'The Event': Producers promise not to frustrate viewers

nick-wauters-the-event-320.jpgThere was a specter hanging over NBC's press tour panel for "The Event," and it was named "FlashForward."

The late ABC series wasn't mentioned much by name, but that show -- which like "The Event" had a much buzzed-about pilot, but that later foundered creatively and in the ratings -- seemed to be on people's minds. And "The Event's" producers essentially pledged not to keep audiences hanging for too long on any one question.

"We're very cognizant of the audience's patience, of rewarding the audience," executive producer Evan Katz says. "I mean, the show's really designed to answer questions, to satisfy people, to keep them hooked, frankly, but yet keep posing questions. ... And more specifically, for instance, in the second episode we are very clearly answering the two largest open questions in the pilot."

Except, perhaps, what "The Event" actually is. Something pretty big happens in the final moments of the first episode, but it's not the capital-E Event of the show's title. Still, creator Nick Wauters (pictured above) says viewers won't have to wait forever to find out.

"We're basically going to look at everything that leads up to the event, the event itself and what happens after, life afterward," Wauters ("The 4400," "Eureka") tells Zap2it. "The event isn't something people will have to wait too long to see. It could be Season 1 or Season 2 -- that's where our debate is right now."

Wauters says he's worked up a fairly sizable document mapping out major milestones in the series, but he's also left room in for things he and the other writers might discover down the line.

"We have the signposts we want to hit," he says. "We know what the event is. But at the same time, when you start a show, you have a certain number of characters and actors, and stories just unfold that you weren't expecting. We don't want to shortchange the characters or the viewers. ... We have to guide the story where we want it to go, but there's a give and take to let the story sometimes guide you."

The network's commitment to the show also extends to scheduling. NBC Entertainment president Angela Bromstad says she hopes to run a big block of episodes at the start of the season -- up to 10 -- take a relatively short break for the holidays and then come back with another long run in 2011.

"Our goal is to stay in originals as much as possible, and to do it in blocks," she says.

"The Event" is scheduled to premiere Monday, Sept 20 on NBC.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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