Sliders Recruit-to-View Test

Posted: October 30, 2015

Memorandum: Recruit-to-ViewPrepare yourself for one of the most in-depth looks into how a television network figures out what the hell to do with its signature show after the lead actor walks away from the series.

The Sliders Recruit-to-View Test is a 16-page document commissioned by the Sci-Fi Channel in October 1998 to study the effects of Jerry O’Connell’s departure. (Charlie doesn’t factor much into the equation, as you’ll see below.) Hundreds of television viewers were polled about season four episodes Virtual Slide and Asylum; the demographics and questions asked show a great deal of insight into informing how season five rolled out. Chief among them:

  • Jerry O’Connell is not essential to the series;
  • Colin was viewed as a “low impact character” who was “kind of bland”;
  • The Kromaggs brought no additional enjoyment to Sliders; and
  • Quinn’s replacement should be “street smart” and “romantic” (creating a number of Mallory’s base traits).

If you’re interested in seeing how respondents felt about the show’s concept, the characters, the special effects, and more, this PDF is a must read. The results are drafted in a Powerpoint format, so it’s not too dense on text — but the information it shares is one-of-a-kind.

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