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'Jericho' returns tonight, thanks to... Clay Aiken?

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Ash_lJericho returns to TV screens tonight. I never caught the show back in the fall — the idea of witnessing a network-approved apocalypse felt too potentially glib to get me biting, while the sight of Skeet Ulrich generally only takes me back to lamentable experiences I had watching cinema in the mid to late ’90s — but I’m thinking of giving the show a chance. As you know, several thousands pounds of peanuts shipped from angry fans convinced CBS not to cancel the thing after all; as a fan of the underdog, I find that tidbit almost amusing enough by itself to see what I’ve been missing. (Tonight’s a repeat of the pilot; next week’s a recap show of eps 1-12 and a rerun of ep 13; the rest of season 1 begins re-airing in sequence the week after that.)

Also amusing: the fact that American Idol alum Clay Aiken is claiming credit for the viewer revolt that made CBS bring the show back in the first place. “The show Jericho… I loved it,” he told the Houston Chronicle this week. “It got canceled, and I blogged about how upset I was. I said, ‘The Claymates can do anything. How do we get this show back on the air?’ Honestly, within a week they had organized a campaign amongst Jericho fans to send nuts to CBS. It kind of started in that place.”

Mother of pearl! Jericho/Aiken fans, is this for real? Is Clay Aiken responsible for getting your show back on the air? Is he the most powerful man in show business? And “Claymates”: did you watch the show too, or do you just generally do what the dude tells you to do? One more question: did any of you also watch The Black Donnellys, and do any of you think fans can get that show reborn by shipping 45,000 Zesta crackers to HBO?