'The Event' scoop: Blair Underwood talks about new characters, end to those 'confusing' flashbacks

event-underwood-bartImage Credit: Joseph Viles/NBC; Craig Sjodin/ABC/Getty ImagesDon’t worry, fans of NBC’s The Event: The cast and crew have been working hard to make sure you’ll be able to follow the drama once it returns to NBC on Feb. 28. In fact, series star Blair Underwood (President Elias Martinez) told EW exclusively that the show is revamping the way it tells the heavily-serialized story about a strange group of detainees who may (or may not be) from this world. “We had been jumping around a lot and doing flashbacks and that was confusing to people,” he told EW. “So when we come back, that device is done with! We are now telling the story straight through so people can track it and follow it easier.” Great news! 

Here’s some more: Roger Bart (Desperate Housewives) is joining the cast as the White House Chief of Staff, along with Virginia Madsen, who’ll play the widow of a U.S. senator from Alaska who assumes her husband’s post. “We have some great stuff planned and have revamped a few things,” Underwood said. “I do know the general plan of where it is headed by season finale time. The first 10 episodes was all about setting the stage and now we can tell the story. People have the background they need. We know the others are coming and they are going to have some effect on the ones who have been living among us. You know, the other others, without a tail, that aren’t reptilian.”

Underwood is talking, of course, about the unwanted visitors who appear on ABC’s V. “I guess that reptilian thing is working for them but I like that our aliens look like us and are maybe like us, mostly,” Underwood says, smiling. Like the low-rated V, however, The Event had a tough time maintaining a decent audience in the fall. (It averaged 8.9 million after 10 telecasts while V is hovering around 6 million). “I am proud of our show and I think it is a good show but I know we are living in a time where people multi-task while watching and our show takes commitment and that will be our struggle,” Underwood said. “We want to make it easier for people to watch without losing quality.” – With additional reporting from Carrie Bell

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  • Carlos

    I started out watching the NBC, but it became stupid and boring. I predict, “The Event” will get canceled.

    I hope NBC will bring back “Chase” about U.S. Marshalls.

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    • Barry

      Chase IS back at 9 PM on Wed nights.

  • Carlos

    Correction:

    I started out watching this NBC series, but it became stupid and boring. It too will be canceled like Undercovers. I did enjoy watching Undercovers. Both male and female black characters were gorgeous and articulate.

    • ugly nikki

      who describes black people as articulate and attractive like its some kind of anomaly? Almost all actors are attractive on TV and the show is scripted so even if they were illiterate, their characters, who were only black by skin color and not by character history or development, would appear to be how ever they were written to be. and, the show sucked!

    • Strepsi

      I think Undercovers was underrated, but it’s weird to point out as if it’s special that the characters were black, gorgeous and articulate, underneath an interview with BLAIR UNDERWOOD, who is black, gorgeous and articulate.

  • Ryan

    On the fence. I enjoy the alien stuff, and the White House stuff, but not the Sean and his girlfriend parts.

    As for the flashbacks, I’d like a few here and there, but there’s a big one missing that bugs me. We never saw how Sean went from being chased by security on the cruise ship, to getting off it and posing as an airline worker, and getting on that plane. That has not been explained.

    • jules

      I like the Sean and his girlfriend stuff and I don’t mind the flashbacks, especially those involving the others, as it explains a little bit of what is going on.

    • Seriously

      I HATE that couple. The girl annoys me so much and I can’t stand how they will go from running for their lives and then decide to stop on the sidewalk and proclaim their love to each other and kiss a bit. Get the F out of there!

    • joesmom

      Laila needs to disappear again. Show is much better with out her whining all the time.

      • John

        The original post describes a MAJOR hole in the story that really bothers me too. I like the show in general, but has had some writing miscues (like the DNA test on the suspected alien being replaced, I mean c’mon! That would have had WAAAAY more security).

  • Em

    I hope they can fix The Event. I liked it at first, but just got tired of all the stringing along.

    • Katie

      I agree. I really like the actors/actresses. I am so hoping that this show gets fixed.

  • Doubt it

    A little confused….

    Like the low-rated V, however, The Event had a tough time maintaining a decent audience in the fall. (It averaged 8.9 million after 10 telecasts while V is hovering around 6 million).

    I haven’t been to school in a while, but isn’t 8.6 million more than 6 million.

    • saad

      8.6 million IS more than 6 million.

      But 8.6 million still isn’t that great according to NBC’s standards.

  • Peter Vee

    Hey, here’s an idea – make characters that are consistent from ep to ep, plots that don’t reset themselves inexplicably the following week, and clean out the horrible, awful cliches, and voila! You’ll have a half-decent show.

  • saad

    For all of its problems, The Event still has something that’s appealing to me. I guess I just like how, like Underwood commented, it doesn’t feel like a cheesy sci-fi show that only nerds would enjoy. The Event really does stand out as a Lost/24 hybrid that works on both the science fiction and thriller levels.

    They’ve been trying to shove the sci-fi down our throats, but if they just stick with the thriller and dabble in a little sci-fi I think the show would be much better.

    I’ll be watching when it comes back.

    • jules

      I didn’t like how they promoted this show as a replacement for LOST and 24. I don’t think either of those shows can be replaced, although if I had to choose, I would say this is more like 24 than it is LOST. It always promises answers, as opposed to LOST but I didn’t mind LOST stringing us along until the end.

  • Amber

    I also bailed on the Event. I watched it with my brother, and missed an ep for some reason. That became three, and I don’t miss it at all.

  • JC

    I’ll give it another few episodes but if by mid-late March it’s still pretty bad, I’m done.

  • Jason

    Were the flashbacks really confusing people? They didn’t lose me at all…

    • Fincher

      Of course it confused people. People are dumb.

      • Spelia

        Haha. This is the truth. Really what are people confused about?

    • jules

      Me neither.

    • Anna

      Yeah I really don’t understand why people aren’t getting that.

  • Piper

    Flashbacks actually gave us character development. Which made me care for the characters. Now what?

  • Strepsi

    I hate that the aliens are just like us — EVERY TV sci fi show has had alients that look just like us… because it’s CHEAPER. Please give me a sci-fi show with purple people with wings and one eye, something!

    That said, the Event is pretty good. But it needs to ratchet up the tension a LOT if it wants to be an Event.

    • zack

      District 9

    • TLZ

      That would be Farscape.

  • Justin

    I don’t really get why people think flashbacks are confusing. How stupid of a viewer does one have to be. If a show sucks, it sucks regardless of whether or not flashbacks are involved.

    That said. I like this show and am looking forward to its return.

  • Deb

    Personally I enjoy the show, I’m not sure the implication that I’m too thick to follow a story with flashbacks is appreciated !
    The one and only problem I have is with Sean’s girlfriend, possibly some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen ! Eye-rolingly bad.

  • lishka9

    I liked the series but felt the “human” women were painfully weak. I really loved the White House intrigue and alien intrigue but couldn’t care less about the young couple. I am hoping for more cat and mouse between the aliens and the government. I had no problem with the flashbacks for the aliens but could care less how the two young wannabe hotties met.

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