Saturday, May 15, 2010
Dear Jeff Zucker RE: Law & Order’s Cancellation and the Death of a National Pastime
For all fans of Law & Order and the thousands of readers who come to my Law & Order blogs each day, here is a copy of the letter that I just emailed to Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal. I am sure he's getting tons of emails, so if any of the people "connected" with Law & Order who read this blog would help to make sure Mr. Zucker gets the message, I would appreciate it. Here it is:
Dear Mr. Zucker,
My name is Christine Zimmer and I own and operate the web sites All Things Law And Order and These Are Their Stories, both which focus on all the shows in the Law & Order brand and the actors who star in them. I am very saddened with the news that Law & Order has been canceled. My disappointment has nothing to do with any impact this would have on my web sites. I put many hours each week in bringing information to fans about all the shows and there is virtually no benefit personally to me to do so, so one less show to cover means that maybe I would get some of my life back. What saddens me is that the quality of Law & Order has improved greatly over the last few years, the cast has great chemistry, it continues to draw millions of dedicated viewers, the series remains relevant and compelling, yet somehow these traits do not seem to have value to the NBC network.
While I do not work in your industry, I’ve held Director and Vice President positions while working for large national distributors in the Cleveland, Ohio area, so I do know what it takes for a company to make millions in profit. I do understand that NBC is in business to make money, that Law & Order has been drawing fewer viewers, and that fewer viewers means less ad revenue and less profits for the network. But I also know how to market and sell a product, and in my opinion, NBC did not do a very good job “selling” Law & Order to attract more viewers. If a company can’t properly sell and market its product, the viewers – who are your network’s customers – should not be penalized. I admit I am not in the 18-49 demographic that the networks value, but I assure you that my hard earned money spends just as well as theirs and I would be more than willing to support advertisers who are willing to spend money to advertise on the show. Sadly, the networks don’t seem to value people in my demographic, so neither do advertisers.
To you, Law & Order may be just a line on a profit and loss statement. The show is much more than that:
1. To actors, writers, producers, production people – it means jobs which give them an income to spend which helps keep our economy vital.
2. To viewers, it means entertainment, escape from their pressures of life, a good story that gives them something to talk about, and a vehicle for social commentary. It’s a place that they can go to enjoy their favorite actors, and for some to write fan fiction about their favorite characters. It’s a show that fans follow no matter what day or time it airs, and they follow it faithfully in syndication, it’s like a comfy pair of jeans that you just can’t throw away because they are broken in perfectly and they feel good. Law & Order is a NATIONAL PASTIME, and is loved not only in the United States, but world-wide.
I ask that you please reconsider your decision to cancel Law & Order, or, if you believe that NBC cannot under any circumstances continue with the show, to encourage negotiations with other networks that may be willing to bring a quality show like Law & Order into their fold.
Thank you for your consideration,