In this day and age, cancellation isn’t always the final death blow for a television series.  Joss Whedon’s Angel was dropped by the WB after five seasons, and is now playing out its sixth season in comic book form. Futurama was axed by FOX years ago, but has since returned in a series of DVD movies.  Firefly was given the boot by FOX after only a handful of episodes, then went on to make a splash as a major motion picture.  There are numerous examples of shows that somehow continued on after being killed, even if the networks had no desire to support them.

Considering all of the storytelling options available, it seems quite possible that the recently canceled Jericho could return in some form.  The executive producers of the series are currently exploring all options, but we have the three best possibilities.

1)  Move it to Another Network

Moving a show to another channel isn’t completely unheard of.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer jumped ship from the WB to UPN back in the day, and shows like Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Friday Night Lights recently survived due to deals struck with other networks.

Jericho executive producer Carol Barbee recently spoke to about this possibility, saying, “I wish I knew.  I really don’t know what [the cable networks’] business models are.  We get compared a lot to Friday Night Lights, but Friday Night Lights shoots in Texas and their budget is much lower than ours.  Even with the restrictions that were put on us for this second season, we cut it pretty much to the bone.  We might be able to get [the budget] a little lower, depending on where we are shooting.  I would imagine, though, that people would be thrilled to get our audience!  We had eight million for our premiere, and even if we retained three or four million for a cable station, that’d be a good audience.  I’m hoping these talks work out, but you never know.”

2)  Make a Movie or Two, or Three, or. . .

Not every television show can be easily translated into a feature film, but miracles can happen when you have talented people behind the scenes.  I always felt that Firefly had far too many characters to become a movie, and then Serenity came along and blew away my expectations.  It can be done.

I’m not sure if Jericho would have the audience to become a theatrical film, but why couldn’t it have a few straight-to-DVD movies?  Eventually a live-action series is going to have to try the DVD movie model, and Jericho would be a perfect candidate.

Co-Executive producer Dan Shotz recently spoke to iF Magazine about this option, stating, “A movie would be great — if we can get all 6 million fans to see it,  we are set.”

3)  Make it a Comic Book

It seems like every cult television shows these days has its own comic book, so why not JerichoBuffy the Vampire Slayer is currently playing out its eighth season in the medium, and other shows like Supernatural have also joined the fray.  It’s not the ideal option for fans who still want to see Skeet Ulrich and Ashley Scott on their television screens, but for people who just want more of the Jericho story, comics could be the way to go.

With all of these options, and many others I didn’t mention, it’s still possible for Jericho to have a new beginning.  As creator Jon Steinberg put it, “I think there are a lot of different options being explored right now, and they all have their ups and downs.  Hopefully something will pan out.  We’d love to continue telling stories in the Jericho universe in some shape or form.”

– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)


Staff Writer, BuddyTV