Saturday, November 10

Paying Peanuts: The Networks

When the Los Angeles Times asked Michael Colton and John Aboud, the writing team behind the Best Week Ever, how to shut down a television shoot, rallying Jericho fans took the number one spot, just ahead of telling a “Teamster that Jeff Zucker made fun of his mom.” Why Jericho fans?

“They brought a show back, they can take one out.”

While the top seven ways to stop a shoot was comedic (allowing Hugh Jackman to sing made the list), it might make some sense. The writers strike could be the perfect opportunity for Jericho fans to stop taking each other out on the CBS Jericho message boards, and begin to building a fan effort in support of the writers.

Such a move would only increase the exposure of the show before it returns in January by engaging all television fans about something they are passionate about. Fan crossover is somewhat proven to work. For the most part, there has been continuing cross over between the fans of Veronica Mars, Supernatural, and Jericho.

Each engagement between Jericho fans and other fans of any other show that is suddenly in the same boat might give Jericho a real shot at capturing January ratings. Yes, I said January. So far, CBS has no plans to bring Jericho back any earlier, which is good news for the fans. When I ran into BlogTalkRadio host Shaun Daily at BlogWorldExpo yesterday, he even said Jericho producer Carol Barbee was of the same thinking.

An early return of Jericho, especially in light of the writers strike, would mean immediate reinstatement on an arbitrary night and virtually no promotion. If fans focus on a January return, and perhaps help striking writers, they have two months to ramp up their show and build awareness with, well, anyone who also has a fan stake in the strike, regardless of what CBS does or doesn’t do.

Why would fans want to support the writers? The way I see it, fans can listen to the case as it was made by United Hollywood on YouTube or simply consider the reality of this strike. If the strike runs too long, many shows will not be coming back or, at best, may come back on a bubble.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the biggest loser of the 22-week strike in 1988 was broadcast television. It lost an estimated 10 percent of its network viewers.

Not only were those viewers lost forever, some shows did not survive. Nowadays, 10 percent can make the difference between a hit and a miss. In fact, an 18 percent drop after a much shorter break was enough for CBS to cancel Jericho in the first place.

Besides, Jericho fans may even have the best message if they were so inclined. What’s that?

Stop paying writers peanuts.



Rich on 11/10/07, 11:09 AM said...

More Words:

It looks like fans already have a petition. If you enjoy even one television show, it might be worthwhile to lend your support.


Sweet Tea on 11/10/07, 11:10 AM said...

Another great article from the greatest communicator. I agree fan crossover is very important as we work towards gaining more viewers. Many fans support the writers and this could be a whole new audience for us and all fans.
Thanks Rich.

P.S. Rich is the new JerichoMonster Fan of the Week.

Rich on 11/10/07, 11:15 AM said...

Hey Jane,

JerichoMonster Fan of the Week? That's a big surprise and I appreciate it very much.

Hmmm .. sometimes words are not enough to express the gratitude you feel. This is one of those times.

Thank you. I will forever remain a fans of the fans. You did what others said could not be done. And even if that is all that is ever done, then you still did more than most will ever do. You've changed television. And I hope you will do it again.

All my best,

Anonymous said...

Well deserved honor, Rich. Congrats.

There has already been a lot of support for the writers expressed and two petitions running, one with over 13,000 signatures. There is also a fan based support group being organized for anything from bringing food to the picketers to writing letter or even marching with them. Most fans of shows like Jericho know that the production staff and the writers are the roots of any show.

If anyone wants to see what the strike is about, this video explains it all.


Rich on 11/10/07, 2:09 PM said...

Thanks Nightbird,

Very good call. It seems there may be some interest from Jericho fans. I haven't seen the other the petition, but I did see this ...

All my best,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for another great article. I notice that some efforts were made yesterday to get fans behind the writers. Many fans were receptive to joining in. Perhaps your article will help inspire more fans to join in.

Oh yes, congratulation on becoming the JerichoMonster Fan of the Week!

Rich on 11/10/07, 3:37 PM said...

Thanks Ichthus. Appreciated.

Here is the link to the other petition; it is currently around 36,000.

terocious on 11/10/07, 4:42 PM said...

Thanks Rich and a big congrats 2 U!

Rich on 11/11/07, 8:04 AM said...

Thanks Terocious.

I'm very grateful and glad that Jericho fans are jumping on the strike.

All my best,

Rich on 11/11/07, 8:22 AM said...

For Hugh Jackman Fans:

It would be nice to note that Michael Colton and John Aboud, BWE, joked about Hugh Jackman's singing (they joke about everyone). I included it in my post because it was funny; check the hyperlink for the context.

BTW, Colton and Aboud were, until a few days ago, writing a pilot for Fox. Aboud is also a WGA strike captain and blogger for, one of my new favorite blogs.


kystorms on 11/12/07, 12:21 PM said...

great post, as usual Rich
and thanks for the link to the other petition :-) anyone who recalls me from the early days of the Jericho Campaign, knows how much I adore a good petition

and congrats on being made JerichoMonster Fan of the Week

Rich on 11/12/07, 4:43 PM said...

Thanks so much Lisa.

It was very unexpected, given I bill myself as a fan of fans. Ha! I really appreciate it though. It's been and continues to be a fun ride covering Jericho fans.

I've learned more about fan marketing from the fan eyes than I ever thought possible. I'm still amazed by it ... even when I don't sound like I am. Ha!

All my best,

auntvonna on 11/12/07, 6:15 PM said...

Congratulations Rich, you deserve FOTW! I have signed the petition and agree that all Jericho fans (and fans of tv in general) should be behind the writers here!

Rich on 11/13/07, 9:19 AM said...

Thanks Auntvonna,

I'm very glad to hear you are behind the writers.

All my best,


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