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In Arts & Entertainment

It's been a rollercoaster of emotions for actor Brad Beyer.

Waukesha's Beyer talks about new life for CBS' "Jericho"


Up until about a month ago, Waukesha native Brad Beyer was riding a wave of success as a co-star on CBS' "Jericho." Then when the network announced its fall line up, it also canceled the show -- citing low ratings for the series that frequently went head-to-head against juggernauts like "American Idol," which is a tall order for any rookie series.

Just a few weeks ago, OnMilwaukee.com ran a "Milwaukee Talks" interview with Beyer. Since then, he's seen his show canceled, and through a surprising fan-driven campaign, watched "Jericho" rise again from the dead. This week, CBS announced that it will renew the post-apocalyptic serial drama for at least seven more episodes -- and hopefully more.

Beyer, who's finishing a Hallmark movie with Dick Van Dyke called "Murder 101," begins shooting "Jericho" again at the end of July, but he says CBS could put it back in its line up at any time.

It's really an amazing Cinderella story for the show, with irate fans barraging CBS headquarters with thousands of pounds of nuts (playing off a line uttered in the season, and apparent, series finale).

And against all odds, their plan worked.

We caught up with Beyer, who will once again play farmer Stanley Richmond, shortly after CBS made it official.

OMC: When did you hear that you were coming back?

Beyer: The news broke on Monday, and before that, we started hearing that they were talking about doing something. At first we heard they wanted to do a two-hour movie, but the fans said no, they wanted show back. This kid of stuff never happens -- but (the fans' lobbying was) pretty effective.

OMC: This time around, do you think the show's writers will focus on moving the plot along more quickly?

BB: The second half started to do that already. The biggest problem with our show is that so many people were watching it on the Internet or Tivo (which doesn't count toward Neilson ratings), so I think the fans are now aware to watch it when it's on.

OMC: Ironic that the Internet, in this case, hurt, but then ultimately saved the show. That online nut campaign seemed like a long shot, at best. Have you talked to any of your co-stars about coming back?

BB: I've been in touch with just about everybody. It was a really sad week when we got cancelled, we didn't expect it. But getting brought back, it's been really sweet.

OMC: Has the experience been an emotional rollercoaster?

BB: Absolutely. When we finished the show we thought we'd be back for a second season. We're really excited about making the best seven episodes possible.

OMC: For a veteran actor, I'm sure it's tough to lose a job. But what about for some of the younger staff who is just getting their feet wet in the business?

BB: The goal is always to keep working. When a job that you're passionate about ends, that you've put energy into, it's a big deal. But it's part of the business. You gotta always be looking to the next thing.

OMC: It must be a little humbling that so many people stood up for your show.

BB: I can't say enough about the fans of the show. They showed their support. They were so diligent, so persistent and formed these groups. Now, we've got to figure out a game plan to get people to watch next season.


Talkbacks

arks00 | June 11, 2007 at 1:47 p.m. (report)

Thanks for doing this Article Andy. Brad, great thank you video you have done thats on youtube =) I'm glad the fans could help get this show back on the air. Among the reality TV garbage, there are very few good television shows out there and Jericho is by far one of them. I can't wait to see whats next for the Jericho Crew. Cheers, and have fun filming the next seven episodes, lets hope we get tons more..

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auntvonna | June 9, 2007 at 12:05 p.m. (report)

Thanks for the interview with Brad! I love all the characters on the show, but Stanley is one of my favorites! It is just amazing what we, a united fan base were able to pull off. This is an amazing show (one of the best in YEARS) and it was truly worth the effort! We appreciate your paper covering this great human interest story and promoting the show with an interview with an amazing actor!

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PAJerichoRanger | June 9, 2007 at 11:51 a.m. (report)

Don't worry Brad, we're gonna prove to you and the powers-that-be at CBS that we want you and the whole Jericho cast around for a long long time!

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Jericho_lass | June 9, 2007 at 8:42 a.m. (report)

No worries, Brad - we are working on that (increasing the viewers!) right now... Hopefully CBS will also look at the other ways we view it (on-line, Itunes, etc) BUT we are not going to let you down!!! See you soon!!! Season 2 here we come ...

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