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Reality TV: Phoning It in

Niwot Data LLC has released a new computer program that will allow reality show viewers to "set it and forget it."

TalentVoter LE, says the company, requires only a phone number, the number of times a viewer wants to call in, and the click of a mouse.

"We wanted to give our users the option of having a simple way of voting, if they just wanted to go with their gut feeling about a performer, and really just wanted something to help them push the redial button," said managing partner Sam Northington.

The LE version is a stripped down model of the TalentVoter software the company released last month, which lets viewers track multiple shows, grade performers, and automatically phones in votes. To help with the dialing, it includes phone numbers for a number of popular reality shows.

Also new to the TalentVoter line is a Spanish-language version.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.