ABC is delaying the return of new episodes of its sci-fi series FlashForward by two weeks: It now returns March 18 in its Thursday 8 p.m. ET/PT timeslot rather than the original March 4.
The network gave no reason for the delay, other than to say it would allow the show to air weekly for the rest of the first season without repeats or pre-emptions (and, we presume, to take it out of the path of American Idol on Fox). Of course, according to a schedule posted by Robert J. Sawyer, author of the book on which the show is based, the show was already scheduled to run without pre-emptions before the change. Does this mean ABC is actually cutting two of the new episodes?
Also, the show has been building up to a big revelation on April 29, the day of the characters' flash-forwards; it's unclear whether this delay means the episode slated for that day will remain on that date or not. It's also unclear what this does to the season finale or when it will air. (The two-hour season finale was originally scheduled to air on May 27.)
As we reported earlier, the show has already seen its schedule cut, then shifted as its ratings fell. It was put on hiatus in early December, in part to allow the writers to regroup with the departure of original show runner Marc Guggenheim.
We'll have some answers for you soon!
Below is the full text of ABC's news release today.
January 8, 2010
"FLASHFORWARD" TO RETURN TO THE ABC SCHEDULE MARCH 18, 2010
Return Date Allows Viewers to Experience the Show
Without Repeats Through the End of the Season
ABC's critically-acclaimed hit drama, "FlashForward," will return to the schedule on Thursday, March 18, 2010. This will allow the Network to air the show with original episodes through the end of the season, and viewers can experience this exciting drama week to week with no repeats or pre-emptions. The series will air on Thursday nights from 8:00- 9:00 p.m., ET.
"FlashForward" stars Joseph Fiennes as Mark Benford, John Cho as Demetri Noh, Jack Davenport as Lloyd Simcoe, Zachary Knighton as Bryce Varley, Peyton List as Nicole Kirby, Dominic Monaghan as Simon, Brían F. O'Byrne as Aaron Stark, Courtney B. Vance as Stanford Wedeck, Sonya Walger as Olivia Benford and Christine Woods as Janis Hawk.
David S. Goyer, Brannon Braga and Jessika Borsiczky are executive producers. "FlashForward" is from ABC Studios.