I have written in the past about how I believe CBS had justification to cancel Jericho. However, I must admit that I am incredibly impressed by the outpouring of support found on the internet for the series. The ‘Save Jericho’ campaign has swept the internet to a level that I honestly didn’t expect. I myself felt some of this, but it is clear that these fans aren’t letting up, and that the momentum is only building.
‘Save Jericho’ Links
Online Petition to Save the Series
YourEntertainmentNow Post Featuring Series Supporters
‘Save Jericho’ @ Cultural Learnings
Much Ado About Peanuts (What Should CBS Do With Them?)
From the campaign to send nuts (A line from the finale) to CBS to the outpouring of anger and frustration, it is clear that the show has a rabid fanbase. And, to be honest, I would be sweating right now if I was CBS. However, I’d also be sweating if I was a fan of Jericho as we know it. Because, if CBS gives in to the fans and orders a 2nd season of the drama (As unlikely as it is), we have no idea what might emerge from that engagement.
There is no way that the network would be willing to just pick up Jericho where it left off. It failed to connect with casual viewers, shedding them as the season went forward. The result was a lowly-rated show with a strong fanbase, and yet with absolutely no room for growth. The series has now created an even more elaborate series of storylines to unravel, and just picking that up where they left off won’t provide any ratings improvement. And, I think even fans of the series would admit that the show’s ratings weren’t quite what they could be.
So, CBS isn’t just going to say “Go ahead, producers, keep doing what you’re doing!” No, instead, CBS is going to work with producers to attempt to reach a compromise. They would suggest casting changes, storyline improvements, and perhaps cutting back on the show’s serial elements to focus more on procedural developments.
Think this won’t happen? Let’s look at Veronica Mars. When it was, surprisingly, picked up for a second season, the show was told by UPN “You need to do the following”. This required the addition of a young female African-American character to appeal to the network’s demographics, and resulted in an awkward, strange character that never fit into the universe they constructed. This wasn’t because she was African-American, but because she was artificial, created for a purpose. Then, when the show was picked up in its 3rd Season, the network forced them to scrap their serialized structure and focus more on smaller mysteries. The show now, as it ends its run, is a shell of what it was in the first season, even as its acting and writing keep it above water.
I think fans of Jericho should be worried that the same could be done to their series. CBS is offering all sorts of options for tying up this story, including a TV movie, but fans aren’t having it: they want a 2nd season and nothing else. And, to be honest, I think this is the wrong attitude to have. Resurrecting this show is both not likely to happen and also potentially dangerous to the aspects of the show they enjoy most.
Jericho failed, in the eyes of CBS, because it was a sci-fi serial drama that never connected with their core audience of viewers, instead creating a strong fringe fanbase that, while devoted, don’t make up a huge audience. If CBS was really willing to let the show live in its current form, they would have renewed it. But, they didn’t: they decided that a reality show had a better chance of reaching a wide audience. And, do you know what? They’re right. That doesn’t make it fair, but chances are they’re correct.
What this means is that if CBS were to backpedal and pick up Jericho’s 2nd season, they wouldn’t do so without changes. This is why, if I were a fan of Jericho, I’d be more than willing to accept a TV movie or Miniseries. Even then, though, CBS is likely to demand a TV movie that could stand alone so casual viewers would turn in as well. Considering its ratings, there is absolutely no way that Jericho fans can get their hopes up for CBS to just let it keep going. If, through the power of the audience, CBS does makes a decision which could bring back the show, it will be a changed one.
And, to be honest, I don’t think that’s what anyone wants. At least a TV Miniseries could provide a little bit of closure, keep with the show’s main characters without fudging them around, and be a final breath for a series that likely died before its time. I don’t think there’s any security in a 2nd season, and I think that fans should remain open to the idea.
73 responses to “A Word of Warning to the ‘Save Jericho’ Campaign”
I want a second season of JERICHO.
Without Johnston Green, I don’t really care where the story line goes just as long as it is exciting and well-written.
CBS BRING BACK JERICHO!!!
“You never know when you might need a tank”.
JOHNSTON GREEN RIP
I want a 2nd season too. CBS is the one who messed up & screwed up the ratings with their dumb ideas so NUTS to CBS! We won’t settle & we won’t quit!!
I would like to see a 2nd season also – and I think I saw some where that the numbers had actually started to pick up slowly towards the end .. a few 100 thousand each episode (I could be wrong about figures but I did think I saw the numbers starting to rise)..
Drop Tassler – Keep Jericho!
I am one of the many “nuts” of Jericho who is doing everything in my power to make sure we are heard loud and clear. We all want Jericho back, Some of us are holding out for a second season, knowing full well that there may be changes. I believe that as long as I have the chance to watch this show with the same writers and most of the cast on board I would be happy, just keep skeet ulrich as jake, keep heather, mimi, and hawkins. I would love to see emily go, but I could even grin and bear it if she stays on.
Sir, you DO NOT get it. Nielsen is outdated. We are saying there are many more millions of fans who do watch JERICHO, and the following CBS program which will die with “kid nation”.
We have disposable income(advertisers). Don’t think so, then calculate how much money we are spending (nuts alone) to save our show. We are also saying NO to drivel television shows. We want and demand quality, and will fight for it.
This protest is so multileveled it is impossible to calculate. All televison execs and writers like you can do is quote the Nielson’s.
WE are not the Nielsen’s.
WE are the people !!!!!!!!!!!!
“This protest is so multileveled it is impossible to calculate. All television execs and writers like you can do is quote the Nielsen’s.”
But the thing is that advertisers need to be able to see something tangible: 50,000 internet fans aren’t enough to prove anything to them. While perhaps some networks might be willing to go on fan enthusiasm alone out of desperation, CBS has too many other options.
Until there is an established way of measuring internet traffic and the like, I really don’t think we can use it as a barometer for success, especially in an entirely independent from ratings form. That just isn’t realistic.
We are only asking for a full season (sans hiatus!)because it was CBS’ mismanagement of the show that caused the loss in viewers. You cannot take a show that is gaining momentum off the air for 3 months, and think it’s not going to suffer.
At this point, I’d be willing to compromise for one season. Give the show 11 episodes to gain ratings-if it does, the show continues their story arcs, and possible additional seasons. If not, allow the writers the second half of the season to wrap up the story with dignity.
Bigger than Jericho – It’s Old vs New Media
In case you have not heard, CBS has cancelled Jericho. And in case you have not heard, there is a fan protest and “Save Jericho” movement afoot. Simply Google “Save Jericho” and you will see what I mean.
Right now it is just Jericho fandom vs CBS — some random number of four and five figured incomed sweat-suit wearing individuals against a unified core of six and seven figure incomed stuffed suits. It should be something bigger though. This should be a battle of ALL disgruntled and discounted customers/viewers against ALL corporate giants that would dictate to us what we will and will not be watching. If CBS gets away with canceling Jericho, then ALL viewers suffer.
CBS is stuck in the Old Media mode — bean counting and Nielsen’s. This is very ironic because CBS actually encouraged the use of web based tools with: the CBS forums, Innertube, Countdown, Beyond Jericho, and even YouTube snippets. Yet when push came to shove, CBS’ sole excuse to kill Jericho was the Nielsen numbers.
What did CBS expect when they cancelled Jericho? Did they really expect that millions of web-empowered and fiercely loyal viewers would just meekly set down the remote and be herded like sheep to watch “Kid Nation”? Did CBS learn nothing from their own Dan Rather, who defied and demeaned this very same group as “bloggers sitting at their computer in their underwear”? This very same group that educated Dan Rather about the new way of things and the New Media and forced him to step down a short time later?
Something tells me that some very high ranking people in CBS are quite red-faced right now. They should have known better than to cancel Jericho, but they did so anyway, using Old Media mentality. If Jericho IS brought back, then some top executives will have a lot of explaining to do to Les Moonves, and the CBS board of directors, and stockholders as to why Jericho was cancelled to begin with.
I wonder right now if CBS feels that they have created a “Frankenstein’s Monster” in the form of Jericho’s fan base. Are we the fans not everything that CBS asked for? They wanted smart viewers that could embrace and discuss highly controversial topics and issues. They wanted savvy viewers that could navigate the net. They wanted resourceful viewers that could integrate the web based tools and tie-ins for those nights when they could not watch it as scheduled. They wanted loyal viewers who would carry a serial, and patient viewers who would be willing to wait for the payoff during long story arcs and even a hiatus.
Well CBS should have been careful for what they wished for, because CBS got it with the Jericho fans. And their Old Media mentality of wanting to simply treat and dismiss these fans as irrelevant low Nielsen numbers, to shuffle off to a new project or experiment isn’t going to work.
We the fans are New Media. We don’t do Nielsen’s like CBS wants us to.
We do blogs. We do forums. We do networking. We do petitions, viral videos, emails, faxes, cellular phone campaigns, and yes — when it suits us — snail mail. We also do online nut delivery.
We cannot be turned off at some Programming Director’s whim. And we can’t be tossed out like yesterday’s expired demographic.
I see this current fan uprising as more than just saving a show. I see this as a very high stakes game of chicken — Old Media and New Media in a head-on collision. For CBS, careers and reputations are at stake. For us the fans, our value as individuals, our value as a collective fandom, and our choices and future of quality programming are at risk.
I don’t know how the “Save Jericho” campaign is going to end. But I suspect that a lot of people are watching right now. And I suspect that this movement to save Jericho will be a key pivotal point in how the networks provide future programming and interaction with their customer, the viewer.
Good luck, and hang in there all you Jericho fans. We have a chance for something big here – bigger than ourselves.
David, I think your piece is an inspired manifesto of sorts…but it’s also incredibly flawed. New Media and Old Media are not mutually exclusive concepts: one exists to serve the other. New Media is, at this point, too niche a market to be considered its own source of revenue compared to the broadcasting of the show itself. New Media is designed to engage viewers to make them into hardcore fans, while also spreading the show’s influence to try to get viewers to show up.
Let’s take for example recruitment at a university being done through new media, such as Facebook. It involves the use of message boards, YouTube, interactive websites, and all sorts of newfangled ways to try to convince students to come to that university.
However, if these efforts don’t actually increase recruitment, they’re entirely worthless. If the people who are using them are already students, and it is failing to bring in any new students, is it really doing any good at all? Okay, so those students are really excited about going to the university in the fall, but is that really going to matter if recruitment is actually going down? Does that not indicate the failure of that new media to serve the initial purpose?
Now, television doesn’t work exactly the same way, but I believe that the analogy is more than apt. CBS’s use of CBS.com, Beyond Jericho and YouTube was an effort to build hype around the drama so that it would gain more viewers. When it launched in September, CBS attempted to foster the audience as best it could, and their hope was that new media was the answer. They used the message boards, they used Innertube, they did all these things, and then they crossed their fingers. Why? Because that new media approach was designed to gain and retain viewers as calculated using the Nielsen Ratings.
When the Spring came around after the show’s lengthy hiatus, those New Media efforts proved a failure. While it has clearly created a group of 50,000+ strong fans of the show, the show actually lost viewers. While I believe that new media has a place in this industry, it did absolutely nothing to help Jericho through a tough time. CBS doesn’t care if Innertube is getting 100,000 viewers a week when they just lost over a million viewers compared to their post-hiatus run. They don’t care if their YouTube video is #13 in Television that day if that isn’t actually benefiting them where it can be counted.
As a result, I think that we can’t claim this as an issue of New Media vs. Old Media, because it’s an unfair fight: networks have a tangible, established source of measuring one, and the other is just being applied a “It’s powerful stuff” qualification by the very fans who prop it up. Jericho was a show with a loyal following that was too small, and it failed to capture the millions of casual viewers who usually flock to CBS. New Media didn’t change that, and thus (unfortunately) failed.
CBS must realize that this is more than just a campaign to bring back one show. It is at heart about quality thought provoking television that a family can watch versus semi-scripted “reality” filler, smutty inuendo filled sitcoms and rewarmed warnout ideas.
They have the opportunity to tells stories in a direct serial manner or in a modified manner. Episodes that tell a single story for the casual viewer could be structured to contribute to an overall story arc. Most well done SciFi/Fantasy series do this routinely.
More cast (semi-regular) is necessary not fewer to support the established scenerio. More episodes in a season (22 is an arbitary number; in the past more episodes were the norm) would address the rerun problem. After all there are still 52 weeks in a year. Thirty episodes would be a far better number and provide for more revenue from new media where viewers pay to watch (iTunes) and future DVD sales. With a larger cast the “leads” would not be overtaxed.
There are many more than 50,000 fans. These are just the most vocal. Poor scheduling is a primary factor in fan drift.
But the problem is that what you’re asking for, Tori, would actually be MORE of a financial expense for the network. If you film 30 episodes, that’s a huge increase in expenses. It’s one thing for a hit like Heroes or The Office to take that risk, but Jericho didn’t reach those levels.
I guess I just can’t be that idealistic about its position. The show’s ratings fall might not have been its fault, but those viewers did drift, and I don’t think they’ll suddenly flock back to the show. While in an ideal world the show would get a second chance to get things right…that can’t happen. And it won’t happen.
Memles, I can hardly believe you’re referring to all Jericho fans as only “50,000+” and it’s obvious you are basing this on the online petition. It’s been 5 days since the cancellation was announced. Many fans are still not even aware the show has been dumped due to the fact a finale was aired, so they don’t expect to hear anything about it until next season. Factor in a small percentage of those that already know about Jericho’s cancellation, currently know about the petition.
How does the ratings system used today work? Does it calculate the number of viewers in the living room watching a particular show? Does it spit out an automatic demographic of each of those people? Certainly not. Not only is each network dealing with numbers, which I question and will address further in just a second here, they’re dealing with real people.
How does CBS really know who’s watching their show? Have they asked? Do they really know the demographic they’re in? What research firm was used? I do know Generation X constitutes a big viewership here. Advertisers like Burger King and McDonald’s are not that appealing to that demographic and beyond. Mistake number #1 – Appropriately target your audience with appropriate advertisers. More revenue generated all the way around.
Mistake #2. Yanking a brand new show and giving it a 3 month hiatus. Any show is going to lose viewers over this. Whoever originally thought of doing this, not just with Jericho, but with any show, is an idiot business wise. In this case, we have to thank Mr. Kelly Kahl for this move.
Mistake #3. Bringing a brand new show back after a 3 month hiatus and pitting it against the biggest ratings grabber in the past three years, American Idol. Why would you do this from a programming perspective, why! Do you think CSI would have held it’s “numbers” if put against American Idol? No way. CBS certainly wasn’t willing to take that chance with their weekly “Rinse & Repeat” show.
Furthermore, how does Innertube, Comcast’s On Demand, Tivo, etc., accumulate in the ratings? Are they accounted for?
We’re trying to send a few messages. First and foremost, Jericho deserves a REAL chance. It’s a worthy show with a fantastic cast and it has the potential for greatness.
CBS Entertainment. I’m a consumer, all these fans you see are also consumers. We are telling CBS Entertainment that “Hey, you put out a show that is entertaining. We like it. You’re making a mistake!” So CBS Entertainment, who is in the business of creating programs to entertain, yanks one that actually is? That doesn’t make sense when you look at numbers compared to the circumstances, which by all accounts is the fault of CBS programming itself.
No, we demand Jericho be brought back. We the fans will not suffer because of some suit’s mistake.
A suit is expendable, the revenue we generate is not.
10.7 million viewers at the start of the season
8 million after the hiatus
I can only go by the petition numbers because that is the only qualified number that we have. And that’s the thing: we need numbers. CBS can’t just make a decision based on potential viewership according to immeasurable things like “hype”, and I would argue that Jericho (In comparison to Heroes, Lost, etc.) had very little of it. It’s rising now, but it didn’t before.
You ask whether CSI could have survived being put against American Idol? It could. It survived being against Grey’s Anatomy, and I believe it would have withstood American Idol as well. It would have taken a hit, as it did against Grey’s, but the show has since stabilized. The problem is that it started with 25 million viewers, and Jericho started with 11.
And that makes it a mistake on CBS’ part, yes, but those people left for a reason: I believe that the show started far too slowly, and that its fall season never quite had the momentum the series needed to keep viewers’ attention over a hiatus of any sort. The same thing happened to Lost, and I think that quality has to be taken into consideration. Jericho was not a perfect show, especially not in the Fall.
TiVo and those other factors are calculated, and they do contribute to CBS’ final decision. And, Nielsen has ratings for DVR Viewings…and Jericho, apparently a cult hit, wasn’t able to break the Top 10 in percentage of viewers gained from same-week viewings even while another show in its timeslot, Friday Night Lights, was. That clearly demonstrates that the show isn’t gaining that level of support. And that’s a problem.
I know that you’re consumers, but the thing is that the petition numbers aren’t going to reach a million. There is not going to be that many viewers who show their outrage in this way. To CBS, the campaign will always be fringe viewers with a lot of heart, spirit, but not enough revenue-generating power to sway them to renew a struggling drama series they already decided to cancel. Which is why I think a 2nd season is unrealistic: a miniseries or movie would be a much more feasible endeavor that, I don’t think, would be that bad.
please we want Jericho back if i have to call and write letters every day for a month i will fight!
call and tell CBS the we want a new season not some wrap up!
NUTS to you CBS
You are 100% incorrect, Jericho did not fail due to poor ratings (it was consistantly #2 in its timeslot) it failed because CBS chose poorly, The Hiatus killed its momentum, and it was on on an impossible timeslot, you cannot put a show on opposite American Idol and/or its leadin Bones, without expecting to lose viewers. And the CBS data only shows Neilson ratings, what about Tivo, and Internet viewers. I admit, i watch American Idol, and would watch the results show instead of Jericho, and Tivo Jericho, watching it the next day, as i’m sure many people did.
I want Jericho back. It is the outdated Neilson system and CBS’s scheduling that hurt this show. Changing it is not an option in my opinion. They should let the story continue and quit playing with the scheduling. Changing the cast would be a huge mistake. For all of that never saw this show, I have very disappointing news for you, You have missed the best acting that the small screen has ever had!! The cast of this show should applauded and cheered. CBS had a diamond and now they are trying to crush it, instead of cutting it to perfection. Bringing Jericho back and continuing it in its entirety is the only answer.
Actually, even Nina Tassler, president of CBS, admits that it was the mid-season hiatus that resulted in the drop in viewership — not a problem with the show itself. So no change in the production needs to be made for Jericho to get back to its original numbers and add even more viewers in a second season. Rather, CBS needs to air all the episodes without a mid-season hiatus. Again, CBS has acknowledged they need to do that for serialized dramas, and plans to do so with their show “Swingers” next season.
They just need to give Jericho the same chance.
As much as I thank you for your article shedding more light to the cause, I must disagree with you on one simple fact. There is great potential for this show to mature. The idea alone of having to rebuild the nation after a devestaing attack by internal sources is quite compelling. Is there a chance of a second civil war? How will the townsfolk be caught up in the drama? I always had a sense that the town of Jericho would be some kind of focal point for a new nation. A rebirth from the ashes of the old.
You stated that it did not connect with the causal audience, but how do you really know that? Your logic is flawed if you are basing your oppinon on the Neilson rating. Did you go door to door, asking people all over the country whether or not they watched the show? What about those who watched it online? Or recorded it to watch at another time? Did you take into account the fans of the show that are not American? Until you take into consideration all the methods of watching a show you cannot say for sure whether or not a show ‘connected’.
A few things: I believe that the Nielsen system is outdated, and that the scheduling hurt the show. There is no question that these things took place. And, for Lost and Heroes, ABC and NBC are taking those lessons learned and using them to better schedule their show in the coming year (Lost is airing from February to May, Heroes is gaining 6 quasi-spinoff episodes). However, these shows are scoring 18-49 ratings TWICE as high as Jericho was. When Jericho finished its run, it actually finished dead last in the 18-49 demographic behind American’s Next Top Model and According to Jim. That is a ratings performance that you can’t say was “just” because of the hiatus, and retool for the next season. The show’s inability to even defeat a crappy sitcom and a show that is on a lowly-rated network is a problem, and not one that CBS can just claim was due to their own error. It just doesn’t work that way.
CBS isn’t just going to say “Well, yeah, you deserve a shot” when the show was not a success based on any one of their key measurements. If it had been a demographic hit, then maybe they would have done so. If it had kept its viewership a bit more, maybe they would have considered it. If its DVR ratings had come back well, then maybe the show could have been saved. However, by all of their possible measurements (Which is, unfortunately, all they have), they could not find a single bright spot for the drama. Internet fandom is not enough if it doesn’t provide ratings, or demos, or even TiVo viewings. And, as a result, the show lacked a saving grace.
I just have to comment on ‘not enough revenue-generating power’. I do not think that you have any idea of who you are dealing with here. This is Generation X. We have been cursed and dreaded since the late 1980s. However, we have proven to be hi-tech savvy as well as dedicated to those things we strongly believe in, including our careers. To say that the fans of Jericho are only bringing home 4 to 5 digits is a complete insult. A drive thru attendant at McDonald’s would make more than 4 digits a year. I am thoroughly disgusted by your willingness to stand by such ‘facts’ that are so obviously well researched. A great deal of your argument did make sense, however, there are too many insults to the Jericho viewers, and I truly hope that none of the cast stops by to see what you have written. We are not only fighting for ourselves, but also for the greater good, for the paychecks that keeps the housing for the grips (or insert any crew member here), for the morality of America, for television that can be enjoyed by the entire family, for television that shows our children the America we grew up knowing, and for something that has meaning in this world.
“So no change in the production needs to be made for Jericho to get back to its original numbers and add even more viewers in a second season.”
It’s a serial drama, people aren’t just going to jump right back on the bandwagon because it won’t have a hiatus.
Here’s a link to an article I wrote about why Lost and Heroes’ dropping ratings aren’t because of a hiatus, but because the casual viewers “along for the ride” instead of being committed are who fall off during that period:
And they’re gone for good. They’ve found another show of the moment to latch onto. That’s just the nature of Sci-Fi programming, and it is unavoidable. Jericho, unfortunately, had to deal with it AND Idol. But I believe it would have struggled under any circumstance, including just a straight run. Sci-Fi TV is not for the masses.
“You stated that it did not connect with the causal audience, but how do you really know that? Your logic is flawed if you are basing your oppinon on the Neilson rating. Did you go door to door, asking people all over the country whether or not they watched the show? What about those who watched it online? Or recorded it to watch at another time? Did you take into account the fans of the show that are not American? Until you take into consideration all the methods of watching a show you cannot say for sure whether or not a show ‘connected’.”
Anrelle, I agree with you that there are all sorts of other barometers. However, if one of those was hugely successful (aka if it was an international sensation), CBS wouldn’t have canceled it. This isn’t a conspiracy: they had real reasons, and if the online statistics and international ratings had been strong enough they would have kept it. They didn’t JUST go by the Nielsen ratings, but that’s the most clear and tangible statistic they could quote. It’s not full disclosure, but no network with an international and internet success to the point of outstanding levels would just drop it. But, clearly, those aren’t enough. That’s never enough.
Jericho’s loss during the hiatus was casual viewers. What was left was its fanbase, those who were willing to stick around. That number wasn’t big enough, and casual viewers didn’t come back. And they won’t. That’s just reality.
“I just have to comment on ‘not enough revenue-generating power’. I do not think that you have any idea of who you are dealing with here. This is Generation X. We have been cursed and dreaded since the late 1980s.”
And yet where was this entire generation to band behind this show? Generation X has proved incredibly successful for Lost, Heroes…but Jericho didn’t get that level of success. In fact, its ratings were less than half of those shows amongst that generation. You failed, ostensibly, to provide that revenue generation for this show. The generation flocked to Lost, Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives…but they merely showed an interest in Jericho.
And that’s a problem. This idea that “Well, the audience is out there waiting, we’re powerful!” is flawed because it wasn’t there. Just wishing it into existence won’t work. I think this campaign is a powerful message about the power of the internet and of Generation X…but a promise from fans is not enough for CBS to risk producing a second season of a TV Show.
I have never argued, and never will, that this generation has no spending power. It was just very clear that we weren’t watching Jericho. Its 18-49 ratings prove it. And, if they were all watching on the internet, talking about it, then there weren’t any advertisements, and those people weren’t turning into viewers…which is all CBS can really qualify.
I feel bad for the cast and crew of the series, but do they really want to return to work under these terms? Because cast will be cut, grips will lose their jobs, location shoots will be pared down, and things won’t just “stay the same”. That is an unrealistic view. Something WILL be lost in this whole exchange. At this point it’s the entire show. In the future, perhaps something can be gained…but the status quo is dead.
Memles, your points are very well taken through the lens that CBS was looking. CBS was looking to boost traditional numbers (Nielsen) through non-traditional means (web ties).
Did CBS fail? Technically yes, because they failed to maintain their original Nielsen numbers. But I think that this is the Old media mentality, and I think that it is tragically short sighted. CBS failed in their stated objective. But they created something bigger and unexpected — a New Media experience for their viewers. And it is more than just 50,000 viewers. Even using the Old Media numbers, you are seeing 8 million people looking to continue this experience. Their small failure resulted in a bigger success – -if they recognize it.
CBS can either alienate this new type of fan, or continue on exploring with this solid base. If it is money that CBS is looking for, then they can charge more for the web advertising and the tie-in sponsoring. If they want to hedge their bets, they can send it to CW. They could even order just 13 episodes to see what develops.
CBS developed a New Media fan base here, and I honestly think they simply don’t know what to do with us now. It’s the square peg and the round hole — Old Media mentality prevented them from finding a way to profit from their new found success properly. If they had a New Media mentality, then they would have found a way to make a profit from that base in conjunction with the traditional Nielsen way. After all, isn’t that what they are getting paid to do?
Maybe CBS is just in over their head. They can’t live with us, because we don’t fit their traditionalist mold. But can they live without us? That seems to be the plan of record at the moment with Jericho being unceremoniously dumped. But it is obvious that CBS doesn’t fully understand what they have here, because they made no preparations to deal with the backlash that they are currently receiving.
This wasn’t a failure of New Media. We did our part. From hiatus to finish our numbers GREW. The bulk of the loss came from the hiatus — an Old Media decision.
The bottom line is that like or not, CBS has a serious situation on its hands, and of their own making. I see this turning out really well or really poor for them. They’ve had no traction for their new upfronts due to having to deal with Jericho. If CBS wants to move ahead and change the focus, then they are going to have to resolve this now.
It was NOT the viewers fault. It was CBS’s fault for putting the show on a 2-3 month hiatus without running re-runs. CBS is just passing the buck when it comes to blame. Them or us? Of course its going to be us.
NUTS to CBS!!!
David, you raise a large series of compelling arguments that I can’t really argue with from a new media perspective…but I need to take issue with this:
“This wasn’t a failure of New Media. We did our part. From hiatus to finish our numbers GREW. The bulk of the loss came from the hiatus — an Old Media decision.”
The hiatus was not an old media decision, although it isn’t as new media as the 24 method (Which FOX only pulls off because the show is established enough). And old media decision would have been just having the show repeat and return at random like Lost in its second season. That’s the way TV traditionally goes.
The hiatus was what the networks thought WAS New Media. It was what worked for Prison Break, which was an internet hit of sorts, so ABC and CBS each looked to it as their example. And, that proved a failure. They weren’t just pulling this out of their ass, it was supposed to work. And yet, it saw huge drops for both shows in question.
I believe that this is a failure of New Media because it should have weathered that hiatus better. This goes for both Lost and Jericho: if New Media had been all it was cracked up to be, the drops would have been lower. It is thus that quality becomes the primary factor, and I think it goes for both Lost and Jericho: compared to their second halves, the first parts of the season were boring.
I think that the New Media perspective is a great one, but no network is going to be willing to accept it as a primary source of income or success for a series until television production values go way down and broadband internet access goes way up. And I don’t think that’s unreasonable of them. I can only hope that this experience with Jericho can perhaps change some things, but I believe that it will be taken as a lesson for the future whether it’s resurrected or not. They’re not going to resurrect a series with limited ratings potential (Serial drama which ended on a cliffhanger will not grow much in terms of its ratings) to try at New Media again, but will rather try with other shows in the future. It’s not pleasant for fans of Jericho, but it’s the logical business move. And I can’t get angry at CBS for being logical.
I know that CBS has given so many excuses as to why Jericho was cancelled. In all of their reasoning (excuses)…there is no reason….at least not one that makes any sense to Jericho fans. Jericho consistantly preformed. The number indicate between 8 and9 Million viewers tuned in each week to watch it on TV (there are so many more that watched it weekly on the internet)…..it was second in it’s time slot each week and Jericho’s household numbers were at times better than last year occupant Amazing Race. After the hiatus, due to CBS scheduling, every other show that took a break continued to lose viewers after it was “restarted”….Not Jericho…it’s numbers stayed steady through the entire second half of the season…..which proves an extremely loyal viewership. CBS’s decision not to renew Jericho was a mistake. I hope that they learn a lesson in loyalty…..they really do need one! Suddenly my family’s time has become way to valuable to waste watching anything on CBS! http://www.jericholives.com
You definitely under estimate the fans of the Save Jericho campaign. We will not give up! And if CBS refuses in the end to give in….our hope is that someone else (TNT for example) will pick it up. I don’t think they would mind having at the very least 8 million new viewers. It’s not the first time such a thing has happened, and it won’t be the last. We want a Season 2!!!!!!!
Kudos for you, Memles, not even willing to defend your comment about viewers and those fighting to save this show only earning ‘four to five digits’.
“And if CBS refuses in the end to give in….our hope is that someone else (TNT for example) will pick it up. I don’t think they would mind having at the very least 8 million new viewers. It’s not the first time such a thing has happened, and it won’t be the last. We want a Season 2!!!!!!!”
If TNT picks up the show, they have a much smaller base of viewers (Cable has considerably less potential viewers than national TV) and there is no guarantee that Jericho’s audience will follow. And still, even, then, it would be an incredibly expensive show to produce: TNT would require extensive budget cuts, much like they would have required if Law & Order had moved to the channel.
That’s a huge risk I don’t see a network doing…but if one of them has the balls to do it, kudos to them.
Sheryl, Jericho wasn’t an absolute bomb by any means, but it was a bit of a failure amongst the 18-49 demographic, where it was often fourth in its timeslot, and much lower than former occupant The Amazing Race. Plus, The Amazing Race is a lot cheaper to produce. Also, Lost and Heroes have both stabilized since their hiatuses, much as Jericho did.
There’s no question that CBS didn’t handle the show well, but I would argue that they had plenty of reasons to do so. Ignoring those reasons was really the network’s only option if they wanted to pick it up, but the problem was that other than immeasurable fan support there was no tangible counterargument. There was nothing CBS could tell advertisers that would make up for the rather large amount of empirical evidence on the side of the show’s failure.
“Kudos for you, Memles, not even willing to defend your comment about viewers and those fighting to save this show only earning ‘four to five digits’.”
I never said that. Show me where I said that, and I’ll apologize for doing so. Because, I think you’re referring to this:
“To CBS, the campaign will always be fringe viewers with a lot of heart, spirit, but not enough revenue-generating power to sway them to renew a struggling drama series they already decided to cancel.”
Jericho failed to perform in key advertising demographics. It did: it finished tied for last for its finale. That represents a lack of revenue-generating power for the show in the eyes of advertisers. That is CBS’ perspective, and it’s not wrong. I’m not saying that there is no power in those viewers that exist, but for CBS (Looking for demo ratings), there really isn’t enough there. No amount of internet fan support can convince them that those key demo ratings are good, or will improve substantially in future years.
I resent the attempt to make me out to be some sort of bastard who thinks you’re all making 8,000 a year flipping burgers. I made no connection to that idea, and if I did I apologize for the misunderstanding. I believe that the fans of Jericho are powerful, but in a way that does not result in the same level of revenue (New Media cannot command the same amount of revenue as Old Media): the show failed to perform in the more powerful and influential area, and that hurts it greatly. And, while the remaining fans might have heart, there isn’t enough of them to overcome that problem. And that does not make me a heartless bastard. A realist, maybe, but not a heartless bastard.
I just have to say all the fault belongs to CBS. They did not learn the lesson from ABC when they put that show on a long hiatus. This is not the viewers failt. It is also not our fault that when the show returned it was put up against the ratings giant American Idol. It is time for us, the American people to stand up and be heard for a change. We will not watch any CBS programming from here on out until the show is returned. If not then CBS just cost themselves 9 million viewers and millions of dollars. Hope you like these NUTS!
I apologize Memles, I thought I had read that here, but do not see it in the post. My mistake. Now I gotta hunt the other blogs I read this morning to see who to yell at! 🙂
I wish you the best in your crusade against that person’s idiocy, Hawksdomain.
Thank you for getting us all warm and fuzzy inside –in the first part of your letter. Jericho was never given a chance with the hiatus and pitting the show up against American Idol. As a matter of fact, Jericho did very well GIVEN the fact that it went up American Idol. The CBS corporation is out of line by cancelling Jericho. The only compromise that the fans want is for a second season if not more. Jericho needs to have a second season. If Jericho is not given a chance, CBS will loose a lot of its viewers.
Fear monger! NUTS! Save Jericho! We ant a second season of Jericho.
CBS has already admitted that it was not an inability to connect with the casual fan, but rather a mistake in scheduling (poor time slot, two month hiatus, poor promotion) that caused the show to lose its footing. Given the proper marketing, this show has enormous potential. Please correct your article to reflect the fact that it was CBS, not the viewer that was at fault for causing problems with this show.
We want a second season! Please give us one.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR DIRECT CONTACT.
TELL CBS YOU WANT SEASON TWO OF JERICHO!
51 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019
7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
212-975-4321, also -3241, -3245 and -3247
323-575-2345, also -4913 (“comment line”)
Les Moonves, President & CEO, CBS Corp.
Kelly Kahl, Sr. Executive VP of Programming
Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment
CBS Audience Services:
Web Form for feedback:
For more ideas, go here:
STEAL THIS SIGNATURE AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN!
You cannot pull a hit show off for ten weeks and expect it to survive against Idol.
You cannot pull a hit show off for ten weeks and expect it to survive against Idol. Bring Jericho Back
“CBS has already admitted that it was not an inability to connect with the casual fan, but rather a mistake in scheduling (poor time slot, two month hiatus, poor promotion) that caused the show to lose its footing. Given the proper marketing, this show has enormous potential. Please correct your article to reflect the fact that it was CBS, not the viewer that was at fault for causing problems with this show.”
That’s PR-spin bullshit, sorry. Look, I think the show had more potential than what it did, yes, but like all Sci-Fi shows on network television, there is a finite number of fans available. Your point is valid, the show could have done better, but the fact remains that more people watch Dancing with the Stars, three times as many, than watch Jericho and that fact isn’t changing. The reality is that the audience for a show like this is smaller than something that is more procedural, easier to stick with.
This isn’t a death knell, but it is certainly part of what brought down the show. The point of this analysis is to cover all of the bases, not just the one where CBS is an evil tyrant. The state of television viewership is such that shows like Jericho won’t outperform tripe like Deal or No Deal. Fair? No. But not CBS’ fault.
You make some good points here. I agree that IF the series is renewed for another season, there will be changes that could have a vast impact on how the show’s storyline is currently forming. However, it will be hard for CBS to deviate from core elements of the show. As long as the overarching premise remains the same, I’m more than willing to give it a shot. Who knows? Maybe the show would be better with a little tinkering. I like it just fine the way it is, but if that’s what it takes for CBS to make money, I’m down. The TV movie would likely take this approach anyway, and most likely it would be way too drastic for core fans to accept. At least with a second season, the changes could be gradual and less shocking to dedicated viewers. Just my two cents. NUTS!
Jericho needs a second chance. This time put it in another time slot (NOT opposite American Idol), PROMOTE the show, and don’t have it go on an extended hiatus. This show needs to be renewed!!
How many commercials were there for Jericho? Perhaps if CBS had told more people about it on the tv, instead of trying to let the internet do it for them, they would have gotten better results…
I didn’t read the last several comments, but I think we should be optimistic… I don’t think its new vs old media, but good vs. trash… Perhaps we can show CBS that the fans matter, they should ask us what kind of shows we want to see, not just assume we will like whatever they come up with.
I’m not a fanatic, but I think that this is an important moment for television if the word gets out.
This is a serious effort to save a show that hasn’t been given a chance to succeed. It wasn’t cancelled because the viewship wasn’t there..it was cancelled because of the cost of production. We need to contact advertisers of CBS and let them know that many many viewers will be watching other stations if CBS doesn’t reinstate Jericho. CBS is treating their views like we are morans and that we are “just going to get past this”..NOT THIS TIME CBS!!!!
I’d be happy with a 13-16 episode conclusion. Too much left to tie up in 5 hours.
I still can’t believe that CBS would want to alienate the amount of people that they are by canceling Jericho.
The main thing that I see is that CBS created a HUGE internet presence and fan base, and did NOT take that into consideration when “rating” the show. I found Jericho on the internet at CBS.com. Never watched it on tv. I don’t watch tv. But I avidly watch shows on the internet. Jericho has become my favorite. Real acting is done on this show. That’s why I watch. I get enough “reality” in day-to-day life. Why would I want to watch a Reality Show?
I watch the season finale on the edge of my seat expecting to see a second season of Jericho, yet it was cancelled just like that one week later. I want that second season. How can you say the numbers aren’t there when all homes are not Nielsen family homes. The numbers are not real and so are not justified. Bring back JERICHO. Because I am not a Nielsen doesn’t mean I shou;d not be counted.
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You did not at all address how the show did not have a chance to appeal to a wider fan base due to the 3 month hiatus, the flawed nielsen ratings, the fact that there is a larger fan base than thought because people have other means of watching the show, not airing the 12 episodes in the second half of the season in a row like they said they would and advertising the show in it’s teaser trailer as a seperate season altogether hence leaving people to believe they missed the first and still expect it to do well against Idol after that.
CBS is not at all justified in canceling the show, especially when other shows that did the hiatus lost viewership as well. The network did not give Jericho a fighting chance to retain viewers and gain news ones on top of that.
All I know is that I love Jericho and I want it to come back!.
It still blows me away that CBS took a brand new show off the air for 3 months and expected it to come back unscathed! All of the networks are at fault here. People are gun shy. The networks bring on new shows that have great potential and because they ratings aren’t there, they drop off the face of the earth without notice. People get tired of investing themselves in shows only to have them disapear. I’m sure those people who didn’t come back after the 3 month hiatus thought that Jericho was cancelled. I actually worried about that myself.
Also, the only CBS show I watch is Jericho. My DVR is the only reason I didn’t miss the first episode after the Hiatus. That could be another factor that CBS is missing.
There are still a lot of people out there that aren’t computer and internet savy. My husband is one of them, and my mother isn’t so hot either. They definatley never logged onto the Jericho site for info like I did. I myself don’t utilize the inernet very often. I just don’t have time. Saving Jericho has changed that. I have never left comments or written in blogs until they cancelled Jericho.
Watch this. The most inspirational thing I’ve seen in a long time… CBS should pick this up as a promo. If they’d had advertising like this during the season you can bet the viewership would have increased.
Quote ‘Jericho failed, in the eyes of CBS, because it was a sci-fi serial drama’.
Sci-fi you say ? Well then, Where are you Sci Fi Channel, when we need you ? You saved Stargate SG1 when it was cancelled by Showtime and gave it 5 more seasons + a spinoff, so why not save Jericho ? Sci Fi Channel also shows wrestling now so why not a hell of a good show like Jericho ? I’ll take any network honestly, as long as we get a renewal for Jericho.
Oh, and on the note of ‘networks never give a second chance to cancelled shows’, maybe networks don’t but producers do. Again, just look at the http://www.savestargatesg1.com/ campaign. They won themselves two direct-to-DVD movies ordered by MGM, with the promise of more to come if the first two are succesfull. SG1 was cancelled in august ’06 by the Sci Fi Channel, and the two DVD movies are already very much in production. So why would the Jericho fans fail ?
First, Jericho was not a sci-fi serial drama. There was no fiction to the science, which is a key in “science fiction”. It was a high concept drama, “What if…”
Second, Remember, CBS made a huge push to have this play on the internet, where it was routinely the #1 video on Innertube (CBS’ episode delivery system). It also ranked in the top 10 each week on ITUNES. The viewers were there, they just didn’t watch in the traditional way.
I have to agree with some of the article. While we all want a 2nd season. At best I see CBS doing 12-16 episodes as a filler, and closing out the story. Also they could do a mini series to rap it up. I think a two hour movie will be chopy at best.
Either way, we’ll find out in about 2-3 weeks.
Hey do you remember the tune I want my MTV?
Well WE WANT OUR JERICHO BACK!!!
I have to admit it makes sense that they would try to change our beloved JERICHO, however, I think that with all the media coverage of our efforts, curiosity will get the better of people. It mainly lost a fan base because of its time slot and the fact that they put it on winter hiatus, not because of the style of the show. It was complicated but easy to follow with plenty of intense and well written characters. It covers the demographics and brings intelligent thought to weeknight television. You really can’t improve upon perfection! I have a feeling that they will gain an even larger fan base if they bring it back and change the time slot. People will tune in out of sheer curiosity due to our NUTS campaign efforts and any ratings are good ratings! 🙂 SAVE JERICHO EVERYONE!
One more comment…I happened to be one of those people that despite trying to catch JERICHO during its time slot, I had to download it from the website. I think the way ratings are collected or calculated needs to be revamped for a show like this, especially since the network itself made the episodes available online! They need to lay off the outdated methods and stop falling back on lame excuses of ‘not enough ratings’…its *CRAP*
Jericho was one of the most “real time” what if scenarios how can anyone miss that. Where are the bulk of our military troops including reserve and national guard units? Not here. So does that make us a target for multiple terrorist attacks?
Then one needs to consider who did organize and detonate the bombs of Jericho? King Georgie Porgie is not listening to his military advisors, Congress, the people he represents, and has almost shreaded the Constitution and Bill of Rights just because he could until he got caught.
I see several seasons of Jericho – people in this country are too complacent and if this would happen in reality – how many Americans are ready to do without?
Jericho is not sci fi to me. It is a sociological/psychological example of what regular people do when disaster strikes.
Did anyone anticipate the horrific things people did to each other after Katrina?
Jericho could teach us how to survive because sooner or later some one with one or more bombs or other terrorist stuff can attack on multiple fronts.
Think on Jericho like this and you won’t have any problem finding good story lines.
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With all due respect, you are indulging linear experience, albeit fortified by years of experience. The consequence is conclusions about Jericho (casting, storyline, appeal, and all other factors concluded on) that are flawed. The result of those conclusion is the alienation of a powerful market of devoted fans. There is also numerous ways to appeal to the casual viewer despite the foregone conclusion that those folks won’t watch. Ratings are a guide, a tool but don;t overemphasize its importance. There is significant money to be made on the Jericho consuming market. CBS should cash in while the iron is hot and the team is still relatively assembled.
With all due respect, you are indulging linear thinking/analysis, albeit fortified by years of experience. Often though the experience that broadens our view can also blindside us into rigidity as I believe has happened to the CBS decisionmakers in the case of Jericho. The consequence is conclusions about Jericho (casting, storyline, appeal, and all other factors concluded on) that are flawed. The result of those conclusion is the alienation of a powerful market of devoted fans. There is also numerous ways to appeal to the casual viewer despite the foregone conclusion that those folks won’t watch. Ratings are a guide, a tool but don;t overemphasize its importance. There is significant money to be made on the Jericho consuming market. CBS should cash in while the iron is hot and the team is still relatively assembled.
The following is where some ppl are getting the idea you think Jericho fans only make 4 or 5 figure incomes.
May 20th, 2007 at 9:58 pm
Bigger than Jericho – It’s Old vs New Media
In case you have not heard, CBS has cancelled Jericho. And in case you have not heard, there is a fan protest and “Save Jericho” movement afoot. Simply Google “Save Jericho” and you will see what I mean.
Right now it is just Jericho fandom vs CBS — some random number of four and five figured incomed sweat-suit wearing individuals against a unified core of six and seven figure incomed stuffed suits.”
Hope that clears it up.
This is not so much a battle for Jericho for me, but a fight against cancellation of any series without proper closure. Not only does it have a serious impact on fans, but on: the actors, crew, producers and others who put time and energy into the show. I am SICK of television because of this. I hope this goes so far that the Screen Actors Guild, the Unions and every other group muster together to demand that in any cancellation the producer is expected to allow 4 episodes for closure of the series. This landslide is not just about Jericho, but every insult before this one as well.
The last season has been a minefield of gotchas for viewers of any drama on any network. There are a SLEW of dramas that were yanked before their time. Jericho is just the last straw. Me and my 6 figure salary now refuse to watch anything on CBS.
CBS is a wasteland of crime dramas (the CSI trifecta, Numbers, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, and Cold Case), second-rate comedies, and reality shows. The one show that could have kept them one cut above the rest, they cancel. They’ve handed the integrity reward to NBC who kept Friday Night Lights on just because they listened to the fans and didnt follow the Nielsen numbers.
Severe schedule mismanagement and lack of network support is not the fault of Jericho. Instead of cancelling Jericho, cancel the executives who put it on hiatus for 3 months.
I am sick to death hearing about “ratings” – and that antiquated joke called Neilsen. 2007 and we are still basing what everyone watches on a “sampling” of viewers?
How low of an IQ does one need to become a Neilsen Family, anyway?
I’m actually wearing shorts and T-shirt right now, but I’m a big fan, and one with a 6-figure income. Jericho was one of the very few reasons to tune into CBS for me… never missed an episode. In fact, one of the few shows I watched regularly in realtime (I have this cool PVR that records up to three shows in HD at the same time, you see…).
What this smacks of, more than anything, is CBS’s baroque thinking… rather than continue an expensive drama, they’re going to offer up Yet Another Cheap-as-Dirt reality show. In essence, they’re simply ceeding that Wednesday 8PM time-slot to Fox, rather than develop what very well could be a loyal following for years to come, and perhaps the only way many of us will even be exposed to other CBS shows.
This is another sign of the decendency of the major networks. Some have got the clue… ABC and Fox next year are not going to be interrupting their serial dramas so much, NBC too in essence. I have something like 300 channels to choose from, plus at any given time 100-something hours of PVR/TiVo, a large DVD collection, and internet media to choose from. You need more than “cheap reality show” for me to take notice… and I rather suspect, if you’re going after the 3/4-network crowd… you better start targeting the retirement homes.
I find it interesting that the content of the show hasn’t had as much discussion as it should.
I loved the concept of Jericho and eagerly tuned in. By the time we reached the infamous hiatus, I was almost ready to drop Jericho off my weekly list.
The second half came back much much stronger. I had tired of the soap opera relationship angst and drama and wanted to see more of life and hardship after an apocolypse.
Cast members dying, leadership up for grabs, militias and terrorist cells all made the series much more compelling and hooked me in without ignoring the human element.
Many shows have taken most of a season or even a few seasons to truly hit their stride where the writers and actors both “get” what their character and the show are all about.
I fault CBS for not recognising a loyal niche market and giving the show a chance to find it’s feet.
I for one will never understand why networks expect a new show to stand up to a ratings giant (AI) and cancel it when it can’t beat the best instead of finding a better place for it to maximise its audience.
If CBS had decided that Jericho was banished to Friday night or some 10:00 slot where it could sink or swim on its own because of its lower than hoped for ratings, I could accept that, but given that they chose to cancel Jericho, I have chosen to cancel CBS on my TV.
Next season CBS plans to replace “Jericho” with “Kid Nation,” a reality-tv show in which 40 children, ages 8 to 15, are left in the desert for 40 days to build a “community” without adult supervision.
Read what Variety thinks about KN and get the facts:
Now tell CBS what you think:
Visit: http://www.jericholives.com and http://www.jerichorallypoint.com
Email: Ms. Nina Tassler, President CBS Entertainment
Mr. Kelly Kahl, Sr. Exec.VP for Programming
My request is to have Jericho return for a second season. When it continues to go well start work on another season as well.
It really is a great show, love the storyline, acting, good as gold. Have to say it is one of the best shows I have seen in many years. It so happened to be one of the reasons to bring me back to watching CBS.
Without Jericho, CBS really does not have anything to watch for me. The new show they are going to replace it with is just plain silly. Children have their own stations suited to them during the day, or weekend mornings. Do not waste my time, with poor shows played during my prime watching time. Return Jericho to CBS Television.
Ray, trust me: if I was a CBS troll, you’d know it.
You bring up an interesting point about the possible future of Jericho. As disgusting as I find the scenario you describe reguarding CBS tinkering with Jericho for a possible second season, I must admit it is plausible. After all UPN was the network created by Paramount. And of course, Paramount and CBS are bosom buddies now. So I can seriously picture the CBS execs pulling a “Veronica Mars” on the Jericho producers. If that conversation hasn’t happened already it likely will soon. I just hope the producers take a page out of the season finale and say “NUTS”.
Go on with Jericho, it’s arson!!
Spain and all europeans are in love with Jericho!!!!
Please Netflix or CBS consider picking back up the series Jericho – what an amazing show that’s actually has a story plot that’s not based on useless mindless Kardashian subjects. This show defined whats few can do to change the world on the brink of collapsing due to corruption, keeping Faith and doing what’s right. Even if the ratings aren’t sky high please consider keeping a spot for Jericho which has good content and not junk tv. Thank you