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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, March 25, 2008

Jericho Ends Tonight

It looks like the season finale will be the series finale for "Jericho" (10 p.m., Channels 12, 7), unless another network rescues the drama. CBS says tonight's show – the seventh and final show produced this season – will be the last on the network, due to low ratings.
"Jericho" was given a seven-episode order last summer, after a robust protest by fans.

"Jericho" was No. 56 of 89 shows last week, and ranks No. 99 of 198 shows for this TV season.

Here's the statement from Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment president:

"The March 25th episode of Jericho will be the series finale. Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this program; we simply wish there were more. We thank an engaged and spirited fan base for keeping the show alive this long, and an outstanding team of producers, cast and crew that went through creative hoops to deliver a compelling, high quality second season. We have no regrets bringing the show back for a second try. We listened to our viewers, gave the series an opportunity to grow, and the producers put a great story on the screen. We're proud of everyone's efforts."

TV Guide quotes star Skeet Ulrich as saying: "We've shot two separate endings, and one's more final than the other."

Is this the end of "Jericho?" If you've been watching, tell me if the show creatively this year was as good as last year, and worth saving.


at 3/25/2008 12:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it was not as good as last year but it is still better than 90% of the shows on TV. I am one of the people that saved the program the first time. It is getting to the point were TV is not worth watching when the good show don't get brought back.

at 3/25/2008 12:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed that CBS is dropping Jericho again. I think the show was better this year than last and was really looking forward to where the series was headed in Season Three. Honestly, there are enough crime, medical and reality shows out there. Can't we have something different for a change?

I'm not the kind of person that would normally write to a network about a particular show but I feel that Jericho is so unique that it deserves to be seen. Hopefully the millions of Jericho fans out there will write to CBS, or even to the CW or SciFi that the show will get renewed. Personally I have already written CBS, WKRC and the Enquirer about the show. Tonight I'll start my campaign to the CW and SciFi in hopes someone hears me.

at 3/25/2008 3:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found it to be just as good. I think it's a show that would do so much better on cable. I think it's a favorite of younger people that just don't sit down to watch something that airs once a week at 8 or 9.
Channels like FX rerun their shows a couple times a week so if you miss it you can watch it later. I usually end up downloading Jericho and watching when I get the chance.
The Network model of programming is antiquated. Until the Networks join the 21st century they just won't be a viable option for any program that's the least bit interesting.
Network television is like the Applebee's of entertainment, it's always the same no mater what you watch, sure it's not all that bad, but it's certainly not that interesting either.

at 3/25/2008 4:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the show was as good or better than last year. But the network made sure the show fell on its sword. You have an episodic serial drama where one episode builds on another, so what do you do? The first season, the network decided to put the show on an extended hiatus and quit promoting it, so that when it came back finally, it had lost a good chunk of its audience. Then, after being bombarded by peanuts from angry fans, they reversed course, and ordered seven more episodes, and re-ran some of Season one, but again, they left an unusually long period of time, before finally airing the second "mini-season", and refused to let anyone be pinned down on what date that second season would even hit the air. Then they played coy about whether those seven episodes would be it or not, so many folks who might have watched were reluctant to invest their time and energy into a show that would only amount to a glorified mini-series when all was said and done. And the network did all this so they could bring you "Armed and Famous" (remember that turd?) and "KidNation". and I am sure that the network will unearth some other reality show gem to shove down our throats, or better yet, another spin-off of CSI. Thanks CBS.

at 3/25/2008 4:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a tall order. Increase the audience from last year and do it in 1/3 the number of episodes. It didn't work. They had to thin out the cast and simplify the setting and storylines. That doesn't add up to a ratings boom.

At the same time, they did mess up this season. The thrill of the series was that Jericho was a post-apocalypse world where they were struggling for survival against the outside world and the elements. All of that is gone. It's as if all that happened 10 years ago. Now its a thin story about fighting a corrupt authority with a loose tie to the conspiracy. Even with an audience it had nowhere to go next. Sad epitaph.

at 3/25/2008 4:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This season was not nearly as good as last season. Last year was a facinating look at what it would be like if civilization broke down. How long would it take for towns to devolve into the warfare we always hear about in past civilizations. What would people have to do to survive?

This year the show turned into a conspiracy theory show, with a few too many coincidences all landing in Jerhico. I'm sad it is cancelled, but I can see why viewers didn't stick with it.

at 3/25/2008 9:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also disappointed in the decision by CBS. I really do not believe the show was given a fair chance this season at all. It amounted into little more than a mini series, spread out over 7 weeks. I don't think the show could adequately develop a story line this year but instead had to rush through everything. I did enjoy the conspiracy angle that had been developed this season. Sadly, the viewing population has been infected with the lame brain reality bug and the prognosis looks to be fatal for quality type shows like Jericho and Friday Night Lights. Even though Jericho is lost for me, all is not lost; that means less network viewing for me which will be CBS and NBC's loss. Hopefully the continued dumbing down of network TV will lead to the mass defection that will cost all these short-sighted executives their jobs!

at 3/26/2008 7:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Jericho. *sarcasm* I'm sure I'll love "Secret Talents of the Stars" or whatever just as much. *sarcasm*

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