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
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.
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.