Tuesday, March 25, 2008

All TV: 'Jericho' ends, 'Autism: The Musical' review

Twofer column today, starting with a look at the end of "Jericho" (again):

Behold, "Jericho," the show so nice, CBS canceled it twice.

The first time was last spring, when the network left "Jericho" off its fall schedule, only to be overwhelmed by the best-organized Save Our Show campaign of all time. Fans deluged the CBS offices with phone calls (some network execs had to change their numbers) and peanuts -- 20 tons of peanuts in all, inspired by a line in the show's finale (which was, in turn, inspired by the Battle of the Bulge).

So all those nuts inspired CBS to uncancel the show for a make-or-break mini-season of seven episodes. But the numbers were even lower this time than they were last spring -- last week's episode drew 5.7 million viewers, as compared to the 7.7 million who watched the cancellation-level season one finale -- and CBS decided to cancel it again, and for good this time.
The second item, meanwhile, reviews HBO's "Autism: The Musical," which is very honest and very sweet and deservingly tear-jerking. To read the full thing, click here.

16 comments:

Mrglass said...

Hey Alan, are you going to review John Adams' episodes?

dez said...

I'd like to think that if CBS had put "Jericho" on at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m., it would have done much better, especially since this season has been pretty kick-ass :-) Nuts. But like you say in your story, at least we're getting some bit of closure.

nella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Shouldn't every column have some reference to Homer's peanuts, money, goods & services dialogue with his brain?

It seems like Jericho, a show that had very loyal viewers (but only a few loyal viewers) would have been a show that could have spun off to cable for its second season, like the L&O that moved over to USA. (It may have been too expensive to make that feasible-- never having cared enough to watch, I have no idea.)

But unlike FNL, which may get underwritten by satellite to compensate for the weak ratings, it seems like Jericho never had the quality to serve as a calling card for CBS.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Fienberg on the "Jericho" topic.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hey Alan, are you going to review John Adams' episodes?

Nope. Too bored by it.

Brent McKee said...

If nothing else, the decision to run Jericho in the third hour of Tuesday nights was arguably a death warrant for the show. When was the last time a CBS show has run longer than a season in that time slot - in fact it might be more like longer than half a season - without counting the perpetual CBS hole filler The Amazing Race? The answer is probably Judging Amy.

Jennifer said...

I find it extremely hard to believe that CBS wanted the show to succeed when they put it in the death slot.

Alanna said...

... Or maybe not enough people wanted to watch the show, regardless of the time slot. The ratings were lukewarm to begin with, and a fair number of new viewers were being asked to commit to a show that obviously had a short shelf life. (The chances of another hail-mary renewal were slim at best.)

Look, I like(d) Jericho. I'm even one of those new viewers who tuned in at the start of S2 because I thought it deserved a fighting chance after the surprise renewal. CBS gave it that fighting chance, but it just wasn't enough. The timeslot was just one of many reasons why.

Christy said...

The first episode this season was not good. They brought an anvil along just in case we didn't notice the political commentary. Viewers are tired of being lectured. Too bad, because the last few episodes have been wonderful.

What does this augur for the future of shows with season, or even multi-season arcs? I know I never bothered with The Nine because of it. Jericho got me only because I'm a sucker for after-the-apocalypse stories.

Anonymous said...

I never expected Jericho to get anything but the 7 extra episodes it got and I doubt anyone at CBS or the shows producers expect it either. The reasoning behind the second season, always sound to me like "ok, the show has a passionated following, some buzz and it will look good for us to uncancell it and let it wrap-up".

mrsbbradley said...

As a parent of a child with autism, I'm waiting to watch "Autism: The Musical" when everyone is out of the house and I have a fresh box of tissues.

kathy said...

I'm a fan of "Jericho", I know it's not a great show but there's something appealingly old-fashioned about it.

And a shout out for the great Jamie Hector aka Marlo Stanfield, for his brief appearance int his episode.

nevadasmith said...

I watched Jericho for the same reason I might listen to Sean Hannity or Howard Stern in the car-because there's nothing else on. It had just enough to make you watch (a very decent idea) but never enough to make you look forward to it. That it came back was a miracle-that it's gone is understandable.

Anonymous said...

Based on your recommendation, I watched Autism: the Musical.

You were right; it was totally wonderful.

khushi said...

It seems like Jericho, a show that had very loyal viewers (but only a few loyal viewers) would have been a show that could have spun off to cable for its second season, like the L&O that moved over to USA.I find it extremely hard to believe that CBS wanted the show to succeed when they put it in the death slot.