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Site of the Day


Site lobbies for new shows


By Paul Bond

Christopher Burrell was one of the too-few fans of the Fox bomb "The $treet" and the ill-fated CBS drama "The Fugitive."

The networks canceled both shows rather quickly, prompting Burrell to devise an Internet strategy for making it easy for fans to rally around new shows.

He recently launched as the first and only asset of Hit G7 Industries, his New York-based company named for his old apartment number.

At the site, visitors are encouraged to fill out a short online form in support of a new show that they'd like to keep on the air. That form translates into an old-fashioned paper letter sent by via snail mail to the appropriate network executive.

He also reviews shows at the site and lets users vote as to whether a show should be saved as is or with changes. Tallies and suggested changes are e-mailed to network executives on a monthly basis. "But no ballot-stuffing," he said. "You can only vote once per day."

The lifeguard has been advertising the site by distributing fliers in Times Square. After he builds traffic, he intends on selling ads. "I just got tired of shows getting canceled too quickly," he said. "Non-Nielsen families don't usually know until it is too late that new shows are in jeopardy."

©The Hollywood Reporter

A click a day could keep cancellation away



Christopher Burrell's bright idea should strike a chord with TV viewers.

Frustrated that so many of his favorite new series were disappearing from the airwaves, the New York lifeguard dreamed up, a Web site he launched in early December.

The site is designed to let people vote on the current network schedules, including new midseason series.

"A lot of times, you never find out until a show is canceled that it was even in trouble," says Burrell, who became increasingly perplexed last year when such new series as "The $treet" and "Titans" disappeared weeks or months after their debut.

Though the site focuses on new shows primarily, Burrell has added such highly endangered older series as "Once and Again," "The Mole" and "Roswell," each of which has an intense, impassioned fan base despite low ratings.

In balloting on "Roswell," for instance, more than 6,000 votes (78 percent of those voting) have been cast in favor of saving UPN's clever teen space alien drama. Those who visit the site are permitted only one vote per day per show in order to foil any attempt at extreme ballot stuffing.

Burrell e-mails the networks with the online poll results and voter programming suggestions each month. He hasn't heard back yet. But in just seven weeks has logged 100,000 hits.

"The computer is a perfect vehicle for people to come and vote and share their opinions," says Burrell, who operates the site out of his home in New York. "It's one of those ideas that people say, 'Why didn't someone think of it before?' "

A New York University graduate who plans to start law school next year, Burrell's favorite TV-viewing options include "Law & Order," "The Practice" and "Seinfeld" reruns.

Having opened a communal online clearinghouse for channel surfers to talk back to the networks, Burrell has especially enjoyed the depth of people's feelings.

"I didn't know just how many people had a passion for certain shows like 'Roswell' or 'The Tick,' " says Burrell. "People really love their TV shows. And I also didn't realize how many people feel the Nielsen ratings are outdated or inaccurate."

Nielsen, schmielsen.

Even if you believe the ratings are a fair reflection of what we watch, offers a user-friendly slice of alternative vox populi. And that's always cool.

©Detroit Free Press

A Site for Canceled TV Shows


If you ever loved a television show that was prematurely canceled (rest in peace, "My So-Called Life"), tune into The site lets fans vote on new programs they don't want to see taken off the air — before the shows are even in trouble. The results of the voting are forwarded periodically to the networks, according to the site's founder, Christopher Burrell. Fans can also fill out an online form to have a letter mailed to a specific network, with the site handling printing and postage.

But why vote on shows not yet canceled? "Once a show is in jeopardy it's too late," said Mr. Burrell, a lifeguard at a public pool in Elmhurst, Queens, and a frustrated fan of "The Fugitive" (CBS) and other recently deceased programs. "Fans should have a voice from day one, and the Net is the perfect vehicle. More people have computers than Nielsen boxes."

SaveThatShow is already receiving about 2,000 visitors a day, Mr. Burrell said, with "24" (Fox) and "UC: Undercover" (NBC) among the most popular causes (the site allows you to send an S O S on behalf of any given show only once a day, to avoid ballot-stuffing). There has been no response from the networks to date, though Mr. Burrell said his server log indicated visitors from NBC and CBS, among other media companies.

Over the years, many viewer campaigns to save shows have been organized online (such campaigns even have their own Yahoo (news/quote) category). None ever got a canceled program back on the air. But fans of UPN's "Roswell" claim that their efforts have helped get the show renewed for one year, and devotees of ABC's troubled "Once and Again" are conducting an e-mail bombardment to persuade Oprah Winfrey to feature the cast on her talk show. © The New York Times A Voice for TV Fans

Giving viewers a way to speak up about their favorite shows before they're given the ax
Entrepreneur's Start-Ups magazine

By Devlin Smith

When Roswell was on the brink of cancellation, fans of the show sent letters--many of them including bottles of Tabasco sauce (a tie-in to the show's aliens-among-us plotline)--to network executives. For years, loyal fans like these have initiated similar campaigns, writing letters to save their favorite comedies and dramas--and sometimes they work. Roswell, for one, was saved from the chopping block (though it's now in danger again). Unfortunately, in many cases, by the time word gets out to the general public that a show is in danger, it's too late. Even a letter-writing campaign probably won't keep a network from pulling the plug at that point.
Christopher Burrell knew this--and he didn't like it. Last December, Burrell launched, a Web site that lets viewers share their opinions on new and endangered shows. Fans vote for their favorites and can write letters via the site that are then delivered to the networks. "I wanted to give people a chance to have their own say," says Burrell, a New York City lifeguard and future law student.

Burrell believes his site gives the networks a second opinion, letting them and their advertisers see that even if the Nielsen ratings for a show are low, there are still people watching. "If they see maybe there's another place where [the program] is showing heavily, that people do watch the show, then maybe they would want to keep the show on," Burrell says.

In the few months that the site, which earns money through advertisements, has been running, Burrell has been amazed by the loyalty people have displayed to their favorite TV shows. "I know people love their shows, but I didn't realize how much," he says. "For example, [with] Once & Again, they mention how this is the only time during the week that a mother and daughter sit down and do something together. Since the show is in jeopardy, they're afraid that if they don't have this, they won't have anything."

So far, most network execs haven't outright responded to the letters from users, but Burrell isn't concerned. He's more interested in the response he's gotten from users, which has made Burrell hopeful about what people can accomplish when they work together: "If people can get together for something like TV, then imagine what else they can do."

©Entrepreneur Magazine

New Website Allows TV Viewers to Be Heard

by Vanessa Sibbald, TV News

LOS ANGELES ( - For those who feel like they should have more of a say about which TV shows should stick around and which should go, a lifeguard has created a website that allows Internet surfers to vote on the current TV schedule.

On Dec. 6, Christopher Burrell launched, thanks to his frustration over the cancellation of the FOX series "The $treet," NBC's "Titans" and CBS' "The Fugitive." The site allows TV viewers to voice their opinions about their favorite shows, before they're yanked off the air via a short online form. Burrell then prints the form in letter format and sends it to the appropriate network.

"There were certain shows that I wanted to stay on the air that I really didn't have a say on. Usually, you don't know how much a show is in jeopardy until it's off [the air]. So I wanted a way for people to write in before the networks make a decision on a particular show, from the very first day that it's on," Burrell tells also features series reviews and polls showing whether viewers think a show should be saved as is, or with some re-tooling. The poll results and suggestions for change are also sent to network executives by e-mail on a monthly basis (although he has yet to hear back from anyone). In less than a month, the site has pulled almost 500 hits since its launch.

While broadcast networks typically use Nielsen ratings as one factors behind a show's success, appears to point to the growing feeling that Nielsen numbers may not be so representational of American viewing patterns.

"Not everyone's a Nielsen Family," says Burrell. "They could say that [those numbers] are accurate, and it may be to a certain extent, but it's not everyone."

Burrell, who is preparing to attend law school next fall, is currently manning the site full time. The site only covers new fall season shows at the moment; however, Burrell says he is starting to get requests for older shows, such as UPN's "Roswell" and ABC's "The Mole."

Fans attempting to corrupt the results should beware. Users are allowed to vote only once per day, eliminating ballot-stuffing. The website's top shows to be saved so far, are both on FOX -- the drama "24" and comedy "The Bernie Mac Show."

© Zap 2 It

.COM MOTION//Life Line


By William DiDio

One web-surfing lifeguard is rushing to the aid of TV that's gasping for air. " If enough people participate, a show is going to stay on," says founder Christopher Burrell. A fan forum aiming to save endangered series from cancellation, The site also attracts visitors from media giants Disney, CBS and Sony. What does Burrell, a New York City Firefighter's son hope to show everyone? " If people see that they can stan together for TV, imagine what can be done with other causes."

©Direct TV

  You've spent weeks growing to love the characters on a new TV show, only to see cancellation looming on the horizon. SaveThatShow lets you lobby the networks to spare the ax when it comes time to review your favorite ratings underdog.
© USA Today

Internet Web guide

Has there ever been a show that you wanted to stay on the air, and you wished that you could have your say? feels your pain. They provide the means for you to voice your opinion quickly and easily. by providing the means for you to write the networks if there is something you would like to say about a new show or just in general. Now there's just no excuse for you not to beg for another season of Reba! ©Internet Web Guide

Rescue mission
for troubled shows, where fans vote their hearts

By Jeff Bercovici

TV lovers trying to follow the new fall schedule can sometimes feel as if they're at the mercy of a harsh and capricious god. No sooner have they discovered a new show that seems to have promise--"Freaks and Geeks," say, or "I’ll Fly Away"--then it disappears without warning, never to return..A remedy for this may exist in the form of a new web site, Launched last month by a Queens, N.Y.-based entrepreneur and professional lifeguard, gives viewers a way to keep tabs on and voice support for new series. And as the site grows in influence, it may be able to offer networks the opportunity to get to know a show’s audience with a degree of intimacy Nielsen could never provide.Or so its founder thinks.

Christopher Burrell says he came up with the idea for the site after helplessly watching new favorites like "The Fugitive" and "The $treet" bite the dust.
"Until they got taken off, you didn't even know they were in trouble," says Burrell. While rumors of imminent death for a show like "Emeril" may circulate in industry circles for weeks beforehand, "What about everybody else who doesn't read trade newspapers?" he asks.The site lists the rookie offerings of the six broadcast networks. Clicking on a show's name takes you to a page where you can vote on whether the show should be kept as is or preserved with improvements.Although you can't vote to scrap it, space is provided for comments, which are then emailed to the appropriate network.
You can also write a more detailed letter to a network to express anything that's on your mind. Burrell says that he prints out every such letter and sends them by the U.S. Postal Service.
Viewers without access to the Nielsen rankings or the insides of network executives’ heads can get a sense of which programs are headed for the rubbish heap by looking at how their fellow users voted. Burrell, whose favorite new series are "Alias" and "UC: Undercover," watches at least a couple episodes of every new show and rates them from one to four. (Rather than stars, he uses the SaveThatShow logo: a cartoon television with a life preserver.) He also features a review of a different series every day. went live on Dec. 6.

Despite some promotional efforts, including one that saw Burrell dress up in a Santa suit and hand out fliers in Times Square, in its first three weeks the site attracted only about 300 users total. But after being mentioned on the TV news site on Dec. 28, it has been getting about 5,000 hits per day, according to Burrell. As traffic continues to grow, he plans to add advertising to the site. Another possible revenue stream is to sell the information he collects to the networks in the form of market research rather than giving it away free."I just want to see how it pans out," says Burrell. "Everything is in the future." Also in his future is law school, which he will attend beginning in the fall. That is, assuming that he doesn't end up hiring a staff and turning SaveThatShow into a full-time business.
"I don't think I would put off law school to do this, but you can never say never."
© Media Life

By Kimberly Potts

Save Yourself Some Postage, and Save Your Favorite Show: That's thanks to the cool new, a venture launched by a TV fan who's trying to let the networks know which shows people most want to save from that big TV wasteland in the sky. Surfers click on the site, fill out a short form for the series they most want to keep on the air (ironically, Fox's 24 and The Bernie Mac Show, two of the shows least in need of saving, are the top vote-getters, according to, and the site's producer prints the letters and mails them to the appropriate networks.

So far, includes mostly new series, with the exception of on-the-bubble Roswell and The Mole, but couch potatoes can email the site with a request that other ratings-challenged shows be added to the lineup, like NBC's Ed (maybe it's that depressing new theme song) and ABC's undervalued Once and Again. (Damn that Friday-night time slot!)© E! Online


After The Fugitive and The Street were canceled in 2001, fed-up fan Christopher Burrell launched this site, which gives viewers a chance to defend their favorite shows by casting votes and sending comments to the networks. "They just don't give up," Burrell says.©TV Guide

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