Series Gets a Reprieve From CBS After Online-Led Protest

CBS has been preaching audience and tonight Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, backed it up by bringing back a canceled series with a vocal and demonstrative community. (Sending thousands of pounds of peanuts to the network is an attention-getter.) Shows and characters have been saved before by fan outpourings but this particular effort coincides with other CBS interests. In a message sent to several blogs, Tassler outlined an interactive proposition: she’s bringing back “Jericho” for seven mid-season episodes and promised to back it up by, among other things, rebroadcasting the series on air, streaming episodes and clips across the upcoming CBS Audience Network, and continuing the series “in the digital world” — then warned that happens next is up to the fans.

Tassler: “For there to be more ‘Jericho,’ we will need more viewers. A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available. We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.”

In other words, put up or shut up. Either way, CBS execs get to say they listened and responded. If the show doesn’t work this time maybe they can charge it against the interactive marketing budget instead of programming.