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The latest news on "Jericho"! News is listed in order of most recent article first.


'Jericho' star Ulrich chats about show BY AMY CARLSON GUSTAFSON Pioneer Press In the new CBS drama "Jericho," the residents of a small Kansas town find themselves cut off from the rest of the world after they witness a nuclear mushroom cloud rise out west over Denver. They may or may not be the only survivors of the blast. As the star of the show, Skeet Ulrich plays Jake Green, the prodigal son of Jericho's mayor, played by Gerald McRaney, who recently returned to his hometown. The 36-year-old actor, who has appeared in a handful of movies including "Scream," "The Craft," "The Newton Boys" and "As Good As It Gets," chatted about his character, the intensity of "Jericho" and the threat of a nuclear bomb. On his attraction "Jericho": I was really intrigued by the idea of a wanderlust that has nowhere left to wander. And it was ultimately kind of the same thing you saw in 9/11 — this idea of people rising above the most extreme circumstances. I guess I was drawn to it more because of the premise than just the characters. On the show's intense scenario: From the look of things, most people think this is a doom and gloom show, but it's about people who are meeting the challenge and, in this case, a very extreme one. It's about finding a way to rise above it, to try again and even to find humor in these circumstances, all of which become a vital part of survival. On the possibility of a nuclear attack: I think it's something we need to make sure we prevent. At it's best, hopefully, TV can enlighten people enough do a little research and look up how plausible the situation is. Given the research I've done, it's a lot more plausible than you would think or would want to think. What: "Jericho" When: 7 tonight Channel: WCCO-TV, Channel 4 http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/15558575.htm
TV Blogger Press Conference: CBS's Jericho September 19, 2006 Chris Beaumont Over the two plus years that I have been carving out a little something of an online presence, I have encountered many firsts. Tonight was another first which saw me in a position that I have never been in before. Tonight CBS held an online press conference for bloggers in preparation for the debut of new series Jericho. The participants were executive producer Jon Turteltaub and star Skeet Ulrich. I have never experienced anything like this before, and I have to say that it was rather cool to be involved in it. I received the invite last week, to which I immediately responded in the affirmative, and this morning we received the link, login information, and a phone number to use if we wanted to ask a question. The conference went online shortly after 9:00pm Eastern time. Of course, I experienced the requisite technical issues as my network dropped and I missed a little bit of the opening. Isn't that the way it always goes? Anyway, my network came back up and I was able to get back in relatively quick. Both Turteltaub and Ulrich were both quite amiable as they joked about whether anyone was watching or what they were supposed to do. They went on to open with a clip from the pilot episode, where they have the reveal of the mushroom cloud in the distance. They go on to say that the first time they saw that cut of the scene was the day that CBS picked them up as a series. What follows is an account of the conference, to the best of my ability, in a paraphrased form. It was weird being involved in something like that, and I was not terribly well-prepared. I was able to scratch down some notes as we went along. I should also note that I did not call in, as I had no idea what I would ask. Perhaps the next time I get a chance like this. First, it was asked about balancing the action and the drama aspects of the show. Jon answered that the show will be a mix, but the show starts with the characters. With the drama of the characters they will build in action, but they recognize that they are not 24, nor do they want to be. He believes that people watch for the characters, and if the characters are good, they will come back. I agree with that, characters are important for a television show that has hopes of lasting for any length of time. People will run from the sinking ship of a television show that is only action, at least I know I would. Jericho is going to delve into a few aspects of their situation. They wish to explore the obvious questions of who did this, why did they do it, and how big is the problem. At the same time, there is going to be a strong focus on the smaller story of these townsfolk. It came up a few times troughout the conference on how do people react when there are no institutions, a lack of a bigger visage of authority. How would you react? If you knew that no one would do anything to you, would you be more apt to commit criminal activities? Or would you strive to retain some sort of order, as if the authority was there? Themes like this will be explored through the, hopefully, lengthy run of the show. Skeet was asked about what drew him to Jericho, and if he was happier doing television than movies. Skeet said that there were a lot of things that drew him to this series. He was interested in the circumstances that these people found themselves in, and the potential character development. He also said that he enjoys television, for a few reasons. He liked being able to stay at home with his family, where his kids have just started kindergarten, and the fact that he doesn't have to be on the road all the time. He also enjoys working on the broad canvas that is television, he likened it to acting in a novel, where the arc is much larger and can be more involved than the relatively limited film medium. It was asked about potential spiritual implications. In response they spoke of the idea of taking away the institutions which sort of dictate morality. If they are taken away, how would you react? Would your sense of right remain unchanged, or would it waver with the newfound freedom of no authority. What about the thought scaring away the audience? The caller spoke of how, while enjoying the show, he was unsettled by it in this era of terrorist activity, plane hijackings and the like. Jon responded that it was good to scare the audience, but it was not good to scare them away. He went on to say that Jericho stresses humanity, and that people should be able to watch this and not be scared away, but perhaps be a little unsettled, but uplifted by the overall story. The topic of inspirations came up, and if there were any post-apocalyptic tales that played a part in the development of the show. Jon said that Stephen King's The Stand had an influence on the pilot's scriptwriter, and The Twilight Zone and The Day After had their place in the inspiration. However, they were more focused on what they didn't want to be, which was a variation on Mad Max or The Postman. More specifically to the show, it was brought up about the character focus, as different characters step to the foreground in the first two episodes. The answer was that the focus would shift to different characters as the town of Jericho is more than just one person, even though the primary focus would be on Jake Green (Skeet's character). He also gave the insider answer of how different actors are not contracted for all episodes. Besides the logistical nightmare of trying to cram all of the characters into every episode, it makes more sense to focus on them in fewer episodes to actually give them some screen time. As for some more insider like information, not much was given up, they did not want to run the risk of all us writers spoiling things for everyone. However, we did learn that not everyone you have met is still alive by episode 9, of course, there are no hints as to who may be passing on. We were also told that we will begin to learn a bit more about Jake and his return to Jericho, plus why he left, in episode 5. Then there is the character of Robert Hawkins, who is signed for the initial order of 13 episodes, may be more than he appears to be. Jon and Skeet were a little mysterious about what that meant. The question of blogging, online conferences and viral marketing came up. Jon Turteltaub talked of how once something becomes marketing, it loses the viral aspect. It is important to keep an eye on what is done online. But America will discover what it wants, and there is no controlling it. He did seem to like the idea of what bloggers can do, and how they are in touch with society. The conference came to a close around 9:50 when they aired a trailer for the show. Overall, it was an interesting experience. Jon and Skeet seemed like nice guys, as they joked between calls, and did appear to be a little uncomfortable in this forum. It was probably the first time they have been involved in this type of forum, but it was handled well. I have seen the first two episodes of Jericho, and I eagerly look forward to the third. The story is being setup nicely and there is an organic flow, meaning it doesn't strike me as being overplotted. Sure, there is a lot going on, but it flows well, and there is the basis for some good characters here for them to build on. Jericho's premiere airs on CBS at 8:00 on 9/20. I recommend that you check it out. I will also say that as much as I liked the pilot, the second episode is even better, so at least give it 2 episodes. http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/09/19/234010.php
Here comes the first wave of new dramas Sept. 19, 2006 (Only took "Jericho" portion.) "Jericho" 8 p.m. Wednesday CBS-Channel 5 There's just something about a mushroom cloud over Kansas and Skeet Ulrich that screams must-watch TV to me. And obviously, when we are talking unexplained nuclear explosions, conspiracy theories and townsfolk running amuck, it's got a serialized sci-fi nature to it. The series turns the microscope on this solid middle-America town and how it reacts to cataclysmic adversity. But while the town is trying to deal with nuclear fallout and perhaps a terrorist take-over of the country, there's also the more immediate problems of missing parents, troubled teens, and broken families. Oh, yeah, and prodigal son Jake Green (Ulrich) is torn between two women, newcomer Heather (Sprague Grayden) and townie hottie and former love Emily (Ashley Scott). There's also Jake's over-achiever brother Eric (Kenneth Mitchell), who's married to a strong-willed woman and making time with the local barmaid. Gerald McRaney, fresh off the splendid HBO series "Deadwood," plays Jake's dad and the town's sheriff. Rounding out the cast is Fremont's own Shoshannah Stern ("Weeds") as sweet farm girl Bonnie, who is going to have to grow up quickly in this dangerous atmosphere. http://www.insidebayarea.com/bayarealiving/ci_4360726#
'Jericho': N.C.-raised writer's tale of survival Denise Sherman, Correspondent (This is only Skeet's part of the article.) Home connections With "Jericho," her star's Concord connection came as a surprise. Ulrich has racing blood -- his mother, Carolyn Rudd, worked in public relations for Lowe's Motor Speedway in the 1980s; his father D.K. Ulrich is a former professional race car driver who lives in the Bahamas; and his uncle Ricky Rudd is a NASCAR driver. But only after Ulrich had been cast did Barbee find out about his roots. One day actresses were auditioning, and Ulrich came in to read with them. That's when he heard Barbee's Southern accent. "I don't have a big one, but it can be heard," Barbee says. "And he asked where I was from. When I said 'Concord,' He said, 'No you're not, you're lying.' That became a running line. He'd try to catch me and ask me things that you could only know from living in Concord. He's say 'Where'd you go to junior high school?' I'd say, 'Harrisburg.' He'd go, 'Odell.' " Ulrich's route to Jericho led from Concord to New York University, where playwright David Mamet saw the young acting student and invited him to join his Atlantic Theater Company as an apprentice. Director Stacy Cochran spotted him there and gave Ulrich a role in "Boys" opposite Winona Ryder. The Craft," "Last Dance" and "Scream" are among movies that followed, as did a starring role in 2003's short-lived series "Miracles." Barbee likes having a hometown boy around as she goes about her big job. "You look over and there's a guy from Concord, and it doesn't feel so scary or strange," she says. It just makes me feel more normal." And Ulrich's family likes having Barbee in charge. Brother Jeff, a sports marketer who lives in Mooresville, met her on a recent trip to California, where he visited the studio and watched the crews construct the sets. "She's a great lady," Jeff Ulrich says. "She's got a lot of North Carolina values and is very well-respected. She's the lady in charge." (The cast of guest stars includes another North Carolinian: Beth Grant, a chameleon of a character actress who has been in dozens of movies and TV shows since graduating from East Carolina University.) Barbee hopes that viewers who find the apocalyptic genre a turnoff will give "Jericho" a chance. Though based on a nuclear attack, the series is more concerned with how human nature plays out in a crisis and, ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit and the will to survive. "The show is really about a larger issue that affects us all," Barbee says. "It's an action movie, it's a thrill ride, it's a character drama -- at its core it's a cautionary tale about how we are relating to the rest of the world and how we are relating to one another. How we deal with conflicts and differences. Something that could actually happen, but hopefully it never will. "There's a strange wish fulfillment to put yourself in the show and play out these scenarios from a safe distance." http://www.newsobserver.com/105/story/487409.html
Interview : Skeet Ulrich September 12, 2006 There’s no way around it, “Jericho” is going to be compared to “Lost”. The show - set in a community that’s been exposed to a giant mushroom cloud - like “Lost”, centres on a band of strangers who must band together when the world they know slips away from them at the most inopportune of times. Actor Skeet Ulrich, playing the show’s involuntary hero Jake Green, doesn’t see the comparison though – because, well, quite simply, he’s never seen “Lost”. “I haven’t seen Lost”, he admits. “I hear it’s great though?” Ulrich says that he is familiar with the stencil for the hit castaways series though, and from what he hears, it’s a different beast than his new show. "My understanding is there's another element to 'Lost'... this is sort of a realistic portrayal of what we would do as people in this scenario. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think 'Lost' sort of has a different unknown element to it. “Jericho”, he says, is “ about what would we do if everything was destroyed and how would we react to that? And how we decide what comes first, and what’s important. And what, in that scenario, do we realise is unimportant? I don’t know how that relates to Lost, but it’s kind of a crossover I guess. It’s that element of picking yourself up and making a fresh start that appealed to the 36-year-old actor. “Yeah, that’s what drew me to it, the element of rebirth and having to start again.” Ironically, “Jericho” marks a bit of a re-birth for the actor himself. Kicking of his career in films like “Scream”, “Touch” and “The Newton Boys” – Ulrich drew a large fan base for his TV series “Miracles”, but it was prematurely pulled a couple of years back. “It was sad to see it end without being able to conclude a lot of the storylines”, Ulrich says of the critically acclaimed 2003 series that lasted only the one season. “I liked that show a lot, I love the character and the ideas behind the show.” And no fans, there isn’t a movie version in the works. “Actually, originally, that script was a film script, with Jim Caviezel in the lead, but Spyglass entertainment, who made the show, decided to turn it into a TV show. I don’t think there’s any plans for a movie [now]. Like “Miracles”, Ulrich says the script for “Jericho” really spoke to him – he just knew he had to be involved in something so inimitable. “Like any actor, I read it and if it speaks to me – I can never stop thinking about it. It’s then that you try and get attached to it. This is one of those instances. I just couldn’t stop thinking of the If’s and the What If’s [of the storyline] and the ‘where’s he been?’ element to it.” (In the series, Ulrich’s character Jake Green returns home to his hometown of Jericho after a long absence – but it isn’t clear where he’s been.) Ulrich borrowed the traits of real-life heroes to build his character – who in the first episode rescues a bus-load of children and their gravely injured teacher. “We’ve seen a lot of situations like Katrina, the Tsunami and 911 where you find people that step up to the plate in a way that they didn’t even expect they could. There are things you can take from true heroes, to build that side of the character, and then, I build the rest of the character from other things that inspire me – like music, books, films, and start trying to piece stuff together. You try and stay open to all the possibilities within a character and show as many human moments as you can.” Ulrich, who was also seen recently in the mini-series “Into the West”, says he’s gotten lost in playing Jake Green. “You just get into it, and you can’t stop thinking of moments that might explain him more”. JERICHO Premieres on Network Ten, Thursday 21st September, 9:30 PM. http://www.moviehole.net/interviews/20060912_interview_skeet_ulrich.html
The rebirth of Skeet LUAINE LEE September 12, 2006 10:30am THE first rule for actors in Hollywood is to stay visible at all times. But for Skeet Ulrich, that was the first rule to break. The actor was riding high with films such as Scream, Newton Boys and As Good as It Gets, when his then-wife was expecting twins. "I remember doing Ang Lee's movie (Ride with the Devil) and people would come to the set and do interviews. And I told people I would do six more movies, and that would be it," Ulrich said. "I thought that might be the case. I had a leaning toward doing that and building furniture. And I bought a farm in Virginia and was living on it at that time. "Then I took almost two years off when the kids were born. And I missed it so bad. I had no idea I would. There was just a void. I was getting so bottled up. I didn't have that form of expression that eased it a little bit for me ... I was doing really well, probably the best I've ever done. "I was getting offered lots of good stuff, working with lots of good directors in good films and was just willing to toss it all away." He planned his escape carefully. "Knowing I was going to take time off when the kids were born, I did two really bad movies for money to sort of make my nest egg comfortable so I could take time off, which I didn't know it would necessarily be time off. I thought it would be forever-off." After two years of rusticating on his farm with his twins, he realised how crucial acting was to his life. "I think it was such a huge lesson for me to kind of re-grasp what I felt (the first time he decided to become an actor). It was a big lesson and I felt when I came back that I was able to be much more real to some extent. I read those old interviews, and I just cringe sometimes. I know everybody grows up and hopefully grows wiser, but God," he said, with a grimace. Ulrich is back, this time for good. He's starring the new thriller series, Jericho. Ulrich plays the mayor's wastrel son in a small town in Kansas. Suddenly an unexplained mushroom cloud menaces the horizon, severs the power and throws the citizens into blind panic. What happens to the people in this crisis is the heart of the drama. And what Ulrich does with his character's catastrophe is both believable and inspiring. Plunging back into the Hollywood swim hasn't been easy, he admits. He feels his exit was ill-advised. "Some people had a bitter taste in their mouths about the way it was done, especially the press side of it. When I'm supposed to be promoting films and I'm saying, 'I'm not going to do any more films.' So I think I got what I deserved to some extent, in the film side. "Now I don't notice it so much. Plus I have kids. I can't exactly disappear on location anymore. This is the best world for me." Ulrich's twins, a boy and a girl, are 5 now. And their well-being is his prime focus. "My ex (Georgina Cates) just did her first movie in a while, and I just hired my first nanny last week. I had them, like six weeks without anybody. They love her, thank goodness. We picked the right person. But it's a life-changing thing," he sighed. At 36, Ulrich seems an old soul. When he was 10 he had open-heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. It bore a lasting effect, he thinks. "It was so long ago that it's hard to barely know who I was before and after – it has to be defining to some extent. I had a 25 percent chance of living through it, so there has to be some message in it somewhere," he said. Jericho premieres on Channel 10 on Thursday, September 21 at 9.30pm. http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,20397360-5006343,00.html
Sept. 11, 2006 Skeet Ulrich returns to television for the apocalyptic series Jericho.The town of Jericho has been built on a small Van Nuys, allowing one to go from the metro station to middle America within a few blocks. Ulrich plays a mystery man trying to gather the town together after a blast leaves them possibly the only surviving people in America. Skeet Ulrich Talks Jericho “We’re shooting pulling up to town hall, trying to get some people to shelter from the fallout,” said Ulrich of a scene he was shooting for the third episode. “This is I guess the day after the explosions, just trying to get people to safety. Busses up and nowhere to go.” The first few episodes deal with approximately one week after the apocalypse. “Practical issues. What do people do and how do you get an entire town to safety? Some people are unwilling to go anywhere. Some people are dying to get somewhere so just trying to figure out how to save as many people as possible.” Ulrich’s character has an unclear background that will be revealed throughout the show. He knows the past but not where it will go. “We knew before we started rolling on the pilot what the backstory was and how that plays into why he’s doing what he’s doing. So yeah, we’re clear on that part of it. Where he goes, I don't know. But it’s been good. The scripts are great. It keeps everything exciting.” The ongoing struggle of a town in such crisis makes Jericho more exciting than most film projects to Ulrich. “I think the fun of it is acting a novel. We’re used to acting 120 pages, complete arcs and to get to lay it all out really slow and subtly is a lot of fun. It kind of takes a lot of strength to withhold certain emotions that you want to save for that big thing that might be coming. You’re trying to lay stuff out with that idea, trying to complete the whole arc. It’s really interesting. As for TV as a whole, these feel like you could jump in at any point and be enthralled by the stories, so it has the best of both worlds to some extent in that it’s a continuous storyline but each one is intriguing in its own right and fun in its own right.” Jericho begins airing September 20th at 8PM on CBS. Stay tuned for updates. http://www.canmag.com/news/4/21/5026
Hype over TV series set in fictional Kansas town hits Lawrence Associated Press LAWRENCE, Kan. - No less than the state's chief executive and a Hollywood star were on hand for the unveiling of crop artist Stan Herd's newest work. Best viewed from the air, the 20-acre image shows the CBS logo, the word JERICHO and the outline of a young boy - with an atomic mushroom cloud rising in the distance. "Jericho" is a new CBS series about what life might be like in a Kansas town of that name after a nearby nuclear disaster. Actor Skeet Ulrich, who stars in the show, joined Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, CBS officials, other elected officials and hordes of media as the crop art was unveiled Saturday in northern Lawrence. Herd created the work for CBS. He spent more than two months on it and will maintain it until the series premieres Sept. 20 - which Sebelius has proclaimed "Jericho Day" throughout Kansas. "This is an incredible thing the town's done for us," Ulrich said. At dusk Saturday, about 100 Lawrence residents gathered at the city's visitor center for a special screening of the show's pilot episode. They cheered and clapped at the beginning, when Ulrich's character drove by a "Welcome to Kansas" highway sign, and again during the final credits. Drama and tense scenes abound in the episode. The small Kansas town descends into confusion as all outside communication links are cut and the power eventually gives out. Townspeople know nothing about the nuclear blast other than the mushroom cloud they saw to the west. A school bus full of children is traveling a country road when the explosion occurs, and the driver is fatally injured. "I liked the story line. There was a good cast, and no bad acting in it," said Zach Ortiz, a Free State High School sophomore. "It was an all-around good show - well put together and well thought out." Kansas viewers may be tickled or irked by one aspect of the scenery. Unlike Los Angeles, where the show is filmed, western Kansas does not have mountains on the horizon. But in a quick conversation with Ulrich, Sebelius came up with a solution: Come back and actually film in Kansas next season. "I gave him some grief," Sebelius said. "He said they made L.A. look like Kansas. I assured him they couldn't possibly do that." http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/state/15488182.htm
TV series has Lawrence seeing stars By George Diepenbrock (Contact ), Ron Knox Sunday, September 10, 2006 Must be that Midwestern hospitality. The city and state rolled out the red carpet for Hollywood on Saturday, welcoming a crew from the upcoming CBS show “Jericho” with hordes of media, elected officials and expansive crop art made just for them. Heck, North Lawrence even renamed itself for the week. And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius proclaimed Sept. 20, the date of the show’s premiere, as “Jericho Day” throughout the state. A whole day. For a television show. “This is an incredible thing the town’s done for us,” said Skeet Ulrich, the show’s leading man. The series, based in the fictional Kansas town of Jericho, depicts what life might be like in a small town after a nearby nuclear disaster. About 100 Lawrence residents watched a special screening of the show’s pilot episode at dusk on the lawn of the Lawrence Visitor Center, 402 N. Second St. But really, whenever there’s a fictional nuclear disaster, the nation apparently wonders: What would Kansans do? Sebelius could only guess as to why. “Maybe Danni Boatwright, the ‘Survivor,’ inspired all of this,” she said. Or, then again, maybe it’s just the nature of the state, she said. After all, ad astra per aspera, “to the stars through difficulty.” “I guess this is one difficulty we’re going to survive,” Sebelius said while waiting to give her official proclamation. Crop promotion At Bismarck Gardens, crop artist Stan Herd gave interviews to roving television crews — all from nearby CBS stations, the only network allowed to be there. When he finally made it inside the small tent and grabbed a glass of wine, he seemed exhausted. “It beats the crap out of me,” he admitted. “I’m ready to go home.” But this is Herd’s job, he said, this four hours a month he turns it on, smiles for the cameras, shakes hands until his arm hurts. He doesn’t mind it, he said. He used to draw a thick line in the sand between himself and doing corporate artwork. But now he understands, he said: This kind of work is art as well, and it allows him to afford his own projects. “I’ll cross those lines, now,” he said. He said he liked his CBS artwork — his interpretation of the show’s logo featuring a boy watching a mushroom cloud rise in the distance. In order to get a better view of the 20-acre scene, a helicopter gave Ulrich, media-types and almost anyone else a ride up for an overhead look. On this ride, CBS-hired photographer Dick Whipple hung out of the open helicopter door and shot Herd’s massive art from above. With the art blocked from sight, Pauline and Helen Nunemaker shot photos of the family’s Bismarck Gardens farm and the outstretched countryside. Back on the ground, Helen Nunemaker couldn’t have been happier. “I’ve been on a little plane, but nothing like this,” she said, almost bounding. “A lady my age, her first flight. It was worth it.” Ulrich said the day was worth it as well. While others may cringe at the thought of a day bombarded by interview after interview, of television cameras tracking every move, Ulrich didn’t seem to mind much. “No, it’s great,” he said, sipping on a Miller High Life Light. “You get a chance to broaden your horizons.” Mountains in Kansas? And as for horizons, Ulrich said the show couldn’t help but have mountains in the horizon. Sure, that’s not how the horizon looks in western Kansas — if you’ve never been there, it’s as flat as you might think — but in Los Angeles where they film the show, the mountains are just part of the landscape. “We have mountains there’s no way to eliminate,” Ulrich said. But in a quick conversation with Ulrich, Sebelius came up with a solution: Come back and actually film in Kansas next season. “I gave him some grief,” Sebelius said. “He said they made L.A. look like Kansas. I assured him they couldn’t possibly do that.” On screen At the night screening of the pilot, residents on hand cheered and clapped twice — at the beginning when Ulrich’s character drove by a “Welcome to Kansas” highway sign and during the final credits. The show’s opening episode was filled with drama and tense scenes. The small Kansas town is masked in confusion as all outside communication ties have been cut and the power eventually gives out. The residents know nothing about the blast other than the mushroom cloud they saw to the west. A school bus full of children was in the country during the explosion, which disrupted the bus’ route, and the driver died from injuries. “I liked the story line. There was a good cast, and no bad acting in it,” said Zach Ortiz, a Free State High School sophomore. “It was an all-around good show — well put together and well thought out.” Musician Kelley Hunt performed before and after the screening. Star Straf, a programmer at Kansas University, said she enjoyed the show and would give it a try when it premieres. “The characters interacted in conflict with each other. It’s not just entirely action and suspense. It’s a bit of both,” Straf said. The North Lawrence resident was excited about the day’s events. “I guess I live in Jericho now,” she said. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/sep/10/tv_series_has_lawrence_seeing_stars/?city_local
"Jericho" Hits Kansas AP Lawrence throws a big party for the cast and crew of the new CBS series ``Jericho,'' which is staged in Kansas. Governor Sebelius was in the city yesterday to declare September 20th ``Jericho Day'' in Kansas to mark the premiere date of the show about life in a small town after a nearby nuclear disaster. About 100 people watched a screening of the shows pilot episode. The crowd cheered and clapped at the beginning when the lead character -- played by Skeet Ulrich -- drove past a ``Welcome to Kansas'' sign and during the final credits. Lawrence crop artist Stan Herd finished his ``Jericho'' project on 20 acres at Bismarck Gardens north of the city. It shows the name of the series flanked by ``CBS'' and the network's logo. http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/3881802.html
"Jericho" Promotion Hits Kansas Rhiannon Ally Hollywood hit Lawrence, Saturday, for a special promotion for the CBS show, "Jericho", set to premiere September 20th. It's a work of art that can only be appreciated from the Kansas sky, an image that catches the essence of the story. Skeet Ulrich, one of the stars of "Jericho" joined crop artist Stan Herd and Governor Sebelius in Lawrence for a special look at Herd's crop art depicting the shows logo. "I think it's incredible, I've never seen anything like it. I've never seen crop art." said Skeet Ulrich, one of the stars of "Jericho". A nuclear bomb explodes in Kansas, at least that's the story behind Jericho. While the shows' plot isn't something most Northeast Kansans want to think about. Ulrich says the show offers a look into a Kansas town that faces the disaster together. While the name of the show remains in the field. Ulrich says his time in the Sunflower State left him with quite an impression. "I love Kansas." After looking at the crop art with Governor Sebelius, Ulrich headed over to the Lawrence Visitor's Center for a special premier of "Jericho". Before the big premier fans heard Kelley Hunt concert. Then the mayor of Lawrence also declared Jericho day. Once it got dark, fans got to watch the premier. Fans couldn't take their eyes off the scene and look forward to season to take off. Jericho is scheduled for Wednesday nights at 7 pm airing before the CBS dramas Criminal Minds and CSI New York, starting on September 20th. http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/3880197.html (Includes links to movies of the event.)
A Paranoid Prime Time Looks Over Its Shoulder By ALESSANDRA STANLEY Published: September 10, 2006 (Edited out part that did not pertain to "Jericho.") “Jericho,” on CBS, is the clearest example of prime time’s tense mood. After a nuclear confrontation with an unnamed enemy, Jericho, Kan., appears to be the one town in America left intact. Global warfare is not the only mystery. Just what was the hero, Jake (Skeet Ulrich), doing in the five years before he returned home? He tells some neighbors he was in the Army, or the Navy. Others are led to believe he was playing minor league baseball. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/10/arts/television/10stan.html?_r=1&ref=television&oref=slogin
Actor Skeet Ulrich here to greet fans

offBeat with PHILIP POTEMPA

BY PHILIP POTEMPA (ppotempa@nwitimes.com)

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Friday, September 8, 2006 12:14 AM CDT

It's show time

You know it's officially fall when the TV networks have the stars of their new lineup of shows out pushing and promoting for viewership.

One of the most talked about debuts this month is "Jericho," which stars actor Skeet Ulrich and premieres Sept. 20 on CBS.

The series is about the people of the small town of Jericho, Kan., banding together to survive after the country has been the target of a nuclear attack. (Die-hard sci-fi fans on the Internet are already busy buzzing on message boards about on-location filming goofs seen in the TV commercial spots for the show, such as the depiction of large mountain range landscapes in Kanas!) FYI: The town used for this story is fictional and all of the scenes were shot in and around Los Angeles.

Ulrich, 36, will be in Chicago this weekend to tout the new series and host a preview screening at 4 p.m. Sunday at AMC River East Theatre.

The actor, who credits the late John Denver as one of his musical favorites and once boasted about eating onions right before his 1999 film kiss with singer Jewel in "Ride with the Devil," is the nephew of NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.

Read the Original Article.

CBS bringing ‘mountain of publicity’ to N. Lawrence
‘Jericho’ promotion to include unveiling of Stan Herd’s crop art
By Ron Knox
Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hollywood is officially coming to town.

And it’s bringing a posse with it.

Next weekend, officials from CBS will usher in camera crews, a helicopter, a television star and even Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to help unveil massive crop art crafted to promote the upcoming fall drama “Jericho,” the network announced Wednesday.

“It will receive a mountain of publicity when it’s unveiled,” said George Schweitzer, president of the CBS Marketing Group. “Hopefully, it will make the show successful.”

The show is based in the fictional, post-apocalyptic Kansas town of Jericho, and Schweitzer said the promotional effort in North Lawrence would be the cornerstone for the show’s marketing campaign.

The event Sept. 9 will unveil local artist Stan Herd’s 20-acre earth artwork based loosely on the show’s running logo - a boy watching a mushroom cloud rise in the distance - and Sebelius is expected to proclaim that North Lawrence will change its name to Jericho for the day of Sept. 20, when the show premieres.

Afterward, Sebelius and “Jericho” star Skeet Ulrich will attend a sneak preview of the show at the Lawrence Visitors Center, 402 North Second St.

Herd was commissioned by CBS and has been working on the artwork, on a 45-acre field at Bismarck Gardens, 1616 North 1700 Road, for most of the summer.

Herd crafted the scene using pumpkin squash and corn that the farm sells as squirrel feed, he said. And as with all such advertising, the artwork will prominently feature the show’s name, time slot and network: Wednesdays on CBS.

“We gave him the artwork for the show, and he translated it into the beautiful land art,” Schweitzer said.

The artwork won’t actually appear during the show, but will instead be featured on the station’s Web site and during extensive television coverage, including spots on “Entertainment Tonight” and other national shows, Schweitzer said.

Herd and other promoters have also filmed a minidocumentary of the making of the crop art, which CBS will likely promote along with the art on the station’s Web site.

Schweitzer said the station wanted to find new ways to promote and advertise its shows and figured using crop art would get people’s attention in a crowded advertising marketplace.

Herd said the original idea gained momentum from there.

“Then they started to build on the initial idea, which was pretty simple,” he said.

Soon, Herd was discussing changing the name of North Lawrence for a day, a week, even a month. He met with North Lawrence Improvement Assn. President Ted Boyle, Johnny’s owner Rick Renfro and others to pitch the idea.

“We wanted to make sure everyone was cool with the name change,” Herd said.

Boyle said that the neighborhood was OK with the change, provided the impact on North Lawrence was positive.

Since then, Boyle said, he’s been assured that neighborhood businesses would cater the events, ensuring that some out-of-town money is spent in the area.

Now, Boyle said, the neighborhood may even change its name for the whole 11 days between the publicity event and the premiere of the show Sept. 20. He spoke with the city about the idea Wednesday.

“It’s going to be real positive for the neighborhood,” he said.

Regardless, CBS officials expected Lawrence to find itself in the limelight, if only for a day. Or, as Schweitzer put it, “Lawrence will be the center of the country.”

‘Jericho’

Events set for Sept. 9:

• 3:30 p.m.: Stan Herd’s “Jericho” crop art unveiling. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to proclaim the renaming of North Lawrence as Jericho for a day.

The event will be at Bismarck Gardens, 1616 North 1700 Road.

• 7:30 p.m.: A screening of “Jericho” pilot episode at the Lawrence Visitor Center, 402 North Second St. Sebelius and Jericho star Skeet Ulrich are scheduled to attend.

The screening will be followed by a performance by musician Kelly Hunt.

Read the Original Article.

It's official: North Lawrence will be "Jericho"

For the event, Gov. Sebelius will proclaim that North Lawrence will officially change it’s name for a day to Jericho
By Ron Knox
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hollywood is indeed coming to town.

Producers, actors and even Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will cascade on North Lawrence next weekend to shoot artwork for a pivotal scene for the upcoming television drama “Jericho,” CBS announced today.

For the event, Sebelius will proclaim that North Lawrence will officially change its name for a day to Jericho - the fictional Kansas town in the post-apocolyptic drama - and will unveil the crop art local artist Stan Herd carved for the event.

One of the show’s stars, Skeet Ulrich, will also attend the event Sept. 9.

After the unveiling, CBS officials will hold a sneak-preview of the show’s pilot episode at the Lawrence Visitor Center, 4-2 N. Second st. Musician Kelly Hunt will perform afterwards.

The new show is set in a Kansas town after a nuclear disaster in neighboring Colorado.

Read the Original Article.

Skeet Ulrich Hopes 'Jericho' Will End Johnny Depp Comparisons
By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith Aug 25, 2006
Skeet Ulrich is tired of being compared to Johnny Depp -- and hopes he'll make enough of an impact with his upcoming CBS "Jericho" series to finally lose that connection.

"People have stuck me to Depp ad nauseam," says the actor many feel bears a strong resemblance to the super star. As far as he's concerned, "I don't think we could be more dissimiliar in terms of acting, and don't even think we look alike. Ten years ago, maybe -- but then I don't hold pictures of us side by side."

Skeet is convinced "Jericho" has the stuff to be a hit. He says the show, in which he becomes an unlikely leader in a small town isolated from the rest of the world after a nuclear disaster is "fascinating. It's timely, well thought out, with edge and appeal and heart. It's a show that asks the audience, "What would you do, are you ready, are you going to take action or curl up in the corner?'"

Ulrich made a name for himself in the '90s with such big-screen hits as "As Good as It Gets" and "Scream." Then, as the movie industry made fewer and fewer quality films, he turned to TV, first for the 2003 series "Miracles," and now for the nuclear-apocalypse drama.

Career aside, TV, he says, is a better place for him to be these days -- for the sake of his family.

He and English actress Georgina Cates, with whom he tied the knot in 1997, are now divorced, but their twin son and daughter "are now entering kindergarten," he says, "And movie locations aren't the best place for them."

He has custody of the children two days a week, but often sees them more than that. They are, he says, frequent visitors on the "Jericho" set.

Read the Original Article.

Tue, August 22, 2006
Dramatic Entrances
The Sun's Fall TV Preview, Part 1

By PAT ST. GERMAIN

Here we go again -- the U.S. networks court us with serial dramas that beg viewers to commit to long-term relationships -- only to have them snatched away in midstream. Remember how Fox aborted its 20-part serial Reunion last year? And NBC dropped Surface and CBS dumped Threshold and ABC ended that alien Invasion? Well, apparently, short-attention-span network heads forgot. Sure there are serial successes like Lost, Prison Break and 24, but why should we put our faith in new shows if networks won't? There are tempting offers on the fall slate. Just don't bite too hard:

- Jericho (CBS/City, Sept. 20)
Prodigal son Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) visits his small Kansas hometown just in the nick of time: Townsfolk see a giant mushroom cloud on the horizon and it's goodbye cruel world -- at least beyond the little town of Jericho. Panic ensues, and Jake has to stick it out with his stern dad (Deadwood's Gerald McRaney), childhood friends and a sweet schoolteacher who needs rescuing, along with a busload of kids. A mysterious stranger may help; a gang of escaped cons, not so much.

(Stuff about other shows was edited out before I posted this on this site. It's not about "Jericho," so...)

Read the Original Article.

CBS show to bring publicity to Lawrence
'Jericho' premiere comes to town

The premiere of the new TV show "Jericho" will be in Lawrence next month. Because of the attention, some businesses anticipate extra business and have considered temporarily renaming the town.

By Jack Weinstein
Monday, August 21, 2006

Len Zeller, owner of Lawrence Battery, wasn’t thrilled about changing the name of his business, at 903 N. Second St., to Jericho Battery, even if it was just for a day. That was until his wife Kathy interjected.

“It might help put North Lawrence on the map,” Kathy Zeller said.

Her husband quickly changed his tune.

CBS will come to North Lawrence for a public screening of its new show “Jericho” on Saturday, Sept. 9, The show will depict the fictional Kansas town of Jericho following the aftermath of a nuclear explosion and will debut Sept. 20. Stanka Luna, the publicist for the show, would not say where in Lawrence the show would be premiered.

Luna said members of the show’s cast may attend, including the show’s star Skeet Ulrich. CBS has also been working with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s office to ensure the governor’s attendance at the event, said Nicole Corcoran, a spokeswoman for the governor.

“The governor is excited they’re coming and would like to welcome them personally,” Corcoran said, noting it will be tough because the governor’s debates begin that day. “We’re still working out the logistics.”

Some North Lawrence business owners are open to the idea of allowing CBS and “Jericho” to take over the town because it could bring business and notoriety.

Rick Renfro, owner of Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St., thought the show would be great for North Lawrence and Lawrence as a whole because it would be a good time.

“Any excuse for a party is a good excuse,” Renfro said.

The event may involve changing the name of the town to Jericho for a “week or so,” said Stan Herd, a crop artist and Lawrence resident, who was sought out to create field art for the event. Herd is also responsible for bringing the event to North Lawrence. His reasoning was that North Lawrence was its own little town separate from Lawrence with its own bars and restaurants. Also, the made-for-TV movie “The Day After” was filmed in Lawrence.

Herd is cutting the design in the sweet corn field at Bismarck Gardens, a vegetable farm at 1616 N. 1700 Road. The image will be a silhouette of a boy standing on the roof of a barn looking at a mushroom cloud in the distance, said Mary Ross, who owns the farm with her husband Pat. Jericho and CBS will be written in the field beneath the picture. The image will stretch 20 acres.

Ross said she and her husband were happy to let Herd, an old friend, use their field because it had already been harvested and their business had closed for the season in the beginning of August.

Herd said there may be other promotional possibilities, but added that he hoped the event would entice “folks from the coasts” to return to Lawrence to shoot movies or television shows.

“There’s some consensus, if the show goes well it will bring some activity here,” Herd said. Kansan staff writer Jack Weinstein can be contacted at jweinstein@kansan.com.
—Edited by Kristen Jarboe

Read the Original Article.

Profile
TV.com's Profile of Skeet.

Behind the Scenes: TV.com lands on the set of Jericho
By Stephanie Quay - TV.com
August 9, 2006 at 02:05:00 PM

Follow TV.com site director Stephanie Quay as she spends a day on the set of Jericho, an upcoming CBS drama.

LOS ANGELES--There is something about walking onto a television set where so many people have contributed to building the overall story, pumping the life into this fictional land and giving breath to the characters.

In one sentence: It makes me feel alive.

I got the opportunity to feel that way yesterday morning, when I drove up, parked with the rest of the crew of CBS's new serial drama Jericho, and hopped on the shuttle to head over to the set.

Momentarily, I am transported to Jericho, Kansas, and the main street that includes the Jericho Post Office, City Hall, the Kansas library, and the supermarket. Around me a multitude of people are moving, hauling cameras and gear, and setting up for what I can only assume is the next scene they will shoot.

Extras, wandering around in hospital gowns, are standing in lines and chatting quietly. There are earpieces and walkie-talkies attached to everyone's body, and for a moment the fun of my Treo pales in comparison.

I realized then that what I originally thought was just two parallel walls built along a side street is an actual man-made set with interiors. I noticed a big wall construction randomly placed, and I am told it needed to be mounted to hide the palm trees. Only in LA. Even the cement covering the street was created to simulate a Kansas street, worn and cracked, and the sidewalks were cemented only days ago.

The grocery store that we walk into is completely built out with salmon, deli counters, and everything from cereal to produce--and, of course, each piece is a fake prop.

The producer's and director's chairs are in the grocery store as well, carefully hidden inside from the intense sun and facing two monitors where we could see the crew moving items around the set. Then, we see the beginning tape of what eventually each home will enjoy as the show Jericho.

Karim Zreik wanders over and introduces himself as one of the producers. We chat about the extensive details of the set, and he mentions that everything was "built within the last five to six weeks."

I am overwhelmingly impressed.

He goes on to describe and show me the two stages that are the location of the interior shots thus far. There is a small area that serves as a mining hole (realistically complete with actual manure to give the cast something extra special to work off of).

There is another room that serves as a bunkerlike area where a few steel twin beds get tossed around and some fruit props are lying on a table.

With that, he promises a more extensive interior tour in a bit, but first we head back outside to watch Skeet Ulrich tape a scene from "Fallout" (episode two).

As they are setting up the cameras, Jon Turtletaub stops by. He is executive-producing the series and, luckily for me, directing this day.

"We met at the TCA CBS party. TV.com, right?" he smiles.

Just like there are some books you know you will not be able to put down once you start, there are certain people you instinctively know are talented. Turtletaub is just one of those people. He trails on discussing the philosophical concept of fiction, what it is and what it isn't, and ends commenting that, to him, "Jericho is not science fiction."

He is enthusiastic, lively, and confident--wonderful traits for a director and producer. The pilot, which had already been shot, edited, and screened (aside from a few minor tweaks they are planning), was originally filmed on location in Fillmore, California. To get a better understanding of their shooting schedule, today they wrapped the second episode. Tomorrow they shoot the last day to wrap the third, and Thursday they move on to the first day of shooting episode four. This tactic was scheduled simply because the parking meters were installed only yesterday, and thus all exterior shots were pushed together and grouped to shoot day after day this week.

With that, camera B is set up and ready, and we're rolling.

Down the road, Skeet Ulrich, who plays Jake Green, drives up in the school bus I remember from the pilot. He jumps out, meeting his brother in front of City Hall, and they quickly discuss the situation. I can't quite hear what they are saying, not because I am too far away, but because a wind fan is blowing close behind me to make the leaves in the trees flow back and forth. They do only two takes from this angle.

Ulrich comes strolling over and introduces himself. I talk to him about shooting the pilot and ask exactly what the creators told him about his character's backstory prior to shooting. From the onset Ulrich was given Green's complete background (something that is fairly unusual), which I learn will be revealed throughout the series. Both the audience and the town of Jericho will in time find out exactly where Green has been and why he returned to Jericho after such an extended period of time.

I also discussed with him the difference between acting in a serial drama (think Lost or 24) and acting in a stand-alone series (think CSI or Law and Order)--he expressed that acting in a serial drama is similar to "acting out a novel."

From there, I am introduced to the creators, Josh Schaer and Jon Steinberg, who explain that Jericho is a concept they've had two years in the making. Originally they planned on creating a small movie in the vein of 28 Days Later or Signs. As we start to discuss the premise of Jericho--multiple nuclear explosions in different cities suddenly occur simultaneously one day, and the people of Jericho, Kansas, are left to speculate about what happened--Schaer mentions, "Who did it, and why, is not the end of this story. It's about the conflict in the town, getting insight into those that are selfish and those that are selfless. There are heroes and there are villains both in town and out of town. There are numerous villains out there and some have yet to reveal themselves."

I am then dropped off for a few moments to visit with Stewart Schill, who is the editor on Jericho.

In a small dark room with a map of the world on the wall, he shows me what he is working on: the first few minutes of episode two, the very episode that is finishing its last shots right outside.

The editing is riveting, and I am reminded of how much the editor contributes to the overall story of a series. The edit is minus a few special effects that have not been added yet, but they are marked with descriptions of the end result. It is a bold start and guaranteed to capture viewer's attention. I want to see more, but unfortunately that is all that had been done thus far, and I will now have to wait to tune in on-air.

The amusing part of the production offices (which house the writers, producers, and creators so they can be close to the set during the day in case there are any sudden revisions needed) is that only days before, these very offices were used as the interior of the Jericho infirmary. Also, interestingly enough, years ago, a little show called Beverly Hills 90210 used that same Jericho hospital as the entrance to its beach club. The difference was a quick paint change (from green to white) and, of course, a new sign.

Suddenly, Stephen Scaia, the executive story editor, comes jogging out toward me, clearly excited by the opportunity to discuss his new baby (he heard I was headed his way). He describes Jericho as "a cross between Battle Star Galactica and West Wing."

He goes on to discuss all of the possibilities that could occur if a nuclear explosion were to happen. Here are some questions we can look forward to getting answers to this fall: What about money? When the lights come back on, what does the town do with people who steal? What happens to those who are unprepared? What about those who are prepared, like farmers who know how to be self-sufficient? What about the education system? We both recognize that these are tricky questions that have become more real to us all in a post-9/11 world.

I head back outside to find Ulrich trying on the steady cam (a harness that is strapped to an actor and firmly holds the camera steady to get a close intense shot while the actor is moving). If you've never tried one on it's like an elephant sitting on your shoulders, and if you're not careful, the camera can topple you right over. I had it happen on one occasion and needed two guys to balance me so I didn't fall flat on my face. He looks over my way, "You're next!" I shake my head and smile.

What I see on my visit is an enthusiastic cast and crew who are passionate about their new project and excited to see it to fruition, as am I. No one is outlandishly crazy (which is saying more than you would think), everyone works as they should, and they welcomed me into their Jericho family, if only for one day.

In return I will happily welcome Jericho into my living room every Wednesday at 8 p.m. as a must-see new show of this fall season.

Read the Original Article.

Comic Con : Day 4
Posted by Clint Morris on July 24, 2006

The quietest day of Comic Con – ‘Stax’ (from FilmForce) and I basically had our pick of the seats in the usually packed roped-off journo area – wasn’t, surprisingly enough, that dull at all. In fact, we saw some very good – and very funny - stuff.

The Grudge 2
After some morning interviews (for “The Grudge 2”), we partook in the “Grudge 2” panel – you can never have enough “Grudge” when the pretty Joan of Arcadia is being spoon-fed by the spook – where we were treated to a nice long trailer for the film, and a panel, featuring the chaps we’d just interviewed – Amber Tamblyn, Arielle Kebbel and director, Takashi Shimizu (plus translator).

The footage – though nothing spectacular – was rather effective, giving many audience members a good jump here and there. In fact, from what I saw, the sequel does seem to have a lot more going for it than the [American] original. Sarah Michelle Gellar is briefly seen (it’s essentially given away that she meets her demise – Laurie Strode style – at the start of the film), as is Kebbel’s funky new dark mop. Looked much more entertaining than “The Covenant”, the trailer of which was screened at the top of the panel, which seems to be an inferior blokey version of chicky witch flick “The Craft”.

Rogue – Balls of Fury/Hot Fuzz
Now this was great. Both panels were hugely funny – and the footage from both films was met with a very warm reception, especially the latter, which had everyone in stitches. Edgar Wright and Nick Frost, the “Shaun of the Dead” guys, look set to have another hit on their hands with “Hot Fuzz”, their pisstake of the whole action movie genre. We were shown several exclusive trailers for the film – with the score for “Lethal Weapon 3” playing over them – which were quite simply, gold. The performances, coupled with the dialogue, look to be first-rate. Wright and Frost, there to talk up the film, were also very funny – not to mention, frank – in their discussion of the film.

“Balls of Fury”, which doesn’t look quite as good as the latter, but still nonetheless funny, is a rather unique comedy offering about table tennis. The panel – with the creators – was a pisser, with one unfortunate chap (likely a plant) getting chased about the room for having a jab at the filmmakers for ribbing on ping-pong. All in all, these two movies look rather good – especially “Fuzz”, which couldn’t come soon enough.

Jericho
Tosia represented the site at the special premiere of “Jericho”, a hot new series – similar to both “Lost” and “Everwood”, and possibly a profusion of both, I’m told – that she assures, delivers. The stars of the show, including Skeet Ulrich, were present for the panel that followed the screening of the pilot.

Compared to the wild night we had with Nic Cage, Sunday was rather quiet, but nonetheless, enjoyable.

Read the Original Article.

(Skeet is scheduled to appear at this year's Comic-Con! Somebody get me an autographed picture. *whimper*)

CBS Paramount Brings Ghost Whisperer, Jericho & The 4400 To Comic-Con

Tuesday July 18, 2006

At Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2006, at 4:30 pm in Room 6CDEF, the hit series THE 4400 from CBS Paramount Network Television will host a sneak peek of the series and a panel discussion with exec producer Ira Steven Behr (STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE), producer Craig Sweeny (MEDIUM) and series stars Joel Gretsch (Tom Baldwin), Jacqueline McKenzie (Diana Skouris), Patrick Flueger (Shawn Farrell) and Megalyn Echikunwoke (Isabelle Tyler.)

In addition, GHOST WHISPERER star Jennifer Love Hewitt will take part in a panel discussion sponsored by TV Guide entitled, "2006 And Beyond: A look at current successful supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi television series and a discussion about how they are paving the way for television series of the future,” along with other panelists including Brannon Braga (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) and Rene Echevarria (MEDIUM). The panel will take place at 3:30 pm in Room 20.

On Sunday, July 23, at 11:30 am in Room 6CDEF, JERICHO, the new suspense thriller from CBS Paramount Network Television, will host an exclusive Comic-Con World Premiere Screening of the series followed by a panel discussion with exec producers Jon Turteltaub (NATIONAL TREASURE), Stephen Chbosky (RENT) and Carol Barbee (JUDGING AMY) and series stars Skeet Ulrich (SCREAM), Lennie James (SAHARA), Sprague Grayden (SIX FEET UNDER), Erik Knudsen (SAW II) and Ashley Scott (DARK ANGEL). JERICHO will premiere in fall 2006 on CBS.

JERICHO explores what happens when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of the small, peaceful Kansas town of Jericho into chaos.

For more info on Comic-Con, visit their website. Comic-Con.Org

Read the Original Article.

For fall, CBS gets sexy look
BY DOUGLAS DURDEN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Jul 18, 2006

PASADENA, Calif. Who says CBS isn't sexy?

Oh, wait, I say it all the time when explaining why I don't watch that many CBS series. TVChat knows that CBS is very successful. It has the most viewers; it has the most viewers between ages 25 and 54. What's missing from this equation are viewers 18 to 49, deemed the most important demographic out there. (Not my rule.)

And that's where the to-be or not-be sexy comes in.

"Two and a Half Men," not sexy. "The Early Show," not sexy. "Numb3rs," not spelled right and not sexy.

I know there are people out there who are going to argue with me. I'm sure pictures of Dennis Haysbert and Kevin James are taped to somebody's refrigerator.

Not mine. (This is where I should point out, despite the first name, I am female. And also that TVChat is an open forum. Feel free to tell me just how wrong I am.)

But, I have seen the future, as in fall's new shows. And I have to tell you, CBS is getting sexier.

Skeet Ulrich in "Jericho": definitely hot. Has that whole 3o'clock shadow, open shirt, ripped jeans thing going on. Doesn't say much during the interview for his show with its "The-Day-After" scenario. Doesn't have to.

Ray Liotta, Jonny Lee Miller AND a post-"The Devil Wears Prada" Simon Baker: also hot. They play career criminals in "Smith" - CBS has declared itself on the side of one-word titles this year; it also has "Shark." In addition, the series features blondes Virginia Madsen ("Sideways") and Amy Smart ("Just Friends") plus Franky G, whose last series, "Jonny Zero" (no relation to Jonny Lee Miller) was on Fox, making him the most unlikely member of this cast to be on a CBS show.

Liotta has made a career of playing charming criminals - except for that FBI agent who has the top of his head removed in "Hannibal." Baker, formerly of the network's "The Guardian," has graduated into full-fledged, scarf-wearing cad. And Miller simultaneously starred as Sick Boy in "Trainspotting" while being married to Angelina Jolie in the mid-'90s.

However, this being CBS, all that potential eye candy has been put into two glum series, one about the possible end of the world, the other about robbers who kill instead of banter. For instance, here's what Jon Turteltaub, "Jericho's" executive producer, said when asked whether his series about a community surviving a nuclear holocaust would include such matters as radiation sickness and contaminated food.

"Anything that you could think of or anyone would worry about should be in the show." Oh, that should be fun. And, as if you hadn't already guessed, "Jericho" is one of several new serial dramas for fall, which led to our favorite one-word answer so far at the annual fall preview where the networks tell TV critics what they're doing right and TV critics write about what they're doing wrong.

Asked what he thought about his show being compared to "Lost" - also a serial drama about an isolated community trying to survive - Turteltaub answered, "Cool."

Later, he pointed out that the focus of his show is about the reality of coping, while he considered "Lost" more science-fictiony. And that led to my second favorite quote so far, this one from another executive producer about whether "Jericho" would stay reality-based. "Let's put it this way, We're dealing with a reality base and real-world events until we run out of ideas," joked Stephen Chbosky.

For about a second, while watching the pilot of "Smith" with its attractive, well-dressed robbers, I thought, "This is supposed to be 'Oceans 11' or '12.' It's a crime caper. They rob, they steal. But in the end, it's OK because nobody gets hurt."

Then they kill someone. Then one of their own gets killed. Then Simon Baker's character kills two people just for the heck of it. Well, they did tell him to get off their beach. So what's the deal, producer John Wells? Are we supposed to bond with these characters or hope there's a cross-over episode with "Criminal Minds"?

"The idea is that we are following people who are dangerous. And my hope is that the audience will be interested in seeing characters who were dangerous and what happens to them and how the risks that they're taking catch up with them," said Wells, who is a serious producer of such serious shows as "ER" and "Third Watch."

"You're making the assumption that there will be no eventual retribution for the acts that they commit, and that would be an incorrect assumption about where the series is headed."

Oh, great. You put Ray Liotta, Simon Baker and Jonny Lee Miller into one series - and I'm not supposed to like them?

What's on your mind - or your DVR? TVChat would like to know. E-mail us at TVChat@timesdispatch.com.

Read the Original Article.

July 17, 2006, 10:13AM

Actors and their roles for $200, AlexMore film stars believe TV is where it's at

By MIKE MCDANIEL
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

More and more film actors are discovering television as the place to be.

"Ten years ago when talent was developing, TV was a last stop or an afterthought in terms of your development journey," said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment. "Things are very different now.

"The other day we were at a meeting at one of the big (talent) agencies. And a very, very big feature (film) agent, who will remain nameless, pulled me aside and said, 'They all want to do TV.' That's music to my ears."

We asked four film stars why they're doing TV and got four different answers.

•Skeet Ulrich, star of Jericho, a CBS drama about how the people of a Kansas town react when Denver and Atlanta are hit with nuclear bombs: "I honestly didn't want to go on the road anymore, being the single dad of twins. (He and actress Georgina Cates share custody of the 5-year-olds, a boy and a girl.) Also, the writing I used to read when I was making movies has changed. It's come over to television."

•Ray Liotta, star of the CBS drama Smith, about a criminal mastermind, his crew and his family: "Well, I started out on a soap opera (NBC's Another World) so I've been here for a while. (Executive producers) John Wells and Chris Chulak asked me to do an episode of ER, and I really liked working with them. It came out nice. I wasn't looking to do a series, but when you have John and Chris asking you to do something, I just felt honored to be a part of it."

•Simon Baker, co-star of Smith: "TV is becoming more like films. And films — whenever you have a successful film, they want to turn it into a series anyway."

•James Woods, who plays a high-profile prosecutor on the CBS drama Shark: "I actually had always said I didn't want to do a series — and not because I was a snob about television. Television has been probably as important in my career as feature films. I just didn't want to play, really, the same character again and again because I thought it would be hard to imagine how he could evolve. But this character will really evolve a lot ...
"Television is more sophisticated, more dynamic, more gut-wrenching to me today than the movies. ... I chose this job for no other reason other than it was the best thing I've read in 10 years."

Read the Original Article.

Turteltaub Touts Jericho
Written by Cindy White

Monday, 17 July 2006

First there was Jerry Bruckheimer, then McG, Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner. All of them have made the leap from the big to the small screen as executive producers on high-profile network shows. Now, Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping) is joining their ranks with the premiere of Jericho on CBS this fall. Turteltaub appeared with the show’s cast — which includes Skeet Ulrich, Gerald McRaney, Pamela Reed, Ashley Scott and Sprague Grayden — at the TCA summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif. over the weekend to promote the show and explain what it’s all about.

In the pilot, we meet the residents of the small Kansas town of Jericho just before a huge mushroom cloud erupts in the distance, causing panic and confusion. It appears that Denver and Atlanta have been destroyed, but with communication lines down, no one knows for sure what’s happened or why. Turteltaub says that one of the themes of the show is our cultural need for constant information, and what happens when that information goes away.

“What the show really involves is what happens when you have no communication at all, which is easy to have happen if there’s no power,” Turteltaub said in an interview following the panel. “And it’s one of the clues as to what’s going on. You’re getting no TV. It may not be you. It might be CNN. It may be the Comcast satellite is gone. And these are the clues that we have to look at to see what really did happen. We will discover as the show goes on, it’s certainly not just Atlanta.”

As for the question of why Jericho survived the blasts, its remote location is one of the factors, but there may be other forces at work, Turteltaub suggested. “It is absolutely possible that there may be certain specific things, or more so, certain specific people who are in Jericho that may have relevance to the greater overall incident,” he said. “We don’t know who survived. The reason our show is taking place here is that it did survive. And, as we said, it would be dull to do a show about a place that didn’t. But it’s also, this is not a doom and gloom show. It’s not a post-apocalyptic Road Warrior show. It is a show about how life in a small town in America may in fact not change all that much when larger cities and huge attacks take place in our country. And it is very significant in exactly how life changes when you become responsible for yourself.”

Turtletaub, whose previous television experience includes a segment of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, added that he’s learning more about the medium as the show goes on. “I’ve been learning the difference between a movie and a series,” he said. “A movie is all about beginning, middle and end. And a TV series is all about the middle.”

Read the Original Article.

The Futon Critic has put up a review/overview of "Jericho." Gives you a taste of what's to come.
Jericho at the Futon Critic

"Jericho" will be shown on Australian TV too!

Network Ten trumpets Jericho

June 28, 2006

THE next big hyped-up international drama series will debut this year on Aussie screens concurrently with the US.

Channel 10 yesterday announced that Jericho would premiere in September alongside the US debut to capitalise on "global publicity".

The program, which is set in a small Kansas town after a nuclear terrorist attack has wiped out most of the country, stars Skeet Ulrich, the hot guy who bashes Greg Kinnear's character in As Good as it Gets.

Ten also revealed that Honey We're Killing the Kids, a lifestyle program about family diets, would screen from next month, and that the network's new drama series, Tripping Over, would screen on Wednesday nights at 8.30pm from October.

An Australian version of a British game show, The Con.Test, would also air from October.

Read the Original Article.

"Jericho" on Canadian TV...

June 1, 2006
Chum channels betting on Rachel Ray
By BILL BRIOUX - Toronto Sun

TORONTO - Can Rachel Ray help Chum scramble back into the Toronto TV ratings game?

The home of CITY-TV, A-Channel, MuchMusic and several specialty and digital stations needs a breakout hit. They thought they had one last year after outbidding CTV and Global for the Chris Rock comedy Everybody Hates Chris, but while that show is a critical darling, it gets crushed in T.O.

Chum announces its 2006-07 pickups today with a "client appreciation" party in Toronto. (CTV and Global have splashy "upfronts" planned for next week.) Here are some of the shows they bought last week while shopping for U.S. shows in Los Angeles.

* Rachel Ray, featuring Oprah's favourite TV chef, premieres Sept. 18. The ever-smilin' Ray promises more talk, less dish.

* Duets is being hyped as the latest "next big reality show" from Simon Cowell. The Fox series pairs real singers like Patti LaBelle with no-talent celebrities (choose from among thousands). Think Singing With The Stars.

* Always in the market for the next sci-fi hit, the former "Federation Station" also picked up the apocalyptic CBS drama Jericho. Gerald McRaney stars as a small-town mayor in the middle of an apparent nuclear crisis; Skeet Ulrich plays the prodigal son with a secret.

* Betty The Ugly is a smart pickup from the home of FashionTelevision and Canada's Next Top Model. The ABC comedy is about a square peg in the skinny round hole of the fashion industry. Executive-produced by Salma Hayek.

* Men In Trees is a Sex And The City-style ABC drama about a relationship coach (Anne Heche) who can't find a man.

Mid-season pickups include 3lbs, a CBS medical drama starring Stanley Tucci plus the coming of age CW drama Hidden Palms.

Kaput are the Canadian-produced series Godivas and The Collector.

Read the Original Article.

TODAY IN TV
CBS jumps on 'Shark'
By AARON BARNHART
The Kansas City Star

NEW YORK | - NEW YORK | This fall CBS is going to air a program set in a small town in Kansas that survives a nuclear catastrophe. At least CBS chairman Leslie Moonves was pretty sure the show was set in Kansas.

"Is it Kansas?" he said Wednesday morning, standing before a roomful of reporters and CBS employees, announcing the network's fall season lineup. Moonves aimed his question at his head of prime-time programs, Nina Tassler.

"It's Kansas," Tassler confirmed.

"Kansas," Moonves echoed. "Whatever."

I heard myself yell out, "Hey! What are we, a potted plant?"

Much razzing ensued from the mostly East Coast-based reporters in attendance. Variations on "you're not in Kansas anymore!" flew through the air. And it's not as if "Jericho" is a bright flashing light on the CBS schedule, which is so replete with hits that Moonves decided to put only four new shows on this fall (NBC has six, ABC nine).

What most of my colleagues will be writing about is "Shark," a new legal drama starring James Woods in his first-ever regular series role. With "The Da Vinci Code" producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer backing it, and a nifty time slot (9 p.m. Thursdays; CBS is moving "Without a Trace" to 9 p.m. Sundays), "Shark" is positioned for greatness.

That show about Kansas ... well, one gets the sense that avoiding cancellation would be a great victory for "Jericho." The show stars Skeet Ulrich ("Ride With the Devil") and revolves around "a small, peaceful Kansas town" that is plunged into "social, psychological and physical mayhem" when a nuclear mushroom takes out Denver, as well as all links to the outside world.

This premise — "The Stand" meets the "Twilight Zone" power outage episode — makes "Jericho" the most "Lost"-like show to come along since "Lost." As if to underscore this, CBS is putting the show into the 7 p.m. Wednesday time period occupied by "Lost" in its first season.

The other new shows CBS introduced are "The Class," a comedy from David Crane, one of the key producers of "Friends," and "Smith," yet the latest in what seems like an unending string of new shows revolving around bank heists. (Is it the economy? Or something in the L.A. bottled water supply?)

Gone are "Out of Practice," "Yes, Dear" and the last regular Sunday night movie on TV. ("Hallmark Hall of Fame" will get three Sunday night spots.) "King of Queens" will return at midseason for what Moonves said would be its last set of episodes and "a proper sendoff." "The Amazing Race" was moved to Sundays after "60 Minutes," bumping "Cold Case" back an hour and creating a Sunday lineup that CBS publicity czar Gil Schwartz called "Race to Case to Trace."

While CBS was reloading with shows reminiscent of current CBS hits, ABC Tuesday afternoon presented advertisers with a boatload of new shows that reminded me of that recent David Blaine special on ABC. Namely, the part where Blaine strolls into a casino and wins a pile of money at the roulette wheel for a couple of waitresses.

Stephen McPherson, the network's head of entertainment, put on a great show — even performing a spirited cha-cha with a "Dancing With the Stars" pro. Singing "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and eternal ham William Shatner performed.

Dr. Bailey of "Grey's Anatomy" starred in a video that had the room hooting: a variant on the notorious steamy-shower scene from the Super Bowl episode, only this time with the men of "Grey's Anatomy" lathering up.

And Jimmy Kimmel was on hand as usual, but instead of eviscerating his own network, he spent most of his time taking potshots at other guys' shows. Of Fox's "American Idol" he said, "Do you people realize you're spending millions of dollars to sponsor karaoke? And they're not even drunk! There's no excuse for sober karaoke."

Whether or not any of these shows will be as entertaining as Tuesday's presentation, ABC is rolling the dice. Counting midseason shows, ABC threw a head-spinning 15 new ideas out to the Lincoln Center audience. And many of them are serialized, like "Lost," which requires a more or less weekly devotion to the program.

Based on the previews, I like ABC's comedy chances with "Big Day," which devotes a whole season to the frantic goings-on in the hours leading up to a single wedding ceremony; "Betty the Ugly," an engaging story about a plucky but homely girl (America Ferrera in hideous glasses and braces) who's determined to make it in the world of fashion; and "Let's Rob..." in which Donal Logue and a motley crew of co-conspirators bumble through the season plotting a heist of Mick Jagger's apartment.

But the big buzz surrounded ABC's decision to throw "Grey's" at "CSI" on Thursday nights at 8. In all likelihood that will force NBC to pull "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" out of that time slot, so that drama won't be completely overlooked.

Read Aaron Barnhart's first impression of every new TV show he sees this week at the network "upfronts" on his TV Barn blog. Go to KansasCity.com and click Entertainment.

Read the Original Article

CBS deals from its strength, taking few risks with new shows
Tim Goodman
Thursday, May 18, 2006

If announcing your new fall schedule -- which all the broadcast networks are doing in New York this week -- is a parade of hopes and dreams (which it is), then CBS is the kind of network that brings rain on everybody else.

On Wednesday, CBS basically announced that it didn't need hope. It had numbers. A day after ABC -- no slouch in the race toward No. 1 -- trumpeted 15 new series, CBS strolled into Manhattan as the most watched network overall and No. 1 in 25- to 54-year-olds, then casually announced, as an afterthought, that it had four new shows to add to the schedule.

Four.

That's kind of like walking on stage, rolling up your sleeve, showing off a massive bicep, then leaving out the side door.

For midseason, CBS did announce three additional series (again, not much) and the return of "The King of Queens," which will likely be its farewell tour. The biggest news from CBS was that it was abandoning the idea of the Sunday Night Movie, the last broadcast network to actively produce made-for-TV movies in bunches. Instead, it will be moving "The Amazing Race" and "Without a Trace" to Sunday, which should bolster a very competitive night among network rivals.

If there was any risk at all on the CBS schedule, it was an attempt to build a "young" comedy block on Mondays and stand behind fading star "Survivor" at 8 p.m., which isn't much of a risk given that the series has always been a hit. There's not much reason to believe it won't continue that streak, but the recently concluded version seemed tired and boring and NBC will go after stray viewers with a head-to-head match-up of its best comedy block, "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office."

Not surprisingly, CBS didn't flinch. It's dealing from a position of strength and has a stellar streak of making just the right programming decisions.

Canceled series include the dramas "Love Monkey" and "Threshold" and the comedies "Courting Alex," "Out of Practice," "Still Standing" and the previously announced "Yes, Dear." Here's a look at the CBS schedule and shows:

-- Monday: Believing that freshman hit "How I Met Your Mother" will be strong enough to kick off the night and attract younger viewers, the network then added a new sitcom at 8:30 p.m. from "Friends" co-creator David Crane called "The Class." It's about a group of twentysomethings -- of course -- who were all in the same third grade class. For some reason only a television writer could come up with, they reunite and then their lives and stories are hashed out. Jason Ritter is the main star. "Two and a Half Men," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "CSI: Miami" return to close out the night.

-- Tuesday: The potent combo of "NCIS" and "The Unit" stay put from 8 to 10 p.m. and then new drama, "Smith," gets a shot, with its all-star cast. The series is yet another heist drama that both networks and cable channels have flipped for of late. This one stars Ray Liotta as the mastermind behind a group of "career criminals who plot and execute intricate and ingenious high-stakes heists across the country." Liotta is looking for one or two more scores and then he wants to go legit. The series also stars Virginia Madsen, Simon Baker, Frankie G and Amy Smart.

-- Wednesday: Though CBS hasn't had a whole lot of luck departing from its crime-and-punishment series, the network is opting to start this night with a new drama, "Jericho," about a small Kansas town that has a nuclear mushroom cloud "appear on the horizon," thus isolating the town. In a kind of "Twilight Zone" approach, the town's residents go crazy with paranoia and fear, revealing their hidden secrets and cracking their calm exteriors. It stars Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney. "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY" stay put at 9 and 10 p.m.

-- Thursday: Stalwart hits "Survivor" and "CSI" remain in their 8 and 9 p.m. time slots, leading into new legal drama, "Shark," starring James Woods as a celebrity defense lawyer known for never losing but not exactly fighting cleanly. But he does lose and, according to CBS, has an epiphany and switches sides to become a prosecutor. Jeri Ryan co-stars and, in something of a surprise, Spike Lee directs the pilot.

-- Friday: The same line-up of "Ghost Whisperer," "Close to Home" and "Numb3rs" returns intact.

-- Saturday: The network will continue a tradition of rerunning crime dramas from the week in a two-hour "Crimetime Saturday" block from 8 to 10 p.m., then closing the night with "48 Hours: Mystery."

-- Sunday: Venerable "60 Minutes" stays put at 7 p.m., followed by "The Amazing Race" at 8 on its new night, "Cold Case" in a new time at 9 p.m. and "Without A Trace" closing the week on its new night.

Midseason series for CBS include "3 LBS," a medical drama about New York neurosurgeons starring Stanley Tucci; "Waterfront," a drama starring Joe Pantoliano as the mayor of Providence, R.I., who has some ethical issues but is trying to keep it clean; and the comedy "Rules of Engagement," starring Patrick Warburton and centered around two couples and a fifth-wheel single guy. It's from Adam Sandler's production company.

E-mail Tim Goodman at tgoodman@sfchronicle.com. You can read his blog, "The Bastard Machine" at sfgate.com/blogs/goodman.

Read the Original Article.

CBS resting on ratings victories
By David Kronke, Television Critic

CBS had so few holes to fill on its prime-time schedule it announced a mere four new series on its fall 2006 lineup that it had to pad its upfront presentation Wednesday at New York's Carnegie Hall.

The network trotted out performances by Mariah Carey and Broadway sensation "The Jersey Boys," not one but a series of short comic films, an extended sports montage, a tribute to outgoing "CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer and its introduction of incoming anchor Katie Couric.

How cocky was CBS? They presented NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning of the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts, respectively, who will compete against one another in a game opening weekend a game airing on NBC.

How cocky was CBS? They didn't even mention their three midseason replacement series.

But then, the network has enjoyed so much success, it didn't need to sell itself to advertisers too strenuously. The network brought back six new series from the past season, twice as many, CBS CEO Les Moonves gleefully pointed out, as NBC and ABC combined.

"We are not resting on our laurels," CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler announced. "We have the most stable schedule on television. Our development was as intense and competitive as it's ever been."

To that end, the network has canceled its traditional Sunday evening movie and moved two of its popular shows, "The Amazing Race" and "Without a Trace," to the night.

New series include:

"Jericho," about a small Midwestern town that survives a nuclear explosion but finds itself isolated from the rest of the planet. Skeet Ulrich stars as a mysterious young man who returns to the town just before the conflagration in this drama from filmmaker Jon Turtletaub ("National Treasure").

"Shark," about a former high-profile defense attorney (James Woods) who becomes a prosecutor trying cases against equally cutthroat attorneys. Spike Lee directed the pilot, which is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

"Smith," starring Ray Liotta as a family man leading a double life as a master thief. Virginia Madsen co-stars; John Wells ("ER," "West Wing") executive produces.

"The Class," from "Friends" creator David Crane, about a group of friends reunited for the first time since third grade; they discover how many of their lives' choices have been mistakes.

CBS' midseason replacements are the medical drama "3 LBS.," starring Stanley Tucci, "Waterfront," starring Joe Pantoliano as a colorful Rhode Island mayor, and the relationship comedy "Rules of Engagement." "The King of Queens" is also expected to return midseason.

Read the Original Article.

Crime Pays for CBS

by Joal Ryan
May 17, 2006, 12:30 PM PT

Crime show, crime show, Charlie Sheen, crime show, crime show.

CBS on Wednesday unveiled its new fall schedule--a schedule that didn't look too unlike its old fall schedule, and a schedule that looked a lot like the prototypical network lineup of the mid-2000s, light on the comedy, heavy on the hourlong law-and-order drama.

Because the show actually called Law & Order airs on NBC, CBS, TV's most-watched network, will make do with CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Close to Home, Numb3rs, Cold Case and Without a Trace, all renewed.

In an apparent oversight, The Unit, which is not about cops, lawyers, forensic experts and/or amateur psychic detectives, also was renewed.

So as to leaven David Caruso, CBS reupped three of its Monday-night comedies: How I Met Your Mother, the freshman sitcom that started big, made a star anew of Neil Patrick Harris, but pooped out in the ratings in the spring; Two and a Half Men, the steady Sheen vehicle that rates, nominally, as TV's most-watched half-hour laugher; and The New Adventures of Old Christine, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus midseason bid to break the Seinfeld curse.

The King of Queens, another Monday-night comedy, was renewed for a ninth season, but it will be deployed as a midseason replacement, not as a fall starter. Reports say as few as 13 episodes will be made, a flextime plan to allow sitcom star Kevin James to establish himself as movie star Kevin James.

With so many series coming back--18 in all, including six survivors from the 2005-06 freshman class--CBS had room for but two new crime shows, one new comedy, and for the kids, one new show about nuclear annihilation. The network also announced three new midseason shows.

Here's a brief rundown of the new product:

Smith (fall): Ray Liotta stars in this hourlong crime show as an "expert thief" who wants out of the business, but like Michael Corleone, keeps getting pulled back in. Virginia Madsen, of Sideways, and Jonny Lee Miller, once of Angelina Jolie, costar.

Shark (fall): James Woods stars in this hourlong crime show as a "charismatic, supremely self-confident" actor, sorry, defense attorney who becomes a prosecutor. With Jeri Ryan as the hotshot newcomer's hard-nosed boss.

The Class (fall): In this half-hour comedy, a group of friends, no, not those Friends, reconnect at a third-grade reunion. As a point of authenticity, the third-grade reunion is "impromptu," not planned. Joan of Arcadia's Jason Ritter is the most familiar name in the cast.

Jericho (fall): This hourlong drama, slotted against the soufflî that is ABC's Dancing with the Stars, looks at "what happens when a nuclear mushroom clouds suddenly appears on the horizon." That's only the start of the good times for a small Kansas town, as soon, "terror, anger and confusion bring out the very worst in some residents." Starring Skeet Ulrich, Gerald McRaney and "social, psychological and physical mayhem."

3 LBS (midseason): An hourlong hospital drama about brain surgeons.

Waterfront (midseason): An hourlong drama about Joey Pants as mayor of a town--Providence, Rhode Island--previously populated by Melina Kanakaredes' family-friendly clan.

Rules of Engagement (midseason): A half-hour comedy about "two couples and a single guy." Starring Seinfeld's Patrick Warburton.

Not picked up was My Ex-Life, a comedy pilot starring Tom Cavanagh and Lost casualty Cynthia Watros.

Cavanagh's previous CBS series, Love Monkey, was one of the few fast flameouts of the past season for the network. Other cancellation victims: Still Standing and Yes, Dear, the veteran comedies; Out of Practice, the newbie sitcom; Threshold, the newbie sci-fi thriller; and, Courting Alex, the failed Jenna Elfman comeback.

In the splashiest fall programming ploy, CBS will uproot Top 10 hit Without a Trace from Thursdays at 10 p.m. to Sundays at 10 p.m. The move is an apparent attempt to make things uncomfortable for ABC, which will go there with a freshman series, Brothers & Sisters. The incumbent time-slot king, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, is bound for Thursdays at 9 p.m.

On the reality-TV front, CBS will start the fall with two stalwarts: the Emmy-winning Amazing Race, relocating to Sundays from Tuesdays; and the weakening, but still-surviving Survivor.

And in what would have been big news 25 years ago when made-for-TV movies were king, and Lindsay Wagner was their queen, CBS has dropped The CBS Sunday Night Movie. The franchise was hammered in recent years by HBO, which won all the Emmys, and Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, which took all the ratings.

CBS had had a Sunday night movie block since 1986; it had programmed at least one movie night since 1964.

Here's a night-by-night look at CBS' fall lineup:

SUNDAY: 60 Minutes; The Amazing Race; Cold Case; Without a Trace
MONDAY: How I Met Your Mother; The Class; Two and a Half Men; The New Adventures of Old Christine; CSI: Miami
TUESDAY: NCIS; The Unit; Smith
WEDNESDAY: Jericho; Criminal Minds; CSI: NY
THURSDAY: Survivor; CSI; Shark
FRIDAY: Ghost Whisperer; Close to Home; Numb3rs
SATURDAY: Crime show reruns; 48 Hours: Mystery

Read the Original Article.

(The official *official* announcement about "Jericho.")

Monday, May 15, 2006
CBS Renews 'Home,' 'Queens,' 'Christine'; Picks Up Seven Pilots
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- CBS has given second seasons to both "Close to Home" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" as well as handed "The King of Queens" a 13-episode midseason commitment.

The shortened order for "Queens" is understood to avoid conflicts with co-star Kevin James' duties on the feature "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." Said film, in which he and Adam Sandler play straight firemen who wed for insurance reasons, is set to begin production this fall.

A renewal is also said to be pending for "The Unit" while "Courting Alex," "Out of Practice" and "Still Standing" are not expected to make the cut.

So far this season CBS has only axed two series: "Threshold" and "Yes, Dear."

Meanwhile in pilot pick-up news, the Eye reportedly is moving forward with at least five new dramas - "Jericho," "Shark," "Smith," "Waterfront" and the untitled Peter Ocko hour - and two comedies - "The Class" and Tom Hertz's "Rules of Engagement."

"Jericho," from CBS Paramount Network Television, revolves around a small town in Kansas that's dealing with life after a series of nuclear attacks destroys most of America's big cities. The show's ensemble cast includes Alicia Coppola ("N.C.I.S."), Ashley Scott ("Birds of Prey"), Erik Knudsen ("Saw II"), Gerald McRaney ("Deadwood"), Kenneth Mitchell ("Miracle"), Lennie James ("Sahara"), Michael Gaston ("Prison Break"), Pamela Reed ("Pepper Dennis"), Skeet Ulrich ("Into the West") and Sprague Grayden ("Over There"). Stephen Chbosky created the hour, which also comes from executive producer/director Jon Turteltaub.

Read the Original Article.

(This story seems to confirm that "Jericho" has been picked up for the fall season! Woohoo!! Weekly Skeet!)

CBS gives a peek at fall schedule

By Colin Mahan
March 24, 2006 at 12:15:00 PM

The eye opens and shows advertisers in NY what it has up its sleeves for the fall season.

This week, CBS announced its new slate of shows to advertisers in New York, and the surprise is that there isn't a procedural crime drama in the bunch. The network has hit pay dirt the past few years with the CSI franchise, and now it says it wants to take some chances.

The new slate is composed of 12 comedies, 11 dramas, and five reality shows. For comedy, the network turned to some old friends.

Phil Rosenthal, creator of CBS's gold-standard sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, is back with a new show called Play Nice. Mad About You's Paul Reiser takes executive-producer role in The Paul Reiser Project, which stars Bobby Cannavale from Will & Grace.

Mitch Rouse becomes The Angriest Man in Suburbia, and Friends creator David Crane reaches out to the youth of America with The Class.

The network is loading up on big names for dramas, but as Head Cases, Emily's Reason Why Not, and Commander In Chief showed this season, big names alone are not a guarantee of success.

National Treasure director John Turtletaub brings the postapocalypse drama Jericho, starring Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney. James Woods headlines legal drama Shark from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard at Imagine Entertainment.

The crime drama Smith is from ER producer John Wells, and superhero drama Ultra stars Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage.

The Survivor network is going nutso with some odd concepts for reality shows.

Who's Line Is It Anyway? treasure Wayne Brady is back with hidden camera show The Joke's On You. A more sedate offering might be Tuesday Night Book Club, which the network is calling a "docu-soap," about upper-middle class women who meet to discuss books they have read, and the world at large.

Man From Atlantis Patrick Duffy hosts A Hero's Welcome, a reality show featuring regular people who have had their lives saved by a real-life hero.

In the feel-good reality-show department, The Dave Ramsey Project stars the financial guru helping out debt-ridden families. In the "oh no they didn't!" department, Guess Who's Coming Over tells the story of a houseguest who comes over to the home of a family with a totally different background.

The network told Television Week that since there is very little room on the CBS schedule (because so many of its shows are successful), only the "cream of the crop" will make it to air.

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3/05/2006

Drama lined up for CBS will be set in Kansas

BY BOB CURTRIGHT

The Wichita Eagle

A new TV drama series set in Kansas may be in the fall lineup, although we won't know until May when the networks announce their schedules.

"It could be for fall, for midseason or not picked up at all," said Diana Ekeblad, CBS spokesman. The show is a CBS/Paramount production.

"That's the nature of pilot season," she said.

The show, from filmmaking brothers Ridley Scott ("Blade Runner") and Tony Scott ("In Her Shoes"), is an hourlong drama about the chaos that erupts in a small Kansas town after it's isolated by a nuclear incident.

The show is called "Jericho" after the name of the fictional Kansas town. And it's designed as character drama rather than sci-fi action, Ekeblad said.

She said the nuclear "incident" happens in the pilot, but would not reveal whether it stemmed from an attack, sabotage or accident.

"We're pretty secretive about our pilots until they are picked up," she said.

The proposed series stars Skeet Ulrich, seen as Jethro Wheeler in last year's TNT miniseries "Into the West."

Ekeblad said she did not know where the pilot would be filmed but that it would likely not be in Kansas.

Instead, members of the production staff have been gathering Kansas memorabilia, including copies of The Wichita Eagle, to lend authenticity to the show.

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"Jericho"

Monday, February 13, 2006 - 4:10 PM
Development Update: February 13
By The Futon Critic Staff

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

JERICHO (CBS) - Skeet Ulrich ("Miracles") and Eric Knudsen ("Saw II") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a small town in Kansas that's dealing with life after a series of nuclear attacks destroys most of America's big cities. Ulrich will play Jake Green, the mayor's youngest son, who becomes an unlikely leader in the volatile situation while Knudsen is set as Dale Turner, a strong, smart man raised in a trailer park who is left orphaned as the result of said events. Jon Turteltaub is directing the CBS Paramount Network Television/Junction Entertainment-based hour from a script by Stephen Chbosky with the pair also executive producing.

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Networks Confirm Pilot Deals
February 13, 2006
By Nellie Andreeva

Skeet Ulrich has been tapped to star in CBS' drama pilot "Jericho," from exec producers Ridley and Tony Scott.

In other pilot casting news, two stars of ABC's comedy "Hot Properties," Gail O'Grady and Sofia Vergara, have landed lead roles on the CW's untitled Kevin Williamson drama and ABC's untitled comedy starring Donal Logue, respectively.

Additionally, Nick D'Agosto has landed the lead in CBS' drama "Orpheus," exec produced by Jon Turteltaub; Mark Feuerstein is set to reprise his starring role in the new version of Peter Ocko's pilot at CBS; and Dave Annable has joined ABC's "Brothers & Sisters."

Meanwhile, Thomas Carter has come on board CBS' drama pilot "Company Town" as director-exec producer, while Jon Amiel has been tapped to helm the Fox drama pilot "Damages."

In pilot pickup news, ABC has ordered three comedies: "What Happens on a Bus," "Women of a Certain Age" and "Pink Collar."

"Jericho," from CBS Paramount Network TV and Scott Free Prods., chronicles the chaos that ensues in a small town that becomes isolated from the rest of the world following a nuclear disaster.

Ulrich will play the mayor's youngest son, who becomes an unlikely leader in the volatile situation.

Also cast in the pilot is Erik Knudsen ("Saw II") as a character who was raised in a trailer park and is left orphaned by the events in the pilot.

Ulrich, who most recently starred in the TNT miniseries "Into the West," is repped by the Gersh Agency and Brillstein-Grey.

The CW's untitled Williamson drama is an ensemble soap centered on a troubled teen who moves with his family to Palm Springs. O'Grady will play the boy's mom.

O'Grady is repped at APA and manager Alan Lezman.

The untitled Logue project, from Worldwide Pants and Touchstone TV, centers on a group of blue-collar guys in New York who decide to rob a celebrity.

In addition to Vergara, Kevin Michael Richardson, Lenny Venito and Josh Grisetti also have been cast in the pilot.

"Orpheus," from CBS Par TV and Scott Free Prods., centers on a young man (D'Agosto) who discovers first love and the seductive world of a sophisticated modern-day cult.

D'Agosto, who starred in ABC's comedy pilot "Joint Custody" last development season, is repped by ICM and manager Faras Rabadi.

The untitled Ocko project, from CBS Par TV, revolves around a rising-star brain surgeon (Feuerstein) who is doing a fellowship under the guidance of a brilliant but unpredictable surgeon.

Feuerstein, most recently seen in the feature "In Her Shoes," is repped by Gersh and manager Steven Levy.

"Brothers & Sisters," from Touchstone TV, is a family soap revolving around adult siblings.

Annable most recently starred in Fox's "Reunion."

In other pilot casting news, Becki Newton (NBC's "American Dreams") has joined ABC's comedy "Ugly Betty." She is repped by Gersh and manager Matthew Lesher.

"Bus," from Touchstone TV and studio-based Brillstein Grey TV, is a single-camera comedy that follows the life of a young news correspondent on a fictional presidential campaign trail.

Don Todd penned the script and is exec producing with Peter Traugott.

"Women of a Certain Age," from Touchstone TV, is a multicamera comedy about a widowed woman who embarks on a new life with her two best friends.

The project's writer, Allison Adler, is exec producing with Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah and Stu Bloomberg.

"Pink Collar," from HBO Independent Prods., explores the nature of female relationships within the workplace.

The single-camera comedy was written by Patricia Breene who is exec producing.

-----------------------------

Nellie Andreeva writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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Skeet Ulrich Starring in CBS' Jericho
Source: The Hollywood Reporter February 13, 2006

Skeet Ulrich (Scream) will star in the nuclear-apocalypse drama pilot Jericho for CBS, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Jericho, executive produced by filmmakers Ridley and Tony Scott, chronicles the chaos that ensues in a small town that becomes isolated from the rest of the world after a nuclear disaster.

Ulrich will play the mayor's youngest son, who becomes an unlikely leader in the volatile situation.

Also cast in the pilot is Erik Knudsen (Saw II) as an orphaned character who was raised in a trailer park.

Ulrich most recently starred in the TNT miniseries Into the West.

Read the Original Article.