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Nuts for Jericho

By Michelle Malkin  •  May 26, 2007 07:55 AM

Special delivery for CBS

Lots of readers keep e-mailing me about the campaign to save the CBS show, “Jericho.” I’ve never watched it, but readers tell me it’s a conservative-friendly program. Paul M. e-mails: “This show was about a devastating nuclear terrorist attack on the US (multiple cities) and one small Kansas town dealing with the aftermath. The show promotes family values, the power of communities, and the harsh reality that millions of Americans would face if such an event were to ever occur.” Fans are really nuts about the show. Literally. To protest the network’s sudden cancellation last week, viewers have sent some 20,000 pounds of nuts to CBS headquarters.

The central organizing site for fans is at nutsonline.com. The Jericho message boards are here. Jericho fan/blogger Boon Doggie writes:

I’m going to go out on a limb and make a prediction.

The Save Jericho campaign will change the way Old Media interacts with the internet…CBS is being flooded with nuts. Not just fans, but actual peanuts. Nuts Online has a NUTS for Jericho promotion going. Fans can send any amount of money to contribute to a bulk purchase of nuts that will then be sent to CBS. The picture is of the first THOUSAND pounds going out. And there’s another TON on the way. The promotion has only been up for two days. Nuts Online even put the UPS tracking number up so that fans can watch their packages put CBS awash in a sea of nuts.

…This absolutely dwarfs the famous Star Trek letter writing campaign…Things move at a different speed on the internet.

And all because executives at CBS were told by the Niels[e]n ratings that the show didn’t have much support…

…CBS is under the impression that the old technology of set top boxes and personal diaries from Niels[e]n families controls their business model. In some ways, it still does, because advertisers go along with it. The viewers aren’t CBS’s customers, the advertisers are. But when the advertisers figure out that the old measurements are pretty much useless, they’ll start to change their models. Spending $500K for 30 seconds of prime time advertising won’t seem like such a smart idea when that same $500K could be spent elsewhere.

And when that happens, we’ll look back at the Save Jericho campaign and say that’s where it started.

Here’s an ABC story on the grass-roots Internet movement:

Clarke Ingram is one of the people who starting working on a campaign earlier this month. Before the series even ended, he and others on the Web started talking about what to do if CBS decided to cancel the show.

“I’m 50 years old and this is the best show I’ve ever seen,” Ingram said.

He and other fans just started tossing out ideas. Radio host Shaun O’Mac also started talking about “Jericho.”

So why nuts?

In the final episode of “Jericho,” 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.”

The response is in reference to Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, a U.S. Army general who in World War II was surrounded by Germans demanding his surrender.

His response: “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 now apparently the show — ended there.

So is CBS nuts?

“Right now they are,” Russell said. “They still have time to change their minds.”

Stay tuned…

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