When CBS announced that it planned to air reruns of Jericho this summer in anticipation of the show’s upcoming midseason return, I had personally thought that they would re-air all of the season’s episodes starting at some point in June, perhaps doubling up on certain weeks in an attempt to fit in all 22 episodes before September came around. Well, CBS seems to think differently, and their official schedule features only 13 episodes from Jericho’s first season. And, well, I think it’s a good schedule.
The Jericho Summer Rerun Schedule
Friday July 6th
9pm EDT – Episode 1 – “Pilot”
Friday July 13th
8pm EDT – Jericho Recap Show (Eps. 1-11)
9pm EDT – Episode 12 – “The Day Before”
Friday July 20th – September
9pm EDT – Remaining Episodes of Jericho’s First Season
Firstly, this schedule will currently take them until September 21st, which would mean the final repeat would air after the official start of the fall season. As a result, a two-hour event here or there might well take place.
After learning this news, I first felt it was a bit of a copout. However, I’ve since decided that it is strong plan that makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons.
Emphasize Your Strongest Features
The pre-hiatus Jericho was a slow-moving, never-ending post nuclear society struggling with food shortages and your regular post-disaster scenarios. The interest parts (Hawkins’ behaviour, the conspiracy rumblings) can be covered in the recap special, and the show can move into its strong post-hiatus period creatively.
Emphasize “New” Materials
These reruns are primarily designed in order to get those people the show lost during the hiatus back into the show. As a result, focusing on the episodes they missed thanks to American Idol and other factors is the best way to pull them back. Making them sit through what they had already seen would be one more barrier.
Emphasize the Timeslot
While Fridays might not be the easiest spot on the schedule, let’s remember that one of the show’s rumoured timselots for midseason has to be Moonlight’s 9pm EDT slot, considering the development problems currently plaguing the vampire drama and the fact that it could be finished in time for Jericho to step in. If reruns work in this timeslot, Jericho might be able to find a home. If it had aired all episodes in two-hour bursts, the period wouldn’t be tested as well.
So, while certainly airing the entire series might have been an option, I think that CBS has found the right way to handle the show’s rerun schedule. We’ll be watching the ratings for July 6th very carefully to see just how far the Save Jericho campaign was able to influence the viewing public. And, well, I might just be watching along with the Rangers to see what I missed out on.