Fan Efforts To Save Cancelled TV Shows

April 21, 2014

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Great television shows have a way of getting into the soul of a person so much that they would be willing to do almost anything to resurrect their favorite ones, even if that means missing work, spending money, making banners, or signing petitions. Avid television show watchers will do almost anything to get a cancelled show back and recent events are proof of that.

Roots of Show Revivals

Shows like Veronica Mars, Roswell, and Jericho were cancelled by networks who felt the ratings were too low in desired demographics, and the fans that fought back to save their shows can trace their campaign roots back to the fans of the original Star Trek.

After airing for two seasons, Captain Kirk, Scotty, and the beloved Vulcan Spock were cancelled; much to the dismay of millions of Star Trek fans. These fans wrote thousands of letters to get their show back and they did, for one season.

Veronica Mars, Roswell, and Jericho Fans Fight Back

The fans of today’s cancelled shows have to go much further than those of the past and they have shown that they are willing to do it. Veronica Mars’s fans sent thousands of Mars candy bars to the CW headquarters in hopes to get their show back on the air.

Roswell fans sent hot sauce to their show’s headquarters to protest the cancellation, but the most robust fan effort to save a cancelled TV show will have to be the fan led effort that brought back the CBS serial-drama Jericho.

The Revenge of the Fallen: Jericho Fans Fight Back

Jericho was a show based on a small Kansas’ town struggle to survive following a massive terrorist attack that left 23 American cities destroyed and millions of citizens suffering from radiation poisoning after nuclear bombs were detonated in each city.

There are numerous plot twists within the series that kept most viewers on the edge of their seats during every episode.

Jericho had something for every person in the home except maybe the children under 8-9 years old.

Each week the viewers were kept wanting more, but an ill-advised mid-season hiatus combined with airing the show during American Idol led to smaller viewer totals and dismal second-half ratings.

The ultimate end for Jericho after one year on the air was cancellation, and fans blamed it on the hiatus and scheduling issues. This transition from great show to cancellation was a hard one for Jericho fans to bear and they decided to fight back just like the characters in their beloved show.

Stealing a line from the show where the main character; Jake Green; tells an enemy that he will not surrender the town by simply replying, “NUTS”, the Jericho fans launched a campaign centered around sending over two tons of peanuts to CBS headquarters.

The NUTS Campaign

Thousands of fans worldwide spent thousands of dollars sending pallet after pallet of peanuts to CBS headquarters with messages like, “Save Jericho,” and “Jericho Lives,” stapled to the bags. The drivers who delivered the nuts even wore T-shirts toting the campaign’s slogan “NUTS FOR JERICHO.”

If the nuts weren’t enough, Jericho fans contacted their local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations to boost their cause and make CBS hear them. CBS headquarters was bogged down with hundreds of e-mails, letters, and telephone calls every day with fans demanding for the return of their show.

Jericho Rangers and Other Avenues of Attack

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The fans never backed-down and even took the attack to the antiquated rating system company, Nielsen, in a campaign to show that the rating system for television shows was outdated.

Fans from other cult-classic shows took this as a sign that the Jericho fans were not only fighting for their show, but for all disenfranchised fans everywhere, and they too took up the banner for Jericho.

The most avid fans of the show took up the title “Jericho Rangers” and set-up protests at their local CBS affiliates, passed out fliers, made YouTube videos, etc.

The fans sent donated copies of the Season One DVD to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, boosting the fan-base substantially and showing that Jericho fans cared about more than just their show. The fans proved this even further when they raised money and sent hundreds of boxes of supplies to the families left recovering from devastating tornadoes in Greenburg, Kansas.

Each box had a note in it signed with a simple statement that let the families know that the Jericho fans were not only working hard to resurrect their show, but would do everything in their power to help resurrect the town of Greensburg.

The Return and Second Cancellation

This campaign of selflessness and unique methods in hopes to save Jericho made international headlines and eventually led to the resurrection of the show for a short 8 episode second season. CBS once again cancelled the show following this short season, but the fans fought back again.

They rented a billboard in Hollywood asking for the show’s return, created a TV commercial that aired in multiple major markets pleading for the shows return, and began resending the nuts to CBS headquarters. Unfortunately the second time around the fans weren’t able to get their show back, but they did get a slight victory.

Small Victory the Second Time Around

In the fall of 2009 Jericho returned to its fans in the form of a comic book that picked-up the story where the second season left off and the producers of the show announced that they were ironing out all the details for a possible Jericho movie that would hopefully bring some closure to all the questions left unanswered after the short second season.

Unfortunately for the fans the movie never materialized and the comic books ran into publishing problems after three books were printed. The fight for Jericho continues to this day though and CBS has already commented on numerous occasions that the fans of Jericho are probably the most supportive fans they have seen in a long time and probably will see for some time into the future.