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August 27, 1998

Riots continue in wake of "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman" cancellation

DALLAS — For the fourth straight week, rioters nationwide destroyed buildings, burned cars and battled police over CBS’s decision to cancel "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." The violence began on July 15th, when CBS officially cancelled the show after its sixth season.drquinn.jpg (21492 bytes)

"We’re not going home till we get what we want," proclaimed 67-year-old Ruth Peterson of Dallas. Peterson shouted her views from behind a row of Rascal motorized scooters set up as a barricade by rioters. "We want our Dr. Quinn back. The values reflected in that show are what America needs these days. And that long-haired guy on the show … I can’t get enough of his soft-core porn good looks."

Denver police chief David Walsh says law enforcement is at a loss. "We clubbed a bunch of them at first, but they wouldn’t go home. That usually works, so when they didn’t leave we had to go to Barnes and Noble and get a book on police negotiating."

After skimming the book, the police came up with a plan for a fall Dr. Quinn festival with recitations of Dr. Quinn scripts, a Dr. Quinn poetry slam, Dr. Quinn Ice Follies and personal appearances by the Dr. Quinn cast.

"But the rioters don’t care," said Walsh. "They won’t go home."

Many rioters believe the decision to cancel Dr. Quinn was less about ratings and more about politics. "The Man wants Dr. Quinn off the air because what she’s saying is too intense," proclaimed Arnold Reeves of Boston. "The Man knows Dr. Quinn is speaking the truth and undermining his authority." The Man, meanwhile, had no comment.

The rioters’ threats became more serious last week, a tractor-trailer load of Stinger missiles was hijacked while driving through a Dr. Quinn stronghold. Said a Pentagon spokesperson, "We have reason to believe the Dr. Quinn supporters are prepared to use the missiles. We’re not really worried, since the missiles don’t have any fuel in them. But we think they might roll them down hills at targets or strap them onto burros."

Coincidentally, this week was also the 15-year anniversary of the cancellation of "Silver Spoons," which caused competing riots in many cities.

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