The new CBS program Jericho (Monday nights at 10 p.m. EST is set in small Kansas town after an atomic explosion has hit Denver.

The premiere episode seems to blame the U.S. President’s zeal in combating terrorism as the cause of the attack, but it also shows the small town mayor’s political rival trying to use the situation to gain advantage, in a manner reminiscent of national Democrats regarding the Iraq War. That shows an admirable nonpartisanship on the producers’ part.

Later in the show, the townspeople find out that Atlanta has been hit also. As is common for these programs, the crisis brings out both the best and the worst in people. Mysterious benefactor characters and unexpected heroes arise with near-cliché frequency. In this one, a visitor from St. Louis fills the first role, and the mayor’s prodigal son is the latter. The crisis creates divisions among the townspeople, but they pull together when they have to—with obvious analogies to and lessons for post-9/11 America.

Interesting and worth watching.