I’ll admit it, I’m a fan of Jericho, the post apocalyptic serial drama from CBS. The acting was bad, the dialog was marginal, and the plotlines required your disbelief to be more than simply suspended… you had to take it out back and shoot it. But the idea was great; that was enough to get me watching in the beginning. That initial curiosity combined with interesting characters and compelling drama turned me into a never-miss-an-episode viewer. So, in the last moments of the season finale, when Jericho is facing its darkest hour and Jake Green echos General Anthony C. McAuliffe’s response to a request for surrender with “Nuts,” I wanted more. Unfortunately, CBS didn’t.
CBS officially announced Jericho’s cancellation on May 16th. Almost immediately (as if the Internet was built for just these circumstances) the orders for nuts started rolling in. A small, 78 year old, family-owned, nut business based in New Jersey called NutsOnline started noticing a bunch of orders coming in to their website to be delivered to CBS headquarters in New York. (By the way, NutsOnline founded in 1929? It must have been a slow 2/3rds of a century for them just waiting around for the interwebs to start up). Within just a few days, this scrappy team of nut roasters and fruit dryers was able to set up a special section of their site for Jericho fans to pool their money for mass shipments of peanuts to CBS.
Their quick action was key in eventually getting over 20 tons of peanuts sent to CBS. The following graph shows an index of the unique visitors to nutsonline.com from May 6th to June 6th.
The purple bar represents those who visited at least one of the special pages created for the Jericho campaign, the orange is anyone who visited NutsOnline but no Jericho page. The average number of daily visitors to NutsOnline during the last 11 days in May was more than triple that for the first 20. During this period, the campaign was almost completely online; run from Jericho Lives, chronicled on blogs like SyFy Portal, and discussed on Jericho Rally Point and the CBS Jericho Message Boards.
Thanks to the Google news alert I had created for the word “jericho” I can tell you that the mounting traffic upto June 5th was from increased mainstream press coverage of the campaign, and rumors that CBS had decided to bring Jericho back (thanks to the same Google alert I can also tell you that: Chris Jericho might return to the WWE, Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas had planned to meet in Jericho on Thursday, and Mark Ricciuto is returning as forward to the Adelaide Football Club replacing Luke Jericho).
After 3 weeks and 20 tons of peanut deliveries, CBS has finally
gotten sick of peanuts seen just how truly great Jericho is and decided to bring it back for at least 7 more episodes mid-season next year. Nina Tassler, the president of CBS Entertainment wrote a nice letter to the Jericho fans on June 6th informing them of CBS’s decision; adding, “P.S. Please stop sending us nuts :-)”. NutsOnline happily complied and shut down all nut shipments to CBS (visitors to NutsOnline are still increasing with more than half of all visitors going to the Jericho section).
P.S. I wouldn’t mind if someone started sending me nuts… Compete Inc. / c/o Steven Willis / 4 Copley Place / Suite 700 / Boston, MA 02116