So far at least, it seems to have generated at least some response from CBS:
“We have read your e-mails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment,” the network’s entertainment chief, Nina Tassler, posted to a fan forum. “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.”
The logical way to read that, of course, is to expect perhaps a two-hour made for television movie wrapping up the show’s many loose ends. That isn’t enough for the Jericho fans who are saying they’ll settle for nothing less than a full second season.
Well, that ain’t gonna happen:
As the number one network in total viewers, CBS considered “Jericho” an underperformer — and it was right. According to Nielsen, CBS averaged 12 million viewers for every hour of prime time during the 2006-07 season, which concludes tonight. “Jericho” was averaging 11 million viewers in the fall — less than any of the “CSIs” to be sure, but respectable for a program airing at 7 p.m. in the Midwest. After a three-month hiatus, however, that number dipped to 8 million viewers.
It wasn’t only the hiatus. Every serial drama lost viewers this season. Much has been made of the three-month layoff between story arcs on “Jericho,” and given the steep falloff in viewership between the two halves, the long vacation was likely a factor. But “24,” a serial thriller that takes no time off, also lost viewers in droves this season. “Ugly Betty,” which stayed on all year and aired frequent repeats to get viewers interested, was down 41 percent from its premiere, as Tassler noted last week during the CBS upfront presentation. And then there were all those shows that fell over dead right out of the gate: “Day Break,” “Kidnapped,” “Vanished,” etc. etc. The point is, networks can see that serials are a fading genre.
This isn’t going to make the hard-core fans happy. And it doesn’t entirely thrill me. But a two-hour movie is better than nothing, and those are the only realistic choices available.
Update 6/6/07: Okay, I admit it……I was wrong. And I couldn’t be happier about it.