TCA Press Tour: 'The Event' producers ask viewers to have a little faith
With "Lost" gone, NBC is hoping those with appetites for serialized, time-shifting stories will turn to the network's new fall drama "The Event."
"The Event," starring Jason Ritter as a young man whose girlfriend mysteriously disappears, which leads him to uncover a national conspiracy, jumps time many times in the pilot and introduces viewers to many characters in one hour.
It's an impressive cast: Blair Underwood plays the newly elected U.S. president; Laura Innes is a mysterious detainee; and the rest of the ensemble includes Scott Patterson ("Gilmore Girls"), Ian Anthony Dale ("Day Break") and Zeljko Ivanek ("Damages").
The action drama was created by Nick Wauters, who says he is a big fan of "Lost," "24" and "Battlestar Galactica" and understands that fans need answers. To that end, producers say they will regularly deliver answers, as soon as in the second episode of the series.
"I'm very conscious of that, which is why we're going to reveal as many answers as we can as we go and set up new mysteries," Wauters said. "...The pilot has so many characters. The pilot's kind of an invitation to the series. It's an appetizer. As a viewer and fan of 'Lost,' I ask for people's trust."
Calling it the best script he read during pilot season, Ritter said he was excited to play a lead that in one scene is storming a cockpit with a gun and in another is asking his future father-in-law for his girlfriend's hand in marriage. "I love that you get to see him in all of it," Ritter said. "That's one of the benefits from jumping back and forth. If you have it completely linear, there's got to be a believablity. If you jump around, you can do anything."
Underwood said he felt that the producers had learned from the mistakes of past shows that have used the time-shifting device.
"This production, as I can see, wants to avoid all these things," Underwood said.
Although there seems to be a supernatural event that takes place in the pilot, Innes said viewers should know that "95% is based on the real world and real human interaction."
"We love the fact that people are curious about what happens," Innes said. "But you won't be frustrated. All of us had long meetings with producers before we even signed on because we all had the same fear. We don't want to end up on a show that drives people crazy."
-- Maria Elena Fernandez
Photo: Laura Innes, Ian Anthony Dale, Jason Ritter, Bill Smitrovich, Blair Underwood, Lisa Vidal, Zeljko Ivanek. Credit: Joseph Viles / NBC
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