TCA: ‘Jericho’ … these people are nuts


Jerichonuts When CBS entertainment topper Nina Tassler went for a checkup a few months ago and the doc handed her a bag of peanuts instead of test results, she knew it was time to give “Jericho” its second-season pickup.

The Skeet Ulrich series started out well in the ratings last fall but soon began to fade. Then when it went on a three-month hiatus from November to February, pretty much any momentum the show might’ve had left was quickly evaporated.

“Maybe it wasn’t good for the show and maybe it had an impact,” Tassler said of the hiatus. You think, Nina?

Once CBS decided not to renew, the emails from outraged viewers came flooding into the exec’s offices on Beverly Boulevard. I wonder if the Eye IT guys were able to install a “Jericho” spam filter to allow Tassler and Leslie Moonves to view non-“Jericho” messages in a more timely manner?

Though she wasn’t convinced enough the series was viable enough to be put on the fall schedule, Tassler decided “Jericho” was worthy of a midseason slot. CBS has ordered seven new episodes, as Variety reported last month.

“The emails had reached a certain pitch and I thought that maybe this show needs a second chance,” said Tassler (pictured left). “I went on the message boards and read the emails. It seemed like a segment of the population felt they weren’t being counted.”

TasslerCertainly “Jericho” fans aren’t the first group to sound howls of protest when their favorite shows are canceled. If viewers voices were always heard by network schedulers, “Freaks and Geeks,” “Veronica Mars” and “Deadwood” would still be on the air.

Whether the “Jericho” renewal begins a new trend on how much viewer reaction will play into the decision-making process for renewals remains to be seen, but its nice to realize that voices are being heard.

In the first episode back, Tassler said Stanley (Brad Beyer) would be getting engaged.

(Pictured above: Shaun Daily, a Nevada disc jockey who led one of the many fan-fueled “Save ‘Jericho'” campaigns.)

— Stuart Levine

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  1. JerichoNutter says:

    Are theyr eally getting engaged?

  2. ThunderHawk001 says:

    Glad CBS finally did something right. Happy to see the show Jericho is back. I think it happens to be the best show I have seen in very many years. Keep up the good work, And keep Jericho around. Lets see a full 2nd season, and get to planning the 3rd.

  3. mpbnice says:

    Thanks to CBS for listening to we “nuts” and bringing back Jericho. Can’t wait to see the new episodes!

  4. judist63 says:

    Agreeing with all the above comments! I feel certain that if CBS hadn’t put the show on hiatus, this whole campaign would have been avoided and also, the internet viewing and the dvring wouldn’t have ever been taken into consideration. So, even tho we had to go through this something good is coming out of it- seven new episodes of Jericho this fall and now the other modes of viewing programs will forever now be included instead of just going by the Nielsen ratings. Thank God for that!

  5. Valerie says:

    Jericho has proven that there is an audience out there that will watch quality drama and give it the loyalty that television was given in the fifties. But all forms of viewing must be measured in order to give a true idea of this market. Online communities also provide a window into the strength of a show. This is a perfect merging of the new technology and the audience that was deserting network tv given a chance to express their views and be noticed.
    I’m eagerly awaiting the new episodes of Jericho and enjoying bringing new fans into the fold (and watching over again, with the rich layering you only see the second or third time).

  6. LAJerichoNut says:

    I’m so grateful for the fans that fought hard and won. Thanks to Ms. Tassler and CBS for listening. Jericho is a show that has alot of heart and soul to it. As was previously said, this show appeals to many different audiences and it’s wonderful to have a show that bridges the age gaps! Can hardly wait for the new episodes!

  7. Roishana says:

    The Nuts campaign simply showed how passionate Jericho fans are for their show. Other shows were cancelled but no one fought like we did. Thanks to CBS for listening, the world has moved on beyond Nielsens and viewers can now be heard – and deserve to be!!

  8. Roishana says:

    The Nuts campaign simply showed how passionate Jericho fans are for their show. Other shows were cancelled but no one fought like we did. Thanks to CBS for listening, the world has moved on beyond Nielsens and viewers can now be heard – and deserve to be!!

  9. Sigmagoose says:

    Thank you CBS for giving Jericho a chance! You will not be disappointed!

  10. Kathy says:

    Can’t wait for the seven new episodes of Jericho! Working hard to get MANY more viewers for a great show.

  11. PhillyPhan says:

    Yes, we’re NUTS 20 tons of them for Jericho! All I can say is, if you watched it you understand.
    Thank you so much for covering the story. It is a great story for many reasons.

  12. Sharon says:

    Thanks for the great article. Still working hard to promote Jericho!! Please don’t discount the over 50 viewers. We probably buy more stuff than the 18 – 49 year olds. We buy stuff for four generations: Parents, children, grandchildren and ourselves. Generally we also have more disposable income to spend!!! And you really need to do something about the Nielson ratings.

  13. jackie says:

    Thank you so much for your interest in Jericho. Hopefully the networks will all realize there are much better ways to count viewership than the neilsons. While millions of Jericho’s fans do tune in and watch live, there are many others that just arn’t able to do so. Luckily we have other options now to allow them to view programs that they would otherwise miss. CBS shows Jericho online on their CBS site, many people chose to record the show, and then those with cable can watch it On Demand. However it is viewed we should all be counted, if not it is not just our loss, but also the networks loss.

  14. Jodi says:

    Ditto — I really enjoyed your article. The Save Jericho campaign’s greatest impact in the end may very well be the rethinking of how viewers are counted. As Jericho shows us a possible future, it’s time to acknowledge it’s truly a brave new world out there for entertainment.

  15. Debby Balcer says:

    Thanks for the great article. I am so glad Ms. Tassler listened. I think CBS will be so glad they did. This series has heart. It touches all ages and occupations. I believe that it will be on the air for years. I have already recruited new viewers and they are sharing the show with their friends too.

  16. Jane says:

    Great article! Yes, CBS listened. We thank them and we thank Ms. Tassler for giving Jericho another chance. We are working to promote our show and we want more new episodes, Thank you.

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