FlashForward creator defends long hiatus

News that ABC is pulling its sci-fi series off the air until March riled fans, but there's at least one person who thinks it's a good thing: Robert J. Sawyer, the Canadian SF author whose book is the basis of the show.

Writing on his personal blog, Sawyer said:

A lot of people are spinning this online as a bad thing, or a sign of lack of faith in the show on the part of ABC. I suspect the announcing of the scheduling change could have been handled better, but, in fact, it's a very good thing overall.

Sawyer argued that the delay will allow ABC to run all of the remaining episodes on a weekly basis right up to the finale in May without reruns, preemptions or interruptions.

Robert J. Sawyer (right) with executive producer Brannon Braga and Sawyer's wife on the set of FlashForward's pilot episde

As evidence, he posted the ORIGINAL air schedule for the show, which indeed is full of pre-emptions that would have really been confusing for such an arc-driven series:

As you can see, the new schedule, with the final 14 hours running without preemptions, really lets us get our momentum going in a way that the old schedule just wouldn't have:

THE SCHEDULE AS IT WAS ON NOVEMBER 12:

December 3, 2009: Episode 10 airs
December 10, 2009: Preempted
December 17, 2009: Preempted
December 24, 2009: Preempted
December 31, 2009: Preempted
January 7, 2010: Preempted
January 14, 2010: Episode 11 airs
January 21, 2010: Episode 12 airs
January 28, 2010: Preempted
February 4, 2010: Episode 13 airs
February 11, 2010: Episode 14 airs
February 18, 2010: Episode 15 airs
February 25, 2010: Episode 16 airs
March 4, 2010: Preempted
March 11, 2010: Preempted
March 18, 2011: Episode 17 airs (RJS written)
March 25, 2011: Episode 18 airs
April 1, 2001: Episode 19 airs
April 8, 2010: Preempted
April 15, 2010: Preempted
April 22, 2010; Episode 20 airs
April 29, 2010: Episode 21 airs
May 6, 2010: Episode 22 airs
May 13, 2010: Episode 23 airs (two-hour season finale)

THE SCHEDULE AS IT IS NOW:

December 3, 2009: Episode 10 airs
December 10, 2009: Preempted
December 17, 2009: Preempted
December 24, 2009: Preempted
December 31, 2009: Preempted
January 7, 2010: Preempted
January 14, 2010: Preempted
January 21, 2010: Preempted
January 28, 2010: Preempted
February 4, 2010: Preempted
February 11, 2010: Preempted
February 18, 2010: Preempted
February 25, 2010: Preempted
March 4, 2010: Episode 11 airs
March 11, 2010: Episode 12 airs
March 18, 2011: Episode 13 airs
March 25, 2011: Episode 14 airs
April 1, 2001: Episode 15 airs
April 8, 2010: Episode 16 airs
April 15, 2010: Episode 17 airs
April 22, 2010: Episode 18 airs
April 29, 2010: Episode 19 airs (RJS written)
May 6, 2010: Episode 20 airs
May 13, 2010: Episode 21 airs
May 20, 2010: Episode 22 airs
May 27, 2010: Episode 23 airs (two-hour season finale)

Note that, because of some calendar dates we want to reference in-story, and the availability of one of the actors we want to use, the episode I'm writing has been moved from #17 to #19.

There probably was no ideal solution to the scheduling issues, and getting fuller information out earlier might have been helpful, but I like the idea very much of us letting our last half of the season unroll like the juggernaut it is without interruptions.

What do you think?

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