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In Arts & Entertainment

Brad Beyer on the set of CBS' "Jericho."

Waukesha's Beyer readies for season two of "Jericho"

With most of network TV spinning its wheels because of a writers' strike that may be nearing a settlement after three months, shows that launch this winter have the stage to themselves. That's especially true for CBS' "Jericho," back from the dead, thanks to an unprecedented write-in campaign from its loyal viewers.

Waukesha's Brad Beyer plays the role of Stanley Richmond on the post-apocalyptic drama. We caught up with him the day before "Jericho's" season two premiere, which airs at 9 p.m. tonight on Channel 58.

OMC: Can you believe that "Jericho" is finally back?

Beyer: It's pretty crazy, and I've got to tell you, the whole journey up to this point has been pretty amazing. We're just all hoping that people will watch. I think we've done the best seven episodes we've ever done. I had a chance to seem them all about a week ago, and they're really fantastic from start to finish.

OMC: You taped these episodes a while ago, right?

BB: We taped them in the late summer, early fall.

OMC: How have you been able to sit there and wait for them to air?

BB: You want to get it out there, to make sure that people see the work that you've done. The good thing about the situation is that because of the (writers') strike, there's not a lot of new programming on right now. We're one of the only new shows on TV. Hopefully, that will help us.

OMC: Clearly, no one wanted a strike, but do you think you are one of the only shows to actually benefit from it, because you have the stage all to yourself?

BB: That's one of the things we're hoping, that because people are going to be limited with what's on TV -- it's a lot of reruns and reality TV -- we're one of the only new dramatic shows. We're hoping we can get a new audience through this whole situation.

OMC: Seven episodes isn't a whole season, is it?

BB: It is an entire season for this season. If we get the numbers that we want, we'll come back and do a whole season three. We'd start filming in summer.

OMC: Based on the previews I've seen, it looks like this season might be a little faster-moving. Is that accurate?

BB: Definitely, very accurate. The stories are tighter. It's a really exciting season.

OMC: Did the writers retool the plot because of the short attention span of fickle viewers, or is this a natural progression for the show?

BB: I think it's a natural progression. We picked up where we left off last year, and we're still tightening the story lines, cutting away the fat where we could. We only had seven days to make an episode, as opposed to eight days last season. We had to be more efficient all around. I think it really helped us. It made for better a better television show. I think the show is really amazing.

OMC: Are you throwing a viewing party?

BB: Yeah, the cast and crew is getting together to watch it and celebrate it coming back on.

OMC: What else have you been up to since we talked last summer?

BB: This strike has limited work. Not a lot of things are going on. We're all hoping and praying that the show is going to go, and we can continue to do it. Hopefully this strike will get resolved in the next week.


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