Memo to FOX: You are, officially, the Devil

I’ve held my tongue until now.

But there is some crap up with which I will not put.

Now, I’m not even talking about that abomination called “FOX News” (with the anchor who looks exactly like Ray Wise’s Satan in ‘Reaper’…has no one noticed

At midnight I will take your soul...

At midnight I will take your soul...

that but me), even though, of course, the “news” organ of the FOX media behemoth is the seat of all evil and ignorance in the universe. (Memo to “FOX News”- you do not provide news. You are a manipulative, cynical corporate tool of the wealthy and the powerful which couches its slobbery toadying to the throne of the moneyed in lowest common denominator “populist” demagoguery. That is all.)

But, again, that’s not why I’m here.

FOX. Stop f-ing with Joss Whedon. Stop f-ing with Matt Groening.

First, ‘The Simpsons’. Then ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Then ‘Angel’. Then ‘Firefly’. And, most recently, ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘Futurama’.

Changing time slots and days so that shows can’t build an audience. Minimal promotion. Refusing to piggyback the nascent ‘Angel’ cult audience on ‘Buffy”s by refusing Whedon’s desire to have them run back-to-back. Threatening to replace the irreplacable ‘Simpsons’ voice cast with scabs when they asked for a raise (before the entire earth laughed the FOX greedheads out of the room). Refusing to accept the brilliantly-crafted two-hour ‘Firefly’ pilot episode and demanding that

Currently being screwed by FOX in ways we can't imagine.

Currently being screwed by FOX in ways we can't imagine.

Whedon and Tim Minear rush through a new, more ‘action-packed’ script ‘The Train Job’ in about a weekend; they did a great job compressing the series’ introduction into one, one-hour ep, but the goddamed genius pilot was not only not shown first, it was only aired near the end of the run WHEN THE SHOW HAD ALREADY BEEN CANCELLED!! Oh, and they had several (needless-to-say great) episodes already completed when they cancelled the show WHICH THEY NEVER BOTHERED TO AIR!! (Sorry for the caps…I’ll try to control myself). Oh, and then they did the same thing with Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’; there’s a final episode on the recently-released DVD boxed set which they…wait for it…never bothered to air. (I didn’t say anything about italics). Keep in mind, that this is FOX- I mean what stellar programming were they all fired up about airing in lieu of these gems? Reality shows? ‘Herman’s Head’? Remakes of their own, laughably-awful ‘original’ series? Um, reality shows? They’d already paid for these episodes. They already existed and were ready for broadcast. They were inundated with an admittedly small but passionate audience’s letters, emails, and phone calls who were clamoring for the opportunity to see them. Why not just throw them (oh, and the universally-lauded creator) a freaking bone and just air them rather than tossing them in the trash in favor of whatever passed for FOX programming at the time?

Could it be…evil? Or stupidity, I guess. Evil or stupidity…that’s your choice, FOX.

And now, they’re planning, after having unceremoniously s-canned the hilarious,

Now, starring as Bender...Joe Rogan!

Now, starring as Bender...Joe Rogan!

brilliantly-satirical ‘Futurama’ (crated by Matt Groening, who’s made their network about eleventy-frillion dollars over the years), only to see it ressurected by the fact that its fans bought twenty-seven chillion DVD boxed sets and direct-to-DVD movies, is now planning to fire and replace the (sound familiar?) completely-irreplaceable voice cast with scabs.

Pardon me, but holy shit.

Business is business, of course. But this isn’t even good business. You’re making money with your abysmal, demographically-microcreated shows and Stalin-esque “news” channel. Here’s an idea…allow the undeniably-talented and prolific creators of the best TV series in, well, forever, a home at your network. Some critical plaudits for their continuing, sublime efforts will stand out like diamonds in the steaming turd that is your media output, and, perhaps, distract attention from your otherwise soul-deadening TV agenda. The fans of ‘Futurama’, who’ve spent all the money you already have, WILL NOT ACCEPT a corporate-mandated replacement cast. To dumb it down, in deference to you, FOX- you…don’t…get…any…more…of…my…money.

Cut the crap, stop f-ing with the only shows of quality in your whole, benighted media empire, and let the smart people decide what’s good.

Just an idea.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 2:12 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I always get nervous asking Whedon super fans questions….(I live with one, so I’ve developed a careful style)….

    BUT….does he ever comment about why he keeps going back to Fox? Does he have some kind of deal with the devil (nice Reaper observation ,by the way) that he must continue to make shows for them?

    As for Futurama, without Katy Segal it will not exist to me.

  2. Yeah, I dunno about the whole Joss/FOX thing. I mean, they did put ‘Buffy’ on the air originally, and so he developed a relationship with them; when he pitched the idea for ‘Firefly’, they snapped it up and signed him to a deal…and then promptly destroyed the show. I guess it’s a question of it not being easy to get a TV deal, so you take one when you can get one, but, yeah, after a while you do start to think of Joss as the little mouse who thinks he can snatch the cheese out of the trap, even though he’s down to one paw at this point.

    As for ‘Futurama’…this is just…AAAAARRRGGHHH! The sheer numbskullery that FXO thinks the devoted, cultish, you know-just slavelike fans of the show (whose devotion resurrected the show after FOX dumped it in the first place) would accept any old actors instead of Billy West, Segal, John DiMaggio, et al…it’s just plain dumb. Like you said, without them, it’s dead to me.

  3. Well, once again you have taken the words out of my mouth old chum. I have hours and hours of complaints when it comes to network tv programming and the geniuses behind it. But Fox…they are in a special class all alone. Let’s put aside the shows and talent I love and consider that their business model is basically to fire buckshot, hope for the best and when that fails move the target at random. It’s improbable that any show succeeds there. I think the problem (and the reason Joss has had so many go rounds) is that the system for creating shows and getting them to air is fucked too. How much money is blown on development alone, let alone actually making a pilot? The networks are basically scheduling to maximize ads, but failing shows don’t help, sonthe cycle gets worse. (see NBC). Also, a lot of creators are afraid to test the cable nets.

  4. […] wait). In fact, although thirteen episodes were made, FOX chopped it off after only four had aired (hmmm, sound familiar?), depriving us of a pretty decent little sitcom. (Requisite Jim Belushi attack here: I mean, […]

  5. I always think of FOX as “The house The Simpsons built.”

    • “Yeah, Groening, but what have you done for us lately?…Oh, you made Futurama (and more frillions of dollars for us)…Ummm…well shut up anyway….”

  6. FOX has caved! (Sure, it was more likely a compromise on both sides, but let’s keep with the theme, people). According to, the original cast has all been given raises and are all coming back! Compromise aside, lets’s just hope this teaches FOX about monkeying around with their (very, very few) good shops/creators… BWAAH-HAAA-HAAAAA!!! Ohhh, that’s a good one…

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