TV Real Estate: Searching for a New Home for ‘Jericho’

With news from Jericho’s Executive Producer Carol Barbee that they are working behind the scenes with both CBS and other networks, one has to wonder: what other networks would be in a position to take the show on? And why would they be interested in getting a show like Jericho with a dedicated fan base and a high value? Cultural Learnings investigates.production

TNT

Why They Should be Interested: TNT showed a willingness to take on first-run programming earlier this development season when they made a pitch to NBC for Law & Order to move to the network. In the end, NBC chose to keep Law & Order, and kept Criminal Intent in the NBC family, so TNT was left out in the cold.

Concerns: TNT has already moved towards developing more drama series: Saving Grace (Starring Holly Hunter) and Heartland (Starring Treat Williams) both debut this summer, so their development slate is actually fairly full. Plus, for better or for worse, Jericho would be the network’s first foray into non-procedural television. Still, there’s no better place to start than with an already established series that could pull in numbers similar to a well-established syndicated series.

Showtime

Why They Should Be Interested: Showtime, like HBO, operates on a subscription basis: any show that can bring with a dedicated set of fans is something that they should be interested in. Plus, the cable channel was very interested in Arrested Development, which had even lower ratings (Although that show was perhaps the best comedy of the decade, and (with apologies) I don’t think Jericho has quite as much critical pedigree. Still, it’s a sure-fire way to boost subscriptions.

Concerns: Showtime, like TNT, has been developing a lot of their own shows recently. Weeds, for instance, has made a big splash for the network, and The L Word is buzzworthy. As a result, Jericho doesn’t seem to fit: even Arrested Development was closer to their core audience-base. As much as it’s about expanding that audience, Jericho doesn’t seem like a Showtime type of show. Of course, change can often be a good thing.

The CW

Why They Should Be Interested: They have the lightest development schedule of the major networks, and therefore are the most likely to be in need of a show at a certain point. Plus, since they’re in the CBS family, it’s an easy transition.

Concerns: I worry that the show would lost some of its edge in the transition: there’s a lot of demographic concerns at play on The CW that might not play in Jericho’s favour. It’s somewhat too graphic to be their official “family show”, and yet too adult-oriented to be a teen show…so it doesn’t really have a place on the network. Still, it would be better than nothing.

CBS

Why They Should Be Interested: They’ve yet to pick up any midseason replacements outside of saving Swingtown and The Amazing Race, and last year they had to burn off one of their replacements as early as November. They are in need of a midseason replacement. Plus, let’s face it, they owe it to fans of the show.

Concerns: Working with CBS creates a lot of expectations, but I think that the Rangers could step up to the challenge. The ratings bar needs to be a lot higher than on their other options, which would make for a more difficult path…but I think it’s one that could be conquered.

So who’s the best option? Well, I don’t really know. On one hand, staying with CBS brings stability…but it also brings the same expectations that brought the show down in the first place, and I don’t know if we can be so hopeful as to assume that CBS will entirely change their ways in the span of a single year. But, other networks can’t offer the same type of production values, and there doesn’t appear to be a single option that is as safe for the show.

Is there any option I’m forgetting? I’ve ruled out the rest of the major networks, considering how full their schedules already are, but perhaps there’s a cable station that I, as a Canadian, am unaware of to some degree (Showtime didn’t even let me in their site, I was hurt). Is there any place you’d like to see the show end up, or does it not matter in the end?

Regardless, Barbee is quick to point out that it’s all still a long shot, and that a show being resurrected rarely happens. But hey, I figure there’s no harm in checking out some hypothetical scenarios, eh?

9 Comments

Filed under Jericho, Television, The CW

9 responses to “TV Real Estate: Searching for a New Home for ‘Jericho’

  1. shaun

    How about Scifi Channel? Stargate SG1 and now Battlestar Galactica are both coming to an end.

    Scifi needs a show with viewers…

  2. Shaun, Sci-Fi is a very good point, and it’s a possible option for sure.

    They’d be looking for a new show, as you say, because they’re losing two of their big ones. However, at the same time, it would also be a fairly expensive acquisition. So, like the other networks other than CBS/The CW, there would be a lot of hurdles to cross.

  3. Jane

    I vote SciFi.

  4. Lynnation

    What about USA? They do quite a couple decent original shows (Dead Zone, Monk, The 4400, Eureka). Eureka is their highest rated show with 2.7 million viewers – I bet they would really appreciate Jericho’s fan base which is at least double that.

    I’ll watch it wherever it airs. I would even subscribe to a pay channel (something I have never done in my 40 years)!

  5. USA Network isn’t a bad option, but they’re owned by NBC and have already taken on Law & Order: Criminal Intent for next year. I think they’ve already made their extravagant purchase for the year, if you will.

  6. Rob M

    Wake Up CBS and admit you made a mistake.

    Renew Jericho for a second season.

    Save Jericho !!

    CBS – Only Season 2 Will Do !!

  7. Rob M

    Email CBS and tell them ….”Your Mad As Hell And Your Not Going To Take It Anymore !!”

    Save Jericho !!

    lmoonves@cbs.com
    kelly.kahl@cbs.com
    nina.tassler@cbs.com
    audsvcs@cbs.com

  8. Nancy

    I think CBS would be NUTS not to keep JERICHO, but I’d like to mention FOX. I think they only have like 2 or 3 shows that are even on the radar….that being, American Idol, House, and Bones.
    And Fox is much edgier than CBS.
    CBS or FOX should give Gerald McRaney his own show. That man ROCKS!!

    “Make a stand here.” Johnston Green RIP

  9. Kathy

    I think that FOX would be a great fit for Jericho. They have done a great job with 24, Prison Break, and House. Nuts to CBS.

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