'Jericho' Won Friday, but Does it Matter?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Jericho fans swelled with pride after the Lazarus of primetime seized Friday night’s rating, but are the numbers a true win? In order for Jericho’s impressive holiday-weekend Friday night numbers to mean anything, they must belong primarily to new fans of the show, one factor that is impossible to gauge at this point.
If the six to seven million viewers that tuned into Jericho last Friday were mostly part of the group of fans that successfully convinced CBS to bring Jericho back, there may be little to be excited about.
On the other hand, if even half of the audience was comprised of new viewers, the increase would give the show more than enough of an edge when it returns with new episodes on the mid-season schedule.
The problem is, there is just no way to know. It is very likely that a good portion of the protestors that shelled CBS’s offices with tons of nuts probably weren’t even Nielsen families.
One factor that may work well in Jericho’s favor is that Friday audiences are known to be an eclectic group. Generally, Friday nights are a barren landscape for the networks when it comes to generating viewers. There are few shows that have surfed the sand dunes of Friday night to achieve anything resembling ‘success.’
The fact that Friday night has fewer viewers, however, does not mean that those viewers aren’t watching during the rest of the week. In fact, the ‘people who stay home and watch TV Friday night’ are probably part of the demo with nothing better to do than watch TV for the rest of the week.
In this context, Friday night is the best place for Jericho to pickup new viewers. What Jericho needs to accomplish more than anything is proving that it can hold its new Friday audience to the end of its replay. There is little doubt that Jericho had enough viewers in the beginning of its season to warrant a renewal, it was where it wound up that cost the show a second season initially. The trend of Jericho’s Friday night must back up fan’s assertions that the show failed due to a lengthy hiatus, and an under promoted return.
- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)