Jericho TV Poster Image




Mildly scary disaster drama fails to thrill.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main characters are all good people with moral values. Some characters may have ulterior motives and unknown pasts. At least one escaped convict is on the loose. Men and women play traditional roles. The cast is all-white, except for one African-American man, who plays a significant role. One minor character is hearing-impaired.


Police officers and some civilians carry guns. One man is shot in the back. Several car accidents leave people dead, and viewers see some blood. A girl's throat is pierced with a knife to save her life. Some men scuffle and argue.


References to past romantic relationships. Nothing sexual.


Mild: "damn," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this potentially scary drama depicts a mushroom cloud erupting in the distance, with both adult and kid characters left crying and worried after seeing it. Parents and their children become separated at times, and one teenage boy hears his mother die on an answering machine. Aside from the issues raised by the show's underlying premise (nuclear disaster striking, and people left to fight for survival), violence is the biggest issue here: Several auto accidents leave adults dead, and viewers see some blood and brief glimpses of the dead bodies; a character uses a pocketknife to perform a successful emergency tracheotomy on a young girl; and a man is shot in the back.

What's the story?

What happens to a group of people when disaster strikes? Do they rally together or fight for their own survival? These are the questions explored in JERICHO after a mushroom cloud appears on the horizon of the small Kansas town, knocking out electricity and communications. A mix between Lost and Lord of the Flies, Jericho reveals the social dynamics that emerge within a group that's cut off from the outside world and forced to rely on one another. While some people fight over hoarded gasoline, others help their neighbors in unexpected ways.

Is it any good?


Beyond the tale of a small town affected by disaster is the mystery behind the explosion. As the possibility that the United States has been attacked becomes more likely, Jericho has the potential to be truly scary. While the potential is there, the dramatic moments are softened in Jericho and tension rarely builds for long. This makes the show more family-friendly, but a bit of a letdown for mature viewers. In one scene, for example, Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) saves a dying girl by using a pocketknife and a collection of juice box straws to perform a tracheotomy. With only a bit of blood, the rescue is quick, easy, seemingly painless -- and old hat to those weaned on the likes of ER and CSI.

All in all, Jericho is by no means cutting-edge drama. It's familiar, sentimental stuff, and some viewers may find it a bit earnest and hokey, with an all-too-obvious message about patriotism and togetherness. It takes on some of the elements that make Lost so compelling and brings them down a notch to appeal to a younger, broader audience. But in doing so, much originality is lost as well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their experiences during crises. How did you feel and react during 9/11? Did you see people fighting or helping each other? What is it about disaster that brings out the best and worst in people? What would your family do in case of an emergency? Do you have a disaster plan and a meeting place? Do you think the show's scenarios are believable? Do stories like this make you scared or nervous? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Gerald McRaney, Skeet Ulrich, Sprague Grayden
Networks:CBS, Syfy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byjcf129 April 9, 2008
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