So you've come back - (or maybe this is the first time you've stopped by this particular page you might want to read An idea so out of the box it touched the edge of Heaven? and The Continuing Saga of Network Executive Stupidity ... they'll really help set the stage for you as to why I've decided to write this particular rant.) - thank you. Knowing you're here helps me feel better because I'm not suffering in solitude.
Yes, I'm suffering... my brain f'ing hurts because I've been trying for weeks now to figure out why in the world the SyFy network cancelled Dominion. I looked at those damn Nielsen ratings and saw that Dominion had an overall viewership that was higher than 3 of the shows that were renewed. (Seriously? It had an average viewership for the entire season of 500,000.)
I do not claim to be an expert on ratings... but I did do pretty damn well in school and one of the things I learned was numbers don't lie - they can't. And the truth of the matter is based solely on ratings in the United States alone - Dominion should have been renewed.
Notice I used the phrase 'in the United States alone' because it needs to be known that Dominion literally has a fanbase that spans the GLOBE.
You're probably thinking 'Now Avery, spanning the globe... are you sure about that? That's quite a claim.'
Yes, I am sure. How? Because I've done a bit of research on the matter of international viewership for Dominion over the past few weeks and what I've learned is astounding - if SyFy had looked beyond the borders of the United States they'd see that the show has a fandom that reaches across the world.
How'd I come by this Nielsen Ratings shattering information?
I trolled the internet looking for chatter about the show. You'd be surprised how useful that internet thing can be when you devote about six hours to simply going through page after page of information. Looking at Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit alone I came across long, involved discussions about the show. (Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have a discussion on Twitter? It's not easy. But the fans of Dominion are rabid and keep up with any Dominion hashtagged (#'ed) or at-ed (@'ed) tweets.
And the thing that amazed me the most was the fact that some of the people who were online in the very wee hours of the night keeping up with discussions I (based in Austin, Texas) was having with other devoted Dominion fans who were hours away from me when talking time zones. But it didn't matter, I'd be tweeting away with a fan in California (USA -2 hours from TX), London (UK +6 hours), and Austria (+7 hours) at 11PM my time. (Perhaps in a future post, I'll discuss what it's like to be part of a light-hearted but spirited Twitter chat with women around the world. Yes, I think that would be fun.)
But for now - I want to keep this wholly about the international fan base - and as I said it's huge because aside from looking at traditional social media outlets, I searched for personal blogs devoted to the show. So very many of them - and they're in all different languages - English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese (most of which are owned by Brazilian viewers), and Russian.
Thankfully, I have the little 'would you like Google to translate this page for you' option running or I wouldn't know what the hell they were talking about on those sites aside from seeing the names of specific actors sprinkled throughout the various posts. And lots of the blogsites ... like a freaking boat load ... of them are devoted to nothing but Dominion Fan Art (most all of it created by the blog owner - but some are collections of other fan art... some of which is so amazing it makes me jealous because while I'm pretty good using lines, curves, and dots to write words - I cannot in any shape, form, or fashion use those elements to create anything other than stick figures) Oh, and then there's the Dominion FanFiction... some of which is not intended for younger readers but all of which shows that people who watch the show stepped into the lore of it like stepping into a pair of comfortable shoes.
Then I went to what was truly the most telling of the international fanbase... the Change.org petition site aimed at getting the show picked up by NETFLIX because NETFLIX has the power to resurrect the show so we the fans can have closure with the story. And so the show's creator and the talented team of writers, directors, actors, and all those folks behind the scenes will have closure, too - especially since the show was cancelled with what was, in my mind, one of the best damn cliffhangers since Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Season 5 Finale 'The Gift' (FYI Anthony Stewart Head who plays David Whele on Dominion was part of the Buffy cast as Rupert Giles - hmmm, think about that for a few moments) and, of course, the 'Oh, no! Is Sherlock dead?' Season 2 Finale (Reichenbach Falls) . But that's just me.
I went to the Change.org page knowing there were people who felt the same as I did and that they, like I, left comments and that Change.org displays the 'where they're from' information with comments. Ok, so one guy put 'Earth' as his location and another put 'I'm not telling' Only he mentioned he was in Las Vegas and thought it was pretty cool that the show was set in an apocalyptic Las Vegas called Vega so I'm fairly certain he's from the United States.
And this is what I found after going through EVERY SINGLE ONE of the comments... HUNDREDS of comments... (That alone took about an hour as I was keeping track of the countries while I read)
I wanted to show NETFLIX how popular the show is in regards to its worldwide appeal so I made these nifty little graphics... (And since the programming execs at SyFy apparently have issues understanding what a cash boon Dominion could have been for them if only they'd paid attention and I didn't want to confuse them anymore than they already are - I figured they could understand a picture!)
Here's the same information in a nifty little alphabetized list...
Whoa - look at that! All those countries (it's 74 if you don't want to count). And the VAST majority of them are nonEnglish speaking countries...
How is that possible?
For that matter how did people around the world learn about Dominion? Was it because SyFy hyped the hell out of if for Season 1? (They did a lot of hype as mentioned in my previous post - but it wasn't to all those countries... nope, not at all) Was it because of the awesome promotion of the series (um, I'm being sarcastic because they barely promoted the show in the USA so to think they went all out for other countries would be idiotic) when it went into its 2nd season?
No. BUT - that is fodder for another post about how the international community found the show!
So until next time - Keep your wings spread and your swords at the ready...