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San Diego man trying to save "GCB" from cancellation

SAN DIEGO – A Kensington man who is a huge fan of the canceled ABC show “GCB” has started an online petition to save the show.

The irreverent “GCB” starring Kristin Chenoweth had developed a big gay following for its campy humor that satirized the Bible-thumping, big-hair women of Dallas.

Randy Bragdon, 35, a marketing specialist, said he fell in love with the show because it was different than most programs on TV. Since he launched his online petition, Braddon said he has drawn the encouragement of “GCB” cast members and other celebrities who enjoy the series.

“We have had Kirstie Alley, Sandra Bernhard, Kristin Chenoweth, Jenna Elfman, Chely Wright and many others backing my campaign,” he said.

Bragdon’s efforts have gotten him a lot of attention in the media, with stories running in the Dallas Morning News and The U-T San Diego.

To date, more than 62,000 people have signed the online petition.

SDGLN: Why did you launch this online drive to save the show?

It was my new favorite new show! There is so much junk and cooker-cutter reality TV, it was so refreshing to see a great non-sitcom comedy on the air. Usually you can tell when a series has either run its course, or is just awful... this was neither.

Starting the "Save GCB" campaign really was an impulse, and it literally just exploded over night.

SDGLN: What about the show appeals to you so much?

Randy: Everything about GCB appeals to me...from the fantastic casting, the brilliant writing, the production... everything, really. Plus there couldn't be a more attractive male cast. Eye candy is always a plus. I really loved gay storyline, and all the over the top one-liners that are just so outrageous.

SDGLN: What has been the public reaction to your petition?

Randy: The public reaction has been insane and amazing... there are a lot of fans just as passionate as I am. Seeing celebrities get in on the action and promoting the campaign was pretty surreal to see.

I don't think I have seen such a loyal fan base for a brand new show that only aired 10 episodes. We have made headlines in papers around the world, that was also crazy to sit back and watch.

We also started a fan site at TeamGCB.com for people to keep up on the news and progress after they signed the petition. The traffic and response has been great.

SDGLN: Who has encouraged you to keep this up?

Randy: Definitely my fellow fans who are campaigning with me practically 24/7 from all around the world have inspired me to keep up the fight. Then the calls and emails starting coming in from the cast and crew, and it just took it to a whole new level. This was real, people are paying attention, and we as fans were being heard.

Just this week I received emails from the author, Kim Gatlin of the book (Good Christian Bitches) that inspired the show, the creator of the show Robert Harling (who also wrote Steele Magnolias) and Annie Potts... calling me her "prince and hero". If emails like that don't keep you motivated, I don't know what would. I think I have heard from 95% of the cast at this point, with words of gratitude and encouragement.

Now the cast is sending us videos and thank you letters for the fans to read on our site. It's keeping everyone fired up.

SDGLN: Has the Religious Right tried to kill this show? Why did it get "left off" the ABC schedule? Did ABC officially cancel the series?

Randy: Yes, the religious right absolutely tried to kill the show, and are taking credit for it's cancellation. The group One Million Moms (who are actually 47,241 women apparently bad at math) have been very vocal, and made attempts at boycotting ABC and its sponsors. This is the same group that attempted to have Ellen fired from her spokeswomen deal with JC Penny. Other groups like the National Prayer Network have said GCB was created by the "jews" as an attack on Christianity. This list of crazy goes on and on about this show. My favorite quote to read was "it was definitely the power of prayer that did it in". I'm pretty sure God cares just as much about television shows as he does the NFL.

ABC did officially "cancel' GCB when it announced its fall schedule at the UP fronts. Probably an hour after that announcement is when I started the SaveGCB.com campaign.

As it turns out GCB was one of the "top 10 highest rated shows that was cancelled", and was also a stronger series performer in ratings than other freshman shows that were renewed.

SDGLN: Have you ever done this kind of thing before?

Randy: No, never ... never even thought about it.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.