Jericho Is Losing The Nielsen Fight

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 9th, 2012 at 9:58 pm,

nielsen beating jericho Jericho Is Losing The Nielsen FightJericho ended it’s first season on a very frustrating note:

The ultimate cliffhanger.

It was “ultimate” because CBS decided to drop the series and had no intention of airing a resolution to the finale. It would be an understatement to say that this annoyed fans of the show, who were inspired and organized enough to orchestrate the comeback for the series.

Though the cliffhanger has been resolved, the 2nd season Nielsen numbers for Jericho aren’t looking so rosy; this season’s episodes are averaging just under 7 million viewers, which is too low a number for any studio to be happy about.

This second season was dedicated to the fans and the sad part is that even though fans were urged to get as many folks as possible watching the show, CBS forgot to mention that they should get as many Nielsen family friends to watch the show.


By online standards, the show is doing really well: Over 700,000 downloads of the first episode of season two make it one of the most downloaded shows on iTunes. Nuts, huh (uh oh.. I didn’t mean that).

Yet the ratings are still not impressive enough to pay the bills and keep the studio happy. That’s something I touched on in my Nielsen report a few weeks ago: That despite online generated interest, it’s the TV viewing families that have the last word in the success of a series.

Despite the amount of interest demonstrated by the core fans, the numbers from this second season are pretty much telling CBS executives that the numbers from the first season might not have been wrong. There were concerns (excuses?) that it was hurt by being pitted against more popular shows. As we noted in (our take on the show’s cancellation): “TV viewers are to blame for not tuning in”.

One CBS source says there are no regrets, but fans are blaming the current state of affairs on CBS’ lack of support. Among the reasons listed are missing characters, less action and many two person scenes due to budget limitations. They also complained about a terrible time slot, a lower budget and stuffing an entire season’s storyline into seven episodes.

To which I say: Where’s the gratitude people? If there were enough fans willing and ready, would the time slot even matter?

Despite claims by production staff that two people in a room is an improvement in storyline quality, the show is hurting in the ratings. This is reemphasizing the notion that programming decisions should be based solely on the antiquated Nielsen ratings system. At least until they can manage to generate income off of online content.

With the internet being the choice of more and more of the younger generation to view their entertainment, studios and advertisers need to get off their collective asses and figure something out so that the shows that viewers truly love can continue on.

Until then, the television audience will be continue to be penalized for using newer, more modern methods of enjoying their favorite shows.

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  1. Well thats not good for CBS, Jericho is the only show I watch on their network. I guess I will not be watching anything on CBS when Jericho is over. Its too bad the fact that online ratings should definitely be calculated in. Why do people like garbage like American Idol?

  2. Fine–give me a list of Nielsen families and I will ask them personally to watch Jericho. But let’s face it-among all my family and friends, I don’t know anyone who has one of the out-dated, antiquated boxes. I don’t know anyone who has EVER had one.

    So why don’t OUR viewing habits count?? This is just too frustrating for words. People watch their programs differently these days and it’s way past time for networks to get with it.

    If CBS doesn’t do right by Jericho (yes, I AM grateful the the additional episodes, but CBS mucked up the first season with a 3-month hiatus!), I am done with them altogether. They can pander their dim-witted reality shows (seriously, CAGE FIGHTING??!!) elsewhere.

  3. Sorry if we’re not one of the “Special Nielsen Families”, but there are thousands upon thousands of us out there tuning in everyweek, whether it be live, download or watching on the CBS webpage. Why is it that we have to prove ourselves above and beyond, yet there is that crap load of reality programs out there that get less ratings, but are still on the air?!?! Gee guess we’ll see season 2 of Kids Nation next, huh?

  4. Makes you wonder if Mental hospitals have Nielsen boxs.
    With all the dren that is out there getting “ratings” is a huge joke.

    If anyone that has a Nielsen box is reading this please drop a line.
    So I can poop on your face !!!

  5. Nielsen families also have to write a journal of notes on what they watched during the week. If they say 20 friends all came over to watch Idol, then Idol gets those additional points.

    The Nielsen way is completly corrupt.

  6. If/when Jericho is cancelled, I will no longer watch CBS. It is the only show they have that I do watch since they took off The Unit. I hate reality and game shows and if that is the future of network television then I want no part of it.

  7. It does look like CBS is factoring in the online value of Jericho, at least.

    BIG VIDEO content producers need to come up with aggregate ratings that combine television viewing with online video consumption, says Patrick Keane, vice president and chief marketing officer for CBS Interactive, speaking Monday at MediaPost’s OMMA Global conference in Hollywood. The combined rating would provide media buyers with a cross-platform option that’s simpler and more detailed in terms of data, because of online metrics.

    Using CBS as an example, Keane said the online video audience for one episode of “Jericho” boosted the show’s TV ratings by almost a full point: from 4.2 to 5.1.

    http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=78684

  8. Mr Rodgers, without giving anything major away, how is season 2 going on Jericho?
    I have to admit I have the first season on dvd but have yet to watch it…

    Memeber of the American Idol is Murder fan club.

  9. The networks are the ones that offer us the alternate viewing, and then they punish us for taking them up on it.

    And I swear, if I hear the word “Nielsen” one more time, I’m likely to totally go balistic. I think we’ve all received a pretty good education on Nielsen. What an antiquated, outdated method that is. Nobody uses technology that old anymore. How they are still getting away with it is completely beyond me. Please come into the 21st Century already.

  10. Well I haver been a fan of Jericho from the beginning and IMHO these last 6 episodes (next week the finale) have been awesome. Great writing, great acting, compelling story and frankly I want the saga to continue beyond next week.
    I heard rumors that Sci-fi might pick up the show, they are running reruns now.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents. I say keep Jericho on the air.

  11. CBS Exec Wants Combined TV, Internet Ratings
    by Erik Sass, Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 7:00 AM ET
    HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. — BIG VIDEO content producers need to come up with aggregate ratings that combine television viewing with online video consumption, says Patrick Keane, vice president and chief marketing officer for CBS Interactive, speaking Monday at MediaPost’s OMMA Global conference in Hollywood. The combined rating would provide media buyers with a cross-platform option that’s simpler and more detailed in terms of data, because of online metrics.

    Using CBS as an example, Keane said the online video audience for one episode of “Jericho” boosted the show’s TV ratings by almost a full point: from 4.2 to 5.1. While Keane made no mention of it, this extra audience is especially valuable for a show like “Jericho,” which has struggled to build a larger audience. The show’s hardcore fans saved the show from cancellation once, but it’s hanging by a thread–and another ratings point may help.

    Citing another example from CBS, Keane said that while the Grammys attracted 16.9 million TV viewers–down 15% from the previous year–it also generated 7.9 million online video streams and 4.9 million page views.

    Of course, it’s a two-way street; TV programming also boosts online traffic. Keane said CBS Interactive closely tracks the relationship between shows and online behavior. Showing a chart that overlaid TV and online audiences, Keane said online traffic spiked in a fairly predictable way following certain kinds of programming, allowing CBS to refine its programming.

    Most important, Keane added that the online activity didn’t cannibalize the broadcast audience–meaning that advertisers can add to frequency with linked online campaigns.

  12. Ah, yes. The inadequate, inaccurate, insufficient ratings system. I polled coworkers. 10/59 watch Jericho faithfully in one way or another. That’s 17%. 17% of the estimated US population is 51,000,000. Those are good numbers, arent’ they? It’s a shame, or a sham, that we are invisible to CBS.

  13. Some of the best actors are gone. It seems to be working a lot on formula. Each episode has a very sappy scene. A shootout in last week’s episode was oh-so-forced.

    The show used to have heart, and it focused on characters. Now it’s conspiracy-based and we’re supposed to believe that a post-semi-apocolyptic USA can be rebranded in a matter of months.

    I’m tired of seeing Skeet chlench his jaw and narrow his eyes–what is he, an anime character?

  14. The problem is how much they’ve had to compress the story. As to Skeet’s jaw-clenching, they’re in jaw-clenching times…

    On a side note, this show (and last night’s episode in particular) is a great argument for not letting the government erode our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

    Get a gun while you still can, before the November election. :-)

    Vic

  15. “The people of Jericho are going to take back this town!” I like that concept and promise, but we’ve become jaded after 5 years in Iraq. The Blackwater/Ravenwood parallel as well as all the others reflect the reality of any war of occupation. As much as I love the can do spirit of the common man, the sad reality of the situation is what we’ve seen in Iraq: if the army cannot contain the rebeelion, they’ll destory the town. So the people may win the revolt (unlikely but let’s entertain the notion), but there will be no town to take back.

    I’m not sure why the same helicopters that cornered Hawkins in the truck didn’t track him into the flat, featureless terrain and capture him, either. The once calm, methodical and well- organized Hawkins is now bullheaded to his own detriment.

  16. Beware of the soldiers that wear Blue helmets.
    They will be the ones coming for the guns.

    The feds will never openly come after your guns. They’ll let the UN Peace keepers do that.