The last few years have seen a bit of a renaissance in American TV. I probably feel this way because I’m finally at that magic age demographic, the one that all mainstream entertainment products are marketed to! But seriously, the last little while has seen the emergence of the new Battlestar Galactica, both Stargate franchises, Lost, House, the rebirth of Doctor Who over in Britain, Smallville and –one of the most unique shows to come around in a while– Jericho.
On the heels of the surprising cancellation of Stargate SG1 comes news today that Jericho will not be renewed for a second season. This is particularly distressing since the first season ended with a suggestive cliffhanger, much like the legendary cancellation of Farscape. Maybe, like Farscape, enough fan interest will compel CBS to produce a miniseries to resolve the cliffhanger? Unlikely, I think.
Jericho was unlike other mainstream shows in that it mixed family drama with action, science fiction and suspense. The premise was unique: the survival of a lone Kansas town after a nuclear attack on the United States. I suspect it might have been too smart for audiences –or, more precisely, it was too smart for network executives to know how to market it. Instead of letting it dominate a safe timeslot, like Saturday night, they put it up against the Fox gargantuan, American Idol.
For those who have not seen Jericho, I would recommend watching the first season in its entirety, just to see what might have been.