Part 2: The First Save Jericho Campaign
In this part 2 of my series “A Brief history of Jericho” we will discuss the first fan campaign that helped to save Jericho from the grip of cancellation in 2007. I would like to thank Gwen of “Save Jericho” and Barney (Redsox on the CBS boards) Jericho’s resident historian, for providing me with invaluable information for this series of articles. There is so much information that I cannot hope to cover it all in just these articles, but more on that later.
So let’s get started!
The first campaign that was created to help save Jericho, began in May of 2007 and lasted until June of the same year. It was announced by CBS that Jericho was indeed canceled after its nail-biting cliffhanger in season 1. The first campaign was formed in an attempt to bring back the show and resolve the story-lines that had been set into motion.
This campaign was not made up of one person, but of many Jericho fan groups that joined together to fight the good fight. The main groups that were involved were, Jeritopia, The Guardians of Jericho, Jericho Rallypoint and Jericho lives. These groups of fans utilized the CBS chat room forum Boards that CBS had intended for people to share ideas on. It must be remembered that social media as we know it now did not exist at this time. Facebook was very new and Twitter was yet to be invented.
There were many communities that popped up over this time that all supported Jericho, including Jericho Kansas (Gwen) Radio Free Jericho and Jericho Rangers 4 Kids, many of these groups primary method of communication was using the CBS Jericho Forums that had been set up, this allowed for the diverse groups to all communicate more effectively.
The most famous event to happen in the Save Jericho movement was the NUTS campaign. The phrase NUTS was coined from the Season 1 finale of CBS Jericho in which the story of a WWII commander is told and how after being told to surrender he simply replied “NUTS” the main Leaders of the Save Jericho movement at this time were Schumi (Mari Lee) Clark (a radio DJ in Pittsburgh) and Callisto at Jericho Rallypoint.
A big supporter of Jericho was Talk show host Shaun Daily; it was the use of his radio show that allowed for a large audience to be reached to move the campaign forward. It was Shaun who first crafted the idea to send nuts to CBS in an effort to save the show. Joining forces with Nutsonline.com (They still sell a Jericho themed nuts pack you can order here https://nuts.com/snacks/trail-mix/jericho-mix.html) A plan was created to send a massive number of Nuts packages to CBS and have them delivered over Memorial Day and the subsequent days leading up to June 3rd.
As the fan campaign kicked into high gear The Fans started to call, email and fax CBS headquarters, CBS affiliates and CBS studios in LA. The fans would use the CBS forums to update what numbers and emails worked and recording when they had called.
Rangers began sending in shipments of nuts to Les Moonves and Nancy Tellem at CBS and with the help of Shaun Dailey money was pooled and large shipments of nuts were sent to CBS headquarters, in the end more than 14,000 pounds of nuts were shipped. Shaun Dailey used his show Blog Talk Radio to keep the Rangers invigorated, his show routinely had CBS Jericho Cast, Creative Team and Crew Members on to talk about their love of the show.
What must be realized is how amazing this first campaign was, social media was very new and many of the apps and sites that are commonly used today did not exist at that time. Write in efforts to save shows had existed in the past but Jericho changed the whole landscape of fan campaigns. Harnessing current technology, budding social media and the raw power of ingenuity to create a force of nature that could not be ignored.
The first campaign came to an end on June 3, 2007 when Nancy Tellem made an announcement that Jericho would return to CBS due to the massive outpouring of support from the Jericho Rangers.
Jericho community member and historian Barney said
“I remember being in New York for business and walking by the CBS corporate headquarters that day (of the renewal announcement). You really felt that you had been part of something special and had actually helped to bring a major television network to its knees and forced them to listen to its customers.”
The second season of CBS Jericho went into production in august of 2007. This also coincided with the rise of a new leader in the Jericho community who went by the name of “General Patton” who played a role in the 2nd campaign…. but that dear reader is a tale for another article.
To be Continued