Recently, we’ve learned that NBC did not pick up their option on the series “Journeyman.” This doesnt necessarily mean the show is gone, but its more than likely. This news has, of course, brought out the fans in their efforts to “save” the show.
I enjoyed the show, and felt it was smart, well-written sci-fi. The cast did an outstanding job, making the world they live in feel believable. But we have to face the facts that the show did not survive. It bled viewers from the start, and had never been able to hold the audience from its lead-in, “Heroes.” The show may have been too smart for its own good.
But that doesnt stop the determined fans, who even now are sending boxes of Rice-A-Roni to NBC in New York. Why Rice-A-Roni? Because it’s the San Francisco treat, and “Journeyman” is set in San Francisco. It seems like a stretch to me, but hey, I didnt come up with it.
Write-in campaigns to save shows arent new, and even the concept of sending items in to catch the attention of networks executives has been around for a while. But the concept really took hold with the resurrection of CBS post-apocalypse series “Jericho.”
I like “Jericho” and I’m glad to see it back, but at times like these, I wish the campaign had failed. It has only given hope to people. Hope that they can exert some real influence on the networks.
“Jericho” is coming back, and just maybe the campaign helped, but it most certainly wasnt the deciding factor. CBS had mountains of data to analyze to determine that they screwed up with the show.
“Jericho” deserved to survive because it had one thing going for it: It had people watching it. The ratings were strong the first half of the season, but dropped after a two-plus-month hiatus for the winter. A show finding its audience could not survive that, and it didn’t. CBS acknowledges it screwed up.
“Journeyman” was given every chance to build an audience. But the problem is almost half of the people who watched “Heroes” turned the channel instead of staying for “Journeyman.” For the networks, theres no coming back from that. They didnt pull it too soon, nor did they move the show around their schedule. They kept it stable, and aired all the episodes.
They pre-empted it once, and the show aired in its place pulled better ratings. Given this information, no matter how good a show was, how much entertainment it provided, in a network’s eyes, it doesnt deserve another chance. I have to agree with them.
Ill miss the show, and if by some Christmas miracle it gains a reprieve and stays on the air, Ill watch it. But sometimes you should just let a show die.
If youd like to chat about this column, you can join our message board discussions by clicking here. Ed Left is a columnist for Airlock Alpha, digging out of the snow in Chicago. He also is the Webmaster of Sci-Fi On TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.