Jericho is an American post-apocalyptic drama series that centers on the residents of the fictional town of Jericho, Kansas, in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on 23 major cities in the contiguous United States. Produced by CBS Paramount Network Television, with executive producers Jon Turteltaub, Stephen Chbosky, and Carol Barbee, the show was broadcast in more than 30 countries.
The show ran on CBS from September 20, 2006, through March 25, 2008. It was initially canceled after its first full season because of poor ratings. While a fan campaign was able to convince the network to bring the show back for a seven-episode second season, it was canceled for a second time after that run. On November 20, 2008, TV Guide reported that the CW television network would air repeats of Jericho to replace the canceled series Valentine. In 2007, Jericho was ranked #11 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever. In 2009, plans were announced for both a feature film version of the series and a continuation of the Jericho storylines in a comic book series.
The first season of the show premiered Wednesday, September 20, 2006 and concluded with a cliffhanger episode on May 9, 2007. Lackluster ratings prompted concern, as the show hit a ratings low in early April. The ratings were down 25% when the series returned following the nearly three-month hiatus. During its first season, it ranked 48th, with an average of 9.5 million viewers in the United States. Other Wednesday night programs it competed with were Bones, Deal or No Deal, and ABC's comedy block. Though the producers seemed confident that the program would be picked up for a second season, CBS officially announced Jericho's cancellation on May 16, 2007.
Several online communities, including the official Jericho forums, launched campaigns in an effort to revive the show. Fans also sent just over 20 tons of nuts to CBS headquarters; this referred to a scene from the season one finale "Why We Fight" where Jake Green repeats General Anthony McAuliffe's historic phrase "Nuts!" from the Battle of the Bulge.
In a response posted on the Jericho forum, CBS president Nina Tassler acknowledged the fan response, stating, "We hope to develop a way to provide closure to… the Jericho story." CBS officials acknowledge the campaign was the largest the network had seen using digital means to protest a show cancellation. President and CEO Leslie Moonves acknowledged that he was filtering emails from Jericho fans, while senior vice president of communications Chris Ender said, "You have to tip your hat to their ability to get attention and make some noise."
On June 5, 2007, Jericho executive producer Carol Barbee announced that CBS was discussing the possibility of the show's return for an eight-episode mid-season run. A day later, Tassler posted an announcement on the forum stating that seven new episodes of Jericho had been commissioned as a midseason replacement for the 2007-2008 television season, with the possibility of an extension based on viewership. The last of these seven episodes was broadcast on March 25, 2008, and was not affected directly by the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike.
Jericho returned for its second season on February 12, 2008 to mostly favorable reviews but with the lowest numbers the ratings had seen yet. In the early days of January 2008, the first three episodes of the second season leaked on the internet via a DVD screener source.
The show's second season has also premiered in Canada on CTV, mirroring the US broadcast. The first two episodes of the 2008 season received the lowest ratings to date for the series. Jericho's ratings did increase somewhat for its third episode, but dropped back down to fairly consistent but still low ratings. The second season averaged 6.2 million viewers.
On March 21, 2008, CBS announced that the network would not be renewing Jericho for a third season. CBS entertainment boss Nina Tassler stated that "The March 25 episode... will be the series finale. Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this program; we simply wish there were more. We thank an engaged and spirited fan base for keeping the show alive this long, and an outstanding team of producers, cast and crew that went through creative hoops to deliver a compelling, high-quality second season.... We're proud of everyone's efforts."
According to SyFy's source, two endings were shot for the March 25 episode. One involved a cliffhanger leading in to a third season, while the other would wrap up the series and provide closure for fans who had worked to secure the series' return. "There are a lot of people here who really care about what happens to Jericho, and I think we all wanted to see it succeed," the source, who asked not to be identified, said. "Numbers are numbers, and [CBS] had to do what [CBS] had to do."
On March 12, 2009, Devil's Due Publishing announced that all storylines from the TV series will be continued in a comic book series. On November 25, 2009, Devil's Due Publishing released the first issue of the six-issue continuation of the Jericho saga. In August 2011 IDW collected all 6 comics into a 144-page graphic novel entitled Jericho Season 3: Civil War.
Jericho Season 1
1.01 Pilot: The First Seventeen Hours
1.03 Four Horsemen
1.04 Walls Of Jericho
1.05 Federal Response
1.07 Long Live The Mayor
1.08 Rogue River
1.10 Red Flag
1.11 Vox Populi
1.12 The Day Before
1.13 Black Jack
1.14 Heart Of Winter
1.15 Semper Fidelis
1.16 Winter's End
1.17 One Man's Terrorist
1.19 Casus Belli
1.20 One If By Land
1.21 Coalition Of The Willing
1.22 Why We Fight
Jericho Season 2
2.03 Jennings & Rall
2.05 Termination For Cause
2.07 Patriots And Tyrants