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Giving viewers a way to speak up about their favorite shows before they're given the ax

This story appears in the March 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

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, the 32-year-old 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.

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