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Sending NBC a loud message

Sue Ontiveros deputy features editor for Chicago Sun-Times shows shoes she is donating protest NBC's cancellati'Harry's Law.  |

Sue Ontiveros, deputy features editor for the Chicago Sun-Times, shows the shoes she is donating to protest NBC's cancellation of "Harry's Law. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 18, 2012 6:12AM



I’m thisclose to breaking up with NBC.

I was going to keep my mouth shut about it, but then I ran into that woman on the elevator last week.

Thicker than she probably was at a younger age, yet her body language told me she was OK with that. She was comfortable with herself, so didn’t mind striking up a conversation with a stranger. Intelligent, self-deprecating in her humor. I would have liked to talk to her longer.

Something about her seemed familiar and then it hit me: She reminded me of Kathy Bates’ character Harriet Korn of NBC’s “Harry’s Law.” With that realization I was irked all over again about that show’s recent cancellation. And that night, I started rifling through my shoes (more on that later).

“Harry’s Law” has been on two seasons. In the first season, I found the premise of a combination shoestore/law firm too goofy, so I didn’t tune in. But after NBC (hmm, same network . . .) canceled my fall favorite, “Prime Suspect,” with the wonderful Maria Bello, I was on the hunt for a drama with a strong woman.

I know, there are all sorts of reality shows with “real” females who like to pretend they’re strong women. The shows draw lots of viewers. TV networks like them because they’re good for the bottom line.

If you ask me, reality sucks. Most of the “stars” are mean, angry and speak so haltingly, as if forming a sentence requires a lot of energy. Give me a strong fictional character, a fake woman of substance, any day.

So I started tuning in to “Harry’s Law.” It’s written by TV veteran David E. Kelley, so the story lines are strong, the characters complex. Harry’s a hoot. A bit cranky, but with a good heart. A smart professional — albeit fictional — woman.

But despite its quality, the show was canceled. You’re probably thinking, as I was, that no one else was watching, but that wasn’t the case. “Harry’s Law” was NBC’s second-most-watched drama.

News stories report NBC wasn’t interested in a show that more — ahem — seasoned viewers tuned in to watch. Bring on something else for the 18-to-36 set!

When that tidbit seeped out, “Harry” viewers got mad. Turns out they’re not too old to turn to social media when they discover their buying power isn’t considered important.

So far about 67,000 (not all mature, either) have liked the Save “Harry’s Law” page on Facebook and are filling it with their ire at NBC. Many say they’re boycotting the network. Most voiced a sentiment similar to Karen S. Sams: “Boycott NBC for just being stupid.”

They’re also appealing to other networks (Hello, ABC! Are you listening, USA?), and if they get 1,000 supporters (at press time they needed 111 more), they’re going to start a mail-in campaign to get the show back on TV. Supporters will collect two pairs of shoes and/or shoelaces. One pair will be sent to NBC, the second to a charitable organization.

I’ve got green sandals and maroon pumps ready to ship off. I doubt NBC will budge, but another network might decide it has room for a smart drama.

When they say the word, my shoes will be in the mail because NBC’s cavalier attitude bugs me. Do you share that sentiment? Start sorting through your shoes then, baby!

Hey, I’m on Twitter now. Follow me: @sueontiveros. You know I always have something to say!



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