Combining X-Files Cold War conspiracy with old-fashioned Mad Max battles for gas and food, Jericho has become the thinking person's post-apocalyptic nightmare. CBS canceled it after one season, driving fans into a frenzy of support for the series about a small town called Jericho trying to rebuild after a devastating, mysterious nuclear attack leaves the United States without any urban centers. Over the summer, CBS was bombarded with gifts of peanuts from fans โ€” an obscure reference to the show โ€” and eventually the network caved, greenlighting a partial second season. Now it's official. CBS will be airing new episodes starting February 12, just in time for Sweeps.

More realistic than Lost, the show tries to grapple with what would really happen if a small town essentially became the whole world. It turns out that after nuclear wipeouts, life goes on. People have love affairs, teenagers pick on each other, and everybody gets drunk at the local bar. The strange combination of small-town drama and big-picture freakout obviously made the show some fans for life. But it also drove away the big audiences CBS was looking for. It was just a little too weird, and a little too dark.

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The question is, will Jericho capture that audience now that most scripted dramas are victims of the strike? Absolutely. The strike is the best thing that ever happened to Jericho. This show's an acquired taste, and now that nothing but Beauty and the Geek is on people are likely to stick with it longer. Plus, we're coming in during a tense but exciting time on the show, when Jericho is going to war with another town that wants to take over. War, romance, and nukes โ€” what could go wrong?