Though the television networks don’t seem to notice, remakes of old series rarely meet with much success. While shows like Bionic Woman, Knight Rider, and Melrose Place bring name recognition, they rarely live up to expectations. Still, ABC moved ahead with their plans to revive V. Though it was initially successful, will it ultimately meet the same fate?
Like the original, the new V revolves around the arrival of aliens to the planet Earth. While the visitors profess that they’ve come in peace, their ulterior motives slowly become clear. The cast includes Elizabeth Mitchell, Morena Baccarin, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Logan Huffman, Lourdes Benedicto, Laura Vandervoort, and Scott Wolf.
The new V started out strong with a 5.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 14.3 million total viewers. That was the highest rated debut of the 2009-10 season.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of those viewers didn’t return for the second week. Episode two brought in a 3.8 rating and 10.7 million.
Week three dropped yet again, to a 3.1 in the demo and 9.26 million viewers. Last week, the numbers evened off and episode four attracted a third place 3.1 rating for 18-49 viewers and a total viewership of 9.2 million. While those numbers are pretty good on their own, they do represent a 40% drop in the demo when compared to the premiere.
If the ratings held steady, the series would likely be headed for a second season. Unfortunately, in part due to backstage problems, ABC has made the risky decision to split up the season into two parts. The first group of V episodes has finished airing and now, the series isn’t expected to return until after the Winter Olympics in March 2010.
If recent viewership trends have taught us anything, they’ve shown that long breaks can be disastrous for a serial drama’s ratings. People naturally become interested in other shows and any momentum is lost. What’s more, because storylines are ongoing and complicated, few new people feel inclined to start watching midseason.
Shows like Lost and Heroes saw significant drops in viewership when they took long midseason breaks. They both had very strong ratings and a lot of buzz going into their respective hiatuses. Fortunately, enough viewers returned to keep them on the air.
The new V doesn’t have nearly as much viewer buzz and can’t afford to lose many more viewers. If a high percentage of people don’t return to watch the second half of the season, V won’t survive and will be cancelled.
What do you think? Are you anxiously awaiting the show’s return? Will the hiatus kill the new V and cause its cancellation?
Image courtesy ABC.