It’s a big news week for TV, but as I’ve been traveling this weekend, I’m still catching up on the various stories from NBC and FOX’s upfronts, which took place today. I did watch the trailers for all of NBC’s new shows – an absurd number of brand new shows will air next fall, thanks to the enormous 10pm crater where The Jay Leno Show used to be. Many of them look pretty mediocre, especially the new comedies, but I’m quite curious about Undercovers, as well as The Event, which will be airing after Chuck on Monday nights. From what I can see in the trailer, it looks like a multiple-storylines descendant of 24 and perhaps FlashForward, with a whiff of the Jason Bourne series.
The cast, the production, and the overall mysteriousness are all intriguing (hey, it’s Kerry Weaver!), but this is one of those shows where I am most curious in how it will play out as a television series in specific rather than a fiction more generally. If it’s about a specific event, what happens once we know what that event was? Can you build an entire TV show around the fallout from one moment? (FlashForward certainly couldn’t.) Much as I’d hate to read the book by its cover, just the title by itself suggests some possible problems in sustaining the show for a long period of time. It’s a singular noun, and not something that’s abstracted, or a play on words, or even a good ol’ open ended proper name. The Event says that we should be paying attention to one, very specific, very important thing, and I just can’t wait to see how long you can possibly sustain that kind of single-minded focus.
Much more on the up fronts tomorrow, but for now: these two shows are exactly the same, aren’t they?