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Date Posted: 17:49:33 02/21/03 Fri
Subject: Why Fox dropped Firefly...
To: Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Television Incorporated
From: Shillton Skankowski, FOX Television Entertainment Network Group
Date: February 19th, 2002
After that power brunch we had yesterday I just thought I'd send you a memo and let you know that I've talked with the other executives here at FOX and we've decided to give your little space western idea another chance. However, and I'm sure you'll understand why, we ask for a few simple adjustments to your marvelous show idea before we can continue.
1. We need to have things blow up more often. Something should blow up at least once in between every commercial break. Two or three things blowing up in between each commercial break would be even better.
2. The women on the show should kiss the men on the show more often, and each other just a little less (as in, not at all).
3. The name "Firefly" doesn't seem to properly convey the idea of a space western. We recommend you rename the show "Space Western" so that the viewers don't confuse your show with a PBS documentary about fluorescent beetles.
4. The focus groups who reported to my assistant after viewing one of your episodes said they didn't really understand who the bad guys were. We recommend you have all the good guys on the show wear white hats and all the bad guys wear black hats, so the viewers are better able to keep track at a glance just who they're supposed to be rooting for.
5. We recommend you add a new character to the show. A cute little girl. Focus groups respond best to dark haired girls who are about nine or ten years old. We know this is a science fiction program so we recommend you make her a robot who speaks in a monotone manner and takes anything other characters say very literally, to comical effect.
6. The women on the show are wearing too many clothes.
7. You put the show in outer space but I don't recall there ever being any actual aliens showing up. So we recommend you get some of your makeup guys from the Buffy tv show and have them doctor up some extras to make them look like Little Green Men or something. Also make sure they're wearing black hats.
8. Drop that Ron Glass guy. He's a bore.
9. Focus groups reported that the rooms inside the space ship looked too much like a poorly furnished studio apartment. We recommend you repaint all the sets to make them look more like those cool sets on that old Star Trek show. Make sure there's a lot of bright flashing lights and "beep beep" noises in the background.
10. The women on the show need to be prettier. Go wherever you got that cute Gellar chick and hire some more who look like that.
11. Get in touch with the Jim Henson Company and add some aliens that are actually muppets. Kids like muppets. You can't go wrong with muppets. Or maybe get that guy who does ALF. He's been doing some phone commercials recently, but I'm sure he's available. Make ALF a guest star every few episodes and maybe we can get the 1-800-COLLECT guys to put a commercial on your show.
12. Make the 'future' of the Earth a little brighter. People wanna believe we're gonna do better. Right now the show's outlook is just a little depressing.
Of course you'll understand that we will not be offering any more money for these changes. In fact in order to broadcast your fine television show on our network, we ask for a simple retainer of $250,000.00 per episode, to defray the costs regarding a lack of interest among advertisers.
We look forward to working with you again.
From: Joss Whedon
To: Shillton Skankowski
Date: February 20th, 2002
Disclaimer: BTW this is for humorous impact. It's not a real memo exchange.
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