Friday, June 8, 2007

CBS Now Resumes Your Coverage Of World War III

The TV viewing audience is a vocal bunch. When something pisses them off, they tend to raise a little hell about it. Sometimes that's a bad thing. I mean, be honest - in retrospect, was another season or two of Roswell really a good idea? But sometimes, the crazy viewers who won't take no for an answer get it right. And that was the case with Jericho.

For those of you that haven't been acquainted, Jericho tells the tale about a town struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic America. It's a powerful premise, and something that hasn't really been seen on TV before. So, as expected, it generated a lot of pre-season buzz last fall. Whether the show lived up to that buzz, however, is a matter of opinion.

The show started fairly strong - the premise was enough to hook most people. Unfortunately, it got a little sappy around mid-season, and some viewers started to lose interest. That's too bad, because despite the down-turn in action, the writing and acting were still top notch. However, that change isn't what caused the most significant loss in viewers - the three month hiatus took care of that.

In their infinite wisdom, the CBS execs decided that they wouldn't "over saturate" the public with too much Jericho. So, instead of airing the series between the months of December through February, they aired crappy specials, mid-season junk, and cheap reality TV in its place. When Jericho finally returned, many viewers had lost track of the show, and just didn't get back into it. The worst part? The final episodes of the season were some of the best. Each show was filled with real tension and serious issues that kept you wanting more. This was truly the best show of the season that no one was watching.

As a result of the lackluster ratings for the second half of the year, CBS canned the show just before announcing this year's fall lineup. But the Jericho faithful held strong, and to show their support, sent nuts to the CBS offices (because they were nuts to cancel the show - get it?). And, much like it did for the original Star Trek series back in 1967, the campaign worked. Earlier this week, CBS officially announced that Jericho would return as a mid-season replacement due to the support of the viewers.

This is good news for a deserving TV show. In this day and age, good TV is hard to find. But Jericho consistently delivers. Look for this one when it returns for season 2. And if you missed any of season 1, consider picking up the DVD box set when it's released, probably later this year.

As a grateful viewer, thanks to everyone that helped to bring back one of my favorite shows of the season. Now if we could just kill that stupid Heroes spin-off scheduled for next season...

Note - Speaking of returning from the dead, some of you may have noticed a distinct lack of posts on the Playground this week. This was not a planned absence, but sometimes, recess does get cancelled. I'm happy to report that the troubles are over, however, and things should return to normal first thing next week. We're already planning some double features to make up for the lack of them this week, so don't worry - the kidd always delivers. Thanks for hanging in.

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