Fans of the cancelled Skeet Ulrich drama “Jericho,” set in a small Kansas town after a mysterious series of nuclear blasts rip major U.S. cities, are socking CBS television brass with bags of nuts in protest. The idea was inspired by a line in the series’ last episode. (The line itself recalls the story of an American general during the Battle of the Bulge who received an ultimatum from the Germans to surrender. “Nuts,” responded Gen. Tony McAuliffe.)
As of Sunday night, a whopping 24,000 pounds of nuts had been pledged, according to the company handling the shipments, NutsOnline.com.
One of the lead “Jericho” protesters, reports a sci-fi fan website, is Pittsburgh’s own Clarke Ingram, operations manager for WKHB (620) and WKFB (770). Another local fan, Kyle Atherton of Kittanning, is also participating in the protest, reports the Leader Times. “It was one of the few really great shows on anymore,” he tells the newspaper. ‘It was one that you had to watch every week to know what was going on and you never knew what the characters would do next.
Aaron Barnhart, host of TVBarn.com and critic for the Kansas City Star, says “Jericho” fans can hope for a special episode or one-shot movie to wrap up the series, but doubts their protest will inspire CBS to bring back the series, or that another network will pick it up. “All indications are that ‘Jericho’ was well-sampled in the fall and that people had 11 opportunities to check it out before it went off the air,” he argues.
Indeed, a CBS spokesman tells the New York Times that the network is “impressed” but hasn’t changed its decision about the show.
But E!’s Kristin Veitch thinks the network seriously underestimated the strength of the “Jericho” fan base. “Nielsen can measure butts in seats, but it sure can’t measure hearts and minds,” she says, adding that the ratings for “Jericho” “don’t tell the whole story” in this case.