The JJ Abrams' 'Revolution' Will Be Televised, But for How Long?

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

September 16th, 2012

Revolution premieres Monday night at 10pm. While it's always true that the premieres don't say much about a show's future prospects, it's even more true with Revolution since its premiere  will have the benefit of premiering in a week where there's no original scripted 10pm competition on ABC and CBS. That will change the next week.

Several have suggested that Revolution will be our next Fringe or Chuck. We'll be delighted if that turns out to be the case but the odds are against it. Most new shows don't go on to get 5 seasons. For several reasons I think the better comparable is probably Terra Nova with the exception that I could definitely see Revolution lasting a full season like, say, The Event rather than only the 12 episodes Terra Nova lasted.

The good news for fans of the show is it's on NBC where starting out OK and then merely muddling along might be good enough for renewal.

  • Ken

    I see two different problems here:

    1) They sold the series on the final twist of the pilot, ruining the episode and possibly doing a bit of false advertising.

    2) The more interesting story to me would be the immediate aftermath of losing electricity, the struggle to cope with that, and then discovering the conspiracy to take it all way. Knowing much of humanity was able to adapt in just 15 years, even if our society is totally different, turns this into a very different kind of story, one more family-oriented and almost alternate-universe-like, a story where the final conspiracy-oriented twist doesn’t sound as interesting or even as necessary.

    I’ll give the show a shot, but I think it has the potential, like The New Normal, to disappoint early on (TNN was not as funny as you’d expect in a sitcom and too reliant on building stereotypes into its otherwise high-concept show) and will thus have weaker-than-expected ratings. What it does in the subsequent episodes will tell us if it can last.

  • DTravel

    From what I’m hearing (I haven’t seen the pilot yet myself) it has plot holes big enough to helicopter a 767 thru.

  • iggy

    For the record, The Event‘s premiere rated 3.6 in the demo.

  • Robert Seidman

    @Julia: for what it’s worth the writers claim (at least according to the NYT) that they aren’t winging it and have already crafted the reason why electricity went away, including running it through the Big Bang Theory’s science adviser for a plausibility test.

  • Dan C.

    The pilot was good, so I am expecting this to go well. But, I’m going to remain on my guard. We all know how The Event went on NBC, right?

    But, if it doesn’t go that way, we could be looking at an adventure that any viewer would like to take, in a scenario anyone would like to explore (if they are interested, of course).

  • Mike

    I love SyFy shows , but Terra Nova, Flashforward, The Event, Falling Skies….all those pilots were big disappointments for me. Instead I loved the Revolution pilot , I think the plot was really good and I enjoyed the main characters.
    I think it will premiere around a 3.5 or even higher because of the buzz and the lead in. And I hope later to be able to keep a 2.6/2.7 demo. Those numbers would be a modest result for CBS. But for NBC it would be a winner.
    SyFy shows are difficult to sell, a lot of them tank, but if they make it, they can make it be big as Lost or The Walking Dead.
    Hope this works for NBC.

  • a p garcia

    I saw the Pilot on Hulu. My opinion is that it has potential to last a long time. THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT NEEDS CREATIVE WRITERS. Even a bad CME or a EMP will not infect military computers and supporting hardware, batteries will also be uneffected.

  • Josh

    I’m interested in the 1st episode of Revolution but not sure I am going to be interested in the rest of the story… seems like a lot of fighting and not really a story, in the previews, which is not my thing.

    If it has a decent story with it (other than the power going out, etc.), then maybe it has a shot on my DVR and maybe I will keep watching.

    Thinking about a 3.3 rating or so for the premiere…

  • CrimTV

    I really really really hope this succeeds! Pleaaassseee!!!

  • KS

    @a p garcia

    I remember Kripke made it clear in an interview that Solar storm or an EMP pulse is not the reason for black out. It is not just one event but a series of events that led to this.

    My biggest doubt is, even our Heart, brain and neurons require electromagnetic energy to function. I wonder how this show is gonna explain this selective black out.

    And I wouldn’t call Black out an apocalyptic event.

  • Ricky

    @MattM: Agreed. If Abrams, Kripke, and Favreau put together can’t hook a person, that person is either an anti-sci-fi highbrow, or someone without enough patience or attention span to think about overarching TV mythologies.

    My guess: Low to mid-3’s. Anything higher would be way too optimistic, particularly for a 10pm show. But hopefully its ratings will stay steady and not plunge to unsustainable levels like Alcatraz did. And lest we forget, Kripke wrangled the CW into going along with his five-year plan on SPN. I really hope he can do the same sort of thing with RVN. Just so long as the audience learns more of the central mystery every season until it ends…

    ***9.17.12*** (can’t believe that tomorrow it’ll finally be here! :D )

  • ragincajun

    I didn’t care for it. It will get two more episodes, but if it doesn’t improve DRAMATICALLY, there is no way in hell that it is getting a season pass.

  • scifi

    Hate such posts.

  • Spencer

    I’m not even going to watch it unless I know it’s getting a second season. I loved both the event and terra nova, and both got cancelled with a cliffhanger ending….so I’m not wasting my time AGAIN unless it’s actually going to follow through with the story.

  • a p garcia

    When they explain why the electricity went out, and why it didn’t affect the electricity generated by humans and other living things and passes the Physics rules then it will be a good programn to watch!

  • tsterling

    I’m on the fence with this show. I watched the pilot with high expectations, probably a mistake (I should have learned with Alcatraz), but I’m a fan of the creators. There are definitely elements of the show that are interesting that I’d like to know more about, but based on the pilot, if it were cancelled, I wouldn’t miss it. I’m probably going to end up watching every episode that airs… like Alcatraz.

    I would like to note I saw Abrams talk about the show on Fallon on Friday. There will be episodes that have flashbacks to recently after the blackout… which is something I find a bit more interesting than the 15 yrs later. So I have that to look forward to.

    If this doesn’t make it, maybe SyFy can save it (if it’s worth saving at all)? Just a thought.

  • Amanda

    I liked the pilot. This show has a great cast and premise.

    2 issues I have:

    1) The Lead actress playing, Charlie. Not that great of an actress. I hope she improves after the pilot.

    2) I hope Uncle Miles aka Billy Burke has more than a supporting role, b/c I like his character the most.

  • Fourat

    I watched the pilot i think it’s pretty good but i hope all the rest of episodes like the first one ,
    Some shows gets stupide after the pilot like alcatraz and touch .

  • johncarter

    20m for premiere

  • Oliver

    I expect it to premiere high, above 3.0. It has a good timeslot and NBC has given it very heavy promotion. Whether it flames out fast depends on the creative direction of future episodes.

    I don’t understand all the criticism of its premise. No-one calls out The Walking Dead for having unrealistic biology.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures