So, CBS has finally announced the start date for the second season of Jericho; it’s 12 February, 2008, at 10:00 PM. It sounds like the show is pretty much going to stay in the 10:00 PM time slot, which has been a cause for grousing by some fans because it’s less than ideal.
You might reasonably ask why:
1. I’m dedicating a post to a television show.
2. I’m dedicating a post to a television show in the middle of a major strike action by the WGA, which I totally support.
There are a lot of answers to these questions. Primarily, I think that Jericho is awesome, and I believe that I have pimped it here before. I own the first season on DVD, and I will watch the second season, come hell or high water. I also hope that there are future seasons, because I love the show, the actors, and, yes, the writers.
So why write about television during a writer’s strike? Well, first of all, I think that the writers of Jericho deserve some major props for creating a show so excellent that viewers sent in tons of peanuts in protest when the network tried to cancel it. I think that Jericho really illustrates the power of the grassroots, and the power that television can have when fans unite. I note that the concept of sending peanuts to protest Jericho’s cancellation was picked up by the WGA, which is encouraging people to send unsharpened pencils to the major networks.
Enjoying television doesn’t preclude me from supporting the strike. In fact, Jericho illustrates a demographic which has a major interest in the strike. I first watched the show online on the CBS site, and I watched it again…and again…and again until the first season came out on DVD. When I learned that the writers hadn’t been paid for any of the episodes I watched, it made me very sad. And the network’s attitude about new media is obviously hurting it, since Jericho has a huge groundswell of popular support coming almost entirely from an online fan base.
CBS has also apparently chosen to not promote the show at all, which really sucks. I understand that CBS can’t pimp all of its offerings all of the time, and I respect that, but the network has a lot of PR clout, and a small amount of advertising would go a long way. Fans have definitely been promoting Jericho when and where they can, but it’s kind of hard when you don’t have a huge advertising budget or access to a television network which broadcasts to millions of viewers. I think that CBS has underpromoted the show in the hopes that they can quietly kill it off after the second season airs, and that is extremely unfortunate.
So, here’s the thing. I don’t have a television. I also don’t particularly want one. Not because I’m a holier than thou no television person, but because I have a computer, and that should be enough. Writers should be paid for the shows I watch on my computer, and I should be able to control the way in which I view my media. I enjoy watching things on my computer, and I am thinking about acquiring a projection setup to make watching things even more awesome. But CBS has clearly indicated that it does not count online viewers when it considers a show’s numbers. Which stinks of bogosity to me, because it’s not like it’s hard to track site visits.
So, gentle readers with televisions, I’m begging you: get into Jericho. Not just for me and other Jericho fans who want to see the show get great ratings when it airs on 12 February, but because I think you will really like it. Jericho has a lot to offer. The season one DVDs are probably available in your local video store, and you can even rent them if you don’t feel like buying them. If you’re local and you ask very nicely, I might even loan you my first season DVDs or try to set up a local Jericho party. The thing about Jericho is that once you start watching it, you really will get hooked, and that means that you will be watching the show on your television and getting counted.
I want to know what happens, and I want to see where these characters go. I don’t want CBS to wussy out on me. I want more Jericho, and I want you, gentle readers, to help me make it happen.