Freaks’ fans try to butter up networks

Thanks to Lisa B’ham for sending this in!

From the Bellingham Herald April 26th

“Freaks’ fans try to butter up networks

Fans of NBC’s canceled Freaks and cooks are mobilizing this week to rescue the comic drama about high school underdogs circa 1980. But they may be too late.

Producer DreamWorks a Television has pitched the show to ABC, WB and Fox hoping one will resume production and run the six unaired episodes, which are being screened this week at the Museum of Television & Radio in New York and Los Angeles.

“I never thought I’d want to be ‘JAG'”says executive producer Judd Apatow, referring to the military drama that failed on NBC but was picked up by CBS and became a hit.

But WB has passed, claiming first allegiance to it’s own wavering series, such as “Roswell.” Ditto ABC. And a top exec at Fox says the odd of a ‘Freaks’ pickup couldn’t be longer although it has yet to officially decline.

More likely: MTV will air all 18 episodes of the critically acclaimed but low-rated show but produced no new episodes.

This hasn’t stopped ardent fans inspired by a mass Tabasco mailing on behalf of ‘Roswell’ from beseeching other networks with mailings of peanuts and a planned ad in Thursdays Daily Variety.

“I guess people are more interested in seeing yet another episode of ‘Dateline,”Freaks'” replacement wrote one fan. “Ironically, many times these are the same people who complain about a lack of quality programming on network television.”

Hurting the already slim chances for a second lease on life: Several of the “Freaks” stars -Most formally unknowns – have been cast in pilots for a potential fall series.

John Francis Daley (Sam Weir) appears in an ABC comedy pilot as Geena Davis’ Stepson, & Samm Levine (Neal Schweiber) is in a WB sitcom from “King of the Hill’s” Greg Daniels

Martin Starr (Bill Haverchuck) Plays the son of Seinfeld’s” Wayne Knight in an NBC comedy from the creators of “That 70’s Show” Joe Flaherty (Sam’s dad, Harold) Is In NBC’s Go Fish a high school comedy from the writer “American Pie.”

And Sarah Hagen (Millie Kentner). Plays the president’s daughter in “DAG, yet another NBC comedy, starring David Alan Grier as a secret service agent.

Apatow Is hoping that the museum honor, fan interest and a funny-sad diary of his experience that appeared in Sundays Los Angeles Times will help rescue “Freaks,” which averaged a measly 6.2 million viewers in two time slots and was canceled last month

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