Sunday, December 6, 2009

FlashForward hiatus a good thing


Doubtless, you've all heard that FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, is off the air until March 4, 2010.

A lot of people are spinning this online as a bad thing, or a sign of lack of faith in the show on the part of ABC. I suspect the announcing of the scheduling change could have been handled better, but, in fact, it's a very good thing overall.

See, below is what the air-date schedule was to have looked like for FlashForward, followed by what it will be now (at least as I map it out looking at a calendar).

As you can see, the new schedule, with the final 14 hours running without preemptions, really lets us get our momentum going in a way that the old schedule just wouldn't have:

THE SCHEDULE AS IT WAS ON NOVEMBER 12:

December 3, 2009: Episode 10 airs
December 10, 2009: Preempted
December 17, 2009: Preempted
December 24, 2009: Preempted
December 31, 2009: Preempted
January 7, 2010: Preempted
January 14, 2010: Episode 11 airs
January 21, 2010: Episode 12 airs
January 28, 2010: Preempted
February 4, 2010: Episode 13 airs
February 11, 2010: Episode 14 airs
February 18, 2010: Episode 15 airs
February 25, 2010: Episode 16 airs
March 4, 2010: Preempted
March 11, 2010: Preempted
March 18, 2011: Episode 17 airs (RJS written)
March 25, 2011: Episode 18 airs
April 1, 2001: Episode 19 airs
April 8, 2010: Preempted
April 15, 2010: Preempted
April 22, 2010; Episode 20 airs
April 29, 2010: Episode 21 airs
May 6, 2010: Episode 22 airs
May 13, 2010: Episode 23 airs (two-hour season finale)

THE SCHEDULE AS IT IS NOW:

December 3, 2009: Episode 10 airs
December 10, 2009: Preempted
December 17, 2009: Preempted
December 24, 2009: Preempted
December 31, 2009: Preempted
January 7, 2010: Preempted
January 14, 2010: Preempted
January 21, 2010: Preempted
January 28, 2010: Preempted
February 4, 2010: Preempted
February 11, 2010: Preempted
February 18, 2010: Preempted
February 25, 2010: Preempted
March 4, 2010: Episode 11 airs
March 11, 2010: Episode 12 airs
March 18, 2011: Episode 13 airs
March 25, 2011: Episode 14 airs
April 1, 2001: Episode 15 airs
April 8, 2010: Episode 16 airs
April 15, 2010: Episode 17 airs
April 22, 2010: Episode 18 airs
April 29, 2010: Episode 19 airs (RJS written)
May 6, 2010: Episode 20 airs
May 13, 2010: Episode 21 airs
May 20, 2010: Episode 22 airs
May 27, 2010: Episode 23 airs (two-hour season finale)


Note that, because of some calendar dates we want to reference in-story, and the availability of one of the actors we want to use, the episode I'm writing has been moved from #17 to #19.

There probably was no ideal solution to the scheduling issues, and getting fuller information out earlier might have been helpful, but I like the idea very much of us letting our last half of the season unroll like the juggernaut it is without interruptions.

And, besides, if you really need a FlashForward fix over the next three months, you can always read the the novel it's based on. :)
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site
and WakeWatchWonder.com

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8 Comments:

At December 06, 2009 3:38 PM , OpenID 6p00d834523c1e69e2 said...

So when is Watch coming out again?

 
At December 06, 2009 3:42 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

There's been no change in THAT schedule. WATCH, the second WWW book, comes out at the beginning of April, in the US, the UK, and Canada (from Ace, Gollancz, and Viking, respectively). :)

 
At December 06, 2009 9:47 PM , Blogger K. W. Ramsey said...

Love the subtle hint to read the book :)

 
At December 06, 2009 11:29 PM , Blogger brian_l_raney said...

I had original thought you might write the episode to air on your birthday, but producer David S. Goyer had said in an interview that he would trust you instead to write an earlier episode with all this science stuff in it. Now I see the episode you have written will air on April 29th, 2009. will this be the same episode as before, did you need to pull double duty, or does it really matter to the story exactly when these episodes will appear on air?

 
At December 07, 2009 12:29 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

I'm still doing the same episode storywise as before -- it's just fitting into the sequence at a different spot. :)

 
At December 07, 2009 8:21 AM , Blogger TimothyPilgrim said...

Although I dislike the large gaps our favourite TV execs bestow upon us in the middle of a series, if it's going to be delayed, at least there are no interruptions when it finally re-airs. I agree that preemptions would be horrid, and shows that the existing tv model, as it has been for decades, is becoming outmoded. Once the inevitable transition to on-demand content takes place, there will be no set schedule to preempt. The two models will probably coexist for a while though. I'm glad I'll be able to pick up FF again though and watch it on a regular basis.

 
At December 09, 2009 4:04 PM , Blogger K. W. Ramsey said...

Here's some coverage on your comments:

http://www.airlockalpha.com/node/6946

 
At March 20, 2010 10:21 AM , Blogger Mark Rendle said...

I highly recommend reading the book, because - unlike the TV show - it's good.

 

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