Viewers' group urges more advocacy

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

Contending that "quality drama is now an endangered species," Viewers for Quality Television, the Virginia-based advocacy group, urges people not to wait until their favorite shows are canceled to complain, but to regularly write the networks in support of favorite shows.

Otherwise the result is what has happened this spring, says VQT president and founder Dorothy Swanson: the "wholesale cancellation" of quality shows including "China Beach," "Equal Justice," "Shannon's Deal," "Midnight Caller," "WIOU," "Guns of Paradise," "thirtysomething" and "Twin Peaks."

"The grim reality is that 'campaigns' and reactions to network actions rarely succeed -- and in a case where so many quality shows are canceled there is little hope," contends Swanson in a recent mailing to TV writers and VQT members.

The 7-year-old VQT has about 2,000 members across the nation, but Swanson says, "we need to be larger, we need to be stronger." She contends "viewers cannot lament the loss of good television if they don't take an active participatory role in preserving good television."

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