ABC’s buzz-heavy new fall drama "V" is taking a two-week creative hiatus.
Warner Bros. TV has decided to temporarily shut down production on the alien invasion series, with filming scheduled to halt next Wednesday, a studio rep confirmed exclusively to TheWrap. Because "V" doesn’t premiere until Nov. 3, the move won’t impact scheduling of the series or ABC’s ability to air the six episodes it’s planning for the fourth quarter.
The studio wouldn’t discuss the specific reasons behind the move, saying only that the shutdown was designed to boost "V" in the long-term.
WBTV wants to "take advantage of our November premiere to maximize creative opportunities and deliver the audience the best show possible," a Warners spokesperson said.
People familiar with the decision indicated the hiatus was put in place so that writers would have time to beef up future scripts and bring them in line with the quality of the pilot, which has been getting good buzz from bloggers and critics since a successful screening at Comic-Con last month.
No staffing changes are being made, insiders said, though in situations like this, it’s not unheard of for new writers to be added to the roster.
"V" is a remake of the classic 1980s NBC miniseries (and later series) about lizard-like aliens who come to earth under a friendly guise. The new version stars Elizabeth Mitchell ("Lost"), Scott Wolf, Morena Baccarin and Morris Chestnut.
Short-term shutdowns for first-year series, especially dramas, have become increasingly common in recent years. With networks often unwilling to give shows second chances if they don’t make a strong impact out of the box, studios want to make sure they do everything possible to ensure scripts are in the best possible shape for filming.
Such pre-emptive moves can also end up saving money since they reduce the likelihood of costly re-shoots.
ABC’s "Grey’s Anatomy" is widely cited as the best example of a recent series that benefited from a pre-premiere production hiatus.
But even long-time shows have recently found a need to take a break: 20th Century Fox TV halted work on "24" for 18 days last fall. The result was one of the best-reviewed seasons in the show’s history.
Below, an ABC short in which "V" cast members answer burning questions about the show: