the Fans of Christy went Online in Their Quest and Why PAX listened
"Christy" - Page 1
Permission by PAX
By: Cindy Klauss, co-owner
of CYber SYtes, Inc., a web site design
firm from Panama City Beach, Florida
Five long years, dozens of web sites,
hundreds of telephone calls and thousands of letters and emails later the
hard work has finally paid off for the online community of "Christy" fans
who has kept the dream alive of returning this wholesome family show to
the nation's living rooms. PAX TV has listened and in November, 2000
aired the first of three Big Event movies continuing the beloved story
of "Christy." In addition, PAX will be showing two other movies May
13 & 14th (8 PM CST/MST 9 PM EST/PST) as a miniseries which will end
with the highly anticipated wedding of Christy. This amazing phoenix-like
course of events proves what loyalty, determination, organization and a
great Internet connection can do in these days and times for those on a
PAX TV's President and CEO Jeff Sagansky
recognized a good thing when he saw it--a wonderful family show for his
fledgling network that came with a ready-made fan base along with the opportunity
to continue the legacy of Catherine Marshall's story that held a special
place in his family's heart. After all it had been during his tenure
as President of CBS that Sagansky had procured the original "Christy" series
back in late 1993. Then about two years ago, the brand new PAX network
was approached by John Schneider who had obtained the rights to "Christy"
from the family of Catherine Marshall after the rights had reverted to
the family following the expiration of a prior attachment. Schneider was
very much aware at that time of the fan base and their vocal support of
quality family programming, an issue that is near and dear to his own heart.
Schneider says, "These fans are willing to stand up and be counted," and
he has the belief that "Christy" has every possibility of competing with
Network Programming based on the quality and personality of its fan base.
I, for one, also believe that the fans are a valuable asset that we have
over other shows."
Sagansky agrees and says the fans
had stayed in close contact with himself and the network over the past
few years. In response to the making of these new movies, Sagansky says
PAX received an incredible amount of phone calls, letters and email. In
particular there was an enormous online response concerning specific original
cast members, one in particular was Stewart Finlay-McLennan, who the fans
insisted be returned to the role of Dr. Neil MacNeill in the movies.
Australian born Finlay-McLennan is
a favorite among the "Christy" fans. He has maintained a passion about
playing MacNeill, and among the fans MacNeill is one of the most popular
characters in the story. Finlay-McLennan has experienced this fandom
firsthand, "People constantly tell me how much they love the character,"
and he has wanted to return to the role for the past five years. When he
was brought in to meet with the PAX executives recently to discuss the
new movies, Sagansky remarked to Finlay-McLennan that his fans were among
the most "rabid" he had encountered during his tenure in the business.
The actor has mastered the art of
staying in touch with his fans online, a detail that his fans notice and
appreciate in a big way: he has a web site organized and run by the President
of his fan club (Ms. Sonja Schaefer, an avid "Christy fan who just happens
to be a housewife from a small town in northern Mississippi), a message
board where he posts online messages to his fans to keep them abreast of
his projects, and regular email posts to the members of his fan club. Concerning
the fans recent outpouring of affection and efforts on his behalf, Finlay-McLennan
says, "I'm extremely grateful that people actually cared enough to
support me in that way."
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