CBS announced on Friday (March 21) that next Tuesday's new "Jericho," already set to be the show's second season finale, will also be its series finale.
"The March 25th episode of Jericho will be the series finale," says CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. "Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this program; we simply wish there were more. We thank an engaged and spirited fan base for keeping the show alive this long, and an outstanding team of producers, cast and crew that went through creative hoops to deliver a compelling, high quality second season. We have no regrets bringing the show back for a second try. We listened to our viewers, gave the series an opportunity to grow, and the producers put a great story on the screen. We're proud of everyone's efforts."
Interestingly, Tassler didn't end her statement with a plea to fans to resist the temptation to bombard her offices with nuts for the second year in a row.
After an extremely promising start last season, "Jericho" went on an extended winter hiatus and returned against " American Idol" to vastly lower ratings. As a result, CBS left the drama off of its schedule for the 2007-08 season.
Within days of the show's cancellation -- a decision Tassler acknowledged at the time was a difficult one -- fans began to organize and send letters and nuts to CBS. The nuts were in response to the closing line of the first season cliffhanger and they filled CBS offices by the ton.
CBS relented and brought "Jericho" back for a truncated seven-episode second season.
While CBS promoed the show extensively, many fans felt its Tuesday 10 p.m. slot wasn't ideal for what started out as a family show. In addition, the limited production run also included a dramatically reduced budget and with it the a notably smaller cast and a restricted scope.
The show's early 2008 ratings were its lowest yet and recent episodes have averaged a 1.9 rating in the key 18-49 demo. On their own, the show's ratings were among CBS' lowest, not even close to enough to justify a renewal, but matters were complicated by the strong online performance for "Jericho," both in terms of iTunes downloads and streaming views.
Producers reportedly produced two different endings for the second season, one with a cliffhanger and the other offering resolution for the devoted fans.
On March 25, fans will get that second ending.