Viewers for Quality Television, a non-profit group devoted to supporting quality programming, is embarking on another crusade.
This time, VQT is trying to save ABC's "China Beach," and a West Jordan resident is at the forefront of the fight."China Beach" is currently off the air, and although it has a few unaired episodes still to run, its future looks bleak. So VQT has started sending out letters to its members and TV critics, hoping to start a ground swell of support.
And the main argument in that letter comes from longtime VQT member Rob Killian of West Jordan:
"When ABC placed `China Beach' on hiatus, my initial reaction was a sigh in gratitude that we were able to share in these stories this year. Then I rented the original episode and was caught up with the thought that there were more stories to share," Killian wrote.
"Sure, we long for the Beach when the writers take us into the future lives of its characters. The Beach is familiar and safe and a haven for heroes. Back home our heroes are human and that makes us uncomfortable. Isn't that the point? Quality television demands that we watch closely. It stimulates us to think, to question ourselves and our lives. It opens the narrow world in which we live . . . .
" `China Beach' has been quality from day one and deserves our all-out effort to publicize our outrage that ABC would willingly drop the best show on television just because one ratings system failed to measure its worth. There is a place for quality drama and comedy on television. It is time to rise up and remind ourselves of that."
If you want to lend your support to the "Save China Beach" campaign, you can write to Robert Iger, ABC Entertainment president, 2040 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, CA 90067.
And if you want more information about VQT and its efforts, you can write to Viewers for Quality Television, P.O. Box 195, Fairfax Station, VA 22039.SOAP OPERA AWARDS: Believe it or not, it's possible to be a soap opera and still be quality programming. You need look no further than CBS' "Knots Landing" for proof of that.
Now in its 12th season, "Knots" combines outstanding acting, topical subjects, good writing and wonderful direction into an often riveting drama. Oh, the show has never gotten the respect it deserves, but the acting isn't any better on a highly acclaimed show like "L.A. Law" than it is on "Knots."
But while the Emmys annually overlook "Knots," the annual Soap Opera Awards certainly didn't. The show won all 10 of the prime time honors voted by the readers of Soap Opera Digest in ceremonies earlier this week. In addition to being named Outstanding Prime Time Serial, the show's other awards were:
Actor: William Devane; Actress: Michelle Lee; Villain: Sam Behrens; Villainess: Michelle Phillips; Hero: Kevin Dobson; Heroine: Nicollette Sheridan; Supporting Actor: Larry Riley; Supporting Actress: Lynne Moody; and Storyline: Paige and Tom's love story.
Although certainly not the slight it received at the Emmys, the Soap Opera Awards were another kick in the teeth to "Twin Peaks." Even the "Who killed Laura Palmer?" storyline couldn't win an award.DAYTIME WINNERS: Here's a list of the winners in the daytime categories at the Soap Opera Awards:
Serial: "Days of Our Lives"; Actor: A Martinez, "Santa Barbara"; Actress: Finola Hughes, "General Hospital"; Supporting actor: Jordan Clarke, "Guiding Light"; Supporting actress: Julia Barr, "All My Children"; Villain: Kin Shriner, "General Hospital"; Villainess: Lynn Herring, "General Hospital"; Hero: Doug Davidson, "The Young and The Restless"; Heroine: Cady McClain, "All My Children"; Male newcomer: Michael Watson, "General Hospital"; Female newcomer: Kimberley Simms, "Guiding Light"; Storyline: "Robin, Anna and the Alien, "General Hospital"; Limited run star: Gerald Anthony, "One Life to Live"; Super couple: Matthew Ashford and Melissa Breman, "Days of Our Lives."CELEBRATE: Mr. Spud, child of the '70s that he is, can hardly contain his excitement. CBS has scheduled three intriguing specials for Feb. 16-18: "All In the Family 20th Anniversary Special," "The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show" and "Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show."
Now that's entertainment.