''Jericho'' gets ''lean and mean'' | EW.com


''Jericho'' gets ''lean and mean''

Impassioned fans went nuts over the show's initial cancellation, which has star Skeet Ulrich and Co. pumped about CBS granting them a seven-episode second season

(John P. Filo)

With an afternoon lineup consisting of a new Drew Carey game show and the polarizing Hugh Jackman musical drama, Viva Laughlin, it’s safe to say that day two of CBS’ Press Tour hit its peak early — 10:30 a.m., to be exact — when the cast and crew of Jericho took the stage. The post-apocalyptic series, which was cancelled and then revived by the network after overwhelming expressions of fan support, will return at mid-season for seven episodes and the cast appeared incredibly grateful for the resuscitation. ”It sounded pretty definitive to me,” said star Skeet Ulrich of the series’ original cancellation.

The fervent fan following (which responded to the cancellation by bombarding CBS offices with cans of nuts — a reference to a scene from the show) seems to have reinvigorated the actors and given them new perspective on their jobs. ”It reminded us of who we make this for and who it’s about,” says Lennie James of the show’s loyal viewers. Now that they’ve flirted with cancellation, the Jericho team seems determined to make the most of their limited second season. ”Because it’s a short order, we had to become lean and mean,” says executive producer Carol Barbee. ”I don’t think it will be hard to follow. I think it will be exciting for people to see. We hope to give you resolution but then show you the future.”

With a limited budget and run, Barbee and her team had to rethink the original concept of season two, which was to focus on three different locations: Jericho, the Cheyenne government, and New York City. Now, the seven episodes will focus solely on the Jericho citizens. And just in case CBS decides that the second season will be the last for Jericho, James had a great suggestion of what fans should send to the network in lieu of nuts. ”Strippers,” joked the Brit.