Jericho creator was drawn to show's sociology

With world attention focused on the nuclear ambitions of rogue states like North Korea, one might assume that the producers of CBS's promising new drama Jericho, which deals with the aftermath of a nuclear attack, are merely playing on Americans' fears.

Jericho executive producer Jon Turteltaub does admit that a bit of real-life worry over an attack helps make the show more compelling.

"If people had no fear of nuclear bombs, then this show would kind of suck," he says. "But if America was in a panic over nuclear bombs, we probably couldn't make the show."

Turteltaub's intention isn't to prey on that fear in the name of easy scares. Instead, he aims to create intriguing stories that come via an examination of the way that the different characters--survivors left isolated in a small Kansas town--react in a crisis situation.

"I think what we have all really focused on is less the nuclear message and more of the sociology of how to behave when everything goes wrong," Turteltaub says. "Most of us are pretty wonderful during the good times, but our true character comes out when we're confronted with tragedy and disasters. True leadership appears, and really hard choices have to be made."

It's those choices--many of which have arisen as a result of "societal conventions being stripped away"--that intrigue Turteltaub, a feature film director who shot the Nicolas Cage hit National Treasure and next directs its sequel, as he gets deeper into his first foray into television. Jericho, which recently received a full-season order, came out of a deal that CBS signed with Turteltaub last year. Jonathan A. Steinberg, Josh Schaer, and Stephen Chbosky are credited as creators.

"I like ideas where when I hear the initial part of an idea, it brings up thousands of other thoughts," Turteltaub says. "This spawned a rash of other ideas--everything from the fact that all of life would be changed by this event through where life doesn't really change at all if you live in small town and are already removed from the nonsense of a big city."

Another factor that appealed to him was that nuclear war hadn't been part of film or TV in some time, and even when it was, the stories had tended to deal with trying to stop a bomb from exploding rather than the fallout from an attack--which, despite what's going on in the real world, ultimately makes the thought of a real-life Jericho even more frightening, he says.

"When we see a suicide bomber on a TV show, we think it's a sign of the times," he says. "But when we see a nuke explode, we think: 'Holy crap, where did that come from? That doesn't happen! TV and movie stars always stop the bomb with two seconds left on the timer--they don't actually explode!' In this show, they do."

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I think Jericho could have been a great show, it started out to be, but it has disintegrated into squabbling that looks a lot like just another cop show. He should have done more research like Railley said. I agree with everything Railley said.
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Best show ever, and not to say its perfect with details on what would really happen, but remember, its a show and does a good job!!



So glad it gets a full season!!!
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I like the show because it does look at the human aspect. As the story drags on you start seeing the seedier members of society living on the edge of an organized society feeding of of them. It makes you sort of wonder how society would really react to a country wide emergency.
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There is little comparison between nuclear terrorism and the Cold War. Mutual Assured Destruction kept both sides from pushing the button. In the case of a Jericho like attack, terrorists wont care if they or their fellow Muslims die during any retaliation - in fact they welcome death as a 1 way ticket to paradise. Time and time against radical leaders urge their followers to acquire and use the most destructive weapons available to kill as many as possible. People nitpick a details here and there and say this or that is unrealistic so the whole concept sucks? Actually with low levels of fallout from a site hundreds of miles away, the husks of mature corn will keep radioactive particles from getting to the corn kernels. An ambitious series like this is bound to have a few bumps in the early in the first season. You can pick apart any series. CSI is full of unrealistic plots and oversimplifies things, but people still watch it.

The attack was carried out using Hiroshima/Nagasaki yield ordinary atomic bombs which produce less dangerous fallout than thermonuclear H-Bombs and most fallout lands close to the site and even that decays rapidly. And yes, sealing windows and doors until fallout levels drop is a smart thing to do as well as moving to interior areas of a building putting as much distance as possible between you and the fallout.

No series is perfect but Jerich is something new and untried. The scope of this series goes far beyond just a small Kansas town - the whole world would feel ripple effects from even a 2 or 3 city attack - people would flee remaining cities fearing they are next, people would not go to work, economies would collapse from the panic. Suicide airline and subway bombers are one thing, but once terrorism goes nuclear - thats a whole new ball game. People really dont think about how dependent they are on technology, electic power and modern conveniences. People in the Katrina hurricane zone have gotten a very small taste of what the aftermath of a nuclear terrorist attack would be like. I live my life on the assumption that this type of attack wont happen in my lifetime. I still invest money, save for retirement, going to work and remodeling my house. But I have no illusions that in the blink of an eye all those things could become totally meaningless because of a few dozen terrorist with steel drum sized A-Bombs carried in by truck.

After such and attack, 95%+ of the population would remain alive. How would you react? How long could you survive with the supplies inside your house? What would you be willing to do to protect you and your family?
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Sorry, people, but this show is just another example on how to waste endless potential because of lacking guts to show something really frightening on TV. If somebody tells me that this is what happens after a nuclear attack, I can just laugh. Check out Die Wolke (German movie) or The Day after (80s TV film) if you really want to know instead of this boring crap.
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Jericho is just Duck & Cover for the 21st Century.



On this show they teach you that Nuclear Fallout is just a bad rain cloud & that as long as you don't touch anything wet & tape up ur doors & windows you'll be safe from Radiation sickness ROFL



oh and don't worry about food cos apparently if a crop is mature enough then its IMMUNE TO THE EFFECTS OF RADIATION!



OMFG OMFG has Jon Turtletaub ever considered doing research for a show? even if he had just googled the word fallout would have better.



And how stupid are Americans who think this show is great & accurate to what it would be like if America got nuked.



And why that farm boy hasn't slapped that stupid woman across the face and shouted "THERE IS NO IRS!" I have no idea lol



Would be a funny plot twist tho if it turns out the U.S. was nuked by Canada hahaha i would like that
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Jericho is great!! It's great because it's different. it's not another crime drama or another lawyer show or god forbid another reality show. It's a different concept which centers on the drama in a town, a family and a nation. We learn a little more each week about all. I like when shows succeed that have a unique story to tell. I hope Jericho continues to grow and is picked up next year!
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Yeah,

as someone else already pointed out: "Jericho, the Nuclear Holocaust the whole family can enjoy."

Sorry, but the ship is sinking fast....
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its nice..i agree with the producer..have never saw anything for aftermath of a bomb..its kinda new and interesting..
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agreed :)
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Jericho is a great show, one of the ebst of the new season
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