Ain't It Cool News (


UPDATED 2:06 PM CST USA 05.19.07
Merrick again...
CBS has released a message to fans of JERICHO via the JERICHO message boards on The message reads thusly:
To the fans of Jericho: We have read your emails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment. Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision. Hundreds of people at the Network, the production company and the incredibly-talented creative team worked very hard to build and serve the community for this show -- both on-air and online. It is a show we loved too. Thank you for supporting Jericho with such passion. We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure to the compelling drama that was the Jericho story. Sincerely, Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment
Hmmm..."we hope to develop a way to provide closure"...what does this mean? Webisodes? Books? A TV movie (or conditional series of TV movies)? A miniseries? VERY interesting. If I had to bet, I'd say they're considering a means of resolving the story that wouldn't necessarily commit them to a complete reactivation of the series; i.e. webisodes, and so forth. This would dovetail with the network's previous use webisodes to set up the series' back story/periphery stories. This is just a guess, though - I have no hint of what they're actually contemplating at this time. EVEN THOUGH THIS APPEARS TO BE POSITIVE MOTION, I WOULD STRONGLY ADVISE FULL-ON CONTINUANCE OF EFFORTS TO SAVE THE SHOW (see below for details). It's critical The Powers That Be do not perceive the fan base as wavering, or as being easily placated. It's a simple equation: the more they hear from fans, the more fans are likely to receive. By the way, the online petition to save the show now has roughly 51,600 signatures on it. Yesterday around this time, it had approximately 42,600. Pretty cool. As a side note to CBS, we've received a great deal of impassioned e-mail regarding the series here at AICN. The fans really, truly do appreciate your consideration of this. They really do. More info as more comes in. ORIGINAL ARTICLES BELOW.

UPDATED 5:06 PM 05.18.07
Merrick again... ..with a bit of insight immediately pertinent to the "Save JERICHO" campaign. I've been contacted by several learned individuals who strongly indicate that PHYSICALLY MAILED LETTERS ARE CONSIDERED IN A HIGHER REGARD THAN E-MAILS, ON-LINE PETITIONS, ETC. Electronic forms of communication are certainly noted, but might be perceived as too easy, too knee jerk. Physical letters...written, addressed, stamped, etc...are viewed as representing more sincerity, dedication, effort, and commitment. Physical letters also decrease the likelihood of the same person sending multiple messages (on-line, there would be issue of multiple screen names, and whatnot). To be fair, if a network is being asked to make such a massive commitment, it deserves to know how big its potential audience really is. As much of the "Save JERICHO" effort thus far as been electronically focused, I thought I'd pass this information along for your consideration. The CBS folks who should receive such letters:
Mr. Kelly Kahl Senior Exec VP of Programming CBS Television Network 51 West 52nd St. New York, NY 10019 Ms. Nina Tassler, President CBS Entertainment 7800 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039-2112
I know fans of the show are encouraging supporters to deluge CBS with nuts. An amusing notion, to be sure, but a simple letter would undoubtedly have the greatest meaning. This said, CBS is more than welcome to ship potential mountains of nuts to the staff of AICN. We'd have no problem with that, especially salted ones or cashews. More info as more comes in. [[[ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOLLOWS]]]

Merrick here...
Earlier this week, we learned that CBS decided not to renew JERICHO for next season. I love this show. I really love it. I don’t/won’t say that about many TV shows. Even GALACTICA, which I follow religiously, I can only claim to “like a lot”. JERICHO is different. At the very least, Herc “likes” it too - I’m not clear to what extent. We’ve discussed it frequently amongst ourselves, even though (for whatever reason) it never received much play on the site. In retrospect, this was probably an error on our behalf. We should’ve talked about it more on AICN…we should’ve said more. In an effort to increase awareness for JERICHO, and to correct some misunderstandings about the nature of the show, I contacted CBS publicity a few weeks back to arranging some coverage for the series before it headed into its season finale. I never heard back from CBS. The next thing I knew…despite rumors of a begrudging renewal and a new timeslot…it was gone. JERICHO didn’t find the audience network exes were wanting (needing) it to find. I hold this happened for some very fundamental reasons: 1) TIMESLOT (against BONES or AMERICAN IDOL depending on Fox’s schedule); 2) A three month, mid season break (after which the show’s audience dropped 25% by some counts). In a masterpeice of lousy timing, it was at this same, awkward juncture that JERICHO kicked into high gear. I.e. I personally hold that the prolonged hiatus allowed audiences to drift away before the true nature of the show became evident. And…most critically… 3) PEOPLE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS SHOW WAS ABOUT. Early promotion looked like, and felt like, JERICHO was some sort of post apocalyptic drama – MAD MAX –meets- THE WALTONS. Which, in actuality, is only partially true.


(Yeah, I know, “spoilers” for a series that just got canceled ? Well…they’ll be some folks watching it on an inevitable DVD release. And, in the event it is resurrected…)
JERICHO was one of the smartest, most compelling shows on television. It took a while to find its rhythm…but when it did…it did it in a big way. In a macro sense, JERICHO considers what happens when a cross section of Americans are forced to completely redefine their value system, and reassess their perceptions of what’s important in life. Who do we choose to hate, and to what end? Who do we allow ourselves to love? How large a price do we exact for forgiveness? And, at what point does hope of forgiveness turn into thirst for primal revenge. How do we rediscover ourselves when the material attainment which has patterned our lives is suddenly rendered irrelevant? What do we stand for, and why? What is the cost of cowardice and selfishness? The list goes on. What brings our characters to such a lofty cross roads? A series of nuclear attacks on 23 multiple American cities, apparently organized & perpetrated by a faction within Homeland Security (using atomic material bagged during the fragmenting of the Soviet Union). America is not destroyed by these attacks – but over 30 million people are instantly killed. The rest of the country sees America’s functionality grind to a halt. Squabbling over the Presidential right of succession ensues as surviving politicians vie for their piece of the pie. At one point, America is divided into six regions...each claiming to be the seat of legitimate government...each amassing regional militaries (National Guard units, and so forth). Insinuations of possible Civil War abound. In the midst of this upheaval lies a small Kansas town called Jericho. Why’s it so important? Several reason: Jericho’s location is unique – it was beyond the reach of fallout patterns; its farmland remained relatively uncontaminated. It has a massive salt mine, an untainted water supply, and barely enough resources to support its townspeople (some episodes of the series are almost like a SIMS game…dealing with how many people can be fed, how many refugees can be housed, and the ramifications of turning away the waves of displaced wanderers who the town can not afford to feed or house). And, based on all these desirable factors, Jericho is also a rallying point for the CIA personnel who’ve spent four frustrating years trying to thwart the atomic bomb plot – unaware that the conspiracy to bring down our country was actually orchestrated by the same people who determined their deployment in the field. One of these agents finds his way to Jericho...with an atomic bomb in his possession; he had infiltrated the conspirators and was supposed to blow up a city. He bailed on ‘em and ran away with their bomb. He’s stashed it, underground, in a rickety shack. And the conspirators (bad ass assassins) are hot on his trail, looking for their nuke. Ultimately, the world comes to Jericho. Neighboring cities adapt factories & builds mortars to shell Jericho…in an effort to bring the town to its knees so farmland & resources can be taken over. Some form of government, under an oddly configured American(ish) flag, comes to Jericho looking for the missing atomic bomb. Simplicity…becomes a hot spot. Armed via a high-tech stockpile assembled by the increasingly rogue CIA agent, peaceful Jericho is forced to gear up for war. Despite such grand concepts, Jericho is ultimately driven by very touching, very rudimentary truths. It’s about dedication, love, strength of family, and the danger of divisiveness. Despite its frequent nihilism, the show sends one of the most positive messages on TV right now. Oh, yeah. JERICHO isn’t on TV anymore. Which, frankly, really pisses me off. HOWEVER, fevered efforts are underway to resurrect the series. Doing so is an enormously challenging proposition. And, frankly, is unlikely to succeed. Please know, though, that “unlikely” doesn’t necessarily denote “impossible”. Like the people of Jericho, this series should NOT go down without a fight. Without a GOOD fight. If a resurrection campaign has ANY chance of working, IT’LL NEED TO MAKE A LOT OF NOISE VERY QUICKLY. Most importantly, The Powers That Be are unlikely to respond to knee-jerk reactions. SUSTAINED AND CONSTANT CAMPAIGNING…that does not fade after a week or two…will be more effective & be more noticed in the long run. Towards this end, several efforts are afoot.
HERE is a link to a petition that has over 42,600 signatures on it since its inception two days ago (I think it was). HERE is a link to JerichoLives…a good clearing house for information about efforts to save the series (including the names of appropriate execs, network folks, etc.) HERE is a link to the “Nuts” campaign (“Nuts” is a World War II reference used by characters on the show when facing invasion). HERE is an excellent Wiki entry that’ll get you up to speed on all things JERICHO. And, finally, HERE is where every episode of the series can be downloaded. If you give the show a shot, allow half a season for it to kick in, reach full stride, and “work” on the level the series was clearly meant to work.
So, get going. Even if you’ve never watched the show...but you love this site and the Geek sensibilities it advances…lend a hand, sign your name, watch some episodes, and give JERICHO a chance (in every regard). It's drama/action driven by ideas and meaning. It's fast moving, but also thought provoking. It's nuanced, but also remarkable accessible. It is a drama for Geeks and thriller fans that has simply not found enough Geeks or thriller fans to sustain it. Little else on TV balances so many different qualities so deftly. Television needs JERICHO. We need JERICHO.

e-mail Merrick!!!

Send what you know. Send what you hear. I'll keep you updated as more information comes in.

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