CBS under attack for canceling 'Jericho': Protests grow
By Stone Martindale May 28, 2007, 16:36 GMT
Skeet © Chris Hatcher / Photorazzi
CBS Network has received pallets of peanuts from irate fans over the canceling of the popular show "Jericho."
Fans of HBO's short-lived "Rome" could have learned a thing or two from the die hard fans of the CBS show that featured life in a small town, after several nuclear bombs have gone off in the country.
The disgruntled "Jericho" fans have sent the network thousands and thousands of pounds of nuts in protest.
When CBS canceled "Jericho," fans immediately started to rebel and organize.
Internet blogs chat rooms and even websites are filled with talk about how to convince CBS to bring back the show.
One idea, to send peanuts. Over 20,000 pounds of nuts have been sent to various network executives in New York and Los Angeles offices, reports ABC and CBS and the New York Times.
"They got us hooked on this great drama & They make you actually care about the characters," said Kevin M. Russell, a fan turned nut-shipper from Fort Smith, Ark. to ABC News. "Then they pull the plug."
"Bottom line it's to make a statement," Russell added. "We're tired of the networks telling us what to watch."
Blame technology, the Internet makes it much easier for people to find each other and organize for any endeavor. Including protests over canceled television shows.
Website nutsonline.com had noticed strange and massive orders coming in for nuts to send to CBS. The owners clued in quickly.
The website helped "Jericho" fans pool their resources in their grassroots peanut protest.
The nuts are from recalling the final episode of "Jericho," where the town is under siege from a neighboring community. When asked to surrender, lead character Jake Green, played by Skeet Ulrich, has a one-word response: "Nuts."
ABC cites the famous quote of Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, a U.S. Army general who in World War II was surrounded by Germans demanding his surrender: "Nuts."
The fictional residents of "Jericho" took Jake Green's "nuts" as a rallying cry as they fought the larger force from the neighboring town. Fans never got to see the outcome of the battle. The season and series ended there.
The nuts allegedly will be donated to City Harvest, a New York-based program that takes excess food and distributes it to community food programs for the poor, according to Phil Gonzales, a CBS spokesman. Some of the nuts are also on their way to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Staten Island Homefront Project.
Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, was one of the nut recipients.
After receiving the packages, she posted a statement on "Jericho's" message board.
"We have read your e-mails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment. Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision," she wrote.
"In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure to the compelling drama that was the 'Jericho' story," she said.
Dan Shotz, producer of "Jericho," told ABC News in an e-mail: "We, the producers, are so moved by the outpouring of support for "Jericho." The way this show has resonated with our audience means the world to us. We have the greatest fans. We appreciate their tireless efforts to help their favorite show return to television. We are doing everything we can to help in that endeavor."