â€œP.S. Please stop sending us nuts.â€ That is how the open letter posted on the Jericho Fan Forums by CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler ended. Why should the nuts stop? Well, because CBS has decided to renew Jericho for a second season. While it was only for seven episodes, it is better than leaving things how they ended and they did leave open the possibility of more Jericho, if it does well.
The Nuts for Jericho campaign ended up sending over 20 tons of nuts to CBS. Not only that, but they have raised almost $15,000 in donations, thus far, for Greenburg, KS, which was devastated by tornados on the same night as the Jericho season finale.
Here is the complete letter:
To the Fans of Jericho:
Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.
As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of â€œJerichoâ€ for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more â€œJericho,â€ we will need more viewers.
A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available.
We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.
At this time, I cannot tell you the specific date or time period that â€œJerichoâ€ will return to our schedule. However, in the interim, we are working on several initiatives to help introduce the show to new audiences. This includes re-broadcasting â€œJerichoâ€ on CBS this summer, streaming episodes and clips from these episodes across the CBS Audience Network (online), releasing the first season DVD on September 25 and continuing the story of Jericho in the digital world until the new episodes return. We will let you know specifics when we have them so you can pass them on.
On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of â€œJerichoâ€ in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.
President, CBS Entertainment
P.S. Please stop sending us nuts
So, what do you think of that? A network hearing the disappointment of their fans and then doing something about it, I am really impressed. This should do a lot for CBS, which is trying to branch out from their core, older skewing, audience.
So, what does this mean for TV fans and future â€œSave Our Showâ€ campaigns?
Well, it means they can work, if creative and focused. But, not so fast, while congratulations are in order for Jericho fans and campaign organizers, there is still more to think about.
If CBS doesnâ€™t see the Jericho audience grow, both on TV and online, then they wonâ€™t see their advertising dollars grow. If they donâ€™t see enough money rolling in from DVD sales, episode downloads and advertising dollars, then they wonâ€™t have the incentive to continue the story past this shortened second season. After all, it is about money and if they think they can make more of it with another show, then it wonâ€™t matter how many tons of nuts you send them.
This will be a test case for this type of activity. CBS really looks to have listened and will be using the return of Jericho to test out their multiplatform distribution of TV shows.
The thing TV fans in general need to look out for is, if this were to fail in some way. If the audience doesnâ€™t show up, if the ratings arenâ€™t there, if people arenâ€™t watching or participating online, if people arenâ€™t buying the DVDs and such, then it will be used by ALL the other networks as reasoning to not renew shows, no matter how enthusiastic and creative the fan base seems to be. All future â€œSave Our Showâ€ campaigns will be buoyed if this is a success, which I truly hope it is. But, if it isnâ€™t, it could be a really long time before a beloved show could be brought back from the network cancellation graveyard.
So, if you are not just a fan of Jericho, but a fan of great TV shows and wants to keep the possibility alive that one day your favorite show could be saved, you need to do one or all of the following:
- Watch and get your friends, family, co-workers and anybody else to watch Jericho when they start replaying it over the summer.
- Watch and get your friends, family, co-workers and anybody else to watch Jericho via streaming video at CBSâ€™ innertube.
- Download your favorite episodes or the complete first season at Amazon Unbox or iTunes.
- Buy the season one Jericho DVD set when it comes out on September 25th.
- Keep up with the show by visiting the Jericho website.
- And most importantly, watch and get your friends, family, co-workers and anybody else to watch when the second season of Jericho airs, especially if you know someone with a Nielson box.
These activities will not only increase the likely hood of seeing more Jericho past season two, but will help to ensure that future campaigns will have a chance to work.
So, as a fan of great TV shows, I say you should watch Jericho, as one day it may be your favorite show that gets unceremoniously cancelled. Let me know what you think.