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Variety.com - CBS looks to resurrect ‘Jericho’
“Jericho” might not be nuked after all.
Hoping to take advantage of a devoted fan based — and the new multiplatform era — CBS is readying a plan to bring back the drama sometime next season. Net will likely order seven or eight episodes for broadcast.
Eye killed “Jericho” last month, leaving the show off its fall schedule and declaring it dead (Daily Variety, May 16). Normally, that would’ve been the end of things.
But fans of the show revolted, launching a massive online-based campaign to save the show. Their gimmick: Deluging the Eye’s Gotham and L.A. HQ with bags of… nuts. Nearly 20 tons, at last count, according to a Web site tracking electronic orders for the nuts. Protesters even found the cell phone number of a CBS exec, flooding him with calls and forcing him to change his number.
Such protests are hardly unprecedented, going all the way back to the failed online-based campaign to save ABC’s beloved “My So-Called Life.”
But meat-and-potatoes CBS execs aren’t used to such attention. Despite its status as TV’s most-watched web, its sked isn’t heavy with buzz-friendly skeins (reality staples such as “Survivor” and “Big Brother” notwithstanding).
CBS execs are no doubt hoping to take advantage of all the buzz surrounding the show’s demise — and likely revival — to help further reshape the net’s image away from the McGeezer web. Net’s just greenlit several new fall shows with very un-CBS themes (vampires, musicals, etc.), and saving “Jericho” fits right into that media gameplan.
What’s more, CBS no longer has to depend solely on primetime broadcast plays for its revenue. Between DVR playback (”Jericho” added nearly 10% more viewers when DVR figures were counted) and the now broadly accepted practice of streaming shows across the Net, CBS could try to make “Jericho” the poster child for a new business model.
I’d love to see it come back. I was really interested to see where it was going.
Update: CBS has renewed Jericho for 8 episodes and is open to more depending on ratings.