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Internet Campaign Saves TV Show

June 9, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Slated to ride off into the sunset, ``The Magnificent Seven″ will return to the air and fans say their Internet campaign is what saved the show.

The Western drama was not included on the CBS fall schedule, but the network announced Monday the show will return as a midseason series.

Last month, supporters of the show who met in on-line chat groups pooled their money and bought advertisements in Daily Variety and USA Today asking for the show to be spared.

``Wanted: The Magnificent Seven,″ the ad read. ``Return Winning Show to Viewers.″

Patricia Kleckner of Chicago, a spokeswoman for the Internet fans, said Monday she believes her group drew attention to the show’s popularity.

``The Internet is obviously the secret here,″ Kleckner said, adding that several actors called to thank their fans.

The series, based on the 1960 film about seven American gunmen hired to protect a Mexican village in the Old West, was introduced in January.

Why are fans so passionate?

``It’s not a bunch of giddy teen-agers drooling over men,″ Kleckner, a systems engineer, said. ``The show is extremely well-written and the characters individually and collectively have a tremendous amount of chemistry.″

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