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Thursday June 9, 2005 12:38 pm

The Final Cut: Fans Refuse To Let Joan Of Arcadia Die

Posted by Devin Categories: Features, Home Entertainment

Joan of Arcadia

The third week of May was a sad time for many television viewers. That was the week when the major television networks announced what new shows would be hitting our screens in the fall, but more importantly, what shows had been canceled.  While some of you may have been sad to see your favorite shows get the axe, many devoted fans of CBS’s “Joan of Arcadia” decided that just because their favorite show had been declared dead didn’t mean it couldn’t be revived.  While many viewers who are upset about a shows’ cancellation settle for signing an online petition that probably won’t even be seen by a network executive, one viewer decided that simply would not be enough and created the website www.savejoanofarcadia.com in an effort to help give the show a second chance at life.

So what is savejoanofarcadia.com?  While the site does offer links to various online petitions, it also offers a “game plan” on how to help in the fight to save JoA, as many fans know it.  What kind of a game plan, you wonder?  It’s actually quite simple.  Sony Pictures owns the rights to “Joan of Arcadia”, and is reportedly trying to sell the show to another major network such as NBC, ABC, or FOX.  Fans of the show follow a scheduled set of “waves” which require either emailing, faxing or snail mailing certain items(or pictures of items if emailing/faxing) relating to the show to Sony and the 3 major networks.  Take the second wave for example, which started on Monday.  Fans were to send in either scarves, thread or yarn with a note reading, “Operation Save Joan! Because ‘All of creation shares a common thread, like your scarf. How you use that thread becomes the pattern of your life.’”  The quote of course coming from a second season episode entitled, “Common Thread”. 

Due to the fact that the actors’ contracts are expiring on June 15th, there will only be a total of 5 waves, the final one starting on June 11th.  Some people might think that this idea won’t get very far, but this site has already gotten a lot of media coverage with an AP article on Yahoo! News, MSN News, and CNN.com, an article in Failure Magazine, and a mention in a tvguide.com column.  And don’t forget the publicity from nearly every JoA fansite, and word of mouth among loyal fans. 

CBS has said that low ratings and viewer demographics(the median age of JoA viewers was 53.9 yrs. old) were the reasons for the cancellation, but many believe that both of those reasons were caused by the fact that the show, whose target audience is adolescents, aired on Friday nights, a night when many teens are out with their friends and not about to let an hour long television show get in the way of their social life.  While it may have made more sense for CBS to move “Joan” to another night of the week, making it more accessible to teens, they decided to scrap the show all together, replacing it with a show called “Ghost Whisperer” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as a young woman who has the ability to speak with dead people.

This is not the first time fans have come together to help save a show, but the big question is will this effort to resurrect a show that many love be a success?  Only time will tell, and while the major networks have already announced their fall line-ups, there is always a place as a mid-season filler which would be worth the wait to fans even though the show might not air again until January at the earliest.  “Joan of Arcadia” may need a miracle to get it back on the air, but this Emmy nominated show, and it’s fans, may just have what it takes to get the job done.

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