When CBS announced that Jericho would return Tuesdays at 10pm beginning February 12, fans became worried.  That particular time slot has been a kiss of death for the network ever since Judging Amy folded years ago, with Cane being the most recent victim of faltering ratings.  Is it possible for CBS, along with the rabid fans, to organize enough support to keep the show alive beyond the already completed seven episodes?

Jericho poster

The biggest hurdle that Jericho will face is that it will be following the first ever winter season of Big Brother. The reality series is certainly a modest hit for CBS, but to say that the audiences for these two shows is quite different would be an understatement.  Big Brother fans often flee from the television the instant an episode is over, eager to hop online and discuss the latest twists in the household.  Will enough of them stick around to ensure that Jericho sees a bump in the ratings, or will the tune out make it appear that the series is hemorrhaging viewers from its lead in?

Another problem could be the fact that the Jericho season one DVD set hasn’t been breaking any sales records.  Online pre-orders for the set were unremarkable, despite the publicity from the infamous nuts campaign.  While I’m sure many viewers have discovered the show since its DVD release, it may not be a large enough number to have a significant impact on the Nielsens.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for fans of the series, as it has two great things going for it.  The first will be the lack of original programming airing in February due to the writers’ strike.  It’s likely that the airwaves will be littered with reality shows by that time, and curious viewers could find themselves tuning in just for a taste of fresh fictionalized storytelling.  The other plus is the fact that Jericho seems to do very well in internet downloads, of both the legal and illegal variety.  DVDs don’t mean everything, and it’s very likely the series is gaining new fans through other means.

One person who is truly counting on the fans to help promote Jericho‘s return is CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.  In an exclusive statement on the official Jericho message board, Tassler said:

“We hope you will rally around the new episodes of Jericho with the same passion and volume you displayed this summer to bring the show back.  The writers and producers have crafted an exciting second season that picks up immediately following the battle with New Bern, as the town begins the rebuilding process, and along the way discovers why their small community is so important to the newly formed government, and what the true intentions of this new government might be.  In success, there is the potential for more Jericho, but we will need your help to recruit new viewers.  For your friends or family who have never seen the show, the entire first season can be seen on CBS.com, or on the recently released Season One DVD set.”

There’s no word yet on what sort of official promotion the network will be creating for the show’s return, but I imagine we’ll start seeing it before the new year.  If the fans listen to Tassler’s rallying cry, there’s a very good chance that the next seven episodes will only be the beginning of a long run for the series.


– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Official Jericho Message Board
(Image courtesy of CBS)


Staff Writer, BuddyTV