Skeet Ulrich, Richard Speight Jr, Bob Stephenson and Kenneth Mitchell, <EM>Jericho</EM> Skeet Ulrich, Richard Speight Jr, Bob Stephenson and Kenneth Mitchell, Jericho

The fate of CBS' Jericho after its second season, tentatively scheduled to launch in January, may still be up in the air. But Carol Barbee has a contingency plan. The executive producer shot an alternate ending in case the Eye decides to cancel the show for a second time.

"The ending that we planned was always meant to be a payoff for the seven-episode arc," Barbee told TV Guide at Wednesday night's Jericho Season 1 DVD release party. "It won't close off the whole story but it will show you where we would go in a third season." If the show isn't renewed, "It gives you a huge mythology so that you understand so much about what has happened," she says.

In the meantime, the next time we see Jericho, the town will, again, be in total chaos. "We leave on the brink of war with New Bern," said Barbee. "The government has broken up into factions and there are several people claiming to be the legitimate government. One of them is in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so the Cheyenne government comes to town."

What happens next is a mystery but Barbee did reveal that "they're there to stop the war with New Bern but they're also there for a secret agenda." That agenda includes finding Hawkins, who used a tracking device in the Season 1 finale before realizing it could be traced.

"They don't know that they're hunting Hawkins," says Barbee. "But they know they're hunting what they call a terrorist with a nuclear bomb. So Jake is going to have to help Hawkins stay out of the clutches of the Cheyenne government."

So where does that leave the town? "Essentially, they're going to be occupied," she says. "A lot of things happen when they're under occupation."

Catch up on Jericho in our Online Video Guide.

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