Fans hope Mars lands on Earth

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The season-two finale of UPN's cult show Veronica Mars airs tonight, and many fans are wondering if it will wind up being the series finale instead. With the The CW streamlining the UPN and WB's shows into one schedule, low-rated Mars might not make the cut.

Today, a group of Mars fans is attempting a novel tactic to express their love for the show: an airplane banner. The banner reads "Renew Veronica Mars! CW 2006!" and will fly over parts of a Los Angeles freeway during the evening rush hour.

The three fans, Anna Smith of Atlanta, Kelley Spada of Boston, and Chicago's Mark Israel, met while posting on the TV fansite Television Without Pity. In an interview with Media Life magazine, they talk about how they hatched their plan and what else they have up their sleeves to try and save Mars.

"Most fans send flowers, send postcards, write letters...but what we wanted to do here was collectively come together as a united front and do something that would require the executives to take notice," Smith says. "The plane is just a jumping off point for us... We've had over a hundred people donate cash and countless others donate DVD sets to their hometown libraries [to encourage new viewers to watch the show]."

The three say they raised more than $7,000 from other fans and that they are planning other events to catch the eyes of CW executives.

Veronica Mars, starring Kristen Bell as a teenage detective, has never fared well in the ratings. The show was in danger of being canceled last season until a massive letter-writing and online campiagn saved it.

The CW is being formed from the ashes of UPN and The WB, and several of the shows on those networks are still on the bubble. Presumably, the fate of Mars, Everwood, One Tree Hill, Eve, One On One, and All of Us will be decided at the CW's first upfront presentation in New York, scheduled for May 18.

If this is to be Mars's last episode, she is going out with a bang. In today's Boston Herald, TV critic Amy Amatangelo says "the season finale is a fantastic thrill ride."

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