‘Jericho’ Execs Recognize the Internet’s Significance to the Show

  • Jul 30, 2007
  • Buddy TV

The Internet has become more than just a convenient source of information. Today, it is one of the most powerful tools for communication, and fans of the CBS post-apocalyptic drama series, Jericho, made good use of the worldwide web recently.

In May, avid followers of the show sent CBS’ president of entertainment Nina Tassler more than 6,000 e-mails, all protesting the cancellation of their beloved show.  The e-mail campaign, which she described as being complex and well thought-out, compelled Tassler to read viewer comments on the series’ message board and ultimately persuaded the network to give the drama series a second chance.

The success of the e-mail campaign proves how powerful the Internet can be in terms of getting viewers’ concern addressed by networks.  Executive producer Carol Barbee and the rest of Jericho‘s production team have come to realize just how technology is affecting their jobs and ability to communicate with the audience.

“The Internet is everything,” Barbee said.  “More and more, shows are moving to the Internet.  Every show will need to be a hybrid show, like we are, that lives online as well as on television and iPods and the rest of it.  The Internet is where we’re all headed.”

In order to get feedback about the show, Barbee and her colleagues often turn to the message board.  However, Barbee pointed out that there are limitations to the attention they give to viewer comments.

“We don’t say, ‘Oh, they want us to go that way, let’s go that way.’  There have been adjustments here and there,” she said.  “But I don’t think we do anybody any favors by kind of blowing with the breeze.  They can smell when you are just making it up as you go along. And we’re not.”

See also  CBS Officially Announces Jericho Return

Although technology clearly played a significant part in the save-the-show campaign, Jericho‘s resurrection can also be attributed to the less technological approach fans took to further persuade the network.  Coupled with the e-mail campaign, fans sent the network around 50,000 thousand pounds of nuts, a tribute to a line uttered by Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) in the first season finale.

The fans’ dedication to the show has not only impressed the network and the producers, but the stars as well.

“The fact that the fans actually got a show to come back on a major network is quite an accomplishment,” Brad Beyer, who plays Stanley Richmond, said.   “I don’t think the cast of the show can say enough about what they did for us.  They got our jobs back for us.  We’re excited to come back and do a good show for them.”

Lennie James, known for portraying Robert Hawkins on the show, said that the campaign was “incredibly humbling.”

“It reminded us of who we make it for and who are the people that it’s actually about, really,” James
said.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Orlando Sentinel
(Image Courtesy of CBS)

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