LAST CALL: Fans look to save Once and Again, again and again

Once and Again, the ABC show starring Sela Ward and Billy Campbell, seems to create a lot more controversy off screen than on.

Once and Again, the ABC show starring Sela Ward and Billy Campbell, seems to create a lot more controversy off screen than on.

In its two plus years, the apres moi, le divorce drama has seen seven time-slot changes, and threats of its imminent cancellation cropped up as frequently as sex tapes on the web. But on April 15, the final episode finally aired, much to the dismay of hard-core fans.

While loyal audiences are the stuff of programmers' dreams, this batch of vigilante viewers is becoming more annoying to staffers at ABC than an Urkel marathon.

The group, which has the website www.saveoanda.com at its core, has taken out full-page ads in both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter pleading for the show's survival. It sent out petitions and postcards in additional efforts to drum up support.

When all that failed, it purchased a $12,350 billboard near Hollywood with the caption "Bring back the magic Once and Again."

The AP picked up the story of the sign, and it subsequently ran in other outlets including The Detroit News.

Disney-owned ABC hasn't responded yet, and past protests have proved that the mouse house is surprisingly impervious to popular dissent. As of now, the program remains off the network's fall schedule, but www.saveoanda.com webmistress Melinda O'Brien maintains an optimistic tone in a message on her site.

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