Jericho, the short-lived science fiction series, is leaving Netflix in just a few weeks. Both seasons of the show will leave the streaming platform on Aug. 15. The series originally aired from September 2006 through March 2008 and was one of the first modern shows revived thanks to a fan campaign. The show was actually canceled after its first season, but CBS brought it back for a seven-episode second season to help wrap up the story.
Jericho was created by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Josh Schaer, and Jonathan E. Steinberg. It was set in the fictional city of Jericho, Kansas following a nuclear attack on 23 major cities in the contiguous U.S. The series also featured an all-star ensemble cast, including Skeet Ulrich, Lennie James, Ashley Scott, Kenneth Mitchell, Michael Gaston, Gerald McRaney, Alicia Coppola, Pamela Reed and Erik Knudsen.
After the first season wrapped in May 2007, CBS canceled Jericho citing poor ratings. The season averaged 9.24 million viewers, which sounds monumental in today’s television landscape, but was poor compared to CBS’ schedule at the time. After an incredibly successful email campaign from fans, CBS agreed to bring the show back for a seven-episode midseason run during the 2007-2008 TV season. Since the seven episodes averaged just 6.16 million viewers, CBS was not interested in keeping the show going. Although there were persistent reports about talks with other outlets, including the now-SyFy Channel, Jericho came to an end. Indie comics publisher IDW helped satisfy fans’ desire for more adventures in the world by publishing Jericho Season 3: Civil War and Jericho Season 4.
Back in May 2012, TV Guide Magazine reported that Netflix approached CBS about reviving Jericho and that CBS TV Studios was considering it. At that time, Netflix executives were hoping Jericho could be the next Arrested Development, which was the first major network show Netflix revived. The Netflix revival never came to fruition, though.
Ulrich, who recently starred in The CW’s Riverdale, told The AV Club in 2017 he loved the show and would never forget the experience of making it. He believed the show just did not fit at CBS. Ulrich added that the Netflix revival was very close to happening. One of the producers, Karim Zreik, even called him to ask if he was interested. Everyone was on board, but Ulrich said CBS “wouldn’t sell” the property to Netflix.
“It’s so frustrating. Because the thing that killed that show was the marketing strategy that they had for it,” Ulrich said. “Lost was in its fourth season when they split it into basically two 11-episode half-seasons, with a three-month hiatus in between the 11th and 12th episodes. But they had four seasons, and they had a following, and they did a massive amount of marketing when they broke between the 11th and 12th to let people know when it was coming back. And CBS wanted to use that model of marketing for Jericho. And it killed it.”