POSTED BY ELIZABETH GUIDER

JerichotcaThey went “nuts” to get it back but now the big question is whether the online fans will go bananas for the return of “Jericho” in January.  The even bigger question is whether the CBS series can lure enough new viewers to convince the Eye network to extend the series order beyond the current commitment of seven new episodes.  (Some 3 million TV viewers had deserted the show by the end of the spring, leading to its cancellation.) 

Exec producer Carol Barbee is one who thinks the trick can be pulled off — and her quickly reassembled production team is poised to gun it if the greenlight order does come down. One thing that might help: The release of season one on DVD beginning Oct. 2 and this summer’s repeats of the cult fave on CBS. Plus a whole bunch of promotion, courtesy of the Eye’s newly pumped up promotional partnerships with some two dozen online platforms, from Comcast to Joost. 

The seven episodes that will be shot during the next two months will be, per Barbee, “greatly compressed’ but also “quick-moving,” with the focus laregely on the town of Jericho itself as it struggles to rebuild itself.

“Obviously we had to become lean and mean and our attention will now be on fewer characters,” Barbee told journalists at the ongoing Television Critics Tour Thursday in L.A. She also said that there would be less time to shoot, seven days per episode, but that the team would try to deliver “the same punch.”

(Pictured above, left to right, Barbee, "Jericho" stars Skeet Ulrich, Lennie James and Ashley Scott.)

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