Five websites for TV fans -- See how we rated fan sites for ''Freaks and Geeks,'' ''VIP,'' ''M*A*S*H,'' ''America's Most Wanted,'' and ''Futurama''

By Noah Robischon
Updated May 19, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Five websites for TV fans

Save Freaks and Geeks
Fan-based Net campaigns stumping to save a TV show aren’t unusual, but few have gone as far with as little as Cindy Kopecky and Garrett Krnich’s ”Operation Haverchuck,” which is out to persuade another network to pick up Freaks and Geeks now that NBC has canceled it. Fans of the critically acclaimed (but ratings-drained) sitcom raised enough money through the website to buy a full-page ”Give ‘Freaks’ a Chance!” ad in the April 27 issue of Variety. They also organized a letter-writing campaign that included sending peanuts (the food that almost killed the show’s lead geek, Bill Haverchuck) to network execs, which was inspired by a Tabasco sauce campaign previously used by Roswell fans. What a bunch of freaks! A

V.I.P. Action
Pamela Anderson’s campy girl-spy hit series V.I.P. may be bigger this season, and the bodacious one might be launching her own Internet-based TV network, but the video library on the official site has just five clips, the photo gallery has a mere seven pics of the scantily clad spies, and only one of the six screensavers features an appropriately luscious shot of Anderson squatting with a big gun in her hand. And while V.I.P.: The Game promises a ”first step into the glamorous and exciting world of personal security,” all I found were the usual Web-based puzzles. Definitely in need of, um, enhancements. C

M*A*S*H—Best Care Anywhere
The death of Larry Linville (Maj. Frank Burns) brings new currency to this site, which includes everything a M*A*S*Her could ask for: bios, photos, sound clips of bloopers and outtakes, and samples of wildlife art painted by Gary Burghoff (Radar O’Reilly). For true aficionados there’s a supply tent full of original fan-written stories, and a M*A*S*H encyclopedia to assist in writing one of your own. The site’s creator, David Long, is even trying to organize a convention where everyone could sing tunes from the M*A*S*H songbook. All together now: Doo-da-doo-da-doo-doo-doo… A

America’s Most Wanted
What’s more disturbing: the giant ad for a $59.95 identity-theft-protection service in the middle of the home page, or the fact that kids will enjoy playing with Faces—The Ultimate Composite Picture software for sale on the site? Whatever your answer, it makes AMW‘s site look as sleazy as the mug shots inside the Recent Captures archive — but that is the show’s appeal, isn’t it? There are probably some useful tidbits for paranoid parents to be found in the ”shocking report” about criminals in the classroom or in the sexual-abuse warning-signs feature (”13. Indecisive”), but unless you’re a true-crime aficionado, this site probably won’t make it onto your most-wanted list. B

It’s no match for The Simpsons, but Matt Groening’s other show is still TV’s best 31st-century program. The official site doesn’t offer much more than you’d expect, though: a few sample video clips, bios on the immensely talented voice actors, and interviews with Groening and executive producer David X. Cohen. And since Futurama fan sites are amazingly stocked with such features as freeze-frame critiques of every episode, Fox’s effort, to quote Bender the robot, bites shiny metal ass. C