Tuesday, January 20

Doubling Features: Veronica Mars, Jericho


It took two years, but the entertainment industry is taking action. When audiences are engaged, ratings alone don't measure. Backed by two loyal and impassioned fan bases, two television shows are setting sights on the big screen.

Passive viewers are active consumers.

Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, recently confirmed rumors: there will be a Veronica Mars movie. He said it will pick up a few days before Veronica Mars' graduation from Hearst College. Kristen Bell is confirmed; Thomas says he has spoken with Jason Dohring and Enrico Colantoni. Why? Fans.

Jon Turteltaub, executive producer of Jericho, broke the news: there will be a big screen treatment for Jericho. While the movie will go beyond the small town setting in Kansas, Turteltaub said that the original cast is all in, including Skeet Ulrich and Ashley Scott. Why? Fans.

The Internet has changed entertainment. Expect surprises.

At a presentation held at the Sundance Film Festival, panelists — Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, YouTube CEO Chad Hurley, and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar — may have shared slightly different visions for the future of entertainment, but all of them agreed on one thing. Fans are in control.

It only makes sense. Ask the next generation when their favorite television shows air, and many of them don't know. The shows are available whenever and wherever they want. It doesn't even matter when they were produced.

New shows benefit from the acceleration of online content delivery and old shows are resurrected as if they were produced last week. Many of them benefit from consumer marketing efforts created by brand evangelists.

Not only do these fans want to see the story lines continue, but they want the depth of material expanded as well. Even if that means picking up where networks and film studios leave off, many of them are more than ready to do it.

14 comments:

Jeremiah on 1/20/09, 2:06 PM said...

I had almost given up hope on seeing Jericho again. This is great news, Rich. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Rich on 1/20/09, 2:23 PM said...

Jeremiah,

I was glad to here it too. It represents a dramatic change in thinking, and dispels the myth that nobody is listening.

The networks might be slow to embrace everything consumers are telling them, but the storytellers are all ears. If enough people are engaged, then impossibilities happen: Jericho lives and Neptune rises.

All my best,
Rich

Barry on 1/21/09, 5:34 AM said...

It has been downright interesting watching the networks juggle and manipulate the way their online content is delivered and how much emphaisis they are placing on the medium.

ABC came on strong but changed their player several times and inverted their themes from dark to light and back again. They cheat and make you watch a commercial just for landing on their site.

CBS had innertube which was like a broken rocker from the beginning. One got the feeling that the whole phenomenon was of minimal priorty to them until just lately. (8 months or so?)

And NBC who did amazing things like try to engage their fans in content creation found themselves at this pivotal moment with duds like "Bionic Woman" and as unbelievable as it may seem "Heroes".

I am reading a book called "What just happened?" By James Gleick. Released in 2002, it does a wonderful job of summarizing the previous decades massive, technology driven, overhaul of the information highway.

It strikes me how things continue to happen so fast that the title of MR. Gleick's book could effectively be employed time and again.

Thanks for writing it down Rich.

-b

Balceroregontr on 1/21/09, 8:41 AM said...

This news is exciting to me. It empowers me as a fan to let them know what I like even when Nielsen says no one does. Hopefully we can go back to a time when the quality of a show is important. I imagine in 5 years how shows are delivered will be completely different than today.
Debby

Nors said...

Excellent article as always. The Jericho brand name may not have mighty Nielsen numbers but carries a very strong brand awareness. We the consumers are fed up and demand that quality programming not be killed off.

Great news that Jon Turtletaub is taling Jericho to the Movies.

geo101 said...

As always Rich Thanks for the great article. In the busy world we live in these days most of us use what the 21st century has to offer. I do not have a DVR but have used the internet to catch shows that I was not able to watch when aired. I work between 50 and 60 hours a week Jericho was one of a very small group of shows that I made sure I was there live. I couldn't wait for the next show had to be there when it was on at its scheduled airing!!! It is now down to only two shows a week that I make sure that I am there at the schedule airing.

stubbornone on 1/21/09, 9:33 AM said...

Thanks for helping to get the word out about Veronica Mars and Jericho.
The networks needed to listen to the fans and the fans get tired of being ignored.
I'm glad to see things changing because it's long overdue but I'm still a bit worried about what all the service providers will do since everyone is doing more and more online anymore and the service providers are already testing markets to charge people for how much they download.

Mark Thompson
Neptune Rising

Jackie on 1/21/09, 9:47 AM said...

I'm so excited for both of these movies (and I haven't even seen Jericho...yet).

As an avid viewer and participant at Neptune Rising, I thank you Rich!!!

This is amazing!

Jordan said...

YOU ROCK RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This si SOOOOO exciting!!! See, us fans can make a difference!!! And we did :D

Ichthus said...

It certainly was great news to hear about the Jericho movie in development. What even greater news to hear that Veronica Mars is headed to the big screen also. Congratulations are in order for two of the most dedicated fandoms out there. I believe both groups have shown they have the ability to make their respective movies an unqualified success...if they are willing to do what it takes.

Anonymous said...

This is exciting news. Maybe we will see Journeyman on the big screen someday too. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for spreading the word on the Jericho feature film, Rich. Love the way you put it together with VM and that the fans actually do matter. Cool!

Amanda said...

RT confirming a VM movie was seriously like the best news ever. I'm so glad that we didn't give up hope/fighting. Thanks so much for supporting us along the way. You are amazing Rich =)

epiclove
Neptune Rising

Rich on 1/22/09, 9:09 AM said...

@Barry

Excellent sum up. There was a time when I thought NBC was going to be the clear leader. Now, it's hard to say. It might be none of the above.

Gleick's book sounds interesting. I might have to check it out.

@Mark

It's anybody's guess what the next step will be. It seems pretty evident, however, that broadcast and the Internet will converge. Hmmm ... what can we call old media then?

CNN's coverage of the inauguration was very well thought out online. Multiple camera angles, plus whatever they were televising live. Seems someone watch the first YoutTube event!

Everyone...

Glad I could cover it. There is a lot more to the story, it seems, than where I left off last year.

Do keep in mind that making movies involves a lot of steps. I have no doubt that these movies will be made. What is less clear is how long it will take.

We can only hope Turteltaub and Thomas don't make the same mistake as Firefly. However, they have some advantages. Whedon didn't have an Internet that was as robust as it is today nor fans that have become extremely experienced viral marketers. Um, that would be you all!

If they are smart, they might build social media platform around the movies when they get to production. It would work, provided they don't give away too much. :)

All my best,
Rich

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