Jericho May Live Again, Via Netflix

Hey, remember Jericho? No, not Clive Barker’s Clive Barker’s Jericho (by Clive Barker) – the 2006-2008 CBS TV series. Not ringing any bells? Of course not. Barely anyone paid much attention to it during the original run and it’s hard to imagine that too many of the folks who did are still carrying a torch for it now.

Or… maybe enough of them are? Quoth TV Guide:

TV Guide Magazine confirms that Netflix has approached CBS about reviving cult fave Jericho — and the network, through its CBS TV Studios production arm, is considering it. The drama, which followed the residents of a small Kansas town in the wake of a nuclear attack, has been off the air since 2008.

Repeats of Jericho remain popular on Netflix’s on-demand service, even four years after the show’s cancellation. Insiders say Netflix execs would love to emulate the revival of Fox’s Arrested Development, which is expected to return on Netflix with new episodes in 2013, seven years after the show ended its run. Like Arrested fans, Jericho’s are a passionate bunch: CBS renewed the post-apocalyptic show for a second season in 2007 after viewers bombarded the network with cases of peanuts.

The peanuts thing was pretty fun, wasn’t it?

wwe chris jericho
No, not this Jericho, either. But I bet his show would be pretty awesome.

Okay, so I wasn’t exactly a Jerichoholic or whatever the fans dubbed themselves, but I enjoyed it enough back in the day to find this news intruiging. I’m posting about it, aren’t I? But here’s the problem: it ain’t Arrested Development. Sorry guys.

Resurrecting AD makes more sense: there’s more existing material to build on, post-cancellation DVD sales have always been strong, the fanbase is larger and easier to grow, new episodes can tie-in directly with the upcoming film, and it was a far bigger critical success.

Jericho doesn’t really have any of those things. Although to be fair, CBS didn’t give the show much of a chance to earn those things, either. So while I’d love to see the Second American Civil War storyline finally brought to the small screen where it belongs, I’ll totally understand the why’s and how’s involved if it doesn’t happen.

And now, a quick Jericho primer, just in case the deal actually does happen:

• Skeet Ulrich was the lead, frequently wearing all the clothes he owned at once.

• Lennie James was in it too, with an American accent (see The Walking Dead, as opposed to Snatch.) He was basically the “mysterious stranger” of the show, or “Garak-lite”. This made him the best character on the show pretty much by default.

• Esai Morales (Caprica) and Sprague Grayden (Sons of Anarchy) were also involved, rounding out the top-tier characters. At the bottom was Ashley Scott (Dark Angel, or Birds of Prey if you have a very good memory), who was very nearly the Lori Grimes of Jericho. So of course she had to be Skeet’s primary love interest. Of course.

• You can safely skip nearly half of the first season after the pilot. It was mostly a lot of soapy-ass fluff pieces until the midseason split. Mayoral races, barbecuing all the meat before it spoils, “I wonder if Lindsay Lohan survived the nukes”, stupid shit like that.

• It also took about that long for the show’s post-nuclear premise to finally start shining through. Combined with the soap opera stuff, that could be part of the reason why the show was cancelled in the first place; it could never decide if it wanted to be a small-town character drama or yet another attempt to mimic the mysteries of Lost, so a ton of time was wasted that could’ve been spent nurturing the myth arcs. Kind of like how, in my opinion, the first two seasons of aimless wandering killed Enterprise… but that’s another article entirely.

• As if to add an exclamation point onto all that waffling, cast photos often looked like this. Oh man. So post-apocalyptic.

• There’s a town in the second half of the first season that was inspired by The Hub from Fallout. Was it a coincidence that this is where Jericho started to get really, really good?

• The conspiracy stuff was mostly resolved by the end, but the civil war was just about to start in earnest. This time around it was East (old guard) vs. West (usurping faction) with Texas as the independent wildcard, because you don’t mess with Texas ah-heh heh heh. That would’ve been awesome and should be the first, best, and perhaps the only narrative reason to bring Jericho back.

So if any of those bullet points pique your interest, go check it out. Even if you regret it, you’ll only be out a few hours of your life.

Totally random curiosity, doesn’t have anything to do with anything: I wonder how well Firefly has been doing on Netflix?

One thought on “Jericho May Live Again, Via Netflix”

  1. Jericho had an interesting premise but then, a lot of shows do.

    I’d rather see a new attempt at the concept than trying to salvage this one but I suppose the fans of the show should feel differently on that point.

Comments are closed.