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The Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour is the biannual event during which broadcast networks and cable channels present their upcoming programs to United States and Canadian journalists who cover television programming. The January event started last Friday and is slated to feature a number of returning shows (not only new ones) like NBC’s Revolution. The series’ panel made news in more ways than one and included executive producers J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke.
Reacting to journalists who expressed their concerns over the series’ 4-month hiatus, all three men maintained they welcomed the break and didn’t think it would hurt the ratings. “When we were doing Lost, that (kind of scheduling) helped us enormously,” Abrams said, “so when the idea came up for Revolution I was really relieved. I thought, and still think, that it will get us to a place where it will be the best possible way for the viewer to watch the show.” The hiatus allows NBC to keep pairing Revolution with the network’s breakout talent show The Voice, which means the post-apocalyptic series will essentially have a second block of uninterrupted programming.
The panel also discussed how the break allows the show to improve itself by assessing what was done wrong and what was done right (if there is such a thing), but the hidden gem during the panel interview was a question to J.J. Abrams completely unrelated to Revolution. Abrams arranged a private screening of an early cut of upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness for Daniel Craft, a terminally ill Star Trek fan, whose dying wish was to have a glimpse of the movie that will only hit the theaters in May, too late for him. Two days after the screening the 41-year-old died, asked about the gesture during the interview, Abrams (who never seeked publicity for it) looked uncomfortable. Deadline Hollywood reports that the Star Trek director said the subject was sensitive, but he added that he found the wish “unbelievably touching.” After a year that ended in the U.S. with a horrific mass shooting and another political circus, it is refreshing to start 2013 with a news like this.