Category: V

Pilot season: First look at ABC's 2010 drama pilots

Editor's note: Over the next several days, Show Tracker will cover the pilots under contention for the fall season at the five broadcast networks, in the following order: ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. (Yes, it's alphabetical).

It definitely seems that ABC is banking on (hoping?) that "Flash Forward" or "V" (probably the latter) winds up as its next mind-boggling pop-culture sensation a la "Lost," because none of the 11 dramas the network has in development is marked by any of the qualities that made the island mystery an international hit.

In fact, ABC's crop of dramas largely signals a return to the basics, with four crime shows, two legal shows and one medical show among the 11 dramas under consideration for the new fall season. Where do the other four dramas fit?

Let's begin with those:

Getprev-2 "No Ordinary Family" is basically "The Incredibles" in live action with (pictured left) Michael Chiklis ("The Shield") as the lead and the writing-producing team of Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman. Do we need to know anything else? I'm in.

"Cutthroat" stars Roselyn Sanchez ("Without A Trace") in a dramedy about an ambitious single mother who finds that running her own international drug cartel is perfect training for navigating the "cutthroat" -- get it? -- world of Beverly Hills high society. So, it's like Nancy Botwin goes "90210." Hmm. I don't know. But wait! It might be worth noting that "Dollhouse" executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters are the writer-producers. That's something.

"Edgar Floats" centers on a police psychologist who, looking for more money and some excitement, becomes a bounty hunter at a company run by his ex-wife and her dad. Although he has none of the physical skills of a traditional bounty hunter, he has a special talent for getting people to talk. I wonder if this guy will like fruit and have red hair. The writer is Rand Ravich of "Life," and his partner, Far Shariat, is producing it. No one has been cast, but isn't Damian Lewis available?

"Generation Y" is a documentary-style dramedy that follows a group of high school classmates, tracking their paths over the last 10 years and the events that helped shape their lives. Why does this sound so familiar? Oh, yes, because Fox tried this in 2005 with "Reunion," which chronicled 20 years in the lives of a group of six high school friends, one of whom had been murdered. The ABC pilot was written by Noah Hawley ("Bones" and "The Unusuals"). So far, the only two cast members are Michael Stahl David ("Cloverfield") and Kier O'Donnell ("Wedding Crashers") and it's shooting in Austin, Texas.

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'FlashForward' and 'V' return to ABC in March

Getprev-2 Looks like spring is going to be full of time-traveling, blackout aftermaths, alien encounters -- and, yes, answers.

ABC's two new serialized mysteries, "FlashForward" and "V" will take a long hiatus until early spring so that the network can air both series' remaining episodes uninterrupted.

"FlashForward," starring Joseph Fiennes, will return March 4 at 8 p.m. "V" will return on March 30 in a new time slot, 10 p.m. after "Lost" -- which means on some Tuesday nights we'll be getting a double Elizabeth Mitchell feature.

"Lost" returns for its final season Feb. 2 at 9 p.m.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Photo: Elizabeth Mitchell. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


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'V': The way of the gun

V_itsonlythebeginning
The pieces are coming together.

But, yes, you're going to have to wait until March to find out just what will happen next to our favorite reptilian aliens and the human resistance movement, now that the ABC sci-fi series goes into hiatus following tonight's episode.

The fall finale, entitled "It's Only the Beginning," served as a perfect wrap-up of the first act of "V" and was just the thing to whet viewers' appetites for the nine remaining episodes of the first season of "V." In a perfect world, viewers would get the start of those episodes in January rather than March, but there's not much that can be done about that now, sadly.

The four episodes we've seen so far can therefore be looked at as an introduction to the narrative of "V," plus the writers gave us some payoffs to a number of plot threads while bringing in several new subplots to keep us turning over in our heads during the way-too-long hiatus.

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'V': Previewing tonight's fall finale

118453_0264_pre ABC's "V" is set to go on hiatus after tonight's episode, the series' fourth. And it's going to be a tough wait for new episodes (slated to reappear on the schedule beginning sometime in March), especially after this week's fantastic installment, written by Cameron Litvack and Angela Russo-Otstot.

I had the opportunity to watch tonight's electrifying episode of "V" over the weekend and have to say that the series, which started out a little shakily after its fantastic pilot, has definitely found its footing these last two episodes. This week's "V" is titled "It's Only the Beginning," and it's the perfect title for the end of the first pod of "V" episodes, which wraps up on a very high note.

If you've been on the fence at all about ABC's reimagining of "V," this is the episode to watch. Unfolding at a breakneck speed, there's a slew of neck-snapping plot twists, defining character moments and some enciting reveals designed to sate our appetite until "V" returns in the spring.

The first four episodes have seen the diverse characters of "V" very slowly come together, and this week several of the disparate plot threads begin to weave together into a single narrative tapestry. (Note: I'm following studio Warner Bros. Television's request not to reveal the extremely intriguing plot twists contained in tonight's "V," so there are only minor spoilers ahead.)

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'V': Ignorance is bliss

V_abrightnewday3 You wanted some reveals? You got them with this episode.

The Visitors clearly have an endgame for their invasion of Earth and they've proved themselves quite adept at using our strengths against us, manipulating the media and our hopes and fears.

And they've clearly got a lock on surveillance, monitoring hundreds of live feeds in order to keep track of their own agents in the field as well as the human peace ambassadors they've recruited by some cleverly concealed cameras within the Visitor uniforms. 

This week's episode of "V" found the Visitors applying for, as well as receiving, visas allowing them to move about on U.S. soil unrestricted. At the same time, various plots came to fruition as the human resistance gained a few new members and Erica was forced to work alongside the Visitors to stop an assassination attempt. 

The third episode of the series definitely kicked up the pacing after last week's relatively sluggish installment, delivering more than a few intriguing twists and revealing some more information about the Visitors and the Fifth Column, juggling an assortment of characters in a compelling and interesting fashion.

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'V': Upsetting the apple cart

V_thereisnonormal

"Don't trust anybody."

Like "Battlestar Galactica," "V" imagines a world where no one is quite what they seem, where everyone you encounter — whether stranger, lover, co-worker — could be an enemy. After all, when the enemy you're fighting looks just like you, how can you tell your friends from your foes?

Having learned this fact, you might begin to look upon everyone with a mixture of fear and suspicion. On "Battlestar Galactica," the human survivors learned that the Cylons looked human, leading to outright fear that anyone could be a sleeper agent (and, surprise, several were). On ABC's "V," the audience and its two main characters have learned of the true visage behind the Visitor's gleaming white teeth and Cheshire cat smiles. Enemies come in all sorts of packages, after all.

It's in this mind-set that we find Erica Evans and Father Jack Landry. After witnessing the truth of the Visitors in last week's pilot episode, they are thrust into a world where they can trust no one but themselves ... and even that seems hard for Erica and Jack to pull off.
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'V' premiere ratings: 13.9 million viewers strong

Vseries ABC's series remake of "V" has landed, and 13.9 million viewers were there to welcome it.

The show, which will run for four episodes through November and then return post-Olympics in March, came in second to CBS' "NCIS" but won its 8-9 p.m. time slot among adults 18-49 (a 5.0 rating, according to preliminary numbers.)

For the full ratings breakdown (and to discover what the original 1983 series scored in its premiere), head over to the LA Times' Company Town blog.

-- Denise Martin

Related:

'V': Devotion is dangerous

Complete coverage of 'V' on Show Tracker

Photo: "V" cast members. Credit: ABC

'V': Devotion is dangerous

V_pilot They have arrived.

The series premiere of "V" doesn't waste any time bringing the Visitors to our doorstep, heralding their arrival with tremors, enormous ships in the sky, and finally a message of peace from their very sultry high commander. After all, these are aliens with a mastery of mass media, publicity and propaganda. Which makes their mission all the more deadly.

A word of warning: I didn't go back and watch the original 1980s "V," so I'm coming to ABC's sci-fi series "V," which launched tonight, completely fresh and without any preconceived notions about what the series should be. (Sure, I have some foggy memories of reptilian visitors, an alien baby, the guinea pig, etc., but I wanted to keep this reimagining completely separate from what came before.)

This iteration of "V," overseen by "The 4400" creator Scott Peters, is clearly meant to invoke our post-9/11 paranoia and our innate xenophobia. But the alien Visitors who arrive on Earth, their motherships hovering over 29 cities around the world like dark clouds, claim to bring not death and destruction but hope. Of course, the skeptics among us know better, like FBI Counter-Terrorism Agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) and the questioning Catholic priest Father Jack (Joel Gretsch). But for the most part humanity is welcoming these would-be saviors with open arms. After all, they're spreading a message of universal health care, stylish uniforms, and an eradication of dozens of known diseases. All of which makes Earth ripe for the plucking, really.

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Showrunner shift at ABC's 'V'

V_lookingup Some more behind-the-scenes drama at ABC's "V," which launches tonight.

Following weeks of news of production shutdowns and a creative overhaul, the Warner Bros. Television-produced series now has a new showrunner at the helm. "V" creator Scott Peters has been replaced by "Chuck" writer and executive producer Scott Rosenbaum, who has an overall deal with the studio.

Peters will remain involved with "V" and will retain his executive producer credit, with Rosenbaum assuming control over creative duties on the series.

Jeffrey Bell, meanwhile, who was brought onto "V" as a showrunner earlier this year, is expected to depart the series altogether.

A Warner Bros. Television representative confirmed that Rosenbaum is set to oversee creative beginning with the fifth episode of the series. Production on the back nine installments of "V" is set to resume in January.

"V" premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight and will air four episodes during November before returning after the Olympics in March.

-- Jace Lacob (Follow my musings on television, food, and more television on Twitter at @televisionary)

Photo: Elizabeth Mitchell and Logan Huffman look to the skies on "V." Credit: David Gray / ABC

From the Others to the Visitors: Elizabeth Mitchell talks about battling the otherworldly on her new ABC series, 'V'

Lizmitchell On an unseasonably rainy day in Los Angeles, former “Lost” castaway Elizabeth Mitchell described memories of white picket fences, apple pie and … an otherworldly monster that tears people apart.

What she’s describing could be the island home of the Dharma Initiative on Mitchell’s last series, “Lost,” but it’s actually her memory of watching the 1980s sci-fi miniseries “V.” “I just remember how freaky it was and how much I was rooting for the people to win,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell, whose character Juliet was seemingly killed off on “Lost” at the end of last season, is about to embark on a new adventure, as the star of ABC’s “V” remake, which launches Nov. 3 with four episodes before returning after the Olympics with nine additional installments.

Mitchell likes the idea of offering viewers a chance to sample the series and see if they want to follow these characters -- but acknowledged the risk. “It didn’t work very successfully for us on ‘Lost’ in Season 3,” she said. “I think though that this was a decision that had to be made. I definitely agree, knowing the things that I do, that the show will be better for it.”

In “V,” reimagined by “The 4400” creator Scott Peters, Mitchell plays FBI agent Erica Evans, who finds herself caught up in a war between the human race and the seemingly benevolent alien race the Visitors, who arrive on Earth with promises of universal healthcare and an end to disease. As this weren’t enough to deal with, she’s also the single mother of a rebellious teenage son who is drawn to the Visitors.

“We find her in a pretty determined and unhappy mental state,” said Mitchell.

Continue reading »

ABC breaks up launch plan for new sci-fi series 'V'

V_ericaandtyler

It looks like it won't be quite as smooth a liftoff for the alien invasion drama series "V" as initially planned.

ABC has confirmed that it has rejiggered the launch plan for the new fall drama, which is set to premiere  Nov. 3. The network has decided to air just the first four installments of the Warner Bros. Television-produced series — and then place "V" on hiatus until after the Winter Olympics.

The decision is said to be based on ABC's efforts to promote the series as an "event." But less optimistic minds might recall that the network had previously shut down production on "V" for two weeks in order to undergo some creative overhaul. That hiatus has now been extended for an additional four weeks.

An ABC spokeswoman insisted that it was always ABC's intention to broadcast "V," which has a 13-episode order, in "pod form," though this decision comes as a bit of a surprise, given the positive buzz surrounding the series, a reimagining of the classic 1980s cult sci-fi series.

"V" stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Scott Wolf, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Morena Baccarin, Logan Huffman, Laura Vandervoort and Lourdes Benedicto.

— Jace Lacob

Photo credit: David Gray/ABC
 

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