(It may seem weird for me to be writing about non-faith stuff today, but Holy Saturday has always been a strange sort of day for me, no longer Lent, but not yet Easter. So this is how I deal.)
Bad news for fans of the TV show “Jericho”. For the second time in two years, it’s been cancelled. What a bummer.
We’ve been fans of the show, and not just because our friend Karen Hall wrote an episode and then later gave me one of her copies of the script as a gift. I’ve enjoyed this look at small-town America and how the real red-blooded heart of our country would cope and hang together in the face of a disaster that cuts them off from the world.
CBS says that despite the fan campaign to bring it back, there just weren’t enough other viewers coming onboard.
A campaign by fans combined with data showing that the show was being recorded and watched outside its broadcast time persuaded CBS to order a short second season. But the show has performed poorly since the new episodes began appearing last month. The most recent episode attracted fewer than six million viewers and a 1.9 rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.
Of course, the writers’ strike created by the obstinacy of the networks and studios probably had something to do with that as well. Some shows are airing new episodes, some aren’t. Old shows are premiering as others are having season finales. I think viewers are just plain confused.
Plus, the story has changed somewhat this season. It’s no longer about survival in the face of a mysterious disaster. Instead it turned into an Iraq analogue with Americans taking the place of Iraqis and insurgents, complete with a thinly disguised Halliburton as an evil government contractor bent on taking over the country. I thought it was still an interesting take on the relationship between different parts of the country and between the government and corporate interests.
Whatever the case, the last hope is that a cable network will pick it up, but that’s a faint hope at best. I really wish we were at the point that mainstream dramas could be produced and delivered solely on the Internet where a niche audience would be enough to be a success. That day is coming, but alas for “Jericho” it did not come soon enough.