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Day One: NBC Already Forecasting TV Show Cancellation?

Day OneWhen network executives have a new show to promote, they typically tout the program as the greatest show to hit the airwaves since I Love Lucy or The Sopranos. NBC’s president of prime time entertainment, Angela Bromstad, is taking a different approach.

Day One revolves around the residents of a Southern California apartment complex following a mysterious catastrophe. The global event breaks down all forms of communication and leaves the survivors searching to both find a way to survive in their new environment and to save the world from an otherworld menace.

The cast includes Julie Gonzalo, Derek Mio, Addison Timlin, Adam Campbell, Catherine Dent, David Lyons, Carly Pope, Thekla Reuten, and Xander Berkeley.

Day One was included with the rest of NBC’s new series when they were announced in the Spring. The show isn’t expected to debut until midseason 2010 — after the winter Olympics and filling Heroes’ Monday timeslot.

Should Day One end after 13 episodes?

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Since post-apocalyptic series haven’t had much success on television, many have wondered how long the show can last. It turns out that NBC doesn’t really expect the series to last more than 13 episodes.

Last March, before Day One was even officially picked up, Bromstad told the Hollywood Reporter’s James Hibberd, “It’s right now being looked at as a 13-episode run — something people could commit to and we could make a big splash with.”

Today, at the Television Critics Association press tour, Bromstad echoed those feelings and said, “We’ve always looked at Day One as a big event for us and not necessarily a show that would be an ongoing, returning show for a second season. It depends on its success. Just by nature of the genre, they always then get a little narrow, and whether or not we can sustain it on the air.”

So, though the network doesn’t expect the show to return for a second season, they aren’t ruling it out either. What this means is that, unless the network goes to the expense of filming two endings, the 13th episode may very likely be open-ended and won’t give viewers a real finale. How many times has NBC left viewers hanging in the past? Las Vegas, Kings, My Name Is Earl, or Journeyman, anyone?

What do you think? Are you more likely to watch a show that has an end-date in mind or less likely because you may likely be left hanging either way?

Before you make up your mind if Day One’s worth your time, have a look at the show’s trailer below.

 

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan September 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Hey, I agree with Iristella about this upcoming show. I’ve been through MANY TV shows. I understand that “Day One” isn’t expected to go to a season 2, but I wouldn’t keep my hopes up. If it’s going to be popular, then it might stay on for another season. Although, this is a new kind of TV show for NBC, as they’re trying to make a popular TV show among TV viewers, I can see that. I’m kind of new to NBC shows, but I can get the hang of them. This new TV show shouldn’t be too much of a problem for me. I believe it’ll be popular. I’d also be looking forward to it and I may like it. Although, the storyline to it does seem pretty interesting … .

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Scotty September 21, 2009 at 12:55 am

If NBC believes that a show will not be brought back for a second season they should film a closing that ties of up the story instead of just leaving viewers hanging. I would have loved for Kings to have a proper ending instead of being left where it was. Why should anyone watch a show that will not have a proper ending?

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FDBC September 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

Carly Pope? CARLY POPE? I wanna see this show!!!!!!

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Mel August 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Looks SO boring… this has been done so many times before. NBC needs a new fresh idea. Even the cast is just mediocre. If the trailer is that slow, imagine the show…

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Alex August 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm

UK television has been going this route for a long time with huge success. Most new series over there get 6-13 episodes a season, and that’s it. I think the 22-26 episode season needs to be axed. It’s too much, and overkill. By the 12th or 13th episode of a series I’m usually bored to tears with it as so many shows are completely formulaic. If you cut down the exposure of a series people are less likely to get bored and it keeps excitement high. And producing less shows usually means the episodes you do make can be better quality. It’s easier to produce 13 high quality, well-written episodes than it does 24.

If a series is designed around 6 episode seasons then it is more like a mini-series. If it does well in the ratings then it can be brought back in 6 months or a year for another go around. If it does poorly then it’s no big loss cause all 6 eps have aired and the storyline is complete. It’s also a lot easier for the viewers to deal with a cancelled show they only watched for a 2-3 months instead of one they enjoyed for 8 or 9.

The UK did a 6 episode series with this exact same theme called Survivors. And it rocked! I can’t wait for it to start up again. It proves the “apocalypse” theme can be serialized if done right. Do I think NBC will get it right? Probably not. But don’t blame the genre, blame NBC if it tanks.

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Survivor August 8, 2009 at 4:19 am

I tend to watch a show after it survived by renting the first season to catch up. I was caught too often with cancellations to play the networks (stupid) short term ratings games anymore. They tend to not see the trend where viewers who can follow a plot line are tuning out. BTW, we are the ones with buying power…

Or maybe they just don’t know what to do about the trend. Here’s an idea: Commit to a series you beleive in, tell viewers you won’t leave them hanging and deliver. In other words service and quality… hmmm where have I heard that before? Oh Yeah, Business school…

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Anonymous August 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Really this is a 2 day mini movie at most. If Terminator can be killed by NBC then this will definitely be short lived.

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MK August 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Oh look….the network that totally wasted KINGS is about to waste another “niche” series before it airs. My cats could run this network better than the overpaid suits doing it now.

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jaggedsmile August 6, 2009 at 11:56 am

I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I think there IS a place for intentionally limited-run series in today’s TV marketplace. It would provide a better chance that the shows stay fresh, and avoid meandering or silly plot tangents in desperate attempts to keep a show alive.

I think series like “Lost”, “Heroes” and “CSI” would have held their integrity much better had there been a more clearly defined story arc limit, and they would’ve never been the subject of lunch table conversations that began with “Remember when [insert show name here] was good? Is it even still on?”.

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JAMES August 6, 2009 at 9:26 am

WELL IT DOES LOOK INTERESTING; BUT I THINK I WILL TIVO IT & STORE TO SEE IF IT IS CONTINUED; IF NOT JUST DELETE THEM ALL. I MEAN WITH THE TIVO + EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE HOOK UP I CAN STORE ABOUT 100 X’S THE LENGTH OF THIS SHOW ANYWAY. AND WHO KNOWS NETFLIX MIGHT GET THE DVD FOR IT IF ONE IS PRODUCED.

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Catesha August 6, 2009 at 6:54 am

I agree with everyone leaving a message. I’m afraid to what the watch the show for fear of cancellation, but it definitely looks interesting. All the networks need to read what people are saying concerning the way television is going. I know they probably say we know what we are doing, but they don’t have a clue. :-(

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Anonymous Replier August 6, 2009 at 3:49 am

This show does look interesting, but I’m kinda afraid to start watching, get completely hooked, and then face a cliffhanger finale with no promised resolution to come in a second season. I don’t really watch tv anymore for that reason. All the shows I watched were getting canceled after only a couple seasons at most and no resolution. I’ve never quite understood how networks could go about canceling shows because the ratings aren’t good enough. How can they tell what everyone in the country is watching? How do they know that there isn’t really a whole lot more of us watching something that they cancel?

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Ryan August 5, 2009 at 11:01 pm

I want to slap the NBC network. Don’t they know their history? “Cheers” was DEAD LAST in the ratings in 1982. They didn’t have crappy reality shows and 20 midseason replacements in the wings so it was either sell it to syndication for further episodes or axe it. Still, they didn’t have any decent replacement so they kept it around. In season two, the ratings grew. It ran 11 years. It’s spinoff ran 11 MORE years!

WE DON’T TRUST YOU ANYMORE! That’s why there are no ratings. We want to see a show make it a year or two before we give it a go at this point. The American people know the networks don’t give shows a fair shake anymore and won’t waste their time with what doesn’t work. Put a show on the air and LET IT LAST! “NCIS” over on CBS got its best ratings ever in season six! SIX! Beat all the competition and when it came in 2nd, it only did so to “The Mentalist” which comes on after it. People will tune in if they see something lasting. Word of mouth on a show than spreads and before you know it, you have a true hit.

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Jason August 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm

NBC bosses in offices is just really bad at their jobs any how. It would not supprise me if they do leave the fans of the show hanging. I have stopped watching all NBC shows because they just do not run a good network. You can not trust them keeping a good show on.

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Iristella August 5, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I, for one, am totally looking forward to this show no matter what the rumors are about it’s longevity. It sounds to me, from Bromstad’s most recent comment, that they have no set plans one way or another… She implied that the show’s lifespan will be determined by it’s popularity, and based on what I know, I think it’s gonna be pretty popular!

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