Originally aired: Sunday 10 June through Sunday 12 August 2007

Hollywood Reporter Press Release


Save ‘John From Cincinnati’ Campaign
Makes Multiple Appeals to HBO

Campaign Will Run Ad Calling for HBO to Continue with
Second Season of Innovative Series

SPRING LAKE, N.J., Sept. 24, 2007 — Thousands of HBO viewers who met over the Internet are united with a single mission: to convince HBO to put a new season of ‘John From Cincinnati’ on the air. Now they’re taking out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter to make sure HBO hears their message.

The pricey ad (the funds were collected in only eight days) is just the latest volley in an effort coordinated by members of johnfromcincinnati.net that includes petition drives, two different postcard campaigns, homemade video appeals, teddy bears and honeycombs (references from the series), and countless phone calls, emails, and letters sent to HBO executives.

“The show hooked me from the beginning with its offbeat dialogue, brilliant performances and breathtaking surfing footage,” said Brian Lowery. Martin Bradburn said, “Once in a great while a show comes to television that breaks the mold and expands the genre into uncharted territory. [It] is a radiant tapestry of the human condition with all its hopes and failings.”

‘John From Cincinnati’ faced a number of obstacles. It premiered immediately after the controversial series finale of ‘The Sopranos’ and it was a summertime series, when there are fewer viewers.

The groundbreaking show took a while to catch on. As Joe Neff put it, “At the end of Season 1, I was amazed at my deep emotional investment in the characters.” johnfromcincinnati.net believes there are enough viewers to justify the show’s return and another season would build an even stronger viewer base. “I never watched the premiere, but caught it on a subsequent night, which many people do. Between that and TiVo, the actual viewership of the final episode must equal that of ‘The Sopranos’ first season average. And look what happened with ‘The Sopranos,'” said Trishah Woolley, johnfromcincinnati.net administrator.

It is the group’s hope that the advertisement in The Hollywood Reporter will demonstrate to HBO that the viewers are committed to a new season of ‘John.’

“Most other TV programs are mind-numbing during or after their first airing. I get more out of each viewing of an episode,” said Cindy Cheatham. And, Dorothy Tarka said, “I’d find myself thinking about the show and its implications long after each episode aired. I want to see how the storylines develop, to see how the character transformations evolve and the importance of community is reinforced. Simply put, I want more of the best television ever.”

Website: http://www.johnfromcincinnati.net

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Quotes From Members of the
Save ‘John From Cincinnati’ Community

Members of the press: Contact information for these people, as well as a number of others, can be found on the press release that was distributed on the newswire. If you do not have access to the original, please email us from an official news organizations email address (i,e., your_name@hollywoodreporter.com or your_name@nytimes.com, etc.) with your name and contact information and we will contact you asap.

“JFC is the type of show upon which HBO was built: funny, dramatic, entertaining, challenging. It combines the metaphysical mystery of TWIN PEAKS with the emotional heft and character development of SIX FEET UNDER. Like THE SOPRANOS, it’s never afraid to wander down a seemingly blind alley or let a plot point recede into the background, knowing full well that those blind alleys and backgrounds are key to the grand tapestry of life it depicts.” “Remember the old tag line “It’s not TV; it’s HBO”? Well, regular TV would’ve never given a show like JFC the chance grow, let alone exist. At the end of Season 1, I was amazed at my deep emotional investment in the characters. It’s sad that those characters might no longer have a chance to grow before our eyes.” ~ Joe Neff

“This show gave me an unexplainable feeling of hope. The characters were so realistic. They were like real people the way you’d know them in your own life. Not like the “real” people acting phony that you see so much of these days. I would compare the writing to that of any of the great novels that I have read. It was an actual story. One that was both inspirational and fun to watch. I do not think I am alone in my desire to watch more entertaining television, sick to death of television based on reality. Though I am not sure how he managed, Milch was able to give us an interesting and entertaining view of his thoughts on the state of the world. He managed to get life to imitate art by inspiring people to gather together to keep his vision alive because it meant something to each of them.” ~ Lisa Ferro

“Once in a great while a show comes to television that breaks the mold and expands the genre into uncharted territory. John from Cincinnati is such a show. From the mystery of John, to the finely interwoven plot and characters of the Yost family and the residents of Imperial Beach, it is a radiant tapestry of the human condition with all it’s hopes and failings. It is a show that should be brought back and given a chance to realize what the possibilities of really innovative television can be.” ~ Martin Bradburn

“I could go on and on about the reasons that I love John From Cincinnati. First, it is challenging to watch. I am riveted to the screen, absorbing each character’s idiosyncrasies, their interactions, dialog, etc. Then there’s my expectation of putting all of the pieces together. This usually takes a few viewings of each episode, which I love. Most other TV programs are mind-numbing during or after their first airing. I get more out of each episode. I am completely involved in deciphering where all of the pieces are leading. My experience with JFC is a journey.”I enjoy spending time laughing with my husband while we watch JFC. It is a FUNNY show. After watching it one night, I told him that I feel so good after seeing John From Cincinnati. I know that humor is good for the soul. I also know that, seeing the characters turn from being angry at the world for their life to peaceful acceptance, watching JFC makes me feel uplifted. John Monad does that to Mitch Yost. He does that for me too.” ~ Cindy Cheatham

“This show blurs the line between the viewer and the characters. The potential for change in each character and the power of the community applies equally well to us and the real world. Coming together now to save this amazing and enjoyable show is just one part.” “If you never watched this show, you’re missing out” he added.” “More of my friends watched and talked about this show than any other I can think of” ~ Graham Sanderson

“JFC open up my mind and stimulated my soul. I know it’s not mainstream entertainment, but there is still a few of us who enjoy a little intellectual exercise. Bring it back because it makes me think, we need more shows like this!! HBO will not be receiving money from me unless they bring it back.” ~ Charla Pannell

“The show hooked me from the beginning with its offbeat dialogue, brilliant and often manic performances, and breathtaking surfing footage. What kept me watching was a drama about a community brought together by one person to heal itself. Stories of redemption this pure are very rare. John From Cincinnati showed us the power that people have within them to make their lives, and the lives around them, just a little bit better by forgiving ourselves and others. This show did not get the ending it deserved. The fans deserve better. The characters deserve better.” ~ Brian Lowery

“JFC engaged me from the beginning with its brilliant dialogue, intriguing storyline and seamless blend off faith, community, hope, love and redemption. JFC was the best television ever – both thought provoking and entertaining. I’d find myself thinking about the show and its implications long after each episode aired. After experiencing JFC, all other television pales by comparison. I want another season of JFC to see how the storylines develop, to see how the character transformations evolve and the importance of community is reinforced. Simply put, I want more of the best television ever.” ~ Dorothy Tarka

“The show challenged me to think in new ways like no other show ever did before, and it also had wonderful character arcs. Great moments from the show, like John and Shun’s return from heaven in the last episode, were among the best TV moments of all time. I loved each episode so much, and watching it unfold was a joy,” wrote Patrick Meaney, a popular ‘John From Cincinnati’ blogger.

“‘John From Cincinnati’ is a very powerful, raw; emotive series that has renewed my faith in humanity. It captured my attention in the beginning with words “the internet is big & huge!” Along with the “we are coming, 9, 11, 14.” I felt as if had been placed on a journey to find the truth behind the hidden messages. In my quest I found literally thousands that experienced the same reaction as me. Thanks HBO, for giving me the 10 episodes. I am very saddened by their corporate decision to cancel. Please bring this innovative series back for a new season. I demand the answers to my questions; without the answers my feelings dictate a response by canceling both subscriptions; HBO & Cinemax.” ~ Tammy Lewis

“True to HBO’s claims, this was a “groundbreaking” show. It brought back the surfer genre with a spirituality expressed through clearly defined yet multi-leveled characters. The story is super-reality, going beyond the everyday into a near-fantasy that is still not far from the everyday truth. This kind of story is real, it resonates, but it’s never been on TV before. Critics will never understand this kind of work as they want simple polarity and conflict. The want simple characters they can identify with, and they resist spiritual themes and uncertainty. Critics want to identify with the writer or with the characters and to endorse something, as if they themselves wrote it and most critics can’t relate on this level, but many of us real people do. Don’t listen to the critics HBO, who are often failed artists themselves … listen to the real people, who are often successful in other fields, and who love this show.” ~ Brian Lucey

“There are things in this life that go beyond the realm of modern science, right above straight rows and columns of numbers, way past practical, pragmatic considerations. One of the characters from “John from Cincinnati”, seasoned medical doctor is confronted by such revelation, he is rejoiced and his entire essence leaps up. Most people go through their lives without ever hearing their souls speak. JFC speaks directly to your soul, and you will no longer doubt the existence of it after experiencing JFC. Listen to your soul, HBO, and give this masterpiece a second life.” ~ Alexander Feldman

I am utterly disappointed that HBO has hastily decided to cancel John from Cincinnati. JFC is a masterpiece from the mind of David Milch. No other show on TV has proven to be so thought-provoking with characters so raw to bear their souls in front of us on each episode. It may have taken a few episodes to catch on, however the ride was definitely worth it. The ambiguity of the show is also a masterpiece, because what one person might interpret, another can find a completely different meaning. That is the beauty of this show. It has brought us all together, discussing our interpretations and poking for clues as to John’s other-worldly origins. This embodies the ground-breaking genre of programming that HBO is striving to achieve; to cancel it would be the gravest of mistakes. Over three million viewers can’t be wrong. Please HBO, trust in your viewers and give it one more chance. ~ Christine Atanasio

“I am part of an internet campaign that formed online in an effort to bring back the HBO television series, ‘John From Cincinnati’. This series touched many people deeply. Although I am normally not much of a TV viewer, I found myself watching each of the 10 episodes several times. Along with extraordinary writing and compelling characters, the show brought a rare and welcomed message of hope. Some viewers have interpreted the show through a religious lens, but there are also many of us who find the true message of the show to be the power of humanity, the possibilities that are open to us when we step back and view things from a slightly different perspective.When the show was cancelled after only 10 episodes, I felt a real loss. I went online to learn more about the show, and to the HBO website community forum, to read what other viewers had to say. I was amazed to discover that many, many others had felt about the show as I had, and were equally dismayed at HBO’s hasty decision to terminate the series. The campaign to bring back ‘John From Cincinnati’,-which you can read about at www.johnfromcincinnati.net -, began as both individual and collective responses to HBO’s cancellation of “John From Cincinnati”. Early efforts, organized through johnfromcincinnati .net, the HBO online community, and various other websites, included several online petitions and the sending of cards and objects to HBO executives. Hundreds of postcards emblazoned with the monad symbol were sent to HBO, as well bears, bees, honeycombs and other objects referenced in the show or its opening credits.

In the past few weeks the various efforts to save JFC have coalesced into a united campaign designed to use the media to catch the attention of HBO, and to ask the network to reconsider the fate of JFC. The fans of John From Cincinnati are living the message of the show itself. Although we do not know one another, we have been working as a team- collectively writing copy for the attached press release as well as an ad to be published in the Hollywood Record. Our principal organizer, johnfromcincinnati.net aministrator, Trishah Woolley, would post various versions of copy for the press release and the ad, we would offer suggestions and then work from the modified version. Amazingly, this worked quite well. Trishah also set up a PayPal account for collecting donations to fund the advertisement. In slightly more than a week, the needed funds were collected.” ~ Skordamou