Okay, "Jericho" fans. You just demonstrated your great power. But are you ready for the great responsibility that comes with it?
Late yesterday, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler posted a message on the CBS.com message board an nouncing she had ordered an ab breviated seven-episode second season of the canceled post-apocalyptic Midwestern drama. The decision came only after CBS' offices were deluged with phone calls, e-mails, and tons and tons of nuts. This last was in reference to a character in the season finale saying "Nuts!" to an offer to surrender, which was in turn a reference to Gen. Anthony McAuliffe's response to a similar demand from the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. (At the end of her message, Tassler asked, "Please stop sending us nuts.")
Fans have mounted similar campaigns on behalf of low-rated shows that were either canceled or on the verge of cancellation, but they rarely have much impact -- especially now that the Internet makes organizing "save our show" campaigns so easy.
Even when network executives are occasionally swayed -- as, say, WB suits were when "Roswell" fans deluged them with bottles of Tabasco near the end of the first season -- the Nielsen ratings rarely go up to reflect the passion of the hard-core fans. ("Roswell" struggled after renewal, was canceled by the WB and then picked up by UPN for one more season as part of a business deal to acquire "Buffy the Vampire Slayer.") About the only show that had a long run after a fan campaign brought it back from the dead: CBS' "Cagney & Lacey," and that happened nearly a quarter-century ago.
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