Friday, March 21

Ending A Series: CBS Cancels Jericho

Mostly because network executives had taken to touting the online success of Jericho for several months, fans still seemed uncertain as the Nielsen-owned Hollywood Reporter broke the news today. CBS is canceling Jericho. The story was confirmed by E! Online.

The ending chosen by CBS next Tuesday will wrap up the season's story line, closing what has been a yearlong challenge with plenty of trials and triumphs for the fan base that convinced CBS to give its show another chance. The outcome, as mentioned on Wednesday, seems to line up lock step with the five reasons being considered to let the show go.

"'Jericho' is unique because the fans saved it — watching it on the Internet and streaming and iTunes downloads, all those things that are not being counted," The Hollywood Reporter cited executive producer Carol Barbee saying in a recent interview. "That's what 'Jericho' will be known for."

She's right. Jericho fans have plenty to be proud of, especially their efforts in doing what most said could not be done — winning a short second season after it was cancelled the first time. While some rumors persist that Jericho may move elsewhere, it seems unlikely that a move would produce a show that resembles the original.

Still, Jericho fans are not ready to give up. They are currently assessing what to do next. One thing they need to avoid, in my opinion, is campaigning other networks like fans of the The Black Donnellys (TBD) did last year.

While the hearts of TBD fans were in the right place, campaigning to move a show from one network to another is a more daunting task, even more unlikely, and further fragments any campaign. If Jericho fans campaign for a move, any campaign needs to be aimed at CBS.

I will give credit to CBS for not waiting until next Thursday to confirm the cancellation, though it might have been better to share the news with fans first. Doing so would have demonstrated that it is starting to understand social media. There is still more work to be done there. Obviously.



Rich on 3/21/08, 2:00 PM said...

More words:

I'll fill in some additional blanks soon. They just didn't belong in this post. Suffice to say at the moment that I'll stand by the fans any day of the week.


Anonymous said...

The fans are not taking this very well, if the reaction over at the CBS message board for "Jericho" is to be believed. Unfortunately, their anger and energy is unfocused, pulling in a million different directions, and often aimed at each other. Someone has also posted that the acrimony on the board (which apparently started last night when the news was leaked) has driven away some of the movement's leaders. Will they turn this around, or will the saga of "Jericho" conclude with the show's cancellation and the fan movement melting from within? That would be a sadder ending than the one CBS plans to air on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your help, Rich. The fans are angry; I know I am. CBS gave us a great show--amid all the junk on TV--and they cancelled it. They responded to the nuts campaign, then turned around and gave the fans the responsibility to grow the audience (even when they stuck the show in a dead-end time slot). I don't think anyone can say that the fans didn't try hard enough. We've worked hard to promote this show, so that CBS can profit, and they cancelled it without the courtesy of telling us directly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rich for your past and continued support. Sadly the fans are not reacting with the class and dignity that were the hallmark of the first campaign. I hope that we can still come together tonight and come up with a cohesive plan. I hope that the voice of reason will prevail among the chaos. Wish us luck!

Rich on 3/21/08, 2:58 PM said...


I imagine so. The first step is to let the dust settle so fans can regroup and decide what they want to do as a response and not a reaction. Reactions are almost alway bad and fans deserve to see what CBS says in its statement.

Last year, fans were somewhat prepared for a cancellation because they started talking about it weeks before it happened.

This time fans feel blindsided because there was a glimmer of hope with the idea that CBS might want to transition to counting more than traditional ratings. CBS is transitioning, but the possibility has always been that Jericho would not make it over the hump.

That's the truth. Much of the transition started because of this show; it's a shame not to see carried through to what would have been a better system for it to exist.

I appreciate you taking the time to keep me posted. As I said, I'll stand by the fans any time. While some things could have worked better for the fans, the network made ample missteps along the way and a few people gave it more credit than it deserved. Naturally, there were other factors that aren't tied to the network or the fans, including the general public being unwilling to watch shows that have uncertain futures.

For that reason alone, the deck was stacked against the fans. There are other reasons too. But you know, I enjoyed the show too. So that will have to wait for another day.


Rich on 3/21/08, 2:59 PM said...


Absolutely my friend.

I do wish you all luck. Keep reminding them to calm and respond instead of react and attack.


erika on 3/21/08, 3:01 PM said...

Thanks for your continued support, Rich. While the fans may be angry and disjointed right now, I think they deserve a day or two to let it all out, and hopefully we will come out on the other side of it with a new resolve and a good plan. For now? I say, let the mourning commence.

KIC on 3/21/08, 3:24 PM said...

Thanks for a reasonable post on the scene.

It's true that the key to getting a show moved is getting CBS Paramount to 1) release it and 2) make it affordable for the new network to want to take it.

I will never understand how keeping rights to a show that is no longer produced can possibly be a money maker, but there you go, that is what I have always been told is the hurdle.

However, I see little how a fanbased campaign urging them to do so would have any effect since, what CBS the TV side was doing was hoping that they would somehow rope in more viewers (after waiting nine months, airing after BB in the time slot that always fails, but they hoped WE were somehow able to do this AND get it reflected in Nielsens).

CBS Paramount has no such need, goal or hope of us doing anything for *them*. I wish I had a brilliant idea, but I sure don't. If it was business before, that is nothing compared to what *this* is and I can't see how to affect it at all.

I hope someone does. I think it really could resemble Jericho *if* it is done now and not 3 years from now.

maybei on 3/21/08, 3:31 PM said...

Rich, it is hard to find the words right now but I wanted to take the time to thank you for all you have done.

Vicki - maybei

Margie and Edna on 3/21/08, 3:42 PM said...

Rich, I won't go into all the reasons CBS caused this show to fail. We all know them. I had said I would not be part of Nuts II or whatever it's called and I won't. My battle is over. There comes a time when one has to step back and regroup. I have been fighting since May 2007 and my life needs to change.
I will always be a Jericho fan & I will remain close to the friends I've made. I'm grateful for them and include you in that group. I wish the fans only the best.
I will never forget.

Sweet Tea on 3/21/08, 3:47 PM said...

Sorry. I posted as margieandedna. It's actually me- JerichoMonster.

Thanks, Rich.

Anonymous said...

I am so pissed right now. This sucks.

Anonymous said...

I am most disappointed with CBS because at the end of Tuesday's show the previews were for the 'Season Finale' not the series finale. They then do not bother to post a note to the fans but let it out through old school mediums.

My heart goes out to all of the fans. I hope that the fans will be able to maintain friendships, without the drama that the friendships were forged from.

Regardless of any words I may have shared with anyone since this all started in May 2007, I am proud to have worked with each of you to have made the history we made.

I hope to have several friendships this past year last many years.

Anonymous said...

CBS used the time-honored cowardly way to put out a news release -- late on a Friday afternoon to bury it. That it's a holiday weekend....well, all the better for CBS. And CBS toyed with emotions on SERIES vs. SEASON finale announcements at the end of the last few episodes.

This network can blah, blah, blah all it wants about Nielsen ratings, etc., but the bottom line is, once again, it showed little respect to extraordinarily loyal fans here at the end.

OK, if you've gotta take some unpleasant action, at least have just a touch of class in the way you carry it out. Sadly, class was clearly lacking, and it demonstrates the standing to which this network holds us, the little people. This from a network that thinks a KidNation or Big Brother is something to be proud about.

Jericho247 on 3/21/08, 11:03 PM said...

Rich, all I can say is this:

We're not done making history yet. Not by a long shot, my friend :)

Kim on 3/22/08, 1:39 AM said...

Good shows get the boot in favor of programming that appeals to the lowest common denominator in this country. When are networks going to realize that the public actually watches smart, well-crafted shows like Jericho and Journeyman?

Donna on 3/22/08, 8:57 AM said...

Rich, thank you for seeing Jericho for its two levels of importance. First, it is a show of outstanding writing and acting, a rare thing on network TV these days. Second, and more importantly, you recognized the importance of the medium as well as the message. CBS is obviously choosing to ignore the paradigm shift for the moment. Others will be smarter. Unfortunately for the Rangers, this epiphany will come to late for Jericho. It has been a pleasure reading your blog throughout this campaign. Thanks.

terocious on 3/22/08, 9:59 AM said...

The day after is full of all kinds of interesting press but thanks in large part to you Rich, Jericho fans everywhere are equipped to keep what the media is saying about us in context.

I think history will be kind to Jericho and I feel really bad for all of the folks who are going to discover this show down the line and kick themselves for not being there.

I am not saying Jericho is done but we are definately closing a chapter. To a very large extent that is a relief.

Newmeadially yours - b

Anonymous said...

Shaun is urging people to send letters and postcards to cbs/paramount which is the production company behind jericho.

instead scattering the impact by going after scifi, usa etc..

CBS will no way bring it back, but if we encourage cns/paramount to get a deal elsewhere it could work.


BoBo on 3/22/08, 9:06 PM said...

You know..I really did try to get into that show. I watched the first 5 episodes. I missed two consecutive episodes (life got in the way) and after that I just really could not get back in to it.

I did like what I just wasn't enough to make me keep coming back. I am still sorry to hear they are cancelling it. I know it was a good show..better than a lot of the crap that is actually still just wasn't for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great article, Rich. However, I believe you may have meant Tuesday instead of Thursday. With regard to writing to other networks who might pick Jericho up, I think if they do it in a classy way, it could have a good outcome. At the moment, fans are focusing on contacting CBS Paramount who is interested in selling the series to another network, according to the producers of the series.

Anonymous said...

obviously the only way we are going to be heard is if we do something drastic. apparently mailing thousands of pounds of peanuts just weren't enough. i think its time for some hardcore action, we should all boycott cbs. stop watching the shows they have, once their ratings drop drastically and we get enough word out they will realize they messed with the wrong people. Why would they want to cancel a show with so many followers?!

we need to send a strong message and the only way to do so is to boycott....after the season finale of course.

K6 on 3/23/08, 11:07 AM said...

Thanks Rich... I for one am not done with the fight. I have pleanty of time and money.

Anonymous said...

We were counted and love Jericho

There are a large number of viewers that are uncounted by the Nielsen ratings, that vehemently support the enthralling platform of Jericho. This show has literally started a phenomenon in viewing that has escaped the Nielsen ratings. At least 3 large consumer groups are missed:

1. New Viewers: I am an avid viewer that had not watched a series on TV for 10 years until Jericho. The show did not steal me from another time slot or line-up, it expanded on the existing audience and as such was not counted. In fact, since I do not watch TV regularly, I did not discover this show until mid Season 2 (plus the time was moved and current events interfered with the viewing). I am not alone if you read the numerous testimonials of people saying “I just discovered Jericho” late in Series 2. There are many that just saw their first episode in March 08.

2. Alternative Viewers. Internet, I-pods, U-tube, TIVO, etc., are you really representing these demographics with Nielsen ratings? It is not just the large youth segment that is not counted, it is also the financially comfortable middle age group that spends $$$ on technology t. 2 powerful consumer groups that are under represented…Hello sponsors, if Nielsen hasn’t figured this out, surely you will have to.

3. Expanding to other countries: People from other countries are now discovering Jericho and writing the bloggers to have their voice heard as well. Now that is a contagion that you are not capturing with random Nielsen families.

Truly, Jericho is a prime example of this new phenomenon. We are not as defined, just “passionate” viewers; we represent a far bigger influence than this if we could stand up and be counted. Nielsen ratings simply represent a very small pocket of existing viewers given a series of poor viewing choices. If there are only poor choices,
the next mindless reality show drones on as background noise and opportunities are missed because most of us just aren’t watching any more.

Anonymous said...

Well the campaign is to rattle the cage of Cbs/Paramount with postcards from around the world.

To put a face on the Jericho fandom.

And to call them namely Nancy Tellem who is in charge there, if there is to be a deal to put Jericho on another channel, it starts wit here.

Seattle WA

Anonymous said... This is the petition that has been started for jericho please sign it would mean alot to me!!!!

Anonymous said...


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