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Last Updated: 18 October 2000


 

SENTINEL VICTORY ALLOWS CLOSURE FOR SERIES - Oct 3 1999

Houston Chronicle TV Chronilog
by David Martindale

Do you feel powerless because you have no say in what gets shown on TV? Don't despair. Just follow the example set last season by Sentinel fans, who banded together and crusaded to bring their show back from cancellation.

"It's just amazing what they did," says Richard Burgi, who starred as Jim Ellison, aka the Sentinel, who used his heightened sensory powers to combat crime.

"I was prepared to move on. But the fans wouldn't hear of it. It was an incredible testament to the will of people."

Less than 24 hours after ending the 1997-98 season with a "to be continued" cliffhanger, UPN canceled the series, a move that motivated fans to launch a seven-month "SOS" (Support Our Sentinel) campaign. The group bought ads in USA Today and Daily Variety, and flooded UPN with phone calls, letters and e-mail until the network relented and put The Sentinel back into production.

"It goes to show that networks make mistakes," Burgi says, "and that sometimes they admit their mistakes."

The return was short-lived, but at least fans got a sense of closure. Now The Sentinel begins life in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel. The first episode airs at 8 p.m. Sunday. Sci-Fi also will show four-hour blocks at 6 p.m. each Tuesday. (Note: times quoted are for the Central timezone)

(Thanks Jamie)


TRANSCRIPT OF BURGI/MAGGART SCI-FI CHAT - Oct 11 1999

Read a transcript of the Sci-Fi Chat with The Sentinel actors Richard Burgi and Garett Maggart conducted Monday October 4. (Note: due to the large number of Sentinel fans in attendance at this chat, the Sci-Fi server crashed causing the chat to be abandoned prematurely.)


Garrett Maggart and Richard Burgi, stars of Sentinel

Moderator: Can you type Richard & Garrett?

RBurgi: I can type

Moderator: Cool!

Moderator: <DariaRaven> to <Moderator>: I would like to know if Garret has a pierced nipple?

Moderator: <AgtSpooky> to <Moderator>: The fans are working hard to try and get a 5th season. Are you both interested in continuing on with The Sentinel, should that happen?

Moderator: To RBurgi > Hold on

Moderator: <LadyNiteRaven> to <Moderator>: My Question is: Will The Sentinel series continue on the Sci-fi channel like 'Sliders' did, or will it just be the re-runs?

Moderator: <AgtSpooky> to <Moderator>: Do you think fans identify more with Blair or with Jim?

Moderator: <miselaineous> to <Moderator>: WELL Fix it SOOOON please.

Moderator: <AgtSpooky> to <Moderator>: Garett, if there is a 5th season, would you want Blair to become a cop? Why or why not?

Moderator: <graywulf> to <Moderator>: What projects have you been woking on? (besides Action <grin>) Any movies coming up or other guest appearances?

Moderator: <Rike> to <Moderator>: Hi from Germany - I would love to know what plans Garett has at the moment

Moderator: <AgtSpooky> to <Moderator>: What type of episode did you want to do but didn't get the chance to?

Moderator: <AgtSpooky> to <Moderator>: Are we to infer that the Major Crimes gang saw through Blair's claims that Jim was not a Sentinel, since they accepted Blair into their fold with open arms.

Moderator: Ooops!

Moderator: Forget that...

Moderator: Let's try THIS!

Moderator: Hi everyone and thanks for joining us. Tonight's cyberchat guests are

Moderator: RICHARD BURGI and GARRETT MAGGART, the stars of THE SENTINEL. The

Moderator: series is currently being broadcast four shows at a time on Tuesday

Moderator: nights on The Sci-Fi Channel (although the pilot and one other episode

Moderator: aired last night.) Check your local listings or our schedulebot for the

Moderator: times.

Moderator: Brief word about the drill -- this is a moderated chat and that means if

Moderator: you have a question for either Richard or Garrett (or both!), you will

Moderator: need to send it to me, Moderator, as a private message. (Just

Moderator: double-click on my name to enter private message mode)

Moderator: First question:

Moderator: <AgtSpooky> The fans are working hard to try and get a 5th season. Are you both interested in continuing on with The Sentinel, should that happen?

RBurgi: Of course. Sure . Let it rip

GMaggart: Me too

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: Garrett -- great answer but you're still in private message mode to ME.

Moderator: Can you repeat?

RBurgi: I 'd love to

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: Great!

Moderator: tany> Hi from Texas, Garett...Messrs. Bilson and DeMeo have indicated that if there had been (insert: we hope there still will be!) a fifth season, Blair would not have ended up a cop - would have "flunked out" of the Academy. What do you know of this potential direction, and what do you see happening to your character?

GMaggart: That's the first I've heard of that. Whatever they wanted to do would have been fine w/ me

GMaggart: GA

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: (For everyone who's wondering -- Riuchard and Garrett have not become agents for Georgia travel -- GA means "go ahead.")

Moderator: <ShamanCat> Richard and Garett, we miss you together! Would you team up again for another show, and if so, what roles would you like to play?

RBurgi: I'd be happy playing anything with him

GMaggart: I'd like to do a Lucy and Ricky thing

GMaggart: I waant to be Lucy

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: gup> : For Garett: Have you keep the Blair look (the long hair)

Moderator:

RBurgi: I'd do anything with him

RBurgi: GA

GMaggart: No. The hair's all gone. I look great

Moderator: So Garrett -- did you see the last question? Have you kept the "Blair" look?

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: gup> : For Garett: Have you keep the Blair look (the long hair)

Moderator:

RBurgi: He look s like Art Garfunkel

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: marmoset> Mr. Maggart: I want to thank you for breathing life into "Blair" -- a character that could have been a caricature -- and turning him into a 3-dimensional 'person' -- one of the most unique characters on television today. If you get a chance to develop him further, how would you do so?

GMaggart: I would have done more with his family history

GMaggart: The mother and father

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: stargazer455> : Hi from Wisconsin. For both Richard and Garrett: What do you think of all the fan support and have you visited any of the websites devoted to the Sentinel?

GMaggart: I think the fan support has been incredible and I've seen some of the sites

RBurgi: I appreciate the support of the 300 fans we keep seeing at conventions... And I wouldn't know how to get on a web site

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: Richard? Any thoughts on cyber-fandom?

Moderator: <wnnepooh> : Garret and Rich: A lot of your fans see you now primarily as Blair and Jim, Jim and Blair, and then look for Simon. How does this hit you as actors? Do you think it'll be hard for casting agents to get past that?

GMaggart: GA

RBurgi: I don't feel type cast, but you never know

GMaggart: I haven't experienced it.

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <graywulf> : For both gentlemen: What other projects have you been working on? Any guest appearances coming up?

RBurgi: Most casting agents never saw the show

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: ALSO -- people you need to slow down with the questions!!! We're locking the system up.

Moderator: Lemme repeat that last one just in case...

Moderator: <graywulf> : For both gentlemen: What other projects have you been working on? Any guest appearances coming up?

GMaggart: I have nothing in the works

Moderator: And as if you didn't know...

Moderator: For latecomers -- our guests tonight are Richard Burgi and Garrett

Moderator: Maggart who star in THE SENTINEL. THE SENTINEL airs Tuesday nights on

Moderator: The Sci-Fi Channel -- check your local listings or our schedulebot for

Moderator: the times. Got a question for Richard or Garrett? Shoot it to me,

Moderator: Moderator, as a private message. (Just double-click on my name for

Moderator: private message mode.)

RBurgi: I did Action

RBurgi: GA

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <AnnT> : So, Richard, has the stuff on Action been the same as your Hollywood experiences?

RBurgi: It's very hard to separate the two

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: <alyjude> to <Moderator>: To RB and GM: Do either of you have a desire to get behind the camera? ie; direct?

RBurgi: I think Jay is kinder than most producers and smarter!

RBurgi: Directing...

GMaggart: Sure, I'd direct

GMaggart: But Richard would be good at it

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <marmoset> : Garett: In a previous chat, you said that you wished they had developed the relationship between Jim and Blair a bit further in the 4th season. If there is a 5th season, what aspects of that relationship would you like to expand on or go into?

RBurgi: Of course I would

GMaggart: The hands on stuff. Touching...You know...ACTION

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <HandyAl> : <HandyAl>Hi there from the Uk, some of us are still waiting to see the series what would you say to encourage our net works to buy your show?

RBurgi: Lemme answer that last one for G... There was too much exposition last season

RBurgi: Sound bite... WE RULE

RBurgi: I dunno

Moderator: Catchy sound byte -- you can DANCE to it!

RBurgi: It's a great action show. We kick every other shows ass.

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: <kimba> : Since the show was taken off UPN ,What is the best address to send letters to?

GMaggart: Send them to Paramount... That'll teach'em.

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: dawnc> what is your fondest or funniest memory of working with one another on the set of The Sentinel?

RBurgi: GA

RBurgi: I'd say all of them. There are so many.

GMaggart: I'd say the float tank, but we won't get into that. And the pilot

GMaggart: It was all fun

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <SentinelZizou> : Hi from Italy!... Richard and Garrett... What did you think when the UPN cancelled "The Sentinel" just after the last, breathtaking episode?

RBurgi: Great goofs

RBurgi: GA

RBurgi: In a word... Idiots

GMaggart: Me too. Those exact words. Then I went to Venice

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <PA> Do the two of you stay in touch with your former castmates?

Moderator: For latecomers -- our guests tonight are Richard Burgi and Garrett

Moderator: Maggart who star in THE SENTINEL. THE SENTINEL airs Tuesday nights on

Moderator: The Sci-Fi Channel -- check your local listings or our schedulebot for

Moderator: the times. Got a question for Richard or Garrett? Shoot it to me,

Moderator: Moderator, as a private message. (Just double-click on my name for

Moderator: private message mode.)

GMaggart: Definitely. Just talked to Bruce last night.

GMaggart: GA

RBurgi: I loved those guys.

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: gup> Was the "nipple ring" an add-lib or does Blair have one or not?

GMaggart: If the show gets picked up again, you'll find out

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <erin>: What are the possibilities for a Sentinel movie?

GMaggart: Nope. Haven't heard

GMaggart: GA

RBurgi: No

Moderator: dawnc> : Garrett, were you ever a bit unnerved by fan attention?

GMaggart: At first. As anybody would be when it's new. You don't really ever get comfortable with it

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <kandacek> to <Moderator>: Danny and Paul said there was a bit too much adlibbing that went on occasionally. Did they try to say "cut it out?"

RBurgi: All the time

GMaggart: Nobody ever told me not to ad lib

GMaggart: GA

Moderator: <TAE> : In 'The Real Deal', the lines about the pork chops seemed to indicate that the characters don't eat pork, was that written, or ad libed?

RBurgi: We were given the jobs because we could ad lib

RBurgi: That was encouraged because it made the show work

RBurgi: Then they got scared of the content and looked to the actors as the problem

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: <ceej> : Hello from Connecticut, where the leaves are turning and it's beautiful! For both: What is your favorite locale in the US?

GMaggart: CT... Where I was raised!

RBurgi: We had a lovely vacation in CT out the coast last fall. The CT River

RBurgi: GA

Moderator: Leya> : "Does your onscreen best friend bond translate well to your offscreen lives? And how similar are your personalities to the characters you portray?"

here the SciFi server crashed and the chat was over.

 


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