I'm a sucker for sci-fi television. I won't watch anything, mind you, but I'm almost guaranteed to watch at least the first half of the first season of anything involving aliens, the end of the world, time travel, the supernatural, or government conspiracies. That's why I was incredibly excited when NBC announced that they had commissioned a pilot for a series called Day One that tracked the lives of apartment dwellers following some kind of apocalyptic event. I got even more excited when NBC liked the pilot enough to pony up and give it a full season.
But the network, which has been lacking any real sci-fi since they foolishly canceled the excellent Journeyman, had a change of heart and the hypothetical thirteen episode season became a hypothetical four-episode miniseries. And now SCI FI Wire tells us Day One has just been cut down once again into a single TV movie. Turns out the network looked at the initial success of V and FlashForward at ABC followed by the progressive decrease in return ratings and decided that Day One didn't have the mythology to sustain even what those shows were doing. Ouch.
So instead of giving it a shot in the dark, they've simply re-purposed the two-hour pilot as a two-hour movie. It should give promise as to where the show would have gone had it gone to series, but it'll also be self-contained enough to function as a movie. Of course, should the Day One movie be a hit, NBC may yet put it to series; but considering they haven't even chosen an air date yet, don't be surprised if they dump it on a Saturday night in the summer with little promotion.
Check after the break for a glimpse of what's got NBC so timid. As much as I would have loved to have a new show to watch, judging from this trailer, all of these cutbacks may be for the best.