"Heartbreaking!" "I'm DEVASTATED" ""WHAT??!!!" Just some of the comments I heard from my fellow fans of Jericho after learning the show was unceremoniously cancelled.
As some of you know, I have been a diligent watcher (and sometime participant) of the campaign to help save one of my favorite TV shows of this past season, Jericho. For the past couple of weeks, in my spare time at work (which there is plenty of, by the way), I have been watching the Jericho Rangers trying to save The Show. As of this posting, there have been over 34,000lbs of nuts sent to CBS in protest, we broke the 100,000 mark on the online petition, and over $10,000 has been raised to help the town of Greensburg, Kansas after being obliterated by a F5 tornado a couple of weeks ago. Pretty impressive for a show that one CBS Executive described as "losing steam" as a reason for cancellation.
Unfortunately for CBS, after promoting the show extensively online and making the show available on CBS.com for free, selling it on iTunes, and making it available on xBox and various cable On-Demand platforms, they forgot to count a large chunk of their audience. Now, that audience is rebelling. It's a beautiful thing.
For those of you who never watched Jericho, or for those who started and then lost track during the long hiatus (some even thinking it was cancelled way back in November), this is a show with tons of heart. Being a new show, it struggled creatively a bit in the middle of the season, but found it's footing soon after the hiatus was over, and ended strongly with the last four or five episodes. A show that may have scared some people who thought it was too depressing, considering it's post apocalyptic setting, became a testament to the strength of community
within that world.
After spending lots of time on the CBS boards, I have learned that not only did this show have lots of uncounted fans in this country, but in countries all over this world. There have been posts from people in Canada, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, France, England and many others. Not only that, but it turns out this was a show that a lot of families watched together. Posts from Mom's and Dad's who said this was the only time in the week when their teens would sit down with them and watch as a family. It's astounding to me that a show that can appeal to people from teenagers to baby boomers could be treated so poorly.
Some have brought up the idea that if this many people can rally for a TV show, what about rallying for things like politics or the environment? This is what I think. CBS, like all the other networks, are targeting the 18-49 year old demo, and it seems like they got a lot more of this demo than they knew of because of the online community. This is a group of people that have grown up feeling like they have no say, and nothing they do will make any kind of difference in the world. But what if, after an experience like this, they see that maybe when they join together for one cause, they CAN make a difference? Maybe this victory (and it is a victory, no matter what the outcome for the show), will inspire them to have faith in other parts of their lives. Something like this can change a lot of minds. The last Presidential election showed that the Internet had an influence and a voice, maybe this is the next step in people feeling like they do have some power in their world. What kind of world do you want?
Listen, this show has some interesting things to say. But don't get me wrong, Jericho is a pleasure to watch. It is full of action and intrigue, with some romance and just the right amount of laughter. From what I've seen, this show appeals to men and women across the board. You've got your family values, you've got your mysteries, you've got your action!sequences, and you've got SuperSkeet! How can anyone go wrong!
I don't know how many of you out there happened to watch Jericho. I hope that I have piqued the interest of some of you. If you have the time and the inclination, check out the pilot episode over on CBS.com: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho/videos.php. C'mon! What else do you have to do tonight?
If you would like to donate to the Nuts protest to CBS, buy a t-shirt or mug, donate to Greensburg, KS, or just check out what all the hoopla is about, go here: http://www.nutsonline.com/jericho
You can sign the online petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?09272006
Or visit the main rallying sites, where everyone is getting together to protest the cancellation of their beloved show, Jericho:http://www.jericholives.com/
Or just go to CBS and let them know that the viewing audience has changed, and everyone should be counted:http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.shtml
I've had a lot of fun with this. A lot of the cast members of the show have posted on the CBS boards to thank everyone for their support. It really is heartwarming to see everyone join together.
This is one of my favorite Save Jericho videos on YouTube right now (and I am too impatient to deal with embedding this video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8TJeOzCBX0&NR=1
Go on, join us! You know you want to!