Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Save 'Jericho' Campaign

Every year, one TV show that doesn't survive the networks' axe usually inspires a campaign to save it.

And it's not just tilting at windmills, either. The fervent devotion of fans over the years helped save shows like "Cagney & Lacey," "Quantum Leap," and others, and gave shows like "Farscape" a miniseries that allowed the producers to provide some closure.

This year's cause is "Jericho." On the local level, I got a call from a very nice woman named Mary Katherine Scroggs, who provided several links to a national effort to save the CBS series about a midwestern town that survives a nuclear holocaust.

"Jericho's" story - off-camera - is an interesting one. CBS went away from its standard procedural fare by producing a drama that told its story in serialized form. "Jericho" debuted to strong ratings initially, but suffered after a prolonged hiatus.

Scroggs, however, pointed out that "Jericho" also suffered from recent phenomena plaguing other series - that of timeshifting and downloading. Scroggs said if you count the downloaded episodes and the ones that were recorded on VCRs and DVRs - and "Jericho" appealed to the audience that does just that - the show's ratings were stronger than appeared.

"CBS needed to count the new media viewers, not just the Nielsens," she said. "They didn't take those viewers into consideration."

Today's posting coincides with an ad in Variety that fans of the show have bought in order to promote their campaign, called "Nuts" after a line by series star Skeet Ulrich, said in defiance over an attack on the fictional Jericho by a neighboring town.

CBS president Nina Tassler has already said she wants some sort of closure to the series, but doesn't know what form that will take. Fans like Scroggs want a second season.

"A TV movie is not acceptable," she said, adding she was hoping that "Jericho" would be brought back as a 13-episode midseason replacement, or get bought by another network, such as TNT.

My thoughts: A second season is very unlikely, but a TV movie or even a miniseries, a' la "Farscape," would provide fans some closure and be doable by network standards.

Here are some of the Save Jericho links:


TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Speaking of ratings, Fox didn't do itself any favors by pulling "House," its highest-rated drama in favor of the bloated "American Idol" finale. By airing the season finale of "House" (Fox, 9 p.m.) tonight, the network doesn't get the benefit of the show's ratings for the May sweeps.

Also new tonight is "On The Lot," (Fox, 8 p.m.), the results show after last night's final 18. Personally, that special effects guy is so far ahead of the rest of the field, the show for me is pretty much decided, but we'll see how it plays out over the next few weeks.

"Boston Legal" (ABC, 10 p.m.) also wraps up its season tonight, while "The Shield" (FX, 10 p.m.) still has a few more weeks to go.


sarork said...

I would like to express my thanks for cover our story. It was very well written. I would like to say that Jericho has a lot of potential for many seasons to come. It is not just a TV show to many. It is one if not the only family show that an entire family can watch. Just yesterday on Shaun OMacs radio show on Blog talk radio a 9y/o girl called up to express her feeling and her want for the show to come back. We not only have fan support from the US either we have international fans also. Many in fact. Just on shauns radio show the past week he has recieved calls from Brazil, Mexico and even got an email from someone in Israil. It is a international love of many viewers, even soldiers overseas are watching and writing letters to bring it back. We also have the cast and crew coming onto the CBS Jericho message boards post in messages to all of the fans. And just last night Brad Beyer(Stanley) called in and was answering fans questions on Shaun's live talk show. We are not just fighting for Jericho. We are fighting for all of our voices to be heard both near and far. There are many of us who Neilson's does not represent and that needs to change. Neilson's needs to change to fit the demands of the new technology most are utilizing. Thank you for your time.

Jericho Links said...

Hey Phillip, why can we not access the links from your site? I know I can just cut & paste, but it would make it easier if I could just click on the links you provided.

Just wondering....

mk said...

Phillip, thanks so much for your interest in the Save "Jericho" campaign! Another 10,000 lbs of nuts were delivered to CBS/NY today and more than 92,000 people have signed the petition to bring back this great show. I know it seems completely crazy (and it even seems a little crazy to some of us who have been involved with the campaign since the beginning), but the new media vs. old media systems of ratings gathering is going to be spearheaded/solved by one network at some point. We certainly hope it is CBS.

george said...

fabulous writing. We are not slowing down, we are picking up steam. We request that all tv viewers who are upset that their favorite show was cancelled, join us in sending a message to the networks.


Phillip Ramati said...

Sorry about the links, my work computer has its issues with blogger. I'll see if my Webmaster can help me out.

Thanks for the comments. We'll post news on Jericho's fate when word comes down.

zodin2008 said...

I am excited to see my fellow "Jericho" fans so passionate about the show, and I truly would have been thrilled to have a 2nd season.

That being said, as a "Jericho" fan, I would be thrilled to at least get closure in the form of a Television movie.

zodin2008 said...

Some really touching words from the castmembers of "Jericho"


Really, really sweet stuff.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done! I ended up watching the first half of the season on on demand, and you've got to wonder if that counted in the ratings. However, once I and my husband started watching we were hooked. I actually watched Bones on Wednesday nights, but I think I missed 1 or 2 episodes to watch Jericho instead. I loved and followed every story line in that show, so when the news came that it was cancelled, I was understandably upset. I have never done what I am doing now for any tv show and will continue until we get some sort of "closure". To leave a show hanging in this manner is toally unacceptable.

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