Last night was the long-awaited return of CBS drama Jericho. After being pulled out of the grave by thousands of fans and pounds of nuts, was it worth it? Will it stay?
Well, though the Jericho season two premiere was one of the most anticipated mid-season events, you wouldn’t know it by the overnight ratings. Despite a lot of promotion, Jericho was third in its timeslot with 7.15 million viewers, trailing to a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (8.3 million) and an original episode of Boston Legal (7.23 million).
To put this in perspective, Jericho’s debut in September 2006 11.7 million viewers. The big difference is that Jericho used to air the show at 8pm and has now put it into a 10pm timeslot. Are they trying to kill it or just letting it sink or swim based on the numbers that the diehard fans can bring?
Whether ratings pick up or not, the network execs will likely air the seven remaining episodes. They’ve been finished for months and they know they’d get slammed with e-mails, calls, and thousands of peanuts if they didn’t.
Will the show end with another cliffhanger? Thankfully for fans, Jericho writers were able to do some extra planning this time around. If the series isn’t picked up for another season, viewers can be sure that they’ll get a bit of closure this time around.
Carol Barbee, Jericho’s executive producer, says that they’ve filmed two endings for the season, just in case. “We don’t end the show,” Barbee told Sci Fi Wire. “We shot two endings. And one of them basically just lets you know that everybody is OK. The other ending shows you exactly where we’re going to go for the third season. … I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger as much as I would say you say, ‘Oh, OK, now I know where we’re going to go.’ But if there’s not going to be a third season, the other one puts sort of a nice emotionally satisfying point to it.”
Will Jericho return for a third season? That all depends on the ratings of the next few weeks. If they don’t pick up, it’s highly unlikely that any viewer campaign will be able to save the show a second time. Stay tuned!
By the way, if you’re in Los Angeles this weekend, the LA Times note you can meet up with castmembers and producers at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention.