A couple months ago, it seemed like NBC was having its doubts about one of its midseason series, Day One. At the Television Critics Association press tour, NBC’s president of prime time entertainment, Angela Bromstad, 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.” That statement didn’t exactly seem like a vote of confidence. Now, the network seems to have scaled back their expectations once again.
Day One deals with the aftermath of a mysterious global disaster and its effects on the residents of a Los Angeles apartment building. It stars Julie Gonzalo, Derek Mio, Addison Timlin, Adam Campbell, Catherine Dent, David Lyons, Carly Pope, Thekla Reuten, and Xander Berkeley.
NBC has announced that they’re scaling back Day One, from a TV series to a four hour mini-series. The network has cut back the initial order by 70% — from 13 episodes to a two-hour pilot and a pair of one-hour episodes.
Though this move doesn’t sound like good news for Day One, the network insists they haven’t given up on it. If the mini-series is a success, Day One could return as a regular show, in a similar way to how the reimagined Battlestar Galactica was handled at Sci Fi (now Syfy).
The change is said to have come after NBC executives took a look at the expense of launching Day One as a full mid-season series. Apparently it didn’t seem like a worthwhile risk, especially in the wake of last season’s expensive and disappointing Kings series.
Day One creator and executive producer Jesse Alexander is supposedly on board with the decision. Via Twitter, he wrote of the news, “Not as bad as it sounds.” Two hours have already been shot and Alexander is now reworking storylines. Most will wrap up in four hours but a few loose threads will be left open just in case a series follows.
The Day One mini-series will debut following NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics but it’s unclear if it will occupy a Monday at 9pm timeslot as previously announced.
What do you think? Is this a good strategy or just a way for NBC to cut their losses? Should more series be handled this way so viewers aren’t left hanging by prematurely cancelled shows?