Clarifcation on Jericho Stuff

by Paul William Tenny

I noticed in my traffic logs this morning that the story I wrote earlier this morning on Jericho got linked from the Jericho forum hosted by CBS. Thanks for the link, love is always appreciated. Based on some chatter in that thread, I think I should remind everyone of a few key facts regarding Jericho, where it stands, and what needs to happen to get more of it.
First thing is that seven episodes is not a season, it's an opportunity to impress the guys holding the bags of money. Typically for an hour drama, it's between 22 and 24 episodes, which means CBS has ordered not even a third of a season thus far. It doesn't count as a renewal since the sets were literally taken down, and some contracts were allowed to elapse. As of June, Jericho EP Carol Barbee had supposedly taken up a similar position on Swingtown which will debut later this year. I've read that Barbee will try pulling double duty for both series, but it remains to be seen if that'll work out or not.

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler wrote in her letter to fans that in this limited series order, there was the potential for more based on how the ratings go when the new episodes air. It's clear that even with the reduced budget, seven million viewers won't cut it this time anymore than it did for the first full season, which is how many people watched the finale.

This is important, you cannot count on CBS to get new viewers on their own through advertising. Networks lie and deceive all the time, it comes with the territory. Jericho's advertising budget is likely to be even smaller than before, and there is no guarantee that they won't play games with the schedule again. Only half the job has been finished, the rest is up to fans to take it just a little bit further. You need to find someone you know personally and get them to watch the show. If possible, get several. If they like it, make sure they do the same.

That is the only way you can get another six or seven episode order. As the big networks have been doing over the past few years, Jericho has been returned to the wait-and-see status of a pilot. Six episodes are ordered to production, with another six scripts written (in this case seven since there is no pilot) and bought in case the network wants more. If they are pleased but not excited, they'll order those six holdover scripts to production and get six more written, putting the series at the half-season mark. At that point, it's either another half season or bust.

Jericho went through this once already and made its way through one full season doing precisely these things. Now, given its tenuous position, it needs help. No nuts, no letters, no phone calls or bitching. This show needs new viewers, or it's toast.

Do not download episodes off the Internet, even if CBS puts them on its website. Do not record it with your DVR and watch it later. Watch it live, and make sure your friends and family do the same.

Update: September 14th 2007:
This page seems to be a popular destination on Google for the search term 'Jericho Season 2'. There are a number of other posts on this site, related to Jericho and season 2, which you can always find by searching for the tag 'Jericho'.


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1 Comment

I have just watched the last episode of Jericho season 1. I am hooked now. I had a lump in my throat and had to give into the tears watching that episode. I've followed it all the way through and I think it's great. Please please please bring it back.

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