Update, 11-15: NBC announced a new midseason lineup that includes The Event going off the air on Nov. 29 and returning Feb. 28.
Ratings for NBC’s high-concept drama The Event may be depressingly low, but the network (and the show’s cast) isn’t giving up. Members of the show’s ensemble told a crowd gathered at the Screen Actors Guild headquarters in Los Angeles Saturday that NBC will relaunch the show in January in an effort to attract more viewers.
“We will finish up with our first 13 and then there be a break, and then we’ll come back with a one-hour compilation clip show of the first 13 so everybody can catch up with story,” says Bill Smitrovich, who plays Vice President Raymond Jarvis. “I hope that will spark another increase in the audience.”
Since the drama’s premiere, the show has continued to trend downward in viewers and adults 18-49. The show’s most recent telecast attracted 5.4 million people and earned a 1.7 rating/4 share (each rating point represents 1.3 million people). The drama earned a full-season pickup by NBC.
“Ratings are one of the variables that we don’t have control over,” said Blair Underwood (President Elias Martinez), who also participated in the Event panel with fellow cast members like Jason Ritter (Sean), Sarah Roemer (Leila) and Ian Anthony Dale (Simon). “There is the crossfire competition from Dancing With the Stars, football, and the No. 1 comedy Two and A Half Men. Then, this is the type of genre show like 24 and Lost where viewership always picks up in the second season because people go back and watch during the summer or get the DVD. That builds an audience. And this show was sold in 200 international markets before it premiered here so there is incentive to keep the show going. We are in a good place.”
In the event The Event has to say goodbye in May, the producers have prepared short cuts to wrap up the storyline, explained Ritter. But no one thinks it will come to that. “We probably would have seen them start to come to a close. They would need the time to start doing those short cuts. But so far, so good. Ratings have not been the most ideal, but a lot of people are watching the show on their DVRs.”
Until then, exactly who are Simon, Sophia (Laura Innes) and Thomas (Clifton Collins Jr.) and where the heck did they come from? A few castmembers like Dale know the answer, but most of the others and Collins have been left in the dark. Instead, Collins has been doing some research and thinks scientific engineering may be at play here . “I’ve been doing a lot of research. I’m too intrigued,” he told the crowd. “So much of this is based on real stuff, which is why I go out there and study these things, whether it’s cloning or chromosome structures and gnomes and stuff of that nature. It’s really fascinating. I can almost see where its going. When [the producers] leak out certain things, they think I don’t know what it is but I do, because I’ve been studying.”
While Ritter thinks that Sophia and her kind may be time travelers from the future, other cast members have more (out there) theories. “I think Jason is like the second coming for the aliens,” sayd Lisa Vidal, who plays the President’s wife Christina. “He’s the second coming to this alien nation, this super human nation and there is something at stake. That’s why he is on the run. He’s like the alien Jesus.”
“That just feels right,” quipped Ritter.