Jericho Fans: Why Have You Stopped Using the Internet?

Dear Fans of CBS’ Jericho,

Hey folks, hope all is well in the world of rabid fandom. I know that it’s been over a month now since Jericho was saved and rejoicing commenced, but I have to level with you: I’m a bit disappointed. You see, when CBS announced that they would be bringing the show back for 7 episodes and repeating the entire first season, I seem to remember a lot of things being thrown around. Statements like “We need to promote this show!” or “This is the chance we’ve been waiting for!” seemed to be quite common. And I’m here to tell you that…well, you’re currently not living up to those statements.

The first two nights of repeats haven’t been disastrous, but they have certainly not been triumphs. After a decent reairing of the pilot, the two hour event on Friday struggled to pull in as many viewers as Friday Night Smackdown!, yet alone match last week’s numbers. There are all sorts of excuses being thrown around: The recap show was poorly made seems to be the most popular. I’ll be honest: it doesn’t matter how good that recap show was. All that matters is that, clearly, not enough people were going to watch in the first place.

I know how much work went into saving the show, as I witnessed all of your passion for this series here at Cultural Learnings. Whether you were yelling at me, arguing with me, agreeing with me, reasoning with me, I always remained fascinated by how much you loved your show. The fascination turned to admiration with time, and after the show was successfully saved I hoped that you could translate it into something positive, substantial for your series to survive.

And I haven’t seen it yet, folks. We’ve seen two weeks of repeats, and it seems to be like things have just reverted back to where they were before: no one seems to be talking about Jericho. While I know that many have taken a more grassroots approach at marketing the show to friends and family (Which is great), I think that this can only go so far. The way shows like Jericho become successful is through cultural consciousness.

Why was Save Jericho Successful?

The success of the campaign to save Jericho was entirely due to New Media and the internet spreading the word about the campaign far and wide. It was about internet-savvy fans making Jericho something people were talking about, and not just another cancelled show. However, for some reason, the new media side of things has basically died off entirely. What was once this campaign’s bread and butter has basically been tossed out the window in favour of telling family and friends.

I am not insinuating that telling family and friends is a bad thing, but it is very isolated: it is one person telling one person, and the chances of it growing into a cultural phenomenon are slim to none. I understand that you’re trying to create new hardcore fans, but I don’t think we live in a hardcore fan world. We live in a world of jumping on bandwagons and casual television viewing, things that require people, en masse, to be aware.

What should the goals be?

The goal of Jericho fans should be focused on multiple areas:

– Bringing back fans who abandoned the show at the hiatus.

– Building an online community where people can learn and embrace the show.

– Telling friends and family and encouraging them to become part of that community.

So many shows have been saved because of online communities: Veronica Mars lasted three seasons entirely because of it. Jericho was saved because that online community grew into a powerful force. Now, that force has almost entirely disappeared. Why is this happening? While I know these are just repeats, those repeats are a chance to return fans and gain new ones within a community that is the one and only reason your show survived.

What happened to Digg?

Jericho would not be returning to CBS next season if not for Digg…so why aren’t fans using it? I know that Rick over at Copywrite, Ink. has continued posting on Jericho, but if the “big” entertainment blogs are only reporting on the ratings and not the show itself then the internet saturation isn’t going far enough.

So what do you need to do?

You need to remember where you came from, to use a rather cliched term. You need to think back to what happened now almost two months ago and realize that, despite “winning”, the battle isn’t over. So pull up your socks, pick up the ball, and run back onto the internet with it. Use Digg, use MySpace, use anything you can. Telling friends is great, but telling the world is better.

21 Comments

Filed under Jericho, Television

21 responses to “Jericho Fans: Why Have You Stopped Using the Internet?

  1. sweat1951

    Thanks. How I hope this will get folks moving. We need to digg ever article, comment on every article and blog, join myspace, facebook, and every social networking community available to put us in touch with other people. I get emails everyday from people who say they’ve started watching the show. If you don’t know how to digg just ask someone who does. Sign up for Google Alerts so you’ll receive everything about Jericho then go comment. We have to show a united front like we did before.

  2. krystalis55

    Thank you. Have also been watching the episodes that are not being shown again on the CBS site. Only thing do not know how to Digg when there is no Digg It on the site. Without the Internet would not have known show was cancelled, was back for encore episodes, or renewed for 7 episodes. Thank you for a construtive article.

  3. There are all sorts of excuses being thrown around: …..

    Your right, we were making excuses but the most important thing in all this. we are the fans of the show… and CBS is the parent of the show… we should not have to bear the responsibility of advertising this show, nor do I recall us stating we would!
    Without proper advertising, we will get no where. I can blog on this show from now until the end of time… and unless I run a blog like Scobles, I am not going to get more readers for Jericho. There is no new news, unless you want to count the videos they are putting out!
    We need something to attach to Jericho to keep it in the news… cant digg if there is nothing to Digg about!
    The only info we have that can be posted about right concerning Jericho… is the rehash of the last month. CBS needs to give us something to talk about!! Then we will can fight and reach new readers and fans., then DIGG will matter.

  4. erika

    I appreciate this article, but I do feel it is unfair to put all of this on the fans. I know I have recruited new fans and have informed some (in my own family, no less) who were fans and thought the show had been cancelled during the hiatus. I have worked hard, and am still doing what I can. But with summer and birthdays and family gatherings and vacations, my time to spend on the interent is diminished. That doesn’t mean I’m not still talking about my favorite show. Everytime I see a friend I haven’t seen since the renewal announcement they bring up Jericho. People are interested in what I have to say, and several have told me they would or have given it a try. Word of mouth seems to be working very well right now, while we are all outside and enjoying our summer. I feel like the internet will fire up again once the weather turns chilly, and when CBS gives us something else to talk about. There has been a lull since the renewal, but I think that is to be expected. Many of us are burnt out and need some time to recharge our batteries. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t still out talking about our show.

  5. Kystorms:

    My problem with that argument is that CBS has never done anything to make this campaign. Fans started it, fans made it huge, and all CBS did was give in. They didn’t earn any of it, really, and yet they hoped to be able to capitalize on it.

    But there’s the problem: they don’t want to have to do anything else. They want to be able to just air repeats, already a sacrifice of higher ratings for Close to Home, and claim that this is all they need to do.

    Which is why I don’t think that waiting on CBS to get off their asses is going to do the campaign any good. People are making brochures for the skipped episodes and talking to friends, but these are still small-scale. Viral marketing is huge right now, there needs to be a way to push Jericho into that area in a simple fashion.

    Erika:

    I would never insinuate that it all falls upon you, and trust me: summer is not the easiest time to get people organized, you’re entirely correct. However, at the same time, I think that the problem isn’t your resolve, or Kystorms’, or anyone else’s. The real problem, then, is that you’re the only people left.

    Which is why there does need to be a return of sorts, in terms of involvement, for anything to be successful. But there needs to be awareness for that, which needs to be created through using the internet…which is tougher thanks to the smaller numbers.

    I’m not saying it’s easy: just saying that even with small numbers it would be best to find a consolidated front and do what you can.

  6. Debby Balcer

    Great article. Would love to digg it but don’t know how to dig without a link. I do think we need to get our videos back on youtube and be more visible. I think people think ok we won, we can rest now. If we rest then we only get 7 new episodes. I do have two new converts and they are getting more people but they don’t come on the internet.

  7. OKJhawkgirl

    Thank you for the article and the words of wisdom. I agree with the need to keep up the internet movement, and to keep Jericho in the news other than ratings. We brought the show back and I know we can keep it on the air. Using digg and leaving comments, will keep the articles coming and the attention focused on Jericho, not just the ratings. We can do this rangers !!!

  8. Marlene Nice

    Thanks for the article. There are a lot of us still on the internet and trying to get the word out but it’s just not like it was whcn we had a cause everybody could rally around and when we could make news.

    The problem is, until the new episodes start, it’s all old news for those of us who have been involved. I think what we need to have focus, and you’re right, we do have to continue to answer every article that’s written and try to remain visible. It’s just much more difficult now.

    Surprisingly every day we have new posters on the CBS site who have not heard that Jericho has been renewed.

  9. It is going to take a unified fan community to get promotion done on a large scale.

    Great article. Thanks for the great message.

  10. ka4ist

    It’s my opinion that it’s very important that the “mythology” of the show be placed at the forefront in the fan based promotion efforts.
    The show requires an investment of time and attention to catch on to. Unfortunately just grabbing new viewers isn’t having the effect we need. These viewers need to be drawn in to the story and be shown what’s so great about it. Then we’ve got ’em.
    The focus definitely needs to return to the fun aspects…the discussion of plotlines and characters, and the “what if” you found yourself in this situation aspects.
    Go ahead and recruit you new viewers…but let’s give them arenas to catch up and read discussion and find whatever niche their particular interest falls into.

  11. SaveJake

    Saving Jericho was a corporation running very smoothly. So smoothly most didn’t know they were running a company. We worked together and knew each other. Most of us ate very little, slept very little, and when we took the time to speak to outsiders it was about Jericho. We kept the boards running 24/7 to keep CBS on their toes. We knew each others time zones and schedules. If several of us could move the boards and the blogs during the night, we knew by 6:30AM EDT our coworkers would pick it up and run with it. We could then catch 4 hours of sleep, if we could sleep. Many times the news was too good or too unknown to get any real rest. That went on for 3 weeks…Then on June 6th, we were told we could have 7 more hours of Jericho. If we wanted more that was up to us. No one really read the letter, it was a joyous occasion. We took the responsibility of keeping Jericho on the air…not CBS.
    Yes I agree the reasons for lack of ratings are excuses and as a corporation, there are no excuses in business…not if you want to survive. You look at the weakness and fix it, before it becomes a crisis. Now we have to fix it. We need to come together as one and do something to get their attenetion. CBS is not going to hand us anything to get media attention…They did not give us the “NUTS” idea and will forever dislike the word.
    We need to be clever again, together, all of us.

  12. Kay

    I am so frustrated with the whole DIGG thing! It’s a constant battle for me to get my DIGG to count–it keeps telling me I am not logged in; I log in, and go round and round — it takes forever. I like to think I am somewhat computer savvy, so good luck to anyone who has only minimal skills. Surely, I am not the only one having difficulty with this…

  13. Grace

    I’m still using it. I don’t know about anyone else.
    How do we get the Nielsen families to watch???
    I think we have tried pretty much every thing we can think of and still, the numbers are too low.
    I also have a sign on my car and wear my t-shirt as much as I can. I also let CBS know that I watch JERICHO each week.
    But, I think the key is reaching the Nielsen families and I just don’t know how to do that.
    Any ideas anyone??

  14. There is no way, Grace. The best way to do so is to attempt to spread the word and hope it gets there. The more people aware of the show, the more Nielsen families that might be aware of it. It’s simple math, if not providing simple results.

  15. Jane

    We haven’t stopped using the internet. We daily are on the CBS site, we watch innertube, we email CBS, we vote on every web poll we can find to bring Jericho up to the top so everyone can see why we love it so much. We track and post. Maybe I am not hitting the right spots. I don’t have a webpage and don’t understand my space. I thought it was more for people looking for people. If that will help I will do that. If I need to stand on my head in times square, I will do that. Why is there so much uncertainty on the part of CBS or anyone else, that Jericho is good TV. Good storyline, great actors, incredible characters and a great script. Jericho should survive because it is not a reality, law formulary, forensic formulary kind of show. It is about how life would be if someone were crazy enough to finally drop a bomb. It is mesmerizing.
    It would be a a cultural travesty if Jericho were not to continue. It is what TV should be. Riveting, entertaining, and worthy of such avid fans.
    Thank you,
    Jane in Tampa also known as jerichofreak.

  16. ahma2

    Thanks so much for your suggestions, and continued interest in Jericho. I have tried to comment on every site that my google alert has sent to me, and all that I have been told about. Thanks to another Ranger on the CBS Jericho site, I now know how and why to digg. It’s going to be a very busy summer for us, but well worth all our efforts when we get those seven episodes expanded to 22 and hear about season 3. Let’s go Rangers. Jackie

  17. Thanks for the article. I think that there is a place for many levels of organization and action in this effort. The internet can make small things HUGE. It provides the technological power to reach people in other time zones, and to raise the volume, as you said, and as we proved. Good point that the internet was a powerful fulcrum to move the CBS mountain, and I DO AGREE.

    What I think is unlikely is that you can have the same people who manned the wheel for the night shift go into overdrive and man it for the day shift as well. Some of us can’t just do Jericho 24/7, even though the internet is OPEN ALL NIGHT LONG!! (I am smiling when I say that. Cyberland is like NYC, and some folk eventually need to get some sleep.) Time for a second wave, in other words.

    I don’t think we are the only ones, and too few, I think many of the people we want to reach are not reading the articles we are digg-ing. I agree we should digg and comment, etc, but we also need to use each and every communication medium to reach those who do not know! This is a marathon, not a sprint.

    It takes 10 x the effort (and dollars) to get a new donor than to recover the lapsed one. The same is true here — we are using many tools, and we ourselves are challenged to identify who the members of that next wave might be and what media will be best to reach them.

    We haven’t folded in satisfied exhaustion — I feel we are in a process of creating the next big thing — and no, it ain’t here yet. We will continue what brought us success, but we may need to develop new tactics, and they might not come from the same place at all. There is mass marketing and there is niche, after all, and a place for both.

    One thing is for sure, the person who just learned to DIGG is one more valuable Ranger! and she will be joined by multitudes, if we sustain one another and continue to reach out. And as much as I love being online all day and night, they also serve who do not, cannot, or will not. It is more important that we each do what we can do, and continue to test different strategies. This is evolution in real time, and no one really knows what the best strategy for the future will be.

    We are united in one perspective: we know we want to see the ratings go up. Any tactic that advances that objective is worthy of consideration.

    Thank you for several good points, and I appreciate your past and present support of our efforts. I believe that if everyone does what they can do, no one will have to do more than they can or should. Collectively, we have many voices and we are exploring many ways we might be heard, from blogs to emails to graphics to videos to radio call-ins to race car sponsorships. We will succeed. Just as CBS didn’t know we existed, we are learning more every day about those fans who are out there who WE didn’t know until now.

    Thanks Jackie, for being an inspiration as well!

    See — the next wave is coming.

    Susan D

  18. P.S. My screen name is Jerichophile and I post on http://www.radiofreejericho.com and sometimes on cbs.com/primetime/jericho.

    Just to clear up any confusion about having a different name here – it’s my terran vs cyber name.

  19. Susan Davis

    Great article and as always right on target. So many of the people who I once saw saying that this is a marathon not a sprint; we have won the battle, but not the war; only seasons will satisfy are simply gone. Without the numbers and the constant online presence I worry that we have shot ourselves in the proverbial foot.
    As to the Diggs, I too am having problems. I was able to dig the quick blurb that brought me to this article, but can’t Digg this one. Same on the CBS site. I am unable to Digg the videos there. But with the help of sweat I have entered the world of Digg, google alerts and blogging(which I was already doing, just didn’t know that was what it was called) so I will certainly do my part to keep the internet promotion going strong.
    Thank you for, as always, such an insightful perspective.

  20. nambla

    OK, Nate I left a digg for this.

    Now where’s my oral gratification you promised me????

  21. Mangofish

    Good article. We have to keep up the fight. Its so easy to forget we won the battle during the summer months. I hope people are doing all the small things they can – telling friends, buying a shirt and wearing it, buying the Jericho season 1 dvd set, and digging articles like this one. Thanks!

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