Sunday, September 27, 2009

ABC's V remake dead on arrival?

In the past month there has been a spate of news about V that could be interpreted as imminent failure. While the season premiere is still a month away, I have an uneasy feeling from these reports that V may not last very long.

First there was the news of a halt in production. There was a couple ideas out there. One was that the producers for the remake wanted to take Ken Johnson, the original creator of V, off the credits which would save them money. The thought was the the new show is so different that it can't be considered a remake. Supposedly the the WGA resolved this by deeming it a remake, forcing them to pay Ken Johnson royalties.

The other idea which seems to have more credibility was to allow the writers to beef of their scripts. After an amazing well-received pilot episode, you'd think the writers would have everything set, but ABC seems to think the following episodes won't live up to expectations or simply aren't good. Filming has continued, but if ABC thought the scripts needed to be improved, that certainly is something to worry about. 

Then there was news the other day of a major scheduling change by ABC. The premiere is still set for November 4, but they are going to only show 4 episodes and then air the rest after the Winter Olympics. There is a rationale for this. The last of the 4 episodes will probably have a huge cliffhanger that will keep everyone talking. Viewership goes down in the winter and ABC will be able to promote the show heavily during Lost and Flash Forward.

Here's the problem though. This move indicates a lack of confidence from ABC. How many people want to watch a show with a huge possibility of cancellation? How many viewers will want to come back after several months and only 4 episodes? The 4  episodes will have to really grab people so they will come back after such long of a layoff. Many series that have extended breaks are established shows with solid fan bases. I doubt V can get very many dedicated fans with just 4 episodes. 

If ABC is having trepidation about the show, why don't they move the series premiere after the Winter Olympics? They can air the series continuously without breaks and keep the the viewers from the first episode to the last. My hope is that they play the 4 episodes before the show comes back in 2010. If not, people might not want to watch without knowing what's going on. Whatever their thinking is, expect heavy promotion on ABC in an attempt to salvage the series. ABC better have an amazing plan or I predict a cancellation. I'm not being negative, in fact, I watched the original miniseries, The Final Battle miniseries, and even the crap TV series, so I am a fan of the franchise. Don't get me wrong, I'm just looking at reality and it does not look good.

With a star studded lineup,  experienced crew, and an exceptional first episode (hearsay), the show should have had no problems. But here we are, the show is clearly in trouble and we'll have to deal with it. Assuming the writing isn't that great, the cast should be able to carry the show to a certain extent. Just the cast of Elizabeth Mitchell, Morena Baccarin, and Scott Wolf should keep people interested. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Since we've on the topic of V, I'm supposed to be writing reviews for V on Nothing is official yet, but I've exchanged emails from them, so if all goes well, look for my reviews there.


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