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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

RIP John from Cincinnati

"John from Cincinnati," just nine weeks old, died Tuesday. The mysterious stranger, who had been seen by only a few people on HBO, was declared dead two days after its first season finale. TV Week reported Tuesday that less than 1 million viewers saw John him on Aug. 5, his second-last appearance on the cable channel.

Although no one was quite sure where John was from, it was clear he wasn't from Cincinnati. A drug addict named Butchie Yost speculated in June that was from Cincinnati, and John -- who repeated what he heard others say -- agreed.

Mourners may express condolences to TV Week blogger Michele Grippi, one of the few who will miss the show.

I guess "John from Cincinnati," whatever he was, didn't have supernatural powers or the ability to save himself.


at 8/16/2007 12:06 AM Blogger skippercollector said...

I don't have HBO or any of the premium cable channels, so I've never really seen any of their other "edgy" series and have nothing with which to compare JFC. But I was able to watch some John from Cincinnati episodes when I was traveling.

My interest in JFC was different from many other viewers. One is that, even though I don't surf, I've been interested in it for years. I understood more of the surf slang than most viewers. Plus, I've read some of Kem Nunn's work.

I've also been a fan of scifi and fantasy for years, so the paranormal (for want of a better term) aspects of the show were something I was used to seeing. If a person hadn't watched many programs like that, I can see how the show could confuse him.

Yes, I did like John from Cincinnati and had thought about subscribing to HBO if the series returned next year. But now HBO won't be getting my business!

at 8/16/2007 10:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, why are you so dissappointed that this show was canceled. Just because it had Cincinnati in the title? It had nothing to do with Cincinnati. No connection what so ever. You knew it had nothing to do with Cincinnati, yet you continually wrote about it, hammered it, even said after the first episode it had nothing to do with Cincinnati. Did you think because it had Cincinnati in the title, somewhere down the road they were going to show downtown? You'd be all over that! But, the show stank, HBO pulled it, and you're upset, why? 'Cause the show that had "Cincinnati" in it's title, which had nothing to do with Cincinnati, will no longer be on.

at 8/16/2007 1:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer for Mr. Kieswetter, I would say, yes, because it has the name Cincinnati in the title, it made it interesting to folks around here. Just because it had nothing to do with Cincinnati, doesn't make it less interesting to folks in Cincinnati. The fact that it had the name Cincinnati in the title, a lot of people who did not see it, may think that it had something to do with Cincinnati. If the show stunk, maybe non viewers would think it had some negative repercussions for Cincinnati. So lighten up Francis, the name did make it of interest to people around here and that is why Kiese "was all over that". Get off his ass!

at 8/27/2007 1:25 PM Anonymous Grannie Annie said...

I loved the multi-layered levels involved in this Shakespearean style productions. I will miss this show.

at 8/29/2007 8:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is sadder than the show being cancelled is that there are people who are happy that it was. We will refer to them as "haters". As "haters" they cannot just accept that there are a "higher thinking" group of people out there who were willing to accept that they weren't going to understand everything about the show right away, and they liked that about it. If everything was given away in the first 6 episodes, the "haters" would also be displeased. You see, there are a group of people out there who will never be happy with ANYTHING. I just hope those are not the people the HBO is catering to, because they will cancel as soon as Entourage is finished and most have probably already done so now that Soprano's is over. I would really like to see another season of JFC so that it has a chance to gain a following and has time to really pan out it's incredibly interesting story line. The people who enjoyed John from Cincinnati are also paying customers and only wish thier wishes to be taken into consideration as well, We're not asking for Sunday night or anything. So back to my original point... Take the high road, don't let the unenlightened get us down.

at 9/04/2007 6:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less intelligent Americans still looking for the same plot in entourage over and over and over and still saying it's awesome = JFC getting cancled, closest show I've seen compete with six feet under and sopranos, All Bundy wasn't ready for John and either is the diminishing IQ of the American public, just cuz you don't understand it doesn't mean it sucks. Also HBO's fault for airing it in the summer when college kids are away for cheap summers, never got a fair shot.

at 9/10/2007 12:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This show failed because the script, characters, plots...Heck, EVERYTHING was schizophrenic! It didn't make a lick of sense!The writers would have done well to create a meaningful link or two in each episode to keep the viewers interest. However, I postulate that there was a very good reason they weren't able to achieve continutity and enhance the development of the show as they went along...

I believe it's because they wrote these episodes under the influence of Nitrous Oxide, so everything seemed brilliant to them at the time when they were high, but their percieved brilliance didn't translate into reality.

Now, I know folks will think that my theory is TOTALLY off the wall. But, if you do a little research you will find references to Nitrous in the creator's comments: That's Exhibit A.

Exhiblit B: As a diver, I can attest to the strange and beautiful sensations that are experienced when you do a deep dive and your body responds to the effects of nitrogen differently because you are under immense pressure - everything you experience seems to be incredibly beautiful... But, if you don't keep your wits about you, you can easily descend into Nitrogen Narcosis, which can land you in the hospital or even permantly sleeping with the fishes if someone doesn't rescue you. When you get back to the surface, the effects wear off quickly and the trip is over.

I really tried to like this series, but it continually frustrated and disappointed me. There was no rescue possilbe for J from C...

Just my opinion.

at 9/11/2007 8:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stopped watching it solely for the convoluted speeches that made Deadwood (by the same people) a pain to watch sometimes. At least then they really did use arcane language and speech patterns. It had no place in the surfing world (and yes I do surf), let alone from someone that is supposed to be a retired cop. i like that shows are supposed to make you think, but this one was all over the board for the wrong reasons. Cut the attempt to be 'artistic' and make a good show. It should be simple. Try too hard and fall too hard.

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