This latest news indicates that they're still assuming the worst, and that the show will not go beyond seven episodes when it returns to the air. I'm happy to hear this because it would be the greatest of ironies if they were to get cocky and build another cliffhanger into the seventh episode only to have things end the same way again.
Another reason I think this is very cool is that we'll get plot development at a lightning pace - everything that happens should contribute to the forward motion of the story. This is a HUGE contrast to ABC's Lost, where it seems that each plot point takes three times as long as necessary to unfold. I still think it's a horrifically bad idea for Lost to drag on for another 3 years, but hey, it's not my network. :-)
Will the faster pacing of Jericho next season help attract new viewers? It's hard to say. It may actually have the opposite effect as it will be more difficult for someone coming in a bit later to catch up with everything that's happened up to that point. That may be moot since there is a lock on seven episodes being produced regardless of viewership. Any additional viewers will just be gravy and could possibly lead to an extension of the series, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Source: Sci Fi Wire