UPDATE, 12 PM: After considering different scenarios, NBC has opted not to double pump Revolution following the pre-emption of last night’s episode for a news special on the Boston bombings. Since the series had been slated for an originals-only run, the second-season finale, previously scheduled for May 27, will now air a week later, on Monday, June 3rd.
PREVIOUS, MONDAY PM: NBC is the only broadcast network to pre-empt its regular primetime lineup tonight for coverage of today’s deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Brian Williams-anchored news special at 10 PM replaces an original episode of NBC’s freshman drama Revolution, which will now air next Monday. In addition to NBC News team’s desire to offer up-to-the-minute coverage of today’s events in NBC’s primetime on top of doing a wall-to-wall primetime coverage of the bombings on cable sibling MSNBC, I hear also influencing the pre-emption decision was the fact that the plot of tonight’s Revolution episode revolves around efforts to locate a nuclear bomb, a storyline deemed not appropriate in light of the Boston tragedy.
The pre-emption has serious repercussions for Revolution, sending NBC’s scheduling team scrambling for solutions. The problem is that, because of the drama’s late return to the schedule to coincide with the spring cycle of The Voice, Revolution was slated to air all 10 remaining new episodes with no interruption. Even before the pre-emption, the series was scheduled to run past the end of the season, with a season finale on May 27, five days past the end of the 2012-13 TV season. Tonight’s pre-emption would push the season finale even further into the summer, to June 3, something the broadcast networks are reluctant to do with high-end scripted series. Which opens up the other scenario — of double pumping Revolution with two originals in one week and keep the May 27 finale date. NBC is expected to make a decision which way to go by tomorrow. Either way, a disruption in the run of a serialized drama always has a detrimental effect.