Jericho (TV series)

Jericho (TV series)

Infobox Television
bgcolour = #BFDFFF
show_name = Jericho

caption = "Jericho"'s intertitle
picture_format = 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
format = Drama, Science Fiction, Action
runtime = approx. 43 minutes
first_aired = September 20, 2006
last_aired = March 25, 2008
producer = Jon Turteltaub
Stephen Chbosky
Carol Barbee
Karim Zreik
starring = "see below"
country = USA
network = CBS
num_seasons = 2
num_episodes = 29
list_episodes = List of Jericho episodes
website =
imdb_id = 0805663
tv_com_id = 58068

"Jericho" is an American serial drama that centers on the residents 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 due to 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.


First Season

The storyline centers on the residents of Jericho, a small, rural Kansas town, in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on 23 major cities in the contiguous United States. The series begins with a visible nuclear detonation of unknown origin in nearby Denver, Colorado, and a loss of power and modern communications, effectively isolating Jericho. Later, power is restored to Jericho by what is alluded to as the efforts of the U.S. government, but soon after, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disables all electronics. Several themes regularly addressed in the show included the gathering of information, community identity, public order, limited resources, the value of family, hardships of fatherhood and internal and external threats. The show also features several mysteries involving the backgrounds of major characters, the perpetrators of the attack, and the extent of damage to the United States and its government.

The pivotal character in this story is Jake Green, the 32-year-old son of Mayor Johnston Green, who briefly returns home to visit his family and friends before becoming stranded as a result of the catastrophe. After a somewhat awkward return home and a tense reunion with his father, Jake steps up to become a leader in Jericho, fighting to protect the town and its citizens. As the people of Jericho struggle to survive in a changed world, most remain unaware that one of the newest residents, Robert Hawkins, knows much more about the attacks than he lets on.

Second Season

The second season opens several months after the conclusion of the first season's events. The Cheyenne government's military forces have since restored order to Jericho and its surrounding region, putting an abrupt end to the conflict between Jericho and its rival New Bern. As a sense of normalcy returns to town, the plot shifts away from the day to day survivalist issues facing Jericho's inhabitants, to life and political intrigue under the new Cheyenne government.

Known only to Hawkins and a select few, the September attacks were neither a foreign nor domestic terrorist act, but a conspiracy of unknown perpetrators within the highest level of the former government. Hawkins must calculate his every move to avoid capture, to piece together the trail of evidence, and ultimately, to bring the truth to light before the conspiracy's mastermind buries it forever.

Meanwhile, Jericho's residents deal with the reality of the Cheyenne-backed government. Initially welcomed as saviors, the government's military and mercenary agents transform life in Jericho into a repressive police-state. When a J&R contractor's criminal actions leave one of Jericho's residents dead, the town is put on the edge of open revolt.


"Jericho" features an ensemble cast of characters, along with a number of minor and recurring roles. The series web site lists eleven cast members. [ [ CBS web site - Jericho cast page] ] In addition, Alicia Coppola and Esai Morales moved from a recurring role to a regular character in February 2008. Gerald McRaney did not have a regular role in season two. [ [ "The Hollywood Reporter" "Three going full time in primetime"] ] [ [;cast "Jericho" Stars] ] .

*Michael Gaston as Gray Anderson
*Alicia Coppola as Mimi Clark
*Kenneth Mitchell as Eric Green
*Pamela Reed as Gail Green
*Skeet Ulrich as Jake Green
*Gerald McRaney as Johnston Green
*Lennie James as Robert Hawkins
*Sprague Grayden as Heather Lisinski
*Shoshannah Stern as Bonnie Richmond
*Brad Beyer as Stanley Richmond
*Ashley Scott as Emily Sullivan
*Erik Knudsen as Dale Turner
*Esai Morales as Major Edward Beck


Early development

The series originated as a feature film idea of co-creators Jonathan Steinberg and Josh Schaer: a post-apocalyptic plot set amidst the trappings of "a little character drama" movie, in the vein of "The Day After", "Threads", and "Testament". However, they soon realized that a two- or two-and-a-half-hour-long film would still not carry the necessary length they felt such a concept required to properly explore the setting and the characters — thus, Schaer and Steinberg decided instead to reconceive the entire project as a television series, producing a treatment out of the original feature screenplay. Director Jon Turteltaub and producer Carol Barbee then entered the picture, the pair having pitched the project to them. Turteltaub soon commissioned writer Stephen Chbosky to pen the pilot teleplay based upon Schaer and Steinberg's series treatment.

One of Chbosky's major contributions to the structure of the series was the introduction of a greater feminine element to the storyline, opining that, " [We] could use some girls, a little kissing, and some laughs." Another significant developmental influence were the four impacts of the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, and the sense of " [being] a spectator to a disaster, while not quite being part of it." Co-creator Steinberg in particular felt that after 9/11, the United States saw some of the "best of people," and after Hurricane Katrina, some of the "worst of people," and sought to include both in the fabric of "Jericho", with Katrina providing "lots of inspiration" for the show's overall premise. [cite web|url= |title=Paley Fest - Jericho|accessdate=2007-09-01]

Filming locations

Jericho is set in northwestern Kansas but the series is filmed in Van Nuys, California.cite web|url= |title=A Visit to the Town of Jericho|publisher=Coming Soon Media|accessdate=2007-06-23] [cite web|url= |title=Insiders' Commentary: Pilot Episode#2|publisher=CBS|accessdate=2007-06-21] The pilot and all episodes involving New Bern, Kansas, were filmed in Fillmore, California. [cite news|url=|source=The Fillmore Gazette|date=March 8, 2007|title=Jericho in Fillmore this week] Filming has also occurred in Pasadena, California including in front of the city hall. The final episode to air was also filmed at Santa Anita race track.

Filming also has taken place in Canada. The commentary for some episodes on the Jericho Season 1 DVD includes the location of their filming. (For instance, in "Heart of Winter" or the pilot.)

First season

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. [ [ Flop sweat: 'Jericho' dips to new low] April 5, 2007] The ratings were down 25% following the nearly three-month hiatus and subsequent return.cite web|url=,0,5645801.story?coll=zap-news-headlines |title=Ratings, Not Bombs, Doom 'Jericho'] 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.cite news|url=|source=Hollywood Reporter|date=May 25, 2007|title=Hollywood Reporter: 2006-07 primetime wrap]

Though the producers seemed confident that the program would be picked up for a second season, [ [ Ask the Producers - Jericho ] ] CBS officially announced "Jericho"'s cancellation on May 16, 2007.cite web|url= |title=TV Series Finale - 2007 Cancelled Shows: CBS Cancels Several Series] cite web|url= |title=CBS cancels 'Jericho,' two others] cite web|url=|title="CBS Rolls Out 5 New Shows for Fall", The Wall Street Journal]

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 Bastogne. [ Fans Make CBS Reconsider 'Jericho' Axing] ] The peanuts and other proceeds from the donations have been donated to charities, [cite web|url=;_ylt=AkPpFW5xFQ33Z82eE6kELsDMWM0F|title=Fans make CBS reconsider 'Jericho' axing|publisher=Yahoo! News/Associated Press|accessdate=2007-06-07] including the rebuilding effort in Greensburg, Kansas, [cite news|url=|title=TV show gets nutty about helping residents|publisher=Kiowa County Signal|date=2007-06-06] a real-life town that was largely destroyed by a tornado in 2007.

econd season

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." [cite web|url=|title="A statement from CBS Entertainment"|publisher=CBS Jericho Message Board|accessdate=2007-05-25] CBS officials acknowledge the campaign was the largest the network had seen using digital means to protest a show cancellation.cite web|url=|title="Jericho" Fans Go Nuts|publisher=CBS ShowBuzz|date=2007-05-25|accessdate=2007-05-25] President and CEO Leslie Moonves acknowledged that he was filtering emails from Jericho fans, [cite web|url=|title="Interview with Leslie Moonves"|] 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."cite web|url=|title="Jericho" Cast, Crew Willing To Stick Around|publisher=SyFyPortal|accessdate=2007-05-25]

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.cite web|url=|title=Resurrection?: The fans might have saved 'Jericho'|publisher=Los Angeles Times| author=Maria Elena Fernandez | date=2007-06-05 | accessdate=2007-06-05] 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.cite web | url= | title=A Message From CBS Entertainment | publisher=CBS | author=Nina Tassler | date=2007-06-06 | accessdate=2007-06-06] The last of these seven episodes was broadcast on March 25, 2008, and were not affected directly by the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike.cite web|url=|title="Casualties of the Hollywood writers strike", The Gazette (Montreal)] [ Bill Carter, "TV Shows See Strike as a Second Chance," "The New York Times", November 15, 2007] ]

On August 2, 2007, a video was released on YouTube showing clips from the first day back at work for the "Jericho" cast and crew. It included a "thank you" from the cast and crew to the fans for their efforts to revive the show. [ [ "Jericho" Comic Con video] ] Several months later, CBS released trailers announcing the second season premiere, [ [ IGN: CBS Sets Premiere Date for Jericho: Season 2] ] including Morse code spelling "SPREAD THE WORD".

"Jericho" returned for its second season on February 12, 2008 to mostly favorable reviews [ [ "Game Show, Popular Reality Series, News Magazines, The Season Premieres of Two Returning Scripted Programs, and the Debug of a New Comedy Join CBS's Primetime Schedule in January and February] ] [ [ Metacritic - Jericho, Season Two] ] but with the lowest numbers the ratings had seen yet. [ [ Jericho: The Numbers Are In] ] In the early days of January 2008 the first three episodes of the second season leaked on the internet via a DVD screener source. [ Jericho Season 2 Leaks on Internet] ] The show's second season has also premiered in Canada on CTV, mirroring the US broadcast. [cite news|url=|title='Jericho' joins CTV primetime schedule]

The first two episodes of the 2008 season received the lowest ratings to date for the series. [ [ Nielsen Ratings for Tue Feb 19: Idol, Jericho and Big Brother] ] 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. [ [ Nielsen Ratings for Jericho] ]

On March 21, 2008 CBS announced that the network would not be renewing "Jericho" for a third season. [cite news|url=|title=Low Rated 'Jericho' Axed by CBS] 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." [ [ Aw Nuts: CBS Pulls Plug On Jericho] ] 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." [cite web|url=|title=Sources: 'Jericho' To Wrap It Up|publisher=SyFy Portal|accessdate=2008-02-23]

Post second season

The producers are currently considering other options for continuing the series, including a move to U.S. cable networks such as the Sci Fi Channel (similar to what happened with the shows "Stargate SG-1" and "Sliders") [] [ [ "Jericho"'s Time Is Near] ] and broadcast networks such as The CW (co-owned by CBS).cite news |first=A.C. |last= Ferrante |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Exclusive Interview: "Jericho" Producers Dan Shotz and Jon Steinberg Talk About The End And Perhaps A New Beginning |url=|work= |publisher= |date=2008-03-28 |accessdate=2008-04-01 ] On March 25th, an article on the Sci Fi Channel's website indicated that CBS was indeed in talks with cable networks to find the show another home. At this time, the progress of the talks have yet to be determined. [citeweb|url=|title=Jericho Seeks a New Home|publisher=Sci Fi Channel|author=Patrick Lee|date=2008-03-25|accessdate=2008-03-25] Other possibilities may include a television or theatrical movie.

On April 7th, 2008, The New York Times Website reported that CBS Paramount Network Television has held talks with Comcast about finding a new home for "Jericho". [ [ DirecTV Deal Will Subsidize ‘Friday Night Lights’ - New York Times ] ] Not much is known about the potential deal, but the general idea is for Comcast to pay for part of Jericho's production expenses and then offer episodes in High-Definition before they air on CBS. [ [ Could Comcast Save Jericho? ] ] [ [ Can Comcast Save Jericho? ] ] [ [ SyFy Portal ] ] This kind of deal is similar to the "Friday Night Lights" deal.

"Jericho" fans have also continued efforts to resurrect the series, [ [ Jericho Message Board ] ] [ [ Jericho Message Board ] ] including a one-page advertisement in the April 25 2008 edition of Variety Magazine. [ [ Save Jerhico Campaign Redux ] ] A second advertisement appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, as well as banner ads on the "Variety" and "Hollywood Reporter" websites. [ [ Ifmagazine.Com: 'Jericho' Fans Raise Cash, Questions About Tv Rating Services ] ]


In January 2008 the SCI-FI Channel announced that it had acquired off-network cable rights to seasons one and two of "Jericho" from CBS Television Distribution. "Jericho" made its debut on SCI-FI with a four-episode marathon on February 11, and began airing in its regular timeslot on February 18. [cite news|url=|title=SCI FI To Air "Jericho" Reruns]

March 3rd was the last air date for Monday 10pm reruns on SCI-FI. Reruns moved to Fridays 8pm on March 14th and March 21st. Episodes 16 and 17 were scheduled to air Friday March 28th but were pulled before they aired. No further episodes were scheduled in April 2008. [ [ Schedule | On Air | SCIFI.COM ] ] SciFi will show Episodes 1-8 beginning at 8 AM August 13.

Universal HD is currently airing Season One of Jericho with one episode in several time slots a week. Season One will air weekdays at 10am and 5pm beginning July 1, with Season Two running weekly on Saturdays at 9pm and 1am beginning July 19. The complete second season will have a seven-hour marathon on Saturday July 12. See schedule:

Sci Fi Australia started airing "Jericho" starting June 5th 2008 with a three episode mini marathon and 2 episodes are currently being showed a week, on a Thursday evening between 7:30pm and 9:30pm.
Sci Fi Australia Aired the Episodes 20,21 and 22 as a 3 Episode Feature Length Season Final of Season 1, on Thursday Aug 7th. Season 2 is to air on September 4th 2008.

ITV4 are repeating the first series starting 29th July at 20.00, Season 2 also starting soon (according to advertisements around the date of 17th Sept)


Clips from the pilot episode became free to watch on Yahoo! TV several weeks before the episode actually aired on television. [cite web|url= |title=Yahoo! TV Fall 2006 Preview|accessdate=2006-10-11] CBS is still showing all of the "Jericho" episodes on their Innertube website as of July, 2008, [cite web|url= | Innertube|accessdate=2007-09-30] although they cannot be accessed from outside the U.S. CBS repeated the first three episodes on the Saturday nights following their original airings, as did Australia's Network Ten.

Each episode's opening title sequence is accompanied by an audio message in Morse code. The messages vary from generic references to cryptic clues, and are always related to the current episode in some way. The messages were broadcast at 15 words per minute at a frequency of 1000 Hz.Fact|date=April 2008 In addition to these messages, in the second episode, Robert Hawkins received several additional Morse code messages through a radio that he was fixing.

DVD releases

The first three episodes of the second season were unofficially released on the internet based on a DVD screener copy.

Web-based tie-ins

An online companion to "Jericho" is called "Beyond Jericho". The television program gave the web address for the online companion. "Beyond Jericho" was to feature the "other survivors" of the nuclear attacks. According to Barbee, the story was intended to be unique to the site, but as the season of "Jericho" progressed, the online story would dovetail into the episodes themselves. However, the site and "webisode" are now unavailable, having been removed from the CBS website before the second episode of the TV show was broadcast.

CBS since decided to scrap the current webisode storyline, and instead released a new series of "prequel" webisodes named "Countdown" that take place before the first explosion. Each of these new webisodes appeared concurrently with the broadcast of new episodes during season 1, and showed Robert Hawkins gathering information before the attack.

"Beyond Jericho"

The first installment of "Beyond Jericho" began with an unknown man calling someone on a cell phone, requesting a ransom of $1.2 million for a woman he kidnapped. He then disappears underground through a metal trap door. While climbing down, he hears and feels a bang, but thinks nothing of it. After conversing with an associate about their next plans, he picks the woman up and climbs back up to the roof. When he opens the door, it's surrounded by rubble. The entire city around them has been destroyed. Shortly after, rubble falls through the trap door. With the cell phone (apparently actually the victim's cell phone) dead, and assuming that the man's associate is dead as well in the collapse, they start to climb through the rubble to find out what happened. Nearby, a hand with a surgical glove on emerges from the rubble, as the vignette ends.


Starting on October 26, "Beyond Jericho" was replaced by "Countdown", which documents Robert Hawkins' efforts to learn as much as possible about the effects of nuclear bombs before he moved to Jericho. [cite web|url= |title=Jericho on CBS - Countdown] The webisodes do not feature any of the regular characters, consisting primarily of Hawkins, draped in shadows, watching mini-documentaries.

The mini-documentaries feature expert interviews about the effects of a nuclear attack. They are only minimally connected to each episode's plot. For instance, CBS's episode 8 plot summary reads: "A shadowy military unit bursts into the chamber Hawkins has just vacated. On his computer, they find a video." The video was a short documentary about FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina and their use of paramilitaries. The "shadowy military unit" then patiently waits until the documentary ends to resume its search for Hawkins.

"Countdown"'s sponsor, AT&T, is very heavily promoted in the series using product placement. Nearly all dialog takes place as SMS messages on an AT&T cellular phone, and a full-screen AT&T logo appears in every episode when Hawkins views the expert interviews. This web-based programming is not accessible from outside of the United States.


Presented without explanation (or promotion, for that matter), [] is the purported website of Jennings & Rall, the corporate giant which plays an increasingly prominent role in the second season of the series. Still available as of September 2008, the site contains a wealth of information about the company's post-holocaust global operations, with significant hints regarding events in the show.

"Tom Tooman"

"Tom Tooman" is an alternate reality game that CBS ran in conjunction with "Jericho" beginning in August 2007. The game began with a cryptic letter posted on a web site, supposedly from a Tom Tooman of Lame Deer, Montana. [cite web|url= |title=Tom Tooman discussion on] This letter was accompanied by a series of bar codes, some with decimal numbers and others with Mayan numbers. These numbers were used to create an IP address for a second website. More clues were released, as well as a blog on the CBS web site connecting the game with "Jericho". [cite web|url=|title=Tom Tooman blog on] As of the cancellation of the series, the game has since abruptly ended with no closure offered. A full synopsis of the game and the puzzles within can now be found at [cite web|url=|title=Tom Tooman synopsis and review]

ee also

* United States government in Jericho
* Continuity of Operations Plan – the Continuity of Government plan for the U.S. government
* List of nuclear holocaust fiction
* "Nuclear War Survival Skills" – the official nuclear Civil Defense manual from United States Department of Defense
* Nuclear weapons in popular culture
* Survivalism


External links

* [ "Jericho"'s official website] at CBS

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