June 6, 2007 5:30 PM PDT
Deluge of peanuts brings back 'Jericho' TV show
In an online announcement Wednesday afternoon, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler called the online outcry a "probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series" and said CBS has ordered seven more episodes of the show for mid-season.
"We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grassroots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks," Tassler wrote. (Previously aired episodes are available on iTunes and TV.com, which is owned by News.com publisher CNET Networks.)
Jericho is set in a post-apocalyptic Kansas town that survived, through an accident of geography, atomic explosions that lay waste to major cities including Washington, San Francisco, Boston and Denver.
The show centers on the perils that the Green family and other Jericho townspeople face in a world without electricity or a functioning central government. Food is scarce, life is harsh and organized gangs and government thugs (it's difficult to tell which is which) roam the Midwest.
The show aired opposite the highly popular American Idol and ranked 48th overall in terms of prime-time viewers.
And the nuts? That's a reference to the final episode, in which laconic hero Jake Green repeats the epithet made famous a half-century ago when General Anthony McAuliffe rejected a request ("Nuts!") to surrender to the Germans.
Fans irked about the series' cancellation signed up with NutsOnline and solicited contributions. By the end of the day Wednesday, $54,820 worth of orders were shipped to CBS totaling more than 40,000 pounds--something like 8 million peanuts.
Other online protests have involved Star Trek Enterprise, Joss Whedon's Angel (a Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff), and the critically acclaimed but short-lived Arrested Development.
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