By LYNN ELBER
The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 5, 2007; 11:08 PM
LOS ANGELES -- Fans trumpeting the cause of CBS' canceled drama "Jericho" have caught the network's ear. CBS, deluged with calls, messages and shipments of nuts signifying viewer displeasure, is reconsidering its decision, a source close to the production said Tuesday.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. A decision on whether to bring the show back, probably for a midseason run, is imminent, the source said.
"We are tired of the networks (not just CBS) tossing aside quality programming," was the message carried by jericholives.com, one of several web sites protesting the cancellation. "Enough! We're going to fight for this one."
Clarke Ingram, a "Jericho" fan from Pittsburgh, Pa., and a spokesman for jericholives, said he was optimistic that CBS would find a way to revive the drama about a Kansas town isolated by a nuclear terrorist attack.
"People would paint this as teenagers in tinfoil hats" rallying behind the show, said Ingram, 50, an operations manager for two radio stations. "That's not what this is. These are educated professionals."
The show's daring premise, its writing and acting make the case for its survival, he said.
Several factors could work in the show's favor: It appeals to the young adult viewers sought by advertisers and was one of CBS' most popular shows streamed online, indicating an audience beyond that measured by traditional ratings.
CBS may also be considering the dent a long hiatus put in the show's viewership, the same scheduling misstep that hurt ABC's "Lost" and NBC's "Heroes."
The network apparently has been impressed by the display of viewer passion, which included the delivery of 50,000 pounds of peanuts to its New York offices. In the season finale, a character replies "Nuts!" to a demand that the beleaguered town of Jericho surrender.
That's the same response that a U.S. general in World War II made to a German demand for surrender at the Battle of the Bulge.
There's already been one positive outcome: CBS is donating the protest peanuts to charities, including one that sends care packages to troops overseas.
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