be followed a couple of days later by "No Bride for 'Beast'" as Creator Ron Koslow told reporter Marilyn Beck that he would not allow "such tampering" (would that he had a say on editing as well).

[...]

Unfortunately, Republic set rather a bad precedent by reportedly editing-out the love scene in order [on the new videotapes being sold] to run the show's credits over the 'fire & roses' collage in their "Though Lovers Be Lost' release. One reader spoke of being so disgusted that she returned the tape for a refund, something she ordinarily "wouldn't dream of doing because she is such a supporter of the show." Let's hope that sales are not too badly affected since one tape's success insures the release of another.

[...]

As far as FAM is concerned we may well be perceiving cuts made for time purposes as ones edited be cause of content. Since literary references are rarely integral to the storyline they are particularly vulnerable to time editing. In "Shades of Grey" for instance both Blake and Virgil were excised. (One reader speculated that it was because "Blake was a 'Seer' and Virgil was 'Gay.' Huh!?!). It is indeed hard to ignore the parochial implications of some of FAM's choices — like failing to air "Dark Spirit" at all.

The temptation is to fight this defacement as we once did CBS' heavy hand. It's all the same after all, before or after the fact... Once in general syndication, there is nothing but local fans and their respective station managers between comparatively whole episodes and veritable Swiss cheeses.

[...]

Arrgh. If it's any consolation, in a couple hundred years or so our 'popular' entertainment may gain the protective patina of 'culture.' Even so, Shakespeare and Beethoven are still fiddled with from time to time. Thankfully though, I doubt anyone these days would have the audacity to stick a happy ending on "Romeo and Juliet" as did some 19th century stage managers.

v.3 n.12 (December 1990)

v.4 n.1 (January 1991)

Pipeline v.4 n.1 was published in January 1991?

v.4 n.2/3 (Feb/Mar 1991)

Pipeline v.4 n.2/3 was published in February/March 1991 and contains 16 pages.

first page of v.4 n.2/3
a ballot for Crystalline Rose Award, the typo "Cystalline" occurs several times, and despite its being described as such, it is not actually an official ballot, but a condensed, incomplete one, as noted at the bottom of the form
  • No Marriage, No Baby for Beauty and the Beast on FAM
  • Crackdown on Fan Merchandising, Publishing?, a long article by Wiltse and reprinted letter from Republic regarding The Beauty and the Beast Cease and Desist Letters (in this same issue are shout-outs to fans wearing BatB buttons as contestants on "Jeopardy" and seeing t-shirts worn by soldiers being interviewed on television; however, this issue now only has ads (MANY) for zines, Wiltse wrote: "This issue is much later than it should have been... the 'Cease and Desists' had to be cleared up before I could run a number of this issue's classified ads (for obvious reasons).")
  • BioFile: Roy Dotrice
  • Who & Where (what the actors are up to professionally)
  • a letter from Roy Dotrice asking fans to donate to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
  • Update (news that there is no news about the movie and a plea to fans to not do a campaign or bother sources, news that there might be a second record like Of Love and Hope, and fans are told: "Fidelity actually saved every fan letter received about the 1st album; a further demonstration of continued interest in yet another album would add weight (literally and figuratively) to their proposals. Hint! HINT!")
  • Tappings, news bits including a plug for The Department of Hungry Journalists on Helper's Hotline and The Unhelpful Network
  • Reader's Forum, letters of comment, several of which are very strongly worded
  • Helpers' Gazetteer (one bit: the Advo-Cats have raised enough money to nominate Ron Perlman for the Hollywood Walk of Fame)
  • Convention Update
  • Classified Ads, includes many, many ads for zines
  • personal statement that six fans are no longer associated with Crystal Chamber Con, and info on where the money for this con resides
  • an ad and description of The Gathering Place, a new publication by Wiltse; this letterzine replaces The Helper's Gazetteer Proposal
  • an official ballot for the Crystalline Rose Awards

Excerpts

No illegitimate babies for "The Family Channel":

According to Vice President Earl Weirich [of The Family Channel], 1st and 2nd season episodes will be rerun starting with the pilot on February 11th, with B&B's on the Family Channel's schedule till sometime in July. "We bought the series, so we have it for one year, so as far as the economics of it are concerned, it wouldn't make much difference whether we air one episode or another." In other words, FAM will be doing the same number of showings they contracted for, they'll just be repeating some episodes

rather than airing others. Perhaps in an attempt to justify the decision without rekindling the 'illegitimate regular (baby Jacob)' controversy he continued, "there have been a lot of people who called and wrote hoping that we would air the 3rd season, and then there were those who said, 'please don't.' When asked whether this had anything to do with the decision-making he replied, "No not, well, we try to take that into consideration. I'm not so sure that it was by popular vote one way or the other, no. I can assure you that it was not due to a mail campaign or anything like that. I don't track mail like that.

New subscriptions are falling, but advertisers can still be excited:

Fan publishers have noticed that even though renewals have remained steady, there's been a marked decline in new subscribers, this undoubtedly due to the lessening press our fandom itself has been receiving compared to last year's unprecedented blitz. Unfortunately, coverage of "FAM's Marriage Proposal" did not necessarily include info on the fandom per se.

On the other hand there is obviously a lot of interest 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.
Wiltse addresses some negative letters that were printed about her in Tunneltalk v.1 n.7 about a recent event/s regarding power, another zine editor, Creation Cons, and Wiltse's attempts to make fans and fandom respectable. The The Roy Dotrice "Nay-Sayer" Incident is subtly mentioned:

Of the three letters apparently published in TUNNEL TALK, only one was a legitimate grievance involving first-hand experience (but even granting the extenuating circumstances put forth, I still disagree with the correspondent). As for the other two, I have no control over how and from what sources of disinformation they managed to form their incredible opinions. I will not dredge up, as invited, what will only be used as more ammunition, nor by so doing have anyone else just as innocent caught once again in the rumour mill's vicious crossfire.

Ms. Storey is right in intimating that some 'splits' have nothing to do with "Beauty and the Beast," I have always believed this to be true. It has been over a year and a half since I felt that I could recommend TUNNELTALK or Ms. Storey's couple of FAN-OUT conventions to PIPELINE's readers. Let alone most recently, ballyhoo her running of fan activities at the upcoming Creation "Beauty and the Beast" event or the sanction that that position implies.

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. 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. I was wrong and I apologize.

What we were all dealing with was not fannishness, but human nature. No two people, let alone several thousand people, will ever totally agree on what the best course of action for their community will be, let alone on what is hounourable or ethical behavior within it. Ever been to a town meeting at which environmentalists and land developers go at each other? It ain't pretty, and neither side can ever agree on what the greater good, or even progress, is. It wasn't till reality in the form of the Gulf War put much of this into perspective for me.

I suddenly saw all this jockeying for position for what it is ...and how absurd and petty it makes everyone who has ever called themselves 'fans' appear. The only way around all of this that I can see is having a good, long laugh at how seriously we can tend to take ourselves ...not to mention our entertainment, however inspiring and/or life-changing that medium might be. In short, I for one will simply not be made to perceive my 'job on this paper' as a power struggle. Power!? Give me a break!

I don't think I'm wrong however, in presuming, since it is quite obvious from how uncomfortable Barb Storey & Co. appear when I'm anywhere within a 100 yard radius, that we will never 'like' each other. Considering we are literally poles apart on so many issues, perhaps it's just as well. Maybe, she will concede that that isn't necessary, provided we both have this community's best interest at heart. But to be honest, the only thing that might sway my own personal opinion on that, is if you-know-who can look me straight in the eye (the left one} for the first time ever and shake my hand, cordially mind, and in public, at that upcoming Creation event. It would help, too, if we both could manage a healthy laugh at each other's muddy faces and feet of clay.

A fan brings up a comment Wiltse made in the last issue about vids shown at a Creation Con. This fan also comments on explicit fanworks and audience reaction to Perlman on stage. Wiltse responds to this letter:

I read your comment about the 'peanut gallery's reaction' to Vincent and Catherine on the music videos. What was wrong with reacting like that? I did myself, & I was only watching a tape. I just think it was a mean thing to say, & not necessary. Ron Perlman was moved by it, also.... I'm very conservative; I don't like explicit 'art' & I've learned to 'read around' some of the more blunt passages in the 'adult' 'zines. ... but I get impatient with the people who talk about V&C 'loving on a higher plane.' They do, of course, but physical love is just as important to a healthy relationship, as much so as mutual respect, & also intellectual respect... I think Ron Perlman is a fox-and-a-half. So save me a seat in the gallery, & pass the peanuts."

[Wiltse]: Please don't assume that I'm that much of a prude, or snob, because of this little gibe. Sitting on the skirt of the stage at that Q&A, looking out over nearly the same view as Ron had of (what seemed) a couple thousand people; all that, ah, ardour in one place was overwhelming. Most everyone was literally leaning forward in their seats toward you-know-who like in an E.F. Hutton commercial. That should be flattering, and it is, but take a look at some of the expressions on the security people around the stage that day - it can be scary. Sure we have all "lusted in our hearts" at one time or another, but I guess what I reacted to is how actors are so often treated as being the characters they play, or worse, as 'objects' - even if it is of our affection. As for peanuts, I take mine unsalted.

v.4 n.4/5 (April/May 1991)

Pipeline v.4 n.4/5 was published in April/May 1991 and contains 16 pages.

front page of v.4 n.4/5
  • Beauty and the Beast Feature film 'in Writing'?, article by Wiltse (about The Long-Rumored Koslow Beauty and the Beast Movie)
  • Welcome Back!, article by Wiltse
  • A Convention of a different color
  • flyer for The Chicago Science Fiction 3 Day Spectacular! (Lee Tennent and Eric Parnes were organizers, May 31-June 2, 1991, O'Hare Expo Center, Rosemount, IL -- Admission: $20 a day. Scheduled guests included Ron Perlman, George Takei, James Doohan, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Harris, and Mark Hamill. Wiltse reports in v.4 n.8/9 that this convention was canceled when it reportedly lost its hall space less than a week before its scheduled opening.)
  • My Life and Times, article by Wiltse
  • Who & Where, blurbs about what the actors are up to
  • BioFile: Tom Irwin
  • Tappings
  • What's a chamber story?, description of a Beauty and the Beast round robin proposal
  • From the Files, a reprinted from Along the Pipes v.2 n.5 (February 1991), Edward Albert's comments at a Q&A session at Creation Con in Los Angeles, November 3, 1990
  • Helper's Gazetteer
  • Convention Update
  • Pipeline -- Video Edition
  • an extensive flyer for The Gathering Place
  • flyers for South of Oz
  • various ads and flyers

Excerpts

[from "Beastly Doings In the Works" by columnist Marilyn Beck of New York's Dally News]:

"We're working on the movie script now," it read, quoting Beauty and the Beast's creator Ron Koslow, adding that it will answer a lot of the questions the series left open when it ended." The article, with some reservations, was confirmed by Mr. Koslow's office, though under protest that as the title of the article implied it's only in the works" and basic planning stages. Another trusted source in the know, however, was a bit more reassuring, stating simply: "The movie is real."
Many thanks to our advertisers this month who made it possible for this issue to be extra thick and to be sent not only to subscribers but as a complimentary copy to the entire combined mailing lists of the Helpers' Network and Starving Artists Workshop ...approximately 8,000 readers. We hope that your response to their ads will make their 'underwriting' of this special project worthwhile. Yet another promotional mailing is under consideration that will coincide with the series going into syndication in the fall; one which we hope will reach an even wider readership. (Is it possible to become allergic to sticky labels and staple guns?)
As you can see from the “Convention Update” column this could be a very busy summer for the truly faithful and/or the truly travel-hungry amongst us. Despite mounting competition, Creation Convention’s President Adam Malin is “going into it (New York’s ‘International Beauty and the Beast Convention’) with very good feelings and very sincerely; we’re not too worried, I think we’re going to get a lovely turnout. Competition always hurts but, I try not to look at these things from a single show point of view. We’re very committed to “Beauty and the Beast,” and when that movie hits, the whole thing is going to explode all over again. Meanwhile, we at least feel we have to keep something in the marketplace in somewhat of a continual and current level just to keep a certain level of interest there, and because of our own interest in it not necessarily because it's a money maker. I certainly don't look to the B&B shows to be money makers so much as ways of disseminating and germinating the good will and good energy that helps to perpetuate Beauty and the Beast fandom. That's very important to all of us because of our love of the show and the long term perpetuation of our licensing in it as well. Hopefully we'll be there when the movie breaks, maybe then we can devote an entire convention to the making of the movie to coincide with its release.

v.4 n.6/7 (Summer 1991)

Pipeline v.4 n.6/7 was published in Summer 1991.

v.4 n.8/9 (Fall 1991)

Pipeline v.4 n.8/9 was published in Fall 1991 and contains 16 pages. Wiltse writes in the next issue that this is issue #40.

front page of v.4 n.8/9
  • What's a "Father" to do on Broadway? (about Roy Dotrice's recent appearances on stage)
  • An Animated Beauty and the Beast (about the Disney movie)
  • Waiting for Linda... (about Linda in the hoped-for movie, Ron Koslow's comments were reprinted in Lionheart #1)
  • Republic Affairs (about the cessation of Dial-a-Beast, about "Beauty and the Beast" and challenges it was having to remain on the air in syndication due to scheduling, about Nielsen Ratings and marketing shares)
  • More from Linda... (summing up some articles about The Terminator, one includes: "Now, her son Dalton is 20 months old, her marriage to actor Bruce Abbott is over, and the series soon died for being Lindaless -- but the cult worship continues. "They still send me poems, flowers, presents for my baby. That show created the sweetest fans. It touched something beautiful in them.")
  • Who, Where (what the stars are up to)
  • a Tunnel Con II Fan Quality Awards Nominations Ballot
  • Helpers' Gazetteer (small news updates, including two fans (Anna and Wayne Kelly) who gotten married and celebrated other life events at conventions, The South Californian club, Advo-Cats had raised the fee ($4800) to nominate Perlman for the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but their bid was denied)
  • a long con report with photos by Carol Burgen for Masquerades, the con in the UK
  • an essay by Wiltse about how to be a good and bad fan, see It's too bad that enthusiasm's been given such a bad reputation.

This issue contains Wiltse's impassioned comments about bad, bad fans and good fans, accusations of fans changing other fans' addresses without their permission, personal feuds with other fans, criminal activity concerning MasqueCon and scams.

Excerpts

From a fan's angry letter; the fact that Wiltse printed it speaks to the feud Wiltse was having with Barbara Storey:

I just had to write in response to a comment made by someone in your "Reader's Forum" column last issue that started 'Your attempts to misrepresent this portion of fandom.' Technically, it is irrelevant as to what percentage of fans accept the Catherine is dead idea because we'll never get an accurate tally; the 3rd season haters are simply the most vocal -- most of us are open-minded fans (and I find there are more of us than the 3rd season haters) are still here, remain more rational, but have been driven 'underground' because of all the personal attacks and vicious name-calling from the 3rd season haters. And as for the letterzine TunnelTalk, we feel its editor [Barbara Storey] is almost single-handedly responsible for the perpetuation and monthly feeding of this hatred without healing, this anger stage of grieving without resolution. A reasonable letter-writer need not apply to TT; the editor will add her editorial comments right within your letter, twist whatever you say, and beat you over the head with her own dictates, the same ones she just stated in her own editorial column as though they were fact. Several of her repeat letter writers truly need professional help, but rather than do the conscionable thing and suggest it to them (as some other letter writers have in their letters) she defends and supports them. I guess that maybe after such a long time, everything these TT followers read and write actually sounds 'normal' and rational and becomes their reality. How sad for them. I wonder how they react to other things in their lives when they don't get exactly what they want.
Wiltse printed a letter from a fan who was angry about a con's cancellation. While Wiltse's response addresses a number of canceled cons, but only prints comments regarding the convention by Barbara Storey, ones which question Storey's "moral character":

Last January I bought a ticket to a B&B convention to be sponsored by Fan-Out. In June they canceled the event to be held in St. Louis, MO just 3 weeks before it was to be held, promising full refunds. I still have not received my refund, nor have any of them replied to my letters. I am very angry and disappointed that this kind of thing would happen in Beauty and the Beast fandom. I'd hoped that people who believed in the ideals of this fine show would show better moral character, I thought you might warn people of these folks before more people lose money.

As far as we can tell, the convention has been rescheduled at least twice, the same has been said of the Chicago convention that reportedly lost its hall space less than a week before its scheduled opening. They may both be hoping to honor memberships at a future event. That makes three, counting an earlier San Francisco convention, that have not apparently reimbursed members as promised. A fourth scheduled for Louisville was cancelled with no such complaints from any of our readers. "Pipeline" has endeavored not to pubilicize or even advertise any convention that seemed iffy, but we ain't prfvect [15]. Generally what we look for is a previously good track record, a cut-off date for reimbursement, a phone hotline (even better a 'live' contact person, though whoever volunteers for that job deserves sympathy), and a major

Fans have been talking about how they'd like to see Linda's identical twin sister, Leslie, play the part of Linda on The Long-Rumored Koslow Beauty and the Beast Movie:

I'll accept Linda's twin sister [as another actress for the movie]. I guess you're thinking I'm hard up, but wouldn't it be a shame if the fans killed B&B because of their narrow-mindedness. Please keep showing the readers there is life after Ms. Hamilton's refusal [to be in the movie]. We need Hope!

More twin recruitment from another fan:

Mr. Koslow touched many lives in Fandom, let Vincent & Catherine's world of warmth. Love & Hope come to life again with a Look-A-Like, Leslie, Linda's identical twin. Should she accept, "Catherine could fulfill their eternal bond in union & spirit joined together in both worlds. Make this movie, Mr. Koslow a voice of reason, put the magic back into the movie & once again inspire the love created by Mr. Koslow of "Beauty and the Beast."

Koslow's remarks were quoted:

"We haven't forgotten about a Beauty and the Beast" film. We're still in the very early stages of writing it and I've been working on my end. I hope it will be possible and that our schedules will permit. The idea was to have the original writers do it together as a group and I think this is what we want to do. The most important issue is that we are not going to proceed without Linda [Hamilton as Catherine Chandler]. We really only want to do it with her. Which I don't think is impossible [though] I think at the moment it might be." When asked if Linda might have priced herself out of the market Ron replied: "I don't think money as anything to do with it, it's just that timing is really important in these things. When she's ready to do something like this again, we'll do it.

[...]

Echoing concerns over possible pressure from fans."I don't think she can be pressured. I don't want people to (try to) pressure her. Her wishes must be respected as an artist. She wants to grow, and we all have to try new things. ...and we all have, all of us! I think it's certainly within her rights as an artist to do what she wants to do. And she knows what she feels she needs to do. We are all in agreement and when I say all, I mean the writers, myself, and Ron Perlman. All feel strongly that there's really no point in doing the movie unless she's in it, unless the original cast is there, unless we are able to take our myth one step further int eh direction that everybody wants to see.

[...]

We have an approach which I think is fairly interesting. I think it could be spectacular on film.

[...]

As for this fandom's interest [both pro and con]: "I appreciated it, it's still somewhat incredible that such a large group has held together. It continues to be an extraordinary experience. Well, as I've said before, certainly not dull. [laughter]"

Wiltse explains to fans about the demise of Dial-a-Beast:

After a run of 8 telephone messages starring on Perlman as the voice of Vincent, Republic Pictures has withdrawn its dial-a-beast 900 number. Whether it served to help the promotional effort isn't going to be clear. As has become a tradition with all things related to "Beauty and the Beast," Murphy's law continued to prevail. Pre-publicity faltered in the wake of some strange competition, apparently the Roman Catholic faith had a similar idea, i.e. a dial-the-Pope 900 number! How's that for competition? Even worse, within its first week, the FCC and some state governments instituted new rulings regarding both the advertising and availability of 900 numbers -- which drastically affected the project. In some places either the number could not be advertised, or could not be reached at all. Fans in those places were not happy campers.

Wiltse's comments about how with Dial-a-Beast being cancelled, the movie uncertain, that fans are reduced to "being nice" and wearing their t-shirts:

What with Republic definitely doing its job with the syndies and video releases, the 900 number gone the way of all things and the feature on hold for the time being, what does that leave for the fans to be doing? According to all the newspaper people, independent journalists who've covered this and related genres professionally, and people within the industry itself that I've asked this question of in the past couple months, it boils down to "be nice," Universal wisdom seems to dictate schmoozing your local affiliate - warm fuzzy 'em in moderation. Not to mention doing the same for the local advertisers. Giving them your business, and letting them now you saw their ad during B&B. Wear your T-shirt, if you like wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Wiltse reports on more show press:

TV Guide ran an article in their November l6-22nd issue about what they theorized might be a Disney cartoon "Sexy Enough for Adults, Magical for Kids." freelancer Rick Marin threw in a mention for the tv series: "A fanatical cultdom sprang up around CBS's Beauty and the Beast TV show. Fan clubs of (mostly single) women in their 30's calling themselves Bcasties' swooned over the show's dreamy leonine hero. 'They're just starved for anything that has to do with tho show (canceled in 1990 after three seasons) or the story itself,' says Beastie Barbara Coleman." (I know this editor helped coin this, but can't anyone come up with a better cognomen? ...And I don't mean "Beauties" either.)
Wiltse coaches fans about how to be good fans and tells them to do charitable things for pure altruism:
If your group is doing charitable community work, get your station involved. It's great PR for them too. The catch here is that altruism has to be its own reward, with publicity for your club and/or B&B just a side benefit. I once had a lady come up to me at a convention and justify her point of view thusly, "But I gave a pint of blood in Vincent's name!" This, by her lights, seemed to automatically bestow script approval! My first reaction was remembering all the life-long blood donors I've met, one's up to 8 gallons, and she never needed an ulterior motive in order to donate.
Wiltse comments on scams, spies, and criminal activities (see MasqueCon for comments on that topic):

Anyone reading this who depends more on her/his postman than they'd like to admit should call the post office and request that no address change be accepted without permission and the use of a password. This is to advise our readers that there has been an unsuccessful attempt at an unauthorized change-of-address to divert mail away from a fan's rightful business and into postal limbo. Take this simple precaution, and we can nip this latest dirty trick in the bud.

This is this editor's least favourite column. Dirty tricks? Criminal mischief!! The sane question is "why!?" It appears that that which cannot be ruled is to be ruined. It probably seems unkind or worse to say it but we do have an adult or two who treat B&B and/or its fandom with all the grace of a "Firouka" coveting that golden ticket to the Willie Wonka factory. Worse yet, come to find out, no fandom, or community for that matter, is without 'em. "Slugworth" has many spies.

...and B&B is one heck of a gobstopper.

v.5 n.1 (Spring 1992)

Pipeline v.5 n.1 was published in Spring 1992 and contains 16 pages. This is issue #41.

front page of v.5 n.1

Wiltse notes there are 1000 subscribers.

  • Roy Dotrice, A Very Busy Man (article by Wiltse about Dotrice's current career)
  • Beauty and the Beast Novelizations Continue... (about the Ed Gross' Cinemaker Press books)
  • So the E! Network wants mail, hug? (Excerpts from a Q&A from The Inside Word on cable's E! channel, when Ron Perlman stood in for Alec Baldwin on the interview series with host Michael Kasden April 1Oth. Wiltse adds at the end: "Editor's Note: Though the mention of a write-in campaign was obviously made facetiously, our group has never been known to pass up an opportunity for a 'little' free PR. So let's wake up our sleeping Beast with a bit of a postal rumble.")
  • Who & Where (small news about what the actors are up to)
  • a photo of Linda Hamilton and a photo of Leslie Hamilton
  • Tappings
  • Beauty and the Bard, article by Leslie Anne Dressler
  • Convention Update
  • Pipeline goes Quarterly
  • Helpers' Gazetteer

Excerpts

The newsletter has gone quarterly and is struggling. The editor points out that despite a numbering gap between this issue and the previous one, there are no missing issues but simply a change in how they are numbered. Future issues will be about 12 pages each:

I have to apologize to my readership for not being able to prevent this situation from impacting on your getting an issue at least every couple of months, but that is basically what happened. The Workshop has had to be reorganized and down-sized as we moved our offices back into a single living room. Arrrrgh.

[...]

Since the last issue of Pipeline was mailed four months ago, this editor has had to put a lot of thought into keeping the publication tapping. I'll admit to getting pretty complacent about it till recently. First, and at least for the time being it's quarterly or nothing.

[...]

Rather than be eternally behind we're starting fresh this year, but just because we're starting out with Volume 5 #1 doesn't mean you've been gipped out of anything. The last issue was Volume 4, Number 8/9 (in other words, issue #40).

[...]

As for absconding with people's hard-earned moolah, Pipeline profited the Workshop a grand total of $986. last year, so

Acapulco is out of the question. We've had to diversify and that means less time to lavish, but that is all.
About the for-profit Gross books (and a textbook case of a man moving in to monetize female labor and fanworks):

Mr. Gross has taken over the task of bringing the saga of Beauty and the Beast" to the printed page having licensed the rights from Republic Pictures. "I had heard from a great many people that they were not satisfied with the Avon books. Avon, for their part, felt that they were going to have another Star Trek' series. Then, when the show went off the air, they thought there was nothing to keep it alive. I was a firm believer that 'B&B' still has a life to it and I queried about obtaining the rights. Republic had apparently liked the non- fiction books I'd done through Image and agreed to the license for another line I've started called Cinemaker Press.

People seem to forget that 'Star Trek' wasn't 'on the air' either in the '70s, except for syndication. We all know what happened with 'Star Trek.'"

With only 79 episodes to watch over and over again, Trek fans needed new stories to keep things from growing stale, "which is why people have been writing their own fan fiction." Ed knows of what he speaks: "I always had an interest in television and film. Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy genres have always appealed to me. I used to write little horror stories when I was a kid, I was a big fan of Dark Shadows.' I started writing about movies in junior high school publications...

[...]

In 1985 Ed also "hooked up with this publisher in California (who subsequently moved to Las Vegas for various and sundry reasons that I won't go into). I wrote a few magazine-style volumes for him on 'Dark Shadows,' 'V,' Super Heroes on Film,' and more books on 'Star Trek' than I'd care to think about. After five years I finally realized that they were getting rich off me but were not sharing any of the profits that the books were obviously generating. I decided In 1990 to try and start on my own. I haven't look back since."

Image Publishing has produced a dozen books in little more than a year, and Ed Gross as publisher has tried to make sure that his authors fare better than he did. "It's my determination to make both Cinemaker Press and Image Publishing companies by a writer for writers. People who write for me won't make much money up front, but we give them a hefty percentage of the royalties and all the proper paperwork so they know that everything is on the up and up."

[...]

The books will initially be coming out in a 6" x 9" format for $9.95 each and be illustrated with original art on the cover and inside. Award-winning fan artist Beth Blighton has been approved as Cinemaker's first official "Beauty and the Beast" artist. "We were not looking for photo reproductions in art form, with my license I could just print the actual photographs. It is more worth the reader's money to get something never seen before, original illustrations for an original novel. Then you are not only bringing the tale to life with words, but you're seeing images that will enhance the overall experience."

The series will begin with 3 novelizations, the first based on the trilogy episodes, "What Rough Beast," "Ceremony of Innocence" and "The Rest is Silence," by Nan Dibble. And the second and third books based on the entire arc of episodes from the 3rd season which will be penned by Kathy Cox. "These adaptations will not be scripts just put into prose form," explains Gross. "They will have a lot of additional material which will provide deeper insights into the characters and will go where neither the television budget nor the network would allow the show to go dramatically."

Cinemaker has been and will continue to work closely with the series' creator. "Ron Koslow and I will be discussing each project and we will look at what works or does not work within each particular plotline."... [Each book] will have Ron Koslow's stamp of approval and it will not conflict with his vision," says Gross.

Cinemaker will not be giving away many secrets, discussions with Ron K. have cleared the way for virtually every possible storyline. For example, specific events that may constitute future novels include: alternate time lines in which Catherine Chandler lived; prequels to the series detailing the origin of the Tunnel World and Vincent's youth; sexual but not pornographic relations between Vincent and Catherine; even the possibility of a Vincent and Diana romance which would move slowly as "a natural progression to a maturing relationship." Continues Ed, "The parameters are wide open, the only limitation being that we need good stories and writers who can bring them to life. This will give us the ability to appeal to everybody. That's not to say everybody will love every novel, but the series as a whole should really prove pleasing." According to the publisher: "We will be dealing with 3rd season events, in fact we will even take up where 3rd season left off. I know there is a controversy regarding the whole thing and I understand it to a degree. But there are also a great many people who admire what was done in third season and I think that as much as the Classic people have to be listened to, so do the 3rd season people. What's fair for one group is fair for the other. Anyone who's read my book 'Above and Below' knows that I'm a fan of the show. The bottom line is I truly respect 'Beauty and the Beast.' I'm not just some publisher who says, 'Ah, I can make a few bucks off 'Beauty and the Beast,' let me do it.' I really care about the show. I think it's terrific and I'm happy and proud to be the one to be able to continue it in some form or another. I mean to say I respect the Catherinites, and I respect the people who like 3rd season. We're going to get a mixture of both... the best of both worlds."

Sounds like we're in for a lot of innovation. One of the 'secrets' of Star Trek's longevity is its ability to change or regenerate into new forms can B&B do the same? Ed is obviously 'anti-rehash: "Status quo is in itself self- fulfillment, isn't it? You're not taking the chance of not liking something because it's sticking to a strict formula. If it doesn't vary, then you know you're not going to be disappointed. But that doesn't allow for creative growth. Sure it's creative to think of new dilemmas to set up, but if things don't evolve there's no point in even doing it. It doesn't create life within that universe. People have turned to fan fiction because they're hungry for new material. If we can deliver quality material, I think the publisher will be happy, the public will be happy and the fans will be happy. As long as it's quality and nobody finishes the last few pages saying, 'What a rip-off.' As long as they feel that, even if they may not agree with this writer's take on 'Beauty and the Beast,' it was a damn good story, or the writing style was great, or Vincent was wonderfully portrayed. You at least walk out with some satisfaction and it's worth your buck."

There's concern from some parties that the series will just be more fan-fiction. That Cinemaker will not be using professionals. "First of all," Gross notes, "one of the writers we're going to use is Nan Dibble. Nan is a professional, but people don't realize it because she's been so involved in fandom." In fact, Ms. Dibble's credentials make for quite a read unto themselves. With an MA, MFA, and Phd. from the University of Iowa, the author taught college creative writing courses for 12 years and was senior content editor for Writer's Digest Books in Cincinnati for 6 and a half years. She will be writing for Cinemaker Press under her own name, though her professional nom-de-plume, Ansen Dibell, may be more familiar to readers.

[...]

Cinemaker's next contributor will be famed fan writer Kathy Cox, who will be adapting the 3rd season arc into a two- novel set. "She's certainly proven herself," comments Gross, "She had written a graphic novel for First Publishing. It was not published because it's my understanding that the company's having a financial restructuring. Kathy had, in fact, been recommended to First Publishing by Ron Koslow, which was certainly enough of a recommendation for me to contact her. The quality of her writing certainly strikes one as professional. It's not a question of a person's credits, it's being able to go to them and say 'You have an understanding of the show, you can write. Write.' It's better than going to a professional writer who's written 22 books in the fantasy genre and then having to say, "Okay, there are these tunnels, you see, and in those tunnels..." I'm much more prone to want to use someone who knows the show and can write than someone who would have to take a refresher course."

Can you write for Cinemaker Press? Unsolicited manuscripts will be returned. but query letters containing a brief, one-to-two paragraph summary of your storyline and/or examples of already published work will gladly be accepted. "We're developing a writers' guide and release form which we will send out in return for a query letter and a SASE. We are looking for other artists as well. Unsolicited original artwork will not be accepted, but xeroxes are welcome; please note that all submissions are non-returnable.

v.5 n.2 (Summer 1992)

Pipeline v.5 n.2 was published in Summer 1992 and contains 8 pages. This is issue #42.

v.5 n.2
  • Beauty and the Beast Creator Speaks at TunnelCon II (Ron Koslow's remarks at this con, the topic is the Beauty and the Beast movie.
  • Who & Where (what the actors and other TPTB are up to)
  • Tappings (things for sale, news about the show, blurb about Terminator #2, info about "The Chronic Rift" (a New York City talk show on fantasy, science fiction and comic art), information about The Letter Exchange)
  • Tunnelcon II Report (con report by Mollie Toms, includes photos)
  • 'Press-ing' for Pipeline (article by Wiltse about how this newsletter has been sent to 800 newspaper TV editors nationwide in an effort to generate interest and PR in the publication and possible movie; it encourages fans to write letters to their local newspapers to keep the syndicated B&B repeats on the air, it mentions and quotes an article by Heidi Flick of the Gaston Gazette called "Beast fans holding out for a reunion movie." The article also "plugged 'Pipeline,' characterizing this editor as 'a frantic one-person staff named Stephanie Wiltse who pumps out minutiae about the stars, the show, the videos, games, souvenirs, sightings, novellas, and trivia.'Umm, note how that also fills in what's available for the would-be uninitiated fan." Wiltse wrote: "Hoping for 'blurb' status in some local televisions listings, I was happy to see a couple of features take off from the press release. Proof that so long as we hang in there the media will cover our story.")
  • Escape Reality and step into our Chamber... (a con report and description of a 3-day mini-con in Germany called "Festival of Dancing Lights" where there were 52 attendees, this con was the second year it occurred)
  • Helper's Gazeteer (fan activities, things for sale)
  • Reader's Forum (excerpts from reader's letters)

Excerpts

Wiltse prints an excerpt from a fan's letter, and her response:

"Word now has it that you took Ron Koslow's words out of context [in his interview last year]. When harassed on the phone by **** he said that his statement about LH & the movie had been fuller???"

(Editor's note: I think Mr. Koslow's well-documented statements at TunnelCon pretty much answer this rumour-mill chestnut. Mr. K. has never mentioned **** or any such mistreatment. Some of this editor's other contacts, however, have complained of grillings by would-be fan reporters, even admitting to telling the fan "what they wanted to hear" in order to be rid of them. Security on location shoots began to brag by the second season about the fun they all had with getting the 'stalkers' to believe just about anything. This may explain all the mis­information that has been circulated over the years on many shows with fan followings. As to Pipeline being 'out of context' or not telling readers everything or some such paranoia. I'll take this opportunity to boast that no one from the show has ever requested a retraction or complained to this editor that they were misquoted or misconstrued in an interview; that also goes for the fans whose letter excerpts have been reprinted in this Reader s Forum for over four years.
Wiltse writes:
Advertising agencies whose client products once bought commerical time during B&B have been recipients of free issues of "Pipeline" since 1988. One Chicago firm returned an issue with this note: "Geez, you people need to get a life."
Ron Koslow's remarks:
I know that there are rumors that there's a finished script circulating... The bottom line is this: I have worked out an outline for the film. It is something that I feel very good about. I'm exciting about it. There are a couple of factors that are influencing when all this takes place. I think first and foremost, as you know, I really believe that the original cast has to be signed. I really believe that that will happen in time. The other factor is that, as you know, the Disney "Beauty and the Beast" is out this year. it's done very well. It's made a lot of noise and so it's helped us, but in other ways, I would like to have that clear out before we come on because I don't want comparisons.... I think probably the most difficult thing of all is just to be patient. We all want to see it, and we're all excited to do it but it's just going to be a little bit of time. [...] Catherine will be in the movie... I would rather not get into the details of that right now. I think we all know what her position is right now, and I have faith that all things can change. Do I need any help for ideas for the script? I've got my own thanks.

From Stephanie A. Wiltse:

Liz Helm of the 'International' sent along a lengthy comment that could not be reprinted Pipeline except in its entirety per her request. At 2 full pages that was not possible. At any rate, Ms. Helm did have her say in issue #39 of the letterzine "Once Upon a Time Is Now." In her letter to Pipeline, Liz of course suspected this editor's facts and motivations. But I'm afraid her admission that only an approximate few hundred fans actually cast nominating ballots [for Beauty and the Beast Fan Quality Awards] in the first place (less than half those that attended Tunnelcon itself) speaks for itself about the credibility of these 'awards.' The nominees' excellence, however, needs no defense. I continue to dispute Liz' comments published in "Out, In." I'd like to go on record as the person who suggested Cynthia Hatch to Ed Gross when he had first started looking for fan writers for his B&B series. I consider Jeanne Cloud and Beth Blighton friends of mine; I voted without hesitation for Sue Krinard's work during a stint as art contest judge last year. 'Nuff said.

From Stephanie A. Wiltse:

A few months ago this editor received a copy of a letter that basically called the recipient, a well-known fan writer, a coward, malicious, criminal, and in need of professional mental help because of that writer's "vicious attack on fans she didn't agree with." Since that writer had left fandom nearly a year ago, it was obvious the fan was acting on an erroneous rumour. The writer's reaction to this injustice is just as harsh, but I think understandable: "You pay until the end of time for anything you write or even what you don't write! I will regret to the end of time, anything I ever contributed to feed this disease called Beauty and the Beast Fandom." (Editor's Note: This, unfortunately, is not just an isolated incident, and I can't say that I don't sometimes share this revulsion. But I think it must be remembered that many came to B&B not out of love but out of need. They took a particular refuge in the series which, unless you've come from an abusive childhood or some other debilitating emotional injury, can never be fully understood. After herculean efforts to save it, that refuge changed abruptly and without satisfactory explanation ... that refuge became threatening. The fan community supporting that refuge was awash with controversy and it too became threatening. These people felt, and in some cases still feel, that threat keenly enough to lash out at others over it. Horrified, I once told them in an editorial to "turn the TV set off" if they didn't like what was already a fait accompli. I have realized since then that they cannot for those that do have that choice available to them I urge understanding and tolerance.)

References

  1. ^ from "Pipeline" v.1 n.2 (July 1988)
  2. ^ from "Pipeline" v.2 n.10 (October 1989)
  3. ^ "the June Convention" was the Creation Con in Los Angeles on June 18, 1988. It was Ron Perlman's first con. Another guest of honor from the show was David Schwartz.
  4. ^ from "Pipeline" v.3 n.3 (March 1990)
  5. ^ from "Pipeline" v.3 n.3 (March 1990)
  6. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #23 (June 1990)
  7. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #23 (June 1990)
  8. ^ letter submitted to Volume 3 Of Love and Hope in 1996.
  9. ^ One Act of Kindness
  10. ^ None, Archived version by Sue Martin (July 10, 1989)
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ This is the 1989 Barbara Hambly novel
  13. ^ paid for aby an unknown fan
  14. ^ This was paid for by Kathy Cox and Jeanne Cloud of Once Upon a Time... Is Now
  15. ^ Yes, "prfvect."