There are a lot of mysteries when it comes to “Warehouse 13,” but one of the biggest ones is found right in real life.
A group of people — none of whom are willing to identify themselves — have put together one of the most solid show campaign websites since efforts to save the CBS show “Jericho.”
Found at www.RenewWarehouse13.com, the only thing known about the site is that the domain name was purchased in early April, soon after showrunner Jack Kenny and many of the stars on the show started to drum up renewal support for the popular Syfy series.
The site encourages fans to use the hashtag “renewwarehouse13” on places like Twitter, and shares not only ways to organize, but also the do’s and don’ts of watching to help the numbers even more. You know, like don’t skip the ads, live tweet the show, and even make sure you have downloaded the Syfy app Syfy Sync.
Although the organizers won’t tell us who they are, they did respond as a group of three people to an exclusive interview request from Airlock Alpha, crediting their initial efforts to not only Kenny, but stars Saul Rubinek and Eddie McClintock as well.
“It was probably Eddie McClintock’s tweet asking fans to get a cable subscription and watch live that started us thinking there might actually be a need for something like this,” the Renew Warehouse 13 group told Airlock Alpha. “We’re genre fans, so we’ve seen a lot of good shows get canceled, and we’re active in fandom, so we’ve seen the shifts in viewing habits and now the Web has changed things.”
It doesn’t hurt that one of the three organizers is knowledgeable in media distribution, which has helped with the discussions when it comes to ratings and the evolving media market.
“We took lessons from our lives as fans and our lives as professionals and applied them to the easiest, common-sense solutions we could think of,” they said. “Saul Rubinek wanted an artifact to give the network a better idea of who watches the show — we came up with a survey. [The Nielsen Co.] is changing their platform to include Twitter — we’re trying to drive the conversation in the right direction.”
They also looked at other fan campaigns, including the too-little too-late efforts by “Leverage” fans to keep that show running.
“They help us stay focused on the efforts that will make the biggest impact on the network’s decision,” they said. “The question we kept coming back to was, ‘How can we do something that is useful?’ And that meant looking at things from the perspective of, ‘What does a network need?'”
In the site’s first five days, the organizers say Renew Warehouse 13 has had nearly 17,000 pageviews, and the Twitter feed picked up a quick 500 followers. They’ve also already collected more than 3,000 surveys from fans in 78 countries.
“We’re always trying to reach more of the fan base, though,” they said. “Every time one of the cast tweets about us, our site traffic goes up, so that’s a big help. But we’d still love to get more exposure, especially on Facebook. The fans are out there, the key is reaching them.”
But what if all the efforts fail? Will it be tuck tail and find something else, or will this mean something bigger and stronger than this awareness campaign?
“We’re trying not to think about that outcome,” they said. “The whole thing is truly a little surreal since this really did start as just a crazy idea. There were several moments where we sort of pulled back and went, ‘Wait, are we just jumping the gun here?’ But we decided we’d be happy to look like over-excited fans if it paid off.”
There is a lack of smart television shows on the air, and so “Warehouse 13” fills a huge void, they said. People are hungry for well-told stories and good characters.
“We recognize that television is a business, but we don’t believe that it has to be about the lowest common denominator in terms of audience appeal,” they said. “The audience for shows like ‘Warehouse 13’ does exist, so if we have to do some extra work to demonstrate that, we will.”
In the meantime, visit RenewWarehouse13.com to get all the best tips to help support the show, and share the campaign with followers on Facebook and Twitter as well.
“Warehouse 13” returns April 29, and will air Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy, after “Defiance.”