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The Battle of Jericho


Paulie Mississippi

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It seems that average isn't good enough for CBS. Jericho, the Wednesday night drama starring Skeet Ulrich and Gerald MacRaney is rumored to have been cancelled today despite middle of the pack ratings (even after CBS' ill advised 6 week hiatus over the winter) and an also middle-of-the-pack rating in USA Todays' "Save Our Shows" campaign.

However the show is not going quietly. The responses and demand for reprieve from fans of the show is growing faster than one of our silly game show links here at EC.COM.

While I crafted a short reply and plea for clemency three pages of posters posted their own feelings at the message board:

Jericho Message Board

If you like(d) this show, your back-to-the-wall battle to save the show is being waged at that message board. Pop over and fire a salvo or two of your own! laugh

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I had read that killing off Johnston (MacRaney) was an effort to steer the show in a new direction for next season. I suspect the idea might have been to make it more 24ish and lest Lost-ish. Have Jake and the FBI/Terrorist tracking down the bad guy while on the run from him at the same time.

It just seemed to me, given the plot twist and killing off of Johnston (who it was said had a five year contract with the show) would not have been done if they did not believe they were coming back.

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I peek in on that message board quite often. I was hanging around last night and then went straight for the 2007-2008 slate development results from the stations this morning. I'm so livid I can barely see straight!!! That is an excellent, thinking show with a great cast. I was already furious that they killed off Gerald McRaney but NOW... I hope the petitions make CBS feel like the idiots they are and do something to fix this (I'm not thrilled about losing The Class either but it's not as bad as losing Jericho.)

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Paulie,

I signed the petition --- http://www.petitiononline.com/09272006/petition.html --- after reading your post. Thanks for posting that.

I've been a loyal fan of the show from the beginning. "Jericho" has been that rare series that makes you think, has sharp writing and is exciting to watch (a rarity on TV today). My brother and son are big fans as well.

Anyone who hasn't seen the show can watch full episodes online at: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho/ or http://www.whodroppedthebomb.com (goes to the CBS page as well, but it's the URL they advertise on TV)

Hopefully, they won't cancel it.

Don smile

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There is always hope that a show might be saved. Perhaps there is a possibility that this effort might be able to ressurrect the show as a midseason replacement.

Also this would not be the first time an announced schedule has been altered. I was hopeful for an announced "Aquaman" series on the WB that failed to survive after the new "CW" opted to go with a way-past-its-prime 7th Heaven instead.

All we can do is voice our opninions and displeasure at the cancellation of a potentially great series. Thanks to those who have joined me in this effort.

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I also signed the petition, and now the rumor is that CBS hasn't cancelled the show.

A few episodes ago I was worried that the writers were going to get bogged down in the various subplots and not be able to keep the momentum and suspense. Well, there's no doubt in my mind now! Great show -great writing, and the balance between reality and doomsday is handled well.

Anne

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Word has it on the message board that CBS has been swamped with hundreds of phone calls and that two message lines have already been filled to capacity with complaints! It said that the same thing has happened with their email message lines in addition to the petitions. There are even those who want to boycott the sponsors and contact them with complaints. mad I would venture to say that people are REALLY ticked off this time!!! laugh

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Supposedly there was a comment from the woman who is credited with making the decisions on the programming where she said they might do a wrap up episode/tv movie for the 09 season... good luck rounding up all the stars for that one... but I still believe they will look at this response and relent if not for the fall then for midseason.

Interestingly, the show that is taking "our" place on the lineup smacks so much of child exploitation or even child endangerment that I can't believe it will ever see the light of day. I'm talking about "Kid Nation" where forty kids are dropped into an abandoned mining town and allowed to fend for themselves with no adult supervision. (I can only assume that adults are filming and observing...)

Now to me this show is either an accident (and a lawsuit) waiting to happen as a kid gets hurt or killed or is a total fraud as there is adult supervision and rules.

So that is what is taking the place of our beloved Jericho... for now...

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I read that what a lot of people are suspecting is that there has been pressure to pull it becuase of the government conspiracy theme in the show and the fact that the government doesn't want us looking too closely. Possible, I guess.

Another thing I read was a list of shows on CBS that all had lower ratings than Jericho yet they were renewed and Jericho wasn't. Interesting.

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The ratings issue is always a bit bogus. Certain nights are better for watching television than certain others. For example Tuesday you'll have American Idol face off with NCIS and both end up in the top 10. But on another, lesser watched night, the top show might not crack the top 20 for the week.

Friday nights are a great example; long considered a wasteland, when the networks accepted that and began scheduling shows that fit certain genre's or were low-cost to produce they were successful. But when they moved the long-running Law & Order there... with it's huge and cost-prohibitive cast... well, it almost got cancelled.

The networks have all but given up on Saturday nights, programming sporting events or movies or repeating crime shows.

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Latest "news" is that supposedly an email from someone in programming at CBS is being sent out that says they have not officially pulled the plug yet and are pleased by the response. They are still considering options, though that could mean a follow up or reunion episode... or tv-movie wrap up.

I did notice tongight that though Jericho is no longer on the main CBS page when you get to their episode viewer it can still be watched and if you write them using the CBS.COM feedback option, you can still base your comments on Jericho.

I guess that'ssomething...

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UPDATE:

Will CBS Rebuild Jericho?

Will CBS Rebuild Jericho? Get the Scoop on the Fan Fave's Future!

By Kristin Veitch

May 25, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Nielsen can measure butts in seats, but it sure can't measure hearts and minds. In further proof (as if we needed more) that the numbers don't tell the whole story about the popularity of a show, Jericho fans are making like the characters on the show and refusing to go down without a fight.

Taking a cue from Roswell's bottles of Tabasco, Arrested Development's bananas and Jake Green's "Nuts!" battle cry in the finale, Jericho fans are inundating CBS with nuts—eight tons of nuts so far! Nutsonline.com (in business—but presumably not online—since 1929) has been the semi-official hub of this effort, so if you would like to toss a few Brazil nuts in the general direction of the Eye network (is it just me or did that sound dirty?), check out the nutsonline.com Jericho support page—and while you're there, don't miss the awesome YouTube video of a Nuts! delivery.

Furthermore, the save Jericho petition currently has nearly 80,000 signatures! If you want to participate in the campaign, sign your name on the digital dotted line and then swing by jerichorallypoint.com and jericholives.com to join forces with other fans!

My inbox is full of reports about your progress, so I thought a rundown might be in order to tie it all together and keep the ball in play. Go Panthers! Er, wait, that's the wrong show. Anyway, I tracked down to a bunch of Jericho peeps to get the scoop on the show's future, and here's what I know

The Fallout Jericho castmember Brad Beyer (Stanley Richmond) and I spoke yesterday afternoon, and he told me, "We consistently held 8 or 9 million viewers, even going up against Idol, so everyone was really surprised and shocked that we were canceled. You have to move on and let go, but you see all this fan support and you keep that tiny bit of hope in your heart." And Jericho producer Karim Zreik emailed me to this effect "We were all stunned when we didn't get the second-season pickup, but our fans have completely surprised us. This outpouring of support means the world to the Jericho cast and crew. Knowing that Jericho touches so many people has completely humbled us. I don't know what's going to happen next. CBS and Paramount are still weighing their options. We hope to know more by next week."

Postapocalyptic Landscape Brad tells me "People are auditioning, and the writers are trying to find work. I think our great producers have been really hanging in with the show. They're really still fighting for us." Show runner Carol Barbee has a deal with CBS Paramount, so if the network wants more Jericho from her, she's ready and willing to serve up more story. That said, I'm told Carol's best friend created the new series Swingtown, which is also set up at CBS Paramount, and if Jericho does not continue, Carol would join Swingtown as an executive producer... (If she goes, can Skeet at least become a swinger?)

CBS Has Heard You As Brad points out, "I think in the end it's CBS' decision, because they own the show." Given that most of their shows cater to the geriatric set, I honestly think CBS had no idea how many young, web-savvy fans Jericho had. CBS president Nina Tassler posted a note praising your efforts on behalf of the show. However, as of press time, CBS was still telling me there had been "no change" in the status of the show.

What Next? As Brad told me, "There are so many different things kicking around right now; I don't know how realistic it is for any of them, but I hope we can wrap it up for the fans—and for us, because we all love doing it so much!"

And if you ask me, leaving the fans cliffhanging for all of eternity would just be plain...nuts. Ba-dum-bump.

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And still another article; this one from The New York Times!

Fans of Canceled ‘Jericho’ Mobilize With a Very Literal Protest

By ELIZABETH OLSON

Published: May 28, 2007

Soon after CBS said this month that it had canceled the drama series “Jericho,†angry fans started sending individual bags of nuts to executives at the network’s offices in New York and Los Angeles as a protest.

Then the nuts started arriving in bulk, sometimes by the truckload. It turned out that fans, some of whom started a “Save Jericho†petition drive, had also found an Internet nut seller called NutsOnline.

“When I saw the first several orders, I thought it might be credit card fraud or a prank,†said Jeffrey Braverman, head of NutsOnline. “Then I checked it out and found it was real, so I changed the site to give the fans a chance to pool their money for an order.â€

With the help of a “Save Jericho†section on the NutsOnline Web site, fans began combining their contributions (which averaged $10) and last Wednesday alone more than two tons of nuts were sent to CBS. The next day, Mr. Braverman, 26, and his uncle drove the company’s black van from Linden, N.J., to Manhattan to personally deliver 1,000 pounds. By the weekend, nearly 10 tons of roasted peanuts and other nuts had arrived on CBS’s doorstep.

“We are impressed by the creativity of their campaign,†said Chris Ender, a CBS spokesman in Los Angeles (which received far fewer nuts than Manhattan). But so far executives haven’t changed their decision about the show, he said.

The nuts are meant not only as a commentary on the mindset of the executives who canceled “Jericho,†but also as a reference to one of the show’s closing lines. In the May 16 finale, lead character Jake Green, played by the actor Skeet Ulrich, was told to surrender his rural Kansas town to a hostile neighboring settlement. His one-word response, “Nuts,†is similar to the defiant retort uttered by General Anthony McAuliffe to a German demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944.

This isn’t the first time disgruntled fans have used food to protest a canceled series. In 2002, viewers of the science fiction series “Roswell†sent WB executives thousands of bottles of Tabasco sauce, a condiment favored by the show’s aliens.

Mr. Ender said that CBS would donate the nuts to food banks, the Bronx Zoo and Staten Island Project Homefront, which sends care packages to troops overseas.

That outcome pleases Mr. Braverman, who has never seen “Jericho,†but has been struggling to roast enough peanuts to fill the orders. When he is done, he said, “I’m going to find the back episodes and watch them.â€

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OK. I confess. I did it.

I donated $5 to the "NUTS for Jericho" campaign at NUTS ONLINE.COM They delivered THREE TONS of nuts to the CBS offices today with another TWO TONS already shipped via UPS due to be delivered... all to protest the NUTTY CBS decision to cancel Jericho.

(For the uninitiated, in the cliff-hanger episode that ended the season (and series... for now...) Jake (Skeet Ulrich) rallied his fellow townsfolk to defend Jericho against invaders from a neighborinbg town with the cry "Nuts!")

Also, the nuts are not going to waste as CBS has stated that all nuts they receive will be donated to a variety of non-profits; the military, food banks, etc...

It's also interesting how the drive to save/ressurrect the show is finding it's way into a variety of media. Here's a list of some of the links to articles:

http://www.nutsonline.com/jericho#press

I don't think some of these people are going to back down... laugh

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I've sent out a couple of emails to tv critics (as the site suggests) but really need to send some emails to CBS. I've been following the board for a long time and my family is having a GREAT time watching the rebellion!!!LOL Time to turn up the heat, I guess, and send some nuts!<smile>

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Ecstasy, I was sitting here tonight, got the place to myself tonight; watching a ballgame on ESPN... and I can't help but keep clicking links to all the articles that are being written about this. Some people in various aspects of marketing and advertising seem to think that this is the dawning of a new age... an age when our programming will not be determined by just the Nielson's that are way outdated and over rated...

I've read that on top of the ratings CBS.com was averaging 450,000 views of each weeks episode at their website! (I viewed a few there when I happened to miss them on Wednesday nights.) The season finale is in the top 50 ipod downloads currently and climbing.

CBS would be wise to grasp all the positive publicity they could generate right now; many of the actors and writers and producers are still available and willing to come back. Any that can't or won't can be written out during the big battle if need be. Skeet Ulrich, Lennie James and several other cast members have posted notes to the fans over at CBS.com... the Jericho forums are still up and running, which I think is a good sign... and the "nuts" campaign is gearing up for the west-coast thrust...

I really can't imagine CBS not bringing this show back... especially in light that I'm reading where one of their supposedly "great" new shows, Moonlight, is being recast... how great is it if you have to recast it before it starts? eek

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Paulie, Is this Jericho show a takeoff on the British series, Jericho, about John Jericho who solves murder mysteries? Just wondered. I love that one, broadcast on PBS and WGBH (Boston) but haven't seen the one with McRaney. I hope for your sake it survives. I would think they'll listen to public opinion.

smile --Darlene

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