Support Our Sentinel

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Website
Name: Support Our Sentinel
Owner/Maintainer:
Dates: 1997-2003
Type: "save our show" ongoing campaign
Fandom: The Sentinel
URL: Original Geocities page
Wayback Machine version
Support Our Sentinel: GeoCities site
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In 1997, a group of Sentinel fans created the Support Our Sentinel website and project, as a clearinghouse for news and fan efforts to keep TS on the air.

It wasn't just fans reading the site; from the early days, TPTB were aware of it, going so far as to send supportive notes in return:

Support letter from Danny Bilson (Oct 27 - Series creator and executive producer - along with Paul DeMeo)

I have just logged on to your website and am truly grateful for this kind of support. We need it. It is my opinion that our network has, and continues to take The Sentinel for granted. The lack of promotion and care is always a sore spot with me.

I want to personally thank the people that have dedicated their time to this site. Keep it up and maybe the fans can get us some of the support we all deserve.

I do read a lot of the letters and will respond to e-mail when I can. This show belongs to all of us.

Thanks again,

Danny Bilson [1]

In 1998, when The Sentinel was facing cancellation (after a third-season ender that left Blair Sandburg lying apparently dead), the focus shifted to getting the show renewed for a fourth season. They were successful, although the fourth season was very short, just eight episodes.

After that, the group's focus shifted mainly to keeping The Sentinel on the air however possible, both in reruns on the SciFi Channel and hoping that the show would be brought back.

In the site's own words:

Are you willing to join us to raise The Sentinel's profile and get the message to Paramount, The SciFi Channel, the industry and the media?

This site makes it REALLY easy for you. THE PLAN

We have established that the most effective way to achieve our goals is to implement a series of easy, short-term objectives. But we all need to contribute to make this work. WE NEED YOU!

JOIN THE FIGHT NOW!

OUR GOALS

  1. LET EVERYONE KNOW WE'RE WATCHING THE SENTINEL
  2. IMPROVE ITS RATINGS

Some of our goals are:

  • Write and email SciFi Channel officials
  • Write and email Paramount officials
  • Write and email other prospective networks
  • Write and email TV mags and critics
  • Encourage reciprocal coverage with other fandoms
  • Provide feedback, ratings and stats on how it's all going

We have already had a lot of success.

BUT THE FIGHT CONTINUES![2]

The site stayed fairly active for several years after the show's cancellation, with fairly steady campaigns to keep TS in the public eye and to keep mailing TPTB at SciFi and other outlets, keeping an updated list of email and mailing addresses for people to use. For example, they encouraged the "one-minute targets":

One Minute Targets - Got A Minute? Help The Sentinel

The old "one minute target" idea that we had during the early days of the SOS campaign was very popular with everyone who wanted to feel that they were doing their bit to Support The Sentinel but had limited time. So here it is again, by popular demand.

Below we've collected a series of web-based targets that you can hit RIGHT NOW to help the campaign. Jot a few off at work while you're sitting around. It only takes a minute for a quick email.

You could even create a bit of a "what can you tell me about The Sentinel?" letter and do a bulk send if you are REALLY pushed for time. It's up to you.

(this was followed by a list of dozens of media outlets and information about what each did and what sorts of questions or requests would be appropriate to send them.)[3]

The final update to the site was in February 2003.

A 1999 Discussion: Were Letters and Efforts Declining?

Agent Spooky just posted the weeks letter tallies and mentioned a drop off in contributers to the campaign. So, I'm asking - why aren't we writing??? If Senad has somethng like 500-700 listsibs and this newsgroup has - well who knows how many since it's posted to the web and can be accessed by the many or the few - why are there only 143 people helping out on the campaign? Now I really am curious. Is it that we've given up on the idea of new eps and people think we're just flogging a dead horse?? Is there little hope out there of convincing Paramount of first run syndication? Are we just p****ing in the wind???

Of course, I can plead my not sending out any e-mails to the targets last week on account of my abject laziness and real life frenzy. Still, I feel guilty about it.

And I gotta wonder - WHERE IS EVERYONE???

Ruby (Who's feeling alone in the wilderness here!) [4]

Ruby is right guys, *WE'VE ALL BEEN SLACKING*. And I'm just as curious as she is. Are we giving up (especially after all we've been through)??? I certainly don't intend to, and I'm hoping everybody else here at the ng is still just as eager as I am to win this thing. Just because we're not in a position to know what's going on behind the scenes, "doesn't mean that something isn't happening!" We have got to be constantly in Paramount, USA/Sci-Fi, and even Pet Fly's (which is one I've been weakest in sending letters to) collective faces. That is the only way they will know we're still around. Besides how many of you here are willing to let this fight go, knowing that maybe that 56th letter you send out is the one that convinces TPTB to order first run syndie eps of TS?

Remember, "Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries". So even if we have to fight for another "friggin" year; I say we do it. This show has not only entertained so many of us, but has brought us in contact with a great many people who have (in time) become some of our closest friends. And as Blair said, "It's About Friendship". Shouldn't we try to repay that friendship? Burgi, Maggart, Young, and all the others (cast and crew) didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's see if we can't get them their jobs back again. After all, friends help friends, right? Or you could give up, and let Valentine and Chris-Craft win. So which will it be?

O.D. [Obsession is 9/10ths of the law.]

[5]

As for the letters, it looks like letter writing really took a nosedive after last year's push to get the show renewed. That was a battle that was both won and lost and I think that made a lot of people feel they were having little to no effect. I don't know about folks on Sentries or the Raft, but people on Senfic and Senad are no longer posting tallies, so there is really no way to tell how many of them are still writing.

But, I still encourage people to write and even include handy links on my webpage for its visitors. [6]

Well, I for one, have NOT given up, nor do I think that we fans are peeing in the wind. Yes, it will take a while to get our collective points across to the PTB, but it is a fight worth fighting and my sword {pen} is sharpened and ready to go. I could be wrong, but after the annoucement came out that USA/Sci-Fi wasn't really thinking about taking up the fight for 1st run eppies, most of our team gave up in disgust. But while USA/Sci-Fi would be the ones to run the new eppies {when it happens}, it is ultimately up to Paramount as to whether or not to fund/back the new production of TS.

So, my suggestion? If you *really* want and desire more TS eppies, contact Paramount and let them know. And if you want to really get them where it counts, tell them you're willing to drop some serious cash their way should they decide to 'package' the show in vidoe format that we, the fans, could purchase. Hint that you've already dropped serious cash into thier coffers by purchasing nearly all the Star Trek videos that are available, and that you'd just *love* to do the same with The Sentinel. Trust me on this one folks, Money talks.

Also, dropping a line or two to PetFly Productions will help too. If all you want to do is console them on losing TS and {I think this is true, but not 100%

positive} Viper. Let them know what a great job they did putting together such a wonderful cast and keeping the stories fresh, as well as intreguing and entertaining.

Okay, I think I've "preached" enough for now. Since I have found this rare day off with no phone calls to call me back into work {how can they when I'm online?} I think I'll head off to send out some e-mails to save this wonderful show. So, have I inspired you? No? Shame on you. go read some SenFic, watch about four of the episodes I *know* you have taped, and motivate yourselves! We have a show to resurrect!

Suisan "Sue" R., Holder of the Pen-Sword of Pneumatography! And the five annulets of the

Sentinel Senses of Feline Spirits. [7]

References

  1. SOS News Archive for October 1997, accessed via Wayback on July 19, 2009.
  2. About the SOS via the Wayback Machine. Accessed July 19, 2009.
  3. How You Can Help via the Wayback Machine. Accessed July 19, 2009.
  4. Ruby: Letter writing/Where are you??, June 17, 1999
  5. OpticalDelusion: Letter writing/Where are you??, June 17, 1999
  6. Blair Kennedy: Letter writing/Where are you??, June 18, 1999
  7. Suisan: Letter writing/Where are you??, June 18, 1999