Jericho - Series Premiere & Press Conference

Airing: CBS - Wednesday's @ 8pm
Cast: Skeet Ulrich, Gerald McRaney, Ashley Scott, Pamela Reed, Kenneth Mitchell, Lennie James, Sprague Grayden, Michael Gaston, Erik Knudsen, Brad Beyer. Shoshannah Stern

So folks, I just finished watching the first two episodes of CBS's newest drama Jericho starring Skeet Ulrich from the "dead too soon" Miracles and Scream fame. There is good news and there is not so good news.

The good news is that Skeet's on TV. Also good is the cast. Gerald McRaney has always been a great actor (not so much with Major Dad but Kudos to his portrayal of Dash Goff in Designing Women) and once again he is this force of security and strength as Jericho's Mayor. Pamela Reed is always a treat. Shoshannah Stern is turning into my new favorite supporting player. I love her on Weeds and here in Jericho her character has this incredible vulnerability but a sense of power that will be interesting to watch develop. I don't know tons about Ashley Scott but what I've seen from the first two episodes she's not half bad. My favorite bit of casting is Brad Beyer because he is the douchebag roommate to Christian Campbell's character in Trick. He dates that girl that doesn't know that the hell a Whiffenpoof is... genius.

Plot wise there is a lot going on and that is both good and bad. I love the isolation, post-apocolyptic, desperation, and survival aspect to the show but then there is this action-adventure, mysterious identity, who-done it portion that bothers me as it seems out of place. It will be interesting as the season plays out to see how they balance this genre overload. I say stick to the isolation and survival roles as those tap into the climate our country lives in today. Sure we're not in a post-apocolyptic age but we are living with fear daily of terrorism and forms of destruction and because of these real threats those themes have resonance.

The bad? Well really my only complaint is the "I know every skill known to man" personality that Skeet's character Jake has. Sure he's mysterious and we don't know much about him but does he really know how to perform a tracheotomy with Capri Sun straws, how to drive a bus with severe head wounds, fix an engine, plan fall-out shelter evacuations, and finally how to shoot a gun Jack Bauer style while saving the town single-handedly? We need more information on Jake's background.

We need more information on what is going on in the town and in the outside world. Are we to believe it's nuclear? Is it other-worldly? Is it an act of god? There are too many questions not neven touched upon at the end of Episode 2 that it worries me. What direction is the show going in?

Well folks I have some answers for you as I just got finished with the Jericho Bloggers Press Conference. I won't lie... it was a little rough in the beginning but Executive Producer Jon Turteltaub was sarcastic and embraced the akward silences (internet/phone delay) and Skeet was great, he rolled with the punches and seemed happy to be on the show and working with Jon.

Minor Spoilers Ahead...

  • Jon mentioned that yes, the show will deal greatly with the supposed "nuclear" fallout, how it happened, and why. Though obviously not too much will be revealed as the show will shift focus somewhat to character development and interaction.

  • He'd also like the show to live long enough for them to really explore the themes of isolation especially with Americans who have a strong pride and sense of being American and what that means if this community is shut off from the rest of the world.

  • Jon did spoil that not everyone from the Pilot will live to see episode 9.

  • We will eventually (but apparently very slowly) learn why Skeet's character Jake initially left Jericho and where he's been.

  • Jon teased that Mr. Hawkins is not exactly who he has presented himself to be to the town. Well duh, he's so shady even elms are jealous.

  • Jon has the first year mapped out though he is interested in audience feedback (and blogger input) to see if they are on mark with the show's direction and character development.

  • The first episode represents the first 17 hours of the initial blast. The second covers 8-12 hours (continuous from the first), then they'll explore the first few weeks before opening up the show's timeline.

  • I was able to ask a question about Viral Marketing and the role bloggers play in promoting shows. He said that viral marketing was a oxymoron of sorts and that having "Bloggers Press Conferences" and reaching out to bloggers is a double edge sword as we could just as easily trash a show as we could praise one. He thinks its important for word of mouth and for feedback. Works for us, huh kids?

There were some interesting questions and comments overall. I appreciated their candor and sense of humor about the whole thing. I also really latched on to their realistic approach to the show's future.

Please tune in tomorrow night at 8pm on CBS for the Series Premiere of Jericho as its quite the pilot. As I said, I am more than happy to see where the show goes in the future. And hey, it's Skeet Ulrich. Come on folks...


  • Loooove Skeet Ulrich! Just saw him on Craig FErguson show and he was jovial and SEXY as all hell. I wish I could have seen the conference!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2006 09:43:00 AM  

  • He looked a little cracked out to be honest. Sure he can be hot but for some reason he looked really tired and out of it at times.

    And I'm just gonna throw this out there... after you've watched the show, come back and let me know if Skeet stole Hilary Duff's horse teeth or not. Are those new?

    By Blogger duckyxdale, at 9/20/2006 10:40:00 AM  

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