CBS Entertainment Prez Talks 'Jericho'

by Paul William Tenny

A lot of what TV Squad posts is fluff repeated on a daily basis, but a decent amount of it isn't because of the media access being owned by AOL gets them. The last open job I saw at the site was for a roving reporter that would go to movie premiers, interviewing cast members and production staff, amongst other duties. Requirement: must live in LA. Doh.

So apparently the big four networks have been having press conferences recently, talking up their recently cemented fall schedules, and CBS Prez Nina Tassler answered some questions about canceled and then resurrected Jericho. Jericho ran for one full season, saw dismal ratings after being put on a ridiculous audience-killing hiatus, only to see a fan revolt (and just where were all of these people when the show needed them? Not watching it, that's for sure) that lead to a limited-series order from CBS of seven episodes. Quoting TV Squad:

"We love the show creatively," Tassler says. "We saw a level of audience involvement in the show. (Note: that would be all the nuts fans mailed to CBS.) And we said, 'maybe this show needs a second chance?'"

Fans have always written letters in support of their shows but is the Internet allowing execs to get feedback on programs in a better way? "It's got to," says Tassler. "People revealed how involved they were with the show."

Jericho is set for only seven new episodes, but Tassler promises, "We're going to give it a lot of promotion."

I loved Jericho, but I don't think this reprieve is anything other than temporary. The budget has been severely cut which means you won't see much more than your average inter-personal drama from now on, and you can forget the tank. That might be enough for 8-9 million viewers, but Jericho wasn't getting that many, they were in the 6-7.5 range and I don't know if it'll even get that many on the next go around.

Die hard fans or not, TV shows get canceled because not enough people watch them. In order to get more viewers, the show has to change for the better, and history has shown that such a task for is nearly impossible.


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