Some entertainment computer-literates have found reasons to tap into Prodigy, the interactive computer service with 1.4 million subscribers.
Actor James Eckhouse, the accountant dad on Fox’s Beverly Hills, 90210, says he feels like ”a voyeur” reading messages exchanged on-line by the show’s young fans. He hasn’t responded to anyone but reports, ”Two of our writers did privately write to someone who said he’d been helped by a show.”
Rick Rosner, executive producer of CBS’ late-night dating game, Personals, solicits contestants through the White Plains, N.Y.-based Prodigy because ”people up late are, like myself, totally hung up on computers.” Of more than 7,000 users responding since November, 8 have made it onto the show.
But for Dennis Miller’s new talk show, Prodigy has so far been garbage in, garbage out. The new syndicated late-night gabfest offers service users $50 for each joke Miller uses. ”I thought it would be a group of verbal people,” says head writer Kevin Rooney, ”but the jokes are bad.” Prodigy project manager Debra Brochert responds, ”Was the goal to get jokes or generate interest in the show? I find it hard to believe it was jokes.”