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Fans Use the Internet to Send 26,000 Pounds of Nuts to CBS

CBS recently decided to cancel the show Jericho and received 26,000 pounds a.k.a. 13 tons of nuts for its choice. The N.Y. Times’ description of the way viewers coordinated the effort and apparently chose the items based on the show’s last episode (which had a reference to General Tony McAuliffe’s famous reply to a surrender demand by the Germans in World War II) is a fun example of the Internet facilitating the construction of a community (complete with fanfic), quick communication, and coordinating action.

The article also notes how some shows build fanatic followings and traces the link back to the Star Trek era. Given that entertainment often forgets to deliver a story and seems like a pure advertising device, that point struck me as showing television executives that when people connect with a show they will indeed buy all the merchandise, see the related films, read the books. Indeed, with the help of the Internet, people take their own time to create and will generate the type of interpersonal marketing and interest that an advertising company would kill for. In short, ratings (both high and low) do not necessarily indicate that the long-term investment the television industry wants will be there. Good stories in creative worlds have that potential. In any event, enjoy the article. The description of the fan world and its polite yet slightly crazy way to tell CBS that it is crazy is a fun read.

3 thoughts on “Fans Use the Internet to Send 26,000 Pounds of Nuts to CBS”

  1. I am a huge Star Trek fan. And I agree with Bruce.

    I wonder if this fandom is more particular to one genre than another. Soaps have devoted fan bases, but most of the soaps on TV are decades old, as are their demographic. Science fiction shows are shorter lived (for the most part), are considered “cult,” and their fan base appears to be younger, tech-savvy and tech-thriving. Conventions are public nerdfests–the internet has allowed for the prolifertion of blogrings, fansites, messageboards, etc. There’s a lot of discussion on how the explosion of media outlets has eroded network TV’s prominence–but the relationship can sometimes be more symbiotic.

    I’m an uncloseted sci fi fan. I admit to being devastated when TNG ended and to owning a bit of paraphernalia. I wish those fans had sent 36,000 lbs of nuts when “Threshold” was cancelled.

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