Tonight marks the last episode of The Event for 2010. NBC plans to relaunch the series in three months, on February 28th, after letting their new series The Cape have the timeslot. Is it a risky move? Not really. Ultimately, they don’t have much choice.
The Event follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), a young man who’s investigating the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend. He slowly begins to uncover the biggest cover-up in the history of the United States. Others in the cast include Sarah Roemer, Laura Innes, Ian Anthony Dale, Scott Patterson, Clifton Collins Jr., Taylor Cole, Lisa Vidal, Bill Smitrovich, Zeljko Ivanek, and Blair Underwood.
The series debuted in September to decent ratings with a 3.6 in the 18-49 demo and 10.88 million total viewers. That’s a healthy sampling but, considering all of the promotion that NBC put behind it, the programmers were likely disappointed by its third place rank in the timeslot.
While some viewers clearly love the show, more than half who watched the first episode have already lost interest. The Event has been losing viewers, sometimes as much as 15 or 20% in one week, and to date has never shown an increase week-to-week in the demo. The most recent installment garnered just a 1.7 rating in the demo and 5.19 million viewers.
You can blame the network for not doing a better job of promoting The Event but clearly there’s a problem with the series when people who already watch don’t feel compelled to return week after week.
Will this February “relaunch” help? Based on recent TV history, the answer is no. Just look at V and FlashForward. People who were interested in The Event have either already tried it and stuck around or given up on it. Those who haven’t watched previously are very unlikely to give a try because they assume that they’ve missed too much backstory already. On top of that, when the show returns, the ratings will likely be lower than what they are now. By the time The Event returns in February, many casual fans will have already gotten involved with other shows.
The one thing that The Event has going for it is the fact that it’s on NBC. The peacock network continues to struggle and The Event is currently the fifth most-watched scripted program on the network. If things go as expected, it will drop much lower on the list next year. Still, with the exception of The CW, NBC is the only network that would consider giving this series more time. They’ll surely let all 22 episodes air.
The Event returns on Monday, February 28th and will have 12 more original episodes to air at that point. Will there be a second season? We’ll have to wait and see but hopefully the producers will plan ahead and not end the show without any resolution.
What do you think? Does The Event have a chance for survival? What could NBC do to save this show? Anything?
Image courtesy NBC.