Jericho's pilot episode was re-broadcast last Friday night and had the best prime time ratings of the evening. If you haven't heard, Jericho is a TV series set in a post-nuclear-attack-ridden U.S.A. Last season it followed the lives of citizens in a small Kansas town named... Jericho.
Although the show was slow to start, it ended up being a very good series (at least I thought so) but due to an overly long hiatus between the Fall and Spring season plus the fact that when it returned it was scheduled against American Idol, the ratings were sluggish and the show was canceled.
What's the big deal, you may ask?
The big deal is that CBS ended the season with a monster cliffhanger, and that was going to that. No resolution, no further episodes, no nothing at all.
Well there was an uproar, and a number of fan-driven campaigns were started to "Save Jericho"... the likes of which proabably hadn't been seen since the original Star Trek series went off the air after season two and was brought back due to a deluge of fan mail for a third season back in the 60's.
The suprising result was that CBS actually decided to bring Jericho back as a mid-season show, however only committing to 7 episodes and a lower per-episode budget.
In order to gauge early on whether that 7 episode order should be extended, CBS decided to re-broadcast the first season on Friday nights starting last Friday. As stated above, the ratings were relatively good, but there are a couple of factors to consider:
1. Many folks took a holiday weekend, so viewership in general could have been low.
2. It is unknown what percentage of viewers were new, watching for the first time and what percentage was made up of those very same die-hard fans that brought the show back.
I think tonight's episode and ratings will be a bit more telling.
Personally I really enjoyed the show and would like to see it do well and be extended beyond just 7 more episodes - although I also think that the show could be wrapped up quite nicely in those episodes if they are written as a limited story arc. I hate seeing shows overstay their welcome (can you say Lost?).
So if you haven't seen Jericho, here's a reminder to tune in tonight. Even if you missed last week, the recap should bring you up to speed. It's a good show and I recommend you give it a try!