CBS cancels ‘Jericho’ again

Poor ratings lead to Tuesday's series finale

CBS has nuked “Jericho” — again.

Eye net issued a statement Friday declaring that next Tuesday’s episode — intended as the show’s season-two swan song — would serve as the drama’s series finale.

It also wasn’t such a good Friday for Fox’s “Canterbury Law,” which received a schedule downgrade effective next week.

“Jericho,” which dealt with the fallout from an apparent nuclear attack on the U.S., was canceled last May by the network, only to be resurrected after fans mounted an intense peanut-centric campaign on its behalf.

CBS had hoped to build on that loyal core with a second season. Ratings, however, continued to disappoint.

“Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this program; we simply wish there were more,” CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler said in her statement. “We thank an engaged and spirited fanbase for keeping the show alive this long, and an outstanding team of producers, cast and crew that went through creative hoops to deliver a compelling, high-quality second season. We have no regrets bringing the show back for a second try. We listened to our viewers, gave the series an opportunity to grow, and the producers put a great story on the screen. We’re proud of everyone’s efforts.”

Second season of “Jericho” aired Tuesdays at 10 p.m. and faced mostly repeats as competition thanks to a WGA-caused shortage of originals. But the strike drought may have also hurt the show, since CBS didn’t have many original drama episodes in which to hype the return of “Jericho.”

CBS Paramount Network TV produces “Jericho.” It seems logical that the studio — if it hasn’t already done so — will begin shopping the series to other networks that may be interested in a third season.

Meanwhile, with the early verdict disappointing for “Canterbury’s Law,” Fox has moved the legal drama to Friday nights.

Effective March 28, the Julianna Margulies starrer will air Fridays at 9 p.m., replacing “House” repeats. “House” will now move to Mondays earlier than expected; show was originally set to return to the night with original segs on April 28.

Those original episodes will still return on that date; repeats will run until then.

“Canterbury’s Law” had a tough launch two weeks ago, posting just a 1.7 rating/5 share among adults 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers in its first outing. Show didn’t fare any better in its second perf.

“Canterbury’s Law” will now run behind fellow frosh “The Return of Jezebel James,” which also found week one tough, averaging just a 1.1/4 in its bow on March 14.

Move to Fridays for “Canterbury’s Law” actually marks a return to Fox’s earlier plan for the show.

“Canterbury’s Law” was originally announced last May as a show set to bow in January and run Thursdays at 9 p.m. Soon after the strike began, Fox’s first contingency sked moved the show to Fridays, starting on April 11.

But by January, with no strike resolution in sight, the net decided to give “Canterbury’s Law” more of a showcase in a Monday slot (starting April 14), with the understanding that there was a better shot there at turning the hourlong into a smash.

Once the strike ended, and it was clear that new segs of “House” would be available by late spring, the net decided to move the “Canterbury’s Law” premiere date up to March 17 in order to make room for “House” once those segs ended.

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