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Ben Browder on CNN's Headline News

A transcript of Ben Browder's interview on Headline news

September 18, 2002

Click for larger imageALICIA: Hi, I'm Alicia Davis and in Entertainment: it was a hit show for the SCI FI Channel, but now the series Farscape is fighting for its life. After four years, the seminal sci-fi drama was canceled, but fans of the show aren't taking this news lying down.They have mounted a big e-mail campaign to save the show, and here to talk about the show and this grassroots movement is one of the show's stars. Joining me now all the way from Australia, is Ben Browder. Ben, thanks so much for joining us.

BEN: My pleasure. Good morning from Australia. It's 9:20, the sun is shining, it's the end of winter, and it's tomorrow.

ALICIA: All right. Well, thanks so much for joining us. And my understanding is that you and the cast and the crew, if we can go back to this, you were on the set, you were getting ready to for a fifth season, and then within two weeks you were told that the show was going to be cancelled. Is that how it happened?

Click for larger imageBEN: That's pretty close to the timeline. We had actually finished shooting our final episode of season four, we were doing pickup shots from an earlier episode. The night before I was talking with Brian Henson and David Kemper our executive producers, amd they were fairly sure we were going ahead and everyone was planning for a fifth season, then we were on the set, we got the news and a lot of people broke down in tears.

ALICIA: Wow, must have felt like the rug was pulled out from under you.

BEN: Alicia, I've got a lot of music in my ears, so you're gonna have to speak up.

ALICIA: I will, all right. I was wondering: there is now a big campaign to save the show -- tell us about that, and do you think fans and the internet can save this show?

Click for larger imageBEN: Well, the interesting thing about this situation is that basically the two parties, USA Networks and the Henson company as producers, it was a split. After the fan response, they got back together and started talking again. It gave us an extra week before we had to start chopping up the sets for them to try to figure out a way around it. At this point, it looks like it's not going to happen, so it looks like we're not gonna see a fifth season.

ALICIA: Wow. Well, I know you've participated in chats with the fans -- what was the best thing you've heard from fans, in those chats.

BEN: Well, the interaction with the fans started almost from the inception of the show, from the period when we were just airing on SCI FI. Very early on, the only reaction we had was on the internet, so if we wanted a fan response, wanted to know what they thought about the show, we had to get on the internet and find out. So we had chats at the end of every year that were sponsored by SCI FI, and we would gauge how the audience was responding by what we were reading and seeing on the internet. So they were critical in the creative process as well. As an actor, you stand between the words and the audience, and on television, at least from Australia, the only way to gauge that is to get on the internet and find out what works and what doesn't work. It's been fascinating watching the Internet work for us.

ALICIA: Yeah, it really has, and you have so many fans who love the show. Ben, I want to thank you so much for joining us.

BEN: Thank you for having me, and g'day from Australia.

ALICIA: That was Ben Browder from Farscape, and that does it for entertainment.

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