* CBS announced yesterday that its post-apocalyptic drama Jericho will be returning in July. The series received a seven-episode midseason order after impassioned fans rallied around the show (good job, all of you!). July 6 will see a rerun of the series pilot, and on July 13 CBS will present back-to-back broadcasts beginning with “Return to Jericho,” which recapped the first 11 episodes, followed by episode 12, “The Day Before,” which launched Jericho’s spring return. The remaining broadcasts are episodes 13-22, in which tensions continue to escalate between Jericho and the neighboring town of New Bern. The citizens of Jericho must work together to prepare for an all-out battle for survival in the season finale. It will be interesting to see what happens to Jericho in this finale, which most likely depends upon whether CBS execs want to bring the show back or not.
* Elsewhere at CBS, Dr. Phil will be presenting a tribute to legendary game show host Bob Barker at the Daytime Emmy Awards airing live this Friday at 9pm ET (tape-delayed Pacific). This coincides with Barker’s final airing of The Price Is Right after serving 35 years as host, which also airs Friday. The daytime episode will also re-air Friday at 8pm ET/PT, so come on down and watch TV history! And be sure to check out our interview with Barker in the June issue of Channel Guide Magazine.
* It will be girl power on Smallville this fall as Supergirl joins the cast of the CW hit! She’s the latest DC Comics character to join the series, which has also featured Martian Manhunter, The Green Arrow, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and Brainiac. Supergirl (a.k.a. Kara) is Clark’s cousin, and possesses all of Clark’s powers, plus one he doesn’t yet have — she can fly. Her rebellious streak puts her at odds with her cousin, and adds her to Lex’s radar. And Jimmy Olsen turns out to be pretty lucky as Supergirl takes a romantic interest in him. Casting for Supergirl is now underway, so here’s your chance to fly, ladies!
* NBC has announced that Meredith Vieira will be interviewing Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on Today July 26, and in a one-hour special of Dateline July 27. This will be Rowling’s only television interview after the release of the seventh and final installment in her blockbuster book series, and is the first time the author speaks about the worldwide reaction to the final volume, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Leading up to these interviews, fans can visit Today’s Harry Potter web site, which includes the latest news and features about the final book and allows fans to connect with each other. Special features also include fun stuff like “Do You Look Like One of the Harry Potter characters?” (God, I hope not); a blog that ponders how the series will end; and your chance to vote on whether you think Harry will die in the last book. One thing’s for sure: The Potter phenomenon will likely never die.
* Another notable and beloved English figure — this one real — will also be honored on NBC in July. Concert For Diana will celebrate the life of the late Princess of Wales on July 1 at 8pm ET/PT. Scheduled performers include Elton John (hmmm … I wonder what he’s going to sing?); Duran Duran; Rod Stewart; Lily Allen; Kanye West; P. Diddy; Natasha Bedingfield; and plenty more. The concerts marks what would have been Diana’s 46th birthday. This special follows an encore of Matt Lauer’s interview with Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry. According to William, “We wanted to have this big concert … full of energy, full of the sort of fun and happiness which I know she would have wanted. And on her birthday as well, it’s got to be the best birthday present she ever had.”
* Speaking of NBC concerts, Live Earth: The Concerts For a Climate in Crisis, airing July 7, looks to be the biggest benefit concert since Live Aid (no offense to you Hands Across America fans). This looks to be pretty good, despite the fact that it’s co-hosted by Carson Daly. It’s billed as a global event, and it fits that bill: Performances will be held in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg and Istanbul (this doesn’t quite jibe with NBC’s claim that the concerts will be held on “the seven continents”; it’s doubtful that even the staunchest pop star/environmentalist would want to shake his or her frozen fanny in the Antarctic winter). *THIS JUST IN: Apparently there is a band willing to go where usually only penguins dare. Well, actually they’re there already. Indie rock band Nunatak will be performing. Never heard of them? They are comprised of five scientists who work on the frozen continent, and will be playing at the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station. So if you think your band has played the toughest venues, think again.
Most of the networks in the NBC family are involved in the coverage:
— NBC broadcasts a three-hour special at 8pm ET/PT, featuring highlights of performances from around the world, including live moments from the U.S. concert.
— Bravo presents a live, 18-hour broadcast and best-of moments beginning at 8am ET. Online, Bravo’s web site will featuring live blogging about the show and how to live a greener life.
— Sundance Channel airs a 22-hour live broadcast and best-of moments beginning at 4am ET.
— Universal HD serves as the only channel where the concerts are airing in high definition. They also present 22-hour live coverage beginning at 4am ET.
— Telemundo broadcasts a one-hour special at 7pm ET, and mun2 airs a two-hour special at 5pm ET. Both shows will highlight the hottest Latin acts from the concerts, including Shakira, Enrique Iglesias and Mana.
— Even the NBC news networks are getting into the act(s): CNBC features a seven-hour broadcast beginning at 7pm ET, while MSNBC offers special coverage throughout the day with live reports from New York and London.