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ABC Breaks Up ‘V,’ Moves Bulk Of Season To March

Network claims this was the plan all along, but is this really a sign that there are bigger problems with the new series than originally believed?

First a production stoppage, and now ABC seems to be rethinking its plan on how it will broadcast the remake of “V.”

An ABC spokeswoman told Entertainment Weekly that while “V” will indeed premiere on the network in November, it will be just four episodes that will run during sweeps, and then not return again until March when the Winter Olympics are over.

Sound like more problems for the remake of the Kenneth Johnson classic? ABC says no. They had planned to air the show in “pod” format to create event programming, the network told EW. However, the news comes on the heels that the two-week hiatus that began earlier this month to help fix some creative issues will extend another four weeks, meaning production likely won’t resume until around the time the first episodes air Nov. 3.

That could mean ABC is worried about how “V” will perform, and may be looking closely at debut audience numbers to figure it out what to do next. If the show underperforms, ABC will be able to pull the plug quickly without expending too much producing episodes it may never intend to air. If it at least meets audience expectations, then the network could green light additional episodes that would be ready to shoot about the same time.

“V” has struggled to get out of the gate since the network said it would seek a reimagination of the property earlier this year. Outside of the current production stoppage, Warner Bros. Television had asked the Writers Guild of America to remove Johnson’s name from the creator credits, claiming the new version under “The 4400” vet Scott Peters was completely different from the original.

However, a WGA mediation committee determined that the new series had enough elements to require Warner Bros. and ABC to continue including Johnson’s credit in the series, and also to compensate him for using his work.

The new series, which Johnson has told Airlock Alpha will not serve as an impediment to his efforts to create a big-screen version of “V,” stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Scott Wolf and Morena Baccarin.

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