CBS eyes 'Jericho' resurrection

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CBS is in talks to bring back the post-apocalyptic drama "Jericho" with a seven-episode midseason order.

There are no deals in place, and there are several hurdles to overcome, but the fact that the network is moving to resurrect the canceled freshman series is a testament to the legions of loyal fans who have been relentless in their campaign for saving the show, including sending tens of thousands of pounds of nuts to top CBS executives.

Talks are under way with cast members of the CBS Paramount Network TV series, including star Skeet Ulrich, to return. The network is said to have options on all actors, but deals need to be modified to reflect the unusual timing and size of the order. Proposed budget reductions would lead to some of "Jericho's" characters not returning for the abbreviated second season.

Serialized drama "Jericho," co-created and executive produced by Stephen Chbosky and executive produced by Jon Turteltaub, chronicles the lives of the residents of the town of Jericho who survived a series of nuclear explosions throughout the U.S.

Efforts are under way to assemble a writing staff for the proposed seven-episode order, with several original staff writers expected to return.

Carol Barbee, who served as executive producer/showrunner on the show last season, has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner on another CBS series under her overall deal at CBS Par TV, the midseason drama "Swingtown."

It is understood that she would be able to do "Swingtown" and "Jericho," probably serving as consultant on "Jericho."

"Jericho" had a promising launch in the fall but struggled in its return to the schedule after a three-month hiatus, when it had to face the biggest show on television, Fox's "American Idol."

Still, the show was popular on the Web and on other digital platforms and developed a strong fan base that refused to accept CBS' decision last month to cancel the show after one season. "Jericho" supporters launched the nuts campaign, which was inspired by a line in the first-episode finale uttered by Ulrich's Jake Green in response to the neighboring town's request to surrender. "Nuts," he said.
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