Ratings, Not Bombs, Doom 'Jericho'

CBS would like you to know that it was a tough decision to cancel "Jericho," its entry into last season's plot-driven serial glut.

That will probably be small consolation to the show's fans, who watched the show's first -- and only -- season end with the titular town's fate very much up in the air. But, as CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler put it Wednesday, "It just wasn't performing."

The ratings bear that out. After drawing a pretty solid 10.7 million viewers over its first 11 episodes in the fall, it fell off sharply after a long hiatus. The second half of the season fell to around 8 million viewers, with the adults 18-49 numbers also taking a sizable hit, often hovering just above a 2.0 rating.

"You know, it had good viewers, loyal viewers, but the show just really kind of lost its engine," Tassler says. "It was a hard decision. It's a hard decision in any year."

As for the cliffhanger ending, Tassler can only shrug. "We go through this every year," she says. "It's the nature of the beast."

Having learned the lesson about long hiatuses, CBS is hoping to avoid the same situation this season with its drama "Swingtown," about suburbanites exploring the boundaries of social acceptability in the 1970s.

"The plan is to air it in its entirety from the premiere to the finale, which is why we're holding it until midseason," Tassler says.