CBS to Split Jericho Season

Following in the footsteps of ABC’s new strategy with Lost and what Fox does with Prison Break, CBS will bench rookie serialized drama Jericho from December through mid-February, opting to only air new episodes through the rest of the season.

The show, about the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, will air through Wednesday, November 29, and then CBS will sideline the show until February 21, though it will air a recap show on February 14.

One of the surprises of the fall season, Jericho has averaged a 3.4/10 rating in adults 18-49 and 11 million viewers in its Wednesday 8 p.m. timeslot.

ABC is using a similar strategy with Lost in an effort to not show any repeats.ABC airs an original episode Wednesday night, and then it goes to bench until next year. ABC is launching new drama Daybreak in its place.

NBC had originally announced a split season for ER, but changed its mind when the veteran drama returned to stronger than expected ratings.

Also taking a page from Lost perhaps, the first new episode of Jericho in February will feature flashbacks to life in the small Kansas town before the nuclear bombs exploded.

With Jericho gone, CBS will bring back The King of Queens at 8 for four Wednesdays in December, but has not announced what else will fill the slot.

CBS says it will also air seven more episodes of King of Queens sometime next year.