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''Jericho'' may come back after all

A grassroots fan campaign looks like it may be convincing CBS to air new episodes of the series despite its status as the network’s least watched drama

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Robert Voets

The fans have spoken! Sources say CBS — which has been inundated with calls from fans desperate to see their beloved Jericho back in the fall — is in serious talks to renew the apocalyptic drama about a small town devastated by a nuclear bomb.

After enduring weeks of e-mails and receiving, quite literally, tons of peanuts (which reference a catchphrase from the show and imply that CBS is nuts to drop it), insiders say the Eye recently began to consider ordering seven more episodes to air sometime in the winter or spring. The hope is that star Skeet Ulrich and most of the cast — save two or three — will return for the second season. Should the show’s fanbase (9.5 million) improve next year, the hope is that Jericho would return in for the 2008-09 season for a full 22-episode order. A CBS spokesman declined comment.

Given the kudos that NBC earned for renewing the ratings-starved Friday Night Lights (which averaged an anemic 6.1 million viewers this season), it would be a savvy PR ploy for CBS to bring back the Skeet starrer. CBS can prove that it listens to fans, despite the fact that its decision to cancel Jericho was an obvious one, given that the dark saga finished the season as the least-watched drama on CBS — behind even The Ghost Whisperer and the now-canceled Close to Home.

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