Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The question of whether the audience will return to NBC‘s apocalyptic first-year sci-fi drama Revolution when it comes back on March 25 from a four-month layoff took center stage during the series’ TCA morning session. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt earlier this morning expressed confidence that the absence of new episodes since November 26 wouldn’t hurt the show. In fact exec producers J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke maintained that they welcomed the break to avoid diluting viewers’ attention with reruns and give them uninterrupted fresh product for nine consecutive weeks upon Revolution‘s return. “When we were doing Lost, that (kind of scheduling) helped us enormously,” Abrams said. “So when the idea came up for Revolution I was really relieved. I thought, and still think, that it will get us to a place where it will be the best possible way for the viewer to watch the show.” Kripke agreed, pointing out that this kind of broadcast plan already seems to work pretty well as a model for cable originals. “It also supplied us a natural break point between the season’s first half and second half,” he said, “and the second half sort of lives as its own continuous piece.”
Having so much time off also allowed the production team to “really take a breath, look at what we’d done, really analyze it, and make adjustments,” Kripke added. “Usually, you’re in such triage from beginning to end.” Having the luxury to step back and assess the first half without having to scramble to shoot the season’s second half also afforded the Revolution team the time to assess some of the show’s weaknesses. “We learned that we did a lot of things right,” Kripke said, “but we also saw that we could pick up the pace of the stunning revelations. Maybe the pace of the shocking surprises was a little too slow during the first half.” Kripke also came to view the show through a classic television prism this morning, dubbing it “The Waltons with swords.” You can watch a 2nd season preview below: