For those who haven’t been following the “saga” CBS pulled the plug on the rookie series just days after they ran the (very good) cliffhanger season finale. This created a proverbial shit storm online as viewers streamed onto message boards etc. in support of the show.
Not content with stopping at phone calls and emails the angry fans took a unique approach to getting CBS’ attention:
Those calls were followed by a deluge of roasted nuts, an estimated 25 tons of them, sent by fans of “Jericho” in echo of the “Nuts!” response of the show’s main character, Jake Green, to a suggestion of surrender in the season finale. (That, of course, was a reference to Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe’s response to the German demand for surrender at the Battle of the Bulge.)
Yeah, you read that right – 25 tons delivered to their door courtesy of the legions of fans online.
The problem here is that while the television viewers had dropped off throughout the season, there was a growing set of viewers who were watching the show through services such as CBS Innertube, their on demand streaming site. Problem being? CBS doesn’t count them as viewers.
Basically if you’re not watching your local CBS affiliate, you don’t matter:
For them, CBS now has a message: Please watch “Jericho” on broadcast television.
Because CBS finances its shows based on measures of viewership of regularly scheduled broadcasts, “it’s of primary importance,” Nina Tassler, the president of CBS Entertainment, said in an interview.
“We want them to watch on Wednesday at 8 o’clock,” or whenever CBS schedules the return of the series later this year, Ms. Tassler said. “And we need them to recruit new viewers who are going to watch the broadcast.”
So by reviving the show, if even temporarily, it’s clear that CBS got the message but from the quote above it’s also clear that, once again, big media has completely missed the point.