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AngelFans speak in SOS survey, but will networks listen ?
By Gary Levin
Monday 5 May 2003, by Webmaster
The votes are in: Readers most want to save WB’s Angel, but they’d be just as happy to see NBC dump Thursday comedy Good Morning, Miami.
A record 57,000-plus voters responded to USA TODAY’s sixth annual Save Our Shows (unscientific) survey, which asked viewers to weigh in on 19 shows hovering between renewal and cancellation - "on the bubble," in TV-speak. (Related item: TV fans offer fervent prayers for Angel)
The networks next week will announce which shows made the cut, as well as unveil fall series at presentations to advertisers in New York.
Angel won support from nearly half of all voters, far more than the 34% who backed last year’s favorite series, NBC’s Third Watch, which is due back next season.
NBC’s point-of-view police drama Boomtown and ABC’s long-running legal series The Practice also were among top shows viewers want saved. CBS’ My Big Fat Greek Life followed Good Morning, Miami as shows they’d most like to spike.
Survey results don’t often determine the fate of "bubble" shows. Ratings, growth prospects and the quality of the pilots for their potential replacements (which were screened last week by networks) weigh most heavily in the decisions.
But loyal fan support can be a factor in some cases. NBC gave Providence a last-minute reprieve last spring after an uproar, but it dropped the drama six months later.
Affection for Angel is somewhat predictable: Sci-fi fans routinely turn out in droves to support favorites, which in previous years included Dark Angel, The X-Files and The Pretender, despite spotty ratings. Angel, airing on the smaller WB, ranks near the Nielsen cellar, averaging 3.7 million viewers.
Only five series -Angel, Boomtown, The Practice, John Doe and Dragnet - drew more votes from fans eager to keep them than from those desiring to drop them. CBS’ The Agency, which appeared on last year’s survey, drew equal numbers of supporters and naysayers.
The only other show to appear on last year’s list as well, Grounded for Life, moved from Fox to WB in February. It was renewed for fall last month, after the survey started.