Sunday, January 13

Leaking Jericho, Season 2: Three Full Episodes

In 2006, Jericho Season One was one of many new shows with its first episode or so leaked to the media and across the Internet for early viewing. The same now seems to hold true for Jericho Season Two. At least three episodes can be found on the Internet. Maybe more.

Post spoiler: if you are looking for a download link, you won’t find one here. I have verified their existence, but do not support the proliferation of what may be bootlegged content.

One of the earliest mentions of the leak popped up on TorrentFreak and then again by a fan from the United Kingdom on the CBS Jericho message boards, leaving others to wonder when, where, who, how, and why, but most importantly, will it help or hurt ratings come Feb. 12?

They are all good questions. And there are no easy answers, especially when it is uncertain who was the source of the leak and whether or not it was intentional. Regardless, releasing three episodes from a truncated seven-episode season seems to be severe by any measure.

Unintentional Leak

Reviewers and critics are privy to advanced screenings in order to give them a leg up on their publication deadlines. Sometimes, spoilers and advanced screenings are, er, accidentally leaked to the public. This can help a show, or hurt it. It’s a craps shoot.

Given Jericho is one of the few non-reality shows to have any unaired content while the writers strike continues, releasing three of seven episodes to anyone seems excessive. I’ll wait to be enlightened.

Intentional Leak

Sometimes, networks, studios and producers do leak information and complete episodes to generate additional buzz and excitement for a show, especially if they lack confidence in the product and/or promotion. (Then again, BitTorrent continues to see an increase in intentionally leaked network shows, regardless of merit.)

For me, there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for CBS to intentionally leak Jericho, which has survived almost a year as the most-talked about show without a schedule in the last decade, maybe history. But that's not to say CBS doesn’t make mistakes now and again, especially when it treads the unfamiliar territory that surrounds this crazy town in Kansas.

If anything, an intentional and 3-deep leak for this show would have risked much more than it could ever hope to gain, potentially derailing all efforts that have been mounting buzz around the countdown. Worse, it could be a disaster if non-fans circumvent fan efforts by harshly critiquing these shows simply because they can.

As I’ve said throughout this campaign, there are some people who would like Jericho to fail, especially those who despise popular movements and, well, social media in general.

What To Do About It

From the fan perspective, pretend it doesn’t matter. Focusing on the leak is nothing more than a buzz kill for the countdown excitement, which is where it will matter most to capture Nielsen families.

If the leak becomes the only news, and it might, then it could trump consumer marketing efforts much like child labor law news damaged Kid Nation. In other words, staying the course seems smart for fans, even if it is only out of feelings for solidarity.

Besides, many fans have been working hard to drum up some interest on their own with some worthwhile ideas slowly taking hold as their first prize is only weeks away. I suggest people let them do it their way. It’s their show as much as anybody else.

Disclaimer: This is Monday’s post, leaked Sunday night. Darn.



maybei on 1/13/08, 9:19 PM said...

If the leak becomes the only news....

Thanks Rich! Well said :-)

Anonymous said...

Rich -

Wise words as always. I have nothing but endless appreciation for the way you have covered, and many times educated, the Jericho fans.

I really will be disheartened if all the effort to save the show and then promote season 2 comes to naught because of something like this. While I'm sure CBS will consider other factors than just Nielsen, those butt-in-the-seat ratings are really important. As are the time-delayed viewing stats and legitimate online viewing such as CBS' innerTube and iTunes/amazon downloads.

Hats off to you Rich. Always happy to consider the wisdom you so generously provide.


Sweet Tea on 1/13/08, 9:26 PM said...

I love Jericho and I am desperate to see it. Legally. There are two words-loyalty and respect-that would never allow me to download these episodes. The cast and crew have worked hard for us to have these 7 new eps and they have all my support.

Anonymous said...

Jericho Returns echoes my sentiments exactly. If there's even an iota of a chance that downloading and/or viewing these leaked episodes would hurt the cast and crew who's worked so hard -- and through some compressed, tighter conditions than before -- to give fans a Season 2 for which they fought so fervently....well, I want to be as loyal to the cast and crew as they have been to us. (Welcome2CHO)

Anonymous said...

I think it's very simple.
IF you love JERICHO and you want to see another season, DON'T download the episodes!!
To me this can only hurt us with potential viewers and we can NOT afford that.
Less than a month now.....not a long time to wait.
Watch JERICHO on Tues. Feb. 12th at 10 p.m. EST on CBS!

"Make a stand here." Johnston Green R.I.P.

Hawksdomain on 1/14/08, 3:41 AM said...

Good post, Rich. I was surprised to learn of this and I cannot believe that CBS would be responsible. Yes, CBS has been a source of great frustration over the past several months, but I believe that the show they have leading into Jericho has more than proved (to me at least) that they are giving Jericho an honest chance. For those of you who don't know, February 12th is also the night that Big Brother will start.

terocious on 1/14/08, 9:14 AM said...

Thank you Rich,

It seems the word Jericho is on the tip of the internets tounge right now so however it happened I am going to view at least that aspect of this as a good thing.

The Torrentfreak article represents the first time Jericho related content has gone popular on in a very long time. The article itself was not bad at all and has a lot of great links in it about the show.

Hopefully some of the folks who come in in the middle because of the hype over this will take an interest and become fans.


Unknown on 1/14/08, 9:56 AM said...

Food for thought Rich. I was almost sure CBS deliberately leaked the episodes but your argument about the importance of preserving original programming during the WGA strike is very persuasive.

That said, I visited a couple of torrent sites and the episodes are a hive of activity. Clearly there are thousands of people who have chosen not wait. Will they check back come the February premiere?

Interestingly enough I think these "early viewers" will. I can only go by the "Dexter effect" as a yardstick, but I think leaking highly anticipated programming can be a positive thing for the program itself.

Cheers and thanks for another interesting post.

Rich on 1/14/08, 10:37 AM said...

Thank you for your comments. This is an interesting result and I will try to pursue as time permits.

While this is speculative, the two most common theories seem to be:

1. CBS intentionally leaked the episodes, which is contrary to what the producers have said.

2. A television critic, disgruntled by fan lobbying efforts, decided to become a secret spoiler.

If the latter is true, and I'm not saying it is, I hope they are discovered because this would represent a breach of reviewer privilege that well exceeds publishing a spoiler and borders on sabotage against the very people who make them relevant (readers/fans).

But again, this does not matter for fans. The excitement remains with the countdown. Jericho is returning to network television on Feb. 12.


Myles on 1/14/08, 11:44 AM said...


Personally, I'm of the opinion that it is the screener leaking on its own accord rather than through CBS. There is no real benefit to leaking them internally - there is no need to build up hype amongst the internet for a show that will already get it, and the fact that all three episodes leaked (As opposed to only the premiere) coincides with the screener sent to critics is telling.

I think that we need to remember that while thousands of people are going to watch the downloaded episode, it won't make much of a dent in potential viewership. People who download television are generally people who don't watch actual television at all, as opposed to people who just watch leaked shows early.

As a result, the hype resulting from this in terms of Digg or anything else might just be a positive thing in the end, even if they lose 25,000 viewers in the process.

Food for thought, anyways.

Rich on 1/14/08, 3:57 PM said...

Hey Myles,

Personally, me too. But I'd sure rather verify.

It could also be that you are right, unless any numbers I mentioned in the post were to happen. Leaking information, regardless of the source or the intent, always carries with certain risks.

I remember several years ago when a local awards competition released the winners to a business weekly on the condition they would publish after the event. They published the day of the event.

Half of the tables were empty; the excitement spoiled. Sure, it didn't impact the number of awards per se, but it sure took the dazzle out of the build up and anticipation.

I have many more stories regarding intentional and unintentional leaks; I just chose this one because it is harmless enough.

Thanks for you take,


Anonymous said...

hey guys... i dont live in the US like probably all of you so my only chance to view those episodes is through the net, me and millions of people around the world download and love this show, and the only reason we wont be seeing it on tv its becouse, we cant. so downloading now or in the morning of february 13 is exactly the same, but for you friends that live in the usa, pls watch the show on tv becouse this show needs that and i wish i could se it too on tv...

Rich on 1/15/08, 4:45 PM said...

Hey Joe,

Thank you for your perspective. Just keep in mind that a bootlegged copies or pirate versions do not support the program; only your desire to watch it. So I hope they use discretion and make good when it's officially released to the public.

You're right though, it won't affect the ratings per se. Although it has fostered an increasing number of spoilers that will detract viewers from tuning in.

Just something to think about. It's all connected, one way or the other.


Anonymous said...

The biggest problem I see is that CBS has waited too damn long to get Jericho back on the air! I have the episodes in question, and yes they are all over the place now. It is the same awesome production quality we have come to expect from Jericho, and I have enjoyed seeing these three episodes early. The biggest problem is now I CRAVE the next 4 episodes! I think these were leaked intentionally to get the buzz started. I honestly don't believe that any of the Nielson families are downloading these episodes, but they could be receiving pressure from those who have to get them to watch when it comes on. I was part of the campaign and would not do anything to hurt the cast, crew or producers of this fine show, but I use torrents as my TiVo anyway, so for me this was just an advanced screening.
I am still spreading the word, and will hype it to all of my friends. I will also start wearing my Jericho tee shirts again as well as printing a few new ones to give away. I am still a staunch supporter of the show who just got a taste of the new season a little early...

Rich on 1/16/08, 1:53 PM said...

Hey Anon,

While I appreciate the comment and your choice, CBS clarified for me today that it only released these episodes to the media. Please see my update update.

Anonymous said...

Although the downloading of shows is expanding, the majority of viewers will still watch shows like this in the old fashioned way.
However "some word of mouth" in the office the next day from a down loader can only advertise Jericho
Season 2 more. S02 E3 ends on such
a high note it leaves you wanting more and more!

Anonymous said...

just as long as everyone watches the show when it airs. gotta keep those ratings up.

Rich on 2/13/08, 3:38 PM said...

General Observations:

There are many factors contributing to the 7.1 million viewer ratings as reported by Nielsen on the first episode (keep your fingers crossed for adjusted DVR ratings), but it seems to me that this one did not help.


Rich on 2/13/08, 7:24 PM said...

The best news to come out so far is that Jericho outperformed all but one episode of "Cane," which was planned for that time slot. For more, check the updates on the Tick, Tick Boom post on Feb. 9.

Anonymous said...

Very Informational Discussion. Thanks For The Great Blog Your Next Step To Success

micheal on 10/1/08, 4:00 AM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
micheal on 10/1/08, 4:02 AM said...

I think it's rock Episodes,
IF you love JERICHO and you want to see another season, you Download Jericho Episodes.... and Enjoy this show.... Thanks Buddy....

Devid on 3/12/09, 5:56 AM said...

The creators of the show are very well aware what their fans want from them.The show is coming with its second season. I am exited to watch Jericho second season that i got here.

Anonymous said...

this is soo un fair!!! y would they cancel the show? this is the best tv series i have ever seen! plz bring it back!

Anonymous said...

this is soo un fair!!! y would they cancel the show? this is the best tv series i have ever seen! plz bring it back!

Unknown on 10/24/10, 11:40 AM said...

Jericho TV Show is an American drama. I like this show very much. It has very interesting storyline. And show is really superb.


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