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General Overview
Jeremiah is set in a future post-apocalyptic world where, almost a decade before, a deadly virus wiped out the world's adult population sparing only those who haven't reached puberty. Now in their 20s, the oldest survivors of the pandemic include Jeremiah (Luke Perry) and the colorful but cynical Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) who must find their way in a decadent civilization and attempt to create a new world order of hope.

Jeremiah is on a personal quest to relocate a mysterious place called Valhalla, which his father claimed might hold some hope for the survivors. As Jeremiah falls into a reluctant partnership with Kurdy, both explore new areas and encounter other groups of young adults who are divided into rival social groups.

In the course of the season opener, Jeremiah's smaller personal quest is redirected when he discovers a group of highly organized survivors who want to enlist him to orchestrate peace among the warring factions and to try and prevent the killer virus from returning.

Jeremiah is based on Platinum Studios' award-winning graphic novel series by Belgian author Hermann Huppen which he started in 1977.

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Promotional Description
In a post-apocalyptic world following the "Big Death"—a mysterious but devestating plague that claimed the lives of billions of people—only the children remain.

Fifteen years have gone by, and in the midst of the chaos, one man, Jeremiah, rises above the rest to restore civility and order. He and his companion Kurdy, must lead the struggle to uncover the buried truth of a forgotten society to provide hope for the future.

As Jeremiah and Kurdy search for the elusive "Valhalla Sector", they encounter their greatest fears and discover their own humanity.

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J. Michael Straczynski Says ...
The basic concept is that a major virus, similar to Ebola, kicks in the to immune system of every Human over the age of puberty and kills them off. Fifteen years later, surviving children are now grown up and, inevitably, there comes a time when you can either continue a downward slide and root in the ashes of the old world or you can start to rebuild and re-establish a better one. Jeremiah comes at the cusp of this scenario and centers around what has happened to the country in the time between the devestation and re-evaluation; what this new world looks like and who makes up the new order determined to restore power and government.

Jeremiah is a post-apocalyptic show with hope. What we see in this show is Jeremiah's search, not just for his parents and this Valhalla Sector, but his journey through the dark times to some semblance of hope at the other side.

Althought the overall theme is one of optimism, these are dark and difficult times.

The Showtime series tracks the aftermath of the Big Death, which wiped out roughly six billion people, anyone over the age of puberty. It's now 15 years later, and people have been ridinng on the ashes of the old world for the most part, the available resources slowly declining and running out. It's a moment of transition: either the decline continues, or now that they are adults, people start to rebuild a new world out of the ashes of the old one. The question is what shape will that world take, and who gets to choose?

The show is often a bit of a romance, there's lots of humor, lots of action, there's an overarching mystery and an arc to is, at times, oddly a show about small victories and gemstones found amid gravel. I can't think of any other series quite like it in tone and attitude and look and design. It's allowed me to do some things, and write some stories, I could never get on broadcast TV in a million years, particularly "... And the Ground, Sown With Salt" I'm quite proud and pleased with it, and I think it's worth checking out.

Can you talk about Jeremiah in terms of how it applies to the post-September 11 world?

Well, you must understand, that is hard meat core. Science fiction is an optimistic genre. It says that we do go on, that there will be a tomorrow; it may not be the best of all possible tomorrows, but we do go on. The cockroaches don't inherit the planet. And we tend to think sometimes that it's too hard, things are too hard. We endured September 11, how can we go on? What Jeremiah says is that no matter what you throw at the human race, we will persevere. Even if you wipe out half the planet, those who survive will go on, that beauty goes on, that art goes on, that the noble struggle for meaning and consequence goes on, that there's something indominable and stubborn in the human makeup that transcends even death. Death as in mega-deaths, deaths as in billions of deaths; we will go on. And in light of September 11, in particular, that's a very important message to communicate. A tragedy does not weaken us; it makes us stronger.

The main premise is that there's a virus of some kind that gets loose more or less in present day and wipes out about two-thirds of the population—anybody over the age of puberty. It targets hormones. Whoever has adult hormones gets nailed. It's now 15 years later, and the kids who survived the big death are now coming into their own. They've been riding, if you will, on the ashes of the old world, through clothes they'd grown into and food still in cans. Now they're at a point where they can keep on declining and running out of things, or they can begin to rebuild the world. It's at that cusp of the rebuilding where our story takes place. So it's a story not about endings, but beginnings.

[T]his show isn't about endings. It's about beginnings. It's about building a new world out of the ashes of the old, and who gets to decide what that world looks like, and what our responsibilities are toward that world.

It was designed specifically to be a show about hope, set after what could have been the end, because humans persevere.

Don't judge it until you've seen it.

Right around now in our timeline, a virus wipes out everyone on the planet over the age of puberty (figure around 12-13).

It is now about 15 years later. Those who were once children have now grown up and are in their late 20s on down. For 15 years, they have been living on the scraps of the old world; now they must either continue the downward slide, or begin to rebuild the world, taking responsibility for themselves and the world and each other.

It is, oddly enough, a post-apocalyptic series about *beginnings* rather than endings, about hope rather then despair. It is about the new world rising out of the ashes of the old world, what shape that world will take, and who will get to decide that shape.

This is going to be a heavily dramatic series, character-oriented, with a measure of action and humor as well. Because this is pay cable, they've taken off the usual broadcast TV handcuffs and told me to take it to the wall creatively, no restrictions, so I plan to do just that. [...] But in my view it's a terrific team, and it's going to be a fun show.

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Others Say ...
The premise behind the show is sometime in the near future, for reasons unknown, The Big Death, a plague of some sort, erupts and wipes out pretty much everyone over the age of puberty. So we're left with a world of kids basically 13 and younger. The series picks up about 15 years later when this generation has grown up in a post-apocalyptic world where most of the natural resources have dried up because obviously the industrial world has ground to a halt. The people are scrounging for a living and this civilization is trying to rebuild itself basically from scratch.

We follow the adventures of Jeremiah and his new traveling companion Kurdy. Jeremiah's father was the center of whatever experiment led to this plague. They get brought into the last remains of civilization and become emmissaries. The high concept, we always said, was Road Warrior meets Route 66.

Even though the premise from the comic book is somewhat different than the underlying premise for the series, the world is very similar and the character is virtually identical between Jeremiah and Kurdy. It's that dynamic that truely drives the series and that's what Joe [Strazczynski] latched on to.

The core premise of Jeremiah is 15 years after an apocalyptic event has taken place in the year 2006, in which a virus is unleashed upon the world through something that was beyond man's ability to control it. It wasn't malevolent, it was something that happened and it claimed the life of everyone over the age of puberty.

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Season 1 Boxed Set
Season 1 Boxed Set
(Jeremiah DVD)
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Last Modified:
Sep.27.2003 at 17:55 PST

Created: Feb.10.2002
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