Friday, June 10, 2011

Endgame fans move to fight series end game

TV shows come and go all the time. That's the nature of the biz. Sometimes, though, it just doesn't make sense. Why should The Kardashians be heading into a sixth season when Arrested Development barely lasted three? These are questions that will mystify social scientists well into the next century.
Case in point: Endgame, an entertaining Vancouver-based drama airing on Showcase. Barring a beyond last minute miracle, it airs its final episode Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars Shawn Doyle as Arkady Balagan, a Russian chess grandmaster who is so traumatized when his fiancee is killed just steps outside their luxury hotel he cannot leave the place. In order to pay his bills, he begins to take on crime solving, using the same five-moves-ahead logic that makes him such a chess brainiac.
The series got the full PR push when it launched last March and opened to 232,000 viewers. Maybe it was Doyle's admitted "Alberto V05" accent, but something turned off viewers after that. The series had sunk below 100,000 within a month.
Shaw left the series off its renewal list at their upfront to advertisers earlier this month. Now a group of fans--with the help of Doyle and co-star Patrick Gallagher, who are both twittering up a storm--are trying to bring it back. The last-minute push may be working; the final episode in May was again back up over the 200,000 viewer mark.
If you're an Endgame fan, you can sign a petition that is being forwarded to Showcase; you'll find the petition here. There's also a "Save Endgame" Facebook page, jump to it here and "like" away.
It may be a lost cause (Shaw officials say the series is done and they've even taken down the link to it on their media site), but, as Mr. Smith said in Washington, sometimes lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for. Read more about Endgame and how other shows, like Family Guy and Jericho, were rescued by fan efforts here at this story I wrote this week for The Canadian Press. And if you know a member of a "BBM Family," encourage them to tune in to the series/season finale Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showcase.
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