FANS WORKING TO KEEP 'HACK' ROLLING
April 2, 2004
By Lynda Vandiver
Filming for the second season of the CBS drama 'HACK' starring David Morse and Andre Braugher, seen on Saturday night at 8:00 P.M. Central Time (seen on Friday at 8:00 P.M. Central the first season) has wrapped and the familiar yellow cab with the P2626 identification is no longer seen around the city of Philadelphia.
Rumors of the show not being picked up for a third season has fans in the City of Brotherly Love, as well as across the U.S. and in several foreign countries, scrambling to send out their own 'S.O.S.' - SAVE OUR SHOW.
'HACK' premiered on CBS in the fall of 2002. It stars David Morse, a Philadelphia citizen (St. Elsewhere, The Rock, The Green Mile ) as Mike Olshansky, a disgraced Philadelphia detective who was drummed off the force for stealing drug money and took a job driving a cab to make a living. He involves himself in the lives and circumstances of his fares and those around him, while at the same time dealing with his own problems. And Andre Braugher (City of Angels, Gideon's Crossing), as Detective Marcellus Washington who is just as guilty as his ex-partner Olshansky, who keeps his secret, but still holds his police department job.
'Hack' fans are loyal, enthusiastic, passionate and quick to speak up detailing what they like about the show.
Renee Poudrier of Stokesdale, North Carolina says, "Hack is not just a cop show. It is a show about a man in relation to himself, his beliefs, his family and his community."
"David Morse and Andre Braugher make this show a notch above other cop dramas." Says Pat Joyce of Brooklyn, New York.
"There is a dynamic operating between Olshansky and Washington that speaks to me of believable commradship.", says Sister Barbara Bradley, a nun who teaches at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.
"Hack is one of the most original good guy/bad guy shows that I have ever seen", says David Sitbon of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "It's simply the best television has to offer. It is a show the whole family can watch and enjoy."
"Hack is like a good book, says Lisa Golkowski, of Morehead, Minnesota, "a real page turner that you don't want to put down. You keep 'reading' because you care about the characters and you want to see what the next chapter will bring as the storyline continues."
Sister Barbara Bradley continues, "It's a combination of story line and credible, interesting characters which accounts for the appeal and draws the viewer to each episode. Hack is well written and engages the viewer in the plot development."
"Hack is a breath of fresh air," says Rosary Casiello, of Philly, "a thinking person's show. It has excellent story lines, superb acting, action, incredible one-liners and understandable dialogue. It's a quality production on all fronts."
The fans don't seem to mind that this show has been described as 'dark'. The show operates in the 'gray area' of life.
"Olshansky is a former cop and old habits are hard to break." Intones Maryann Smialkowski, another Philadelphian. "He knows how to work the system and stay alive when helping people and he has come close to crossing that fine line between 'law abiding' and 'law breaking."
"That is just another piece to the exciting puzzle that makes Hack what it is. Mike is not a saint, he is a human being with all the failings that we all have", acknowledges Rosary.
"Mike Olshansky has made BIG mistakes...he is human," says Judi Boyle, also from Philadelphia.
Barbara Small of Fishtown, sees it another way. "I think there is a moral to the entire show. It is about helping others, something you don’t' see too much of these days."
"Hack is a totally different idea than most shows." Says Maryann Kuczynsk of Paxinos, Pennsylvania.
The major fan base is in Philadelphia and they are thrilled that the show is filmed in the city showcasing such sites as the Art Museum, Franklin Institute, Logan Circle and the Ben Franklin Parkway along with other tourist attractions and historical sites.
The show has also been a boon to the city of Philadelphia bringing in revenue of over $30 million dollars for the first season, using 125 local actors and over 4,400 local background actors for both seasons. The second season brought in $20 million dollars. A great shot in the 'fiscal' arm for any city.
Among efforts to save the show are an on-line petition; firstname.lastname@example.org, a letter writing campaign to Les Moonves of CBS and Big Ticket Productions (fans and viewers are encouraged to access an on-line site (www.davidmorse.org) that will give them addresses and tips on how to write an effective letter) and pleas to the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office to be more active in backing the show.
Joe and Barbara Hylinski of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania plead; "Don't take it off the air and replace it with a movie or unrealistic 'reality' show". Hack has an established viewership (averaging 8.4 million weekly viewers for the second season; a great number considering all the network and cable channels vying for viewers).
"Let the average people have a show they can relate to. Networks are constantly changing shows, trying to give the viewers something THEY think we want to watch. We are telling them what we want to watch in this instance and we hope we are being heard". Maryann Smialkowski agrees, "We want solid dramas like Hack that have characters people can relate to with everyday issues."
The most voiced comment was the wish that Father Tom "Grizz" Grzelak, played by George Dzundza, Mike Olshanski's priest friend, would return to the show.
Those in the know at the CBS network say a decision will be made in May whether to keep the show on the air.
Meanwhile, the fans are busy getting the word out about the show, E-mailing, writing letters, asking fans and viewers to access websites, sign the petition and crossing their fingers while watching down the city streets to catch sight of the ex-cop driven cab in which they want to take a ride just a little longer.
Copyright - 2004
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