The Event season premiere comes to NBC this week. It isn’t just The Event season premiere, though, but the series premiere, bringing a brand new show into the fold for NBC on Monday nights. It appears that the network is putting a lot of advertising power behind turning this into the latest hit on television, but it also seems to be a risky premise that could spike anticipation, but falter if the writing doesn’t deliver what audiences want to see. In that regard, The Event strongly mirrors what ABC tried to do with FlashForward last season, which was a new show that got canceled before the year was out.
The Event season premiere will air for the first time on Monday, Sept. 20, and will be the new 9 p.m. entry into Monday night television. It is a huge risk for NBC, as they are putting the show up against the newest season of Dancing With the Stars. Dancing With the Stars is one of the most watched shows on television, and it almost appears to be a desperate move by NBC to try to regain traction on Monday nights. They probably view this as a calculated risk and maybe they won’t go after the same viewing demographic, but you can’t envy the timeslot that The Event has been stuck with here.
So what is the central premise to The Event? Well, if you have seen any of the previews for the show, you know that NBC is trying to keep this one pretty close to the vest. The facts that have been released are that a government cover-up has taken place, called the biggest one in U.S. history, and some key players to the story are about to stumble upon it. Jason Ritter plays Sean Walker, who has his girlfriend suddenly go missing on a cruise ship, and his search for her begins to uncover more than he expected. Seemingly at the same time, Blair Underwood plays a President of the United States who has been kept in the dark about what has taken place.
The Event is going to try to walk that fine line that Lost succeeded with, but that FlashForward failed with, and that is deciding how much information to release about the “end game” for the show on a weekly basis. Is The Event going to be a show that doesn’t give enough answers early on? If it is, then the writing is going to have to be spectacularly good to keep viewers interested.
Just from the looks of this show, it seems like an expensive one to make, and low ratings won’t turn into renewals. In what could turn out to be the toughest night on television, The Event series premiere has to face Dancing With the Stars, Two and a Half Men, and the series premiere of Lone Star. Can it contend with the big shows? We find out starting on Monday night.