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Jericho‘s Half-Life

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Jericho fans will make one concession when it comes to their favorite post-nuclear drama — the first half of the show’s debut season, the Everwood-wannabe, sci-fi, family-drama half, wasn’t good.

No, it was bad.

Why, then, did fans send 20 tons of nuts (a reference to the Jericho series finale) to CBS? Because the second half of the season, starting with the show’s return in February, was stellar TV.

For most of the audience, the show was dead in November after months of petty, soap opera-esque drama. A three-month hiatus, however, reorganized the show’s priorities, focusing on the spirit and sacrifice of a community in the face of threats to its very existence. A sense of urgency was created as the conspiracy behind the nuclear explosions in U.S. cities unraveled with renewed fervor.

That’s what makes the rebroadcast of Jericho this summer a great introduction for the fans lost or the ones who were never found. Starting Friday, July 6, CBS will air Jericho season one, but without episodes two through 11. After it airs the pilot on July 6, a recap episode at 8 p.m. on July 13 will fill the audience in on the essentials from the first part of season one. “The Day Before,” or the episode that changed everything, airs at 9 p.m.

The rest of season one airs until Jericho’s prodigal son Jake Green famously utters the word that started a fan revolution: Nuts.

The recap is the smartest move CBS could make (after resurrecting the show, that is). With only the great episodes on the air, the fate of “Jericho” lies in the hands of its mobile fan base. In a letter to fans announcing a mid-season order for seven additional Jericho episodes, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said, “We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.”

Lucky for Jericho, these fans know they’ve won the battle, but haven’t won the war. Here are a few things you can do to make sure Jericho is here to stay:

Jericho will rebroadcast season one on Fridays at 9 p.m. starting July 6
Every episode (though I recommend skipping two through 11) is available through iTunes, Amazon.com UnBox and for free on CBS.com.

BUY: Season One comes out on DVD September 26.

Let all your like-minded friends know about Jericho. CBS.com makes it easy to copy and paste HTML code into emails or blogs letting people know where they can find Jericho online.

Here’s the HTML code for the pilot. Cut and paste it into blogs, Myspace, or wherever else you think people will click:

<a href="http://www.cbs.com/innertube/?src=ext&vid=115261&cat=115191" target="_blank">View <b>Jericho Episode 1: Pilot</b> on innertube now</a>

HELP: NutsOnline.com, the web store that made it easy to send nuts to CBS, isn’t taking orders for Jericho nuts anymore. But you can help another Kansas town, this one devastated by a real life disaster, with their Save Greensburg, Kansas campaign.

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About Daniel J. Stasiewski

  • Grace

    I loved JERICHO from the very start. The hour would go by so fast and I would be sitting at the edge of my seat. Then the episodes just got better and better!! WOW! What a ride!!
    You all have GOT to see this GREAT show.
    Watch it in reruns starting Fri. July 6th on CBS at 9p.m. EST.
    Watch new episodes soon!
    I just know you will love the show as much as I do and as much as the fans who brought it back do.

  • jackie

    Thanks for the article, however Jericho had me from Hello! Can’t wait for the reruns July 6th or season 2.

  • Kathy K

    I disagree with your statement that the first half of the Jericho was bad. I loved the first half of Jericho because we got to know most of the characters, we saw the town interaction, and we started to care about both. With most TV shows now it’s wham, bam, and onto the action. There is great action in Jericho but there is also the viewer caring about what happens to these characters and this doesn’t happen much anymore.

  • black_cat_1

    Well, I disagree with your assessment that no one really needs to see episodes 2-11. The writers did a superb job building the mystery behind several of the characters in those episodes. Each week I HAD to watch to see if I would learn more about Jake’s past, Robert Hawkins’ true profession and ultimately, who dropped the bombs. It’s a fantastic show! Some episodes are better than others, but collectively they tell the whole story. New viewers are missing out if they don’t get the chance to see the full season.

    That said, I’m off to tell MORE people to tune in beginning July 6th! (I’m also telling them to catch up online with episodes 1-11 before then. People have been doing just that, and they love it!)

  • SaveJake

    Great article except I do disagree with your opening comments. I don’t feel Jericho is Sci-Fi and I enjoyed the first episodes. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have made it back for the second half of the season. I was very upset with the hiatus, couldn’t wait to see more.
    Thank you for promoting the return of Jericho with all the information viewers need to find the show.

  • Chrissy

    Though I completely disagree with your opening statement I appreciate your support of Jericho.

    The second half of the season WAS stellar TV, but the first half wasn’t bad at all. I personally can’t wait for the dvd so I can watch ALL the episodes again.

  • Nancy

    I LOVED every minute of every episode!
    Everyone else, pass the word…JERICHO IS BACK!!

    “Make a stand here.” Johnston Green RIP

  • Candace

    How many fans did you speak with before saying we all think the first half of the season was “bad”? That’s not true!!!! If it was bad, why did we keep watching it? It may not have been quite as action packed as the later half, but the charater building was very important. The action wouldn’t be so intense if we didn’t care so much about the characters involved! Every episode has a purpose, no matter how slow it may seem. You’re statements are untrue and you have nothing to back them up with. Thank for for giving us some publicity, however. I hope readers will go back to cbs.com/innertube and decide for themselves by watching all the episodes.

  • Chris

    Thanks for writing about the return of Jericho. I agree that the second half of the season was much better than the first. Hopefully, those lost before the hiatis will return now (and bring more friends with them).

  • Joanna

    Thanks for helping to bring more attention to such a fantastic show.

  • PhillyPhan

    The first episodes were not “bad,” they were touchy-feely rather than action driven. They served the purpose to define the characters and set up the mystery. Now, we can proceed to finding out what happened and What are We Gonna Do About It.

    I happen to like seeing the characters develop and knowing their backstory; that way I can understand why they react the way they do. One of the things I like about this show is that it is not just one special effect after another with two lines of dialoge connecting them. There is a Story being told and it asks the question: What would you do?

  • Judi

    I think what was said about the first half of the season was partially true, it wasn’t as exciting as the second half of the season but that just tells me this show is just going to get better and better. The momentum built up so much in the finale, they have so many story lines to cover, that there is just no way Jericho won’t turn into a major success story for CBS. The fans of Jericho will tune into watch in every avenue they can. I think everyone I know will be sick to death of hearing me talk about Jericho so I think they will tune in to watch. If given a chance, they will all come to love it just as much as I do.

  • kricka

    While I agree that the first half was weaker than the second half, after re-watching the first half online, I must disagree with the idea of it being crap. They had some amazing character moments that really made me care about them, and made the perils of the second half even richer.

    For the unititiated, I feel CBSs plan is the right one, but I would like to throw out there the idea that if you watch the reruns and end up loving it as much as we do, go back and watch the first half on-line (or buy the DVDs) so you can get the full story and know the wonderful richness of these characters.

  • Debby Balcer

    I disagree with your opening comment. The first half of the season was great. It was what brought me back to watch the last half even though I had to look for it after a hiatus. The break was what killed the ratings. The show is great because it does not fit neatly into a genre. It is not all action and suspense but also has great characters that you care about. If I didn’t care about the characters I would not have been so passionate about bringing back the show. I need to know what happens to them. I hope new viewers turn into see this unique show.

  • Pam

    Thank you so much for your support of Jericho!(though I disagree with your view on the first half) Many, many people from all age groups and all walks of life love this series. I dare anyone to sit down and watch the first two episodes and not be hooked. Everyone that I know who has done so has become an instant fan. Log on to http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho for links to the fan message boards and free viewing of all 22 episodes to date.

  • Trevor

    It wasn’t crap, it was simply blown away by the second half. The acting in the first half made propped up the slow movement. Then, both became stronger in the second half.

  • Mel

    Fantastic article. I whole-heartedly agree with [almost] everything. Especially this:

    “Because the second half of the season, starting with the show’s return in February, was stellar TV.”

    I’ve been watching from the beginning and am one of the biggest fans out there, but the first half was crap. But I came back after the hiatus in hopes the show would get better because I loved the premise so much. And whaddya know — it did!

  • I firmly disagree with your opening comments:

    “Jericho fans will make one concession when it comes to their favorite post-nuclear drama — the first half of the show’s debut season, the Everwood-wannabe, sci-fi, family-drama half, wasn’t good.”

    I don’t think too many of us die hard fans would be able to point out any one of us who had thought this either.
    I appreciate the mention, but wish you would have actually tried to talk to some of us fans first, in getting your facts correct.

  • Heather

    Thanks for helping to spread the word about Jericho’s return!!

  • Thanks for the article & for passing the word along about Jericho