Back in August it was announced that the producers of V shut down production for three weeks in order to “beef up future scripts and bring them in line with the quality of the pilot”.
At that time I surmised this could be an excuse to ship Elizabeth Mitchell to Hawaii for a few days to shoot LOST. Now, however, ABC has announced that it will no longer be showing six episodes of the series this fall, instead they will put V on hiatus following the first four episodes and continue the run after the Winter Olympics.
From the LA Times:
The decision is said to be based on ABC’s efforts to promote the series as an “event.” But less optimistic minds might recall that the network had previously shut down production on “V” for two weeks in order to undergo some creative overhaul. That hiatus has now been extended for an additional four weeks.
An ABC spokeswoman insisted that it was always ABC’s intention to broadcast “V,” which has a 13-episode order, in “pod form,” though this decision comes as a bit of a surprise, given the positive buzz surrounding the series, a reimagining of the classic 1980s cult sci-fi series.
As the article points out, it’s never a good idea to split up a series developed in serial form with huge breaks between episodes. Certainly the guys and gals at ABC remember the disaster that was the Writer’s Strike of 1997? Too many great shows fell victim to the strike and the wandering minds of viewers (hello, Pushing Daisies?).
If, in fact, ABC intends to broadcast V as an “event”, wouldn’t it have been easier to just develop it as a limited series or (dare I say it?) a mini-series?