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June 3, 2000

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Fans of "Now and Again" have marked June 6 as Operation Letter Drop, the day they will mail hundreds of letters protesting CBS' decision to cancel the critically acclaimed television show.

The 425 members of the "Now and Again" e-mail list have committed to send letters and postcards from friends and family as part of the drop. The letters urge network executives to bring back the show, which was canceled on May 17.

The letter drop is the latest in a campaign to save the show. When CBS announced its fall schedule, leaving out the freshman show, "Now and Again" fans started raising money for an advertisement that ran in the May 30 edition of The Hollywood Reporter. The group raised more than $1,200 in just over 48 hours.

Show supporters also have sent e-mails and letters to the network and handed out hundreds of handbills urging people to protest the cancellation. Five Web sites have been established to promote the renewal efforts.

A second "Now and Again" e-mail list with 120 members joined the cause and is assisting in the letter-writing campaign.

"Our members are committed to seeing this show renewed," said Amanda Ohlin, spokeswoman of the largest "Now and Again" list on the Web.. "And more are joining the effort all the time. Since the show was canceled, almost 100 people have joined the list. Dozens more have pledged to write letters."

The show, which combines drama, comedy, action, romance and science fiction, was a favorite among critics, who called it a quality show. Critics from TV Guide, People and US magazine, among others, agreed that the show was innovative and one of the best new programs of the season. Bruce Fretts of Entertainment Weekly magazine wrote: “When `Now and Again’ is at its best ... it’s as good as anything on TV, including 'The Sopranos.’ ”

"Quality television shows like this don't come along that often," Ohlin said. "Networks may not know this, but fans do. They're not about to let a good show go so easily."

Even CBS had declared the show an early success. During the first months of the season, the network announced that "Now and Again" was its first drama to thrive on a Friday night since the late 1980s when "Beauty and the Beast" was on. After November sweeps, the network proclaimed the show a hit among 18- to 49-year-old males, considered a key demographic group by network executives and advertisers.

"Many people loved this show," Ohlin said. "We have list members who have found as many as 50 people who are interested in writing letters because they enjoyed the show so much. It's unconscionable to cancel a show that has this kind of support."

"Now and Again" is produced by Glenn Gordon Caron, who is best known for creating "Moonlighting." It stars Eric Close as Michael Wiseman, a $3 billion, genetically engineered man with the transplanted brain of a middle-aged insurance salesman, and Dennis Haysbert as Dr. Theo Morris, the brilliant scientist who created him. It also stars Margaret Colin, Heather Matarazzo and Gerrit Graham.


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