Words: Sarah Lucy May, James Rundle
Scott Rosenbaum has said that V’s unconventional airing schedule is intentional on the part of the production. Speaking to SciFiNow, the show’s executive producer was quick to rebuff suggestions that its ‘block programming’ strategy of airing four episodes at a time was forced upon it by the network.
“A lot of people don’t know this but the way the show had this hiatus going off the air was actually something that was done purposely,” said Rosenbaum. “The idea was that in the fall it is very crowded. You have all these new shows coming, and how do you… make it stand out for the rest of the bunch as being special? And so the idea was in the first season to do three different chapters. Do four at a time… and then it would be sort of this event programming, which is a throwback of what they used to do in the Eighties with the miniseries.”
The proof of whether this actually works or not will be seen when the figures are in from the show’s recent return, although the first episode seems to have had a mild decrease. V initially scored high ratings, placing it as one of the most successful new shows of the year alongside its network sister show, FlashForward. As the weeks went on, however, its audience number dropped and seemed to plateau for the fourth episode. Whether the long break in between short bursts of airing will keep rejuvenating the series is anyone’s guess. Despite the intent of the programming strategy, however, Rosenbaum does envisage the show returning to a more traditional format once it’s established. “The plan is for it to be a TV show that probably does the 22-episode season that most shows do,” he admitted. “I think ultimately that was just a design to launch the show, but long term, you know, the plan is to run like a regular series.”
V airs on ABC in the United States, and Syfy in the United Kingdom.