Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

June 10, 2007

Jericho Battle Won (Sort Of)

At the beginning of the fall TV season in 2006, I started watching Jericho. I was intrigued to see how they’d handle the “end of the world” scenario. Much to my surprise, the show seemed very realistic, and the reactions of the characters in the show were very believable. The only “suspension of disbelief” that was necessary was the assumption that several US Cities were victims of nuclear explosions.

Over the course of the first half of the season, several plot lines emerged: can the citizens of Jericho avoid anarchy; is there still a United States of America; who’s in charge of the government; who was responsible for the bombing.

Then CBS made a stupid mistake. They took Jericho off the air for a couple of months; a mid-season break that seems to be popular these days.

The show resumed in mid-February with a synopsis of the first half of the season. Since I had the series set up to record on my DVR, I ended up watching that episode a couple of days later. Things happened, and I wasn’t able to keep up with the shows as soon as I’d like (but I still had them on the DVR). Then I discovered that Jericho was available via Comcast’s On Demand service. They had the whole first half of the season available, so I took the opportunity to watch it again. I didn’t catch up to the current shows until a couple of days after the season finale had aired.

Which brings me to my next point: Network television needs to realize that the traditional “watch it when we air it” paradigm is way outdated these days. Just going by the Nielson ratings isn’t enough. TV networks need to be able to monitor on-demand viewings (from both cable providers and their own web sites). Surely Comcast reports to it’s content providers how many times a show is watched on demand…?

Anyway, after over 20 tons of nuts were delivered to CBS, they cried “uncle”, sort of. They’ve ordered 7 episodes of Jericho for the mid-season next year. The producers have said that they’re not going to use the 7 episodes to wrap up the series, but will proceed as if they were going to be on the air for the foreseeable future.

What that means is that if Jericho’s ratings (by whatever measure) don’t improve, we could be in the same boat again next year, with Jericho ending on a cliffhanger and its fans left out in the cold.

So if you’re a fan of Jericho, you need to get a bunch of folks interested in the show. If you’ve never seen the show, CBS will be rerunning it this summer, so watch those episodes to get up to speed. It’d be a shame for the network brass to cancel it next year after all this effort went in to saving it.

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