Does NBC owe J.J. Abrams a residual check?
NBC’s The Event premieres tonight, with the network’s hope that it can fill the void left by Lost and 24. Realistically, it’s like the NBA losing Bird and Magic and trying to promote someone other than Jordan to take it over.
The impression that I’ve received from the billboards, TV spots, and reviews is nothing about plot (a guy investigates his girlfriend’s disappearance and discovers a huge government cover-up), but format. I’m not being sold on story; I’m being sold on structure. Why would I be interested in watching a show that doesn’t provide any closure? Why won’t NBC just tell people what it’s about and play up the mystery? Why can’t they make the missing girlfriend the next Laura Palmer?
Even the name is terrible: “The Event.” It doubles as description and pretension: they are dying for “event” television. All right, NBC. You’re big hit last year (The Jay Leno show), was a called strike. Your biggest hits since 2000 are The Apprentice (2004) and The Office (2005). We get it: you’re desperate.
Lost also had a leg up back in 2004, when the network model wasn’t completely eroded. Its premiere garnered over 15 million viewers. We are currently living in a time when Univision can perform better than the other networks in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
Hey, NBC. How about next time you promote a huge show, you pick something that was created organically in the writer’s room, not something that’s trying to be something else.