New footage from the upcoming second season of ABC's V reboot debuted at New York Comic Con over the weekend—but more importantly, executive producer Steve Pearlman shared how they're going to get more desperately needed eyes back on the show.
While the revamped pilot debuted to great numbers last November, the show's first season got split in half and the spring run of episodes averaged 4 million fewer viewers. Pearlman told Blastr that reversing that trend was priority one for their creative team.
"We want to make the show louder, bolder and faster," he said. "We want to give the audience some new iconic images that they didn't get the first season or in the original series."
Because of the six-month gap between the season finale and the start of season two, Pearlman said the new season hits hard.
"Our feeling is we need to come out of the starting gate really strong. The DVD set is going to be out the first week of November, so the timing of that is really great. But in terms of the show itself, we spent a lot of time back in May and June laying out the new season and how we were going to grab people. The two things we came away with that are most representative of the direction of the new season is, one, in the first season we started off in the pilot and most of our characters were not connected.
"We had a newscaster, a priest and an FBI agent. It was a challenge to get all of our characters into stories together. By the end of the season, we had moved the characters strategically so we could legitimately get them into scenes together and you wouldn't go 'Why are they in a scene together?'
"We got Chad [Scott Wolf] to the point where he was talking regularly to Father Jack [Joel Gretsch]. We got Ryan [Morris Chestnut] to a point where he was liaising with Erica [Elizabeth Mitchell]. We had strategically moved our characters into a position where we can tell stories with them all in a room. That took the better part of the first season to do that because you can't just jump that; you have to get there. Going into the second season it's making it easier to find stories."
He continued, "The other thing we found looking over the first season was we needed one story in an episode that each of our characters could bounce off of. For example, the last two episodes of the season involved all of our characters in different ways. The second-to-last episode Lisa [Laura Vandervoort] was injured and Anna [Morena Baccarin] and Erica came together dealing with her injury and had Chad reporting on it. Stories like that are more indicative of where we are going this year. For example, in the episode we shot last week, Anna is throwing a big gala in New York City and each of our characters is bouncing off that gala in some form or another."
And then there's Jayne Badler.
As reported before, the actress who originated the role of the lizard queen is coming back to the mythology as Diana, Anna's mother. Pearlman revealed that the fans were really the arbiters of that decision.
"We didn't set out to bring Jane Badler to the show," he said. "We set out to introduce Anna's mother. The goal was to cast the best actor for the role. There was always the intrigue of 'What if it was Jane Badler?', and I think the fans certainly spoke very loudly and clearly, and we got the message from that. But we had a lot of actresses interested in the role. We had a lot of people come and read for it, and Jayne won the part. It's not the same character that she played in the original series, but there are opportunities to play tribute to the original, like the fact that she wears a red dress."
Badler's Diana will also add a new dimension to the show's mother-vs.-daughters theme that is central to its core. "Anna represents aliens, and Erica represents humanity and mankind. The addition of Jayne at this point for the season has played only with Anna. But what that's allowed us to do is to be able to play mother/daughter. And we're also playing mother/daughter on various levels, like the one between Erica and Lisa, which we saw the beginnings of last season. Seeing Anna and her mother and playing off how they are similar and different has been a real fun area for us to go to in the storytelling."