The JJ Abrams show Revolution was the big surprise hit of last year, and its ratings have stayed steady since it debuted last September.
Surprisingly, the show’s going to be on hiatus until March 25, which isn’t forever, but it is quite a chunk of time to be away from the airwaves.
Since Revolution left the air at the end of November, Robert Greenblatt, the chief of NBC, told TVLine, “The first episode back is a big episode that completely turns the story in a really significant way. It kind of sends the second half of the season off on a new trajectory.” Greenblatt added that one reason NBC wanted to keep Revolution off the air a bit was they wanted to bring it back with a strong lead in show.
Greenblatt was concerned about ratings going down while the show is on hiatus, “But we knew that going in,” he said. “So to start out this strong [in the fall] feels like a big accomplishment. We’re going to stay the course and do our best, and once we get into March I think we’ll be back in the game in a big way.”
Yet there’s also going to be a little something extra to help bridge the gap until Revolution returns. Yes, there is a six-part, animated webisodes planned, with one installment a week posted on NBC.com, Hulu, YouTube and various VOD services.
You can also download a special edition of the pilot online with commentary from the shows co-creator Eric Kripke and Jon Favreau, the first episode’s director. NBC will also post the first ten episodes of the show online on February 25, a month before Revolution comes back on the air.
This isn’t exactly a new concept. In fact, there’s already a Star Trek graphic novel preview to keep fans satisfied until the next movie hits theaters in May, and Pacific Rim will also have a preview graphic novel that will take you into the world and folklore of the story before you see it in July.
You may also recall The Star Wars Holiday Special was supposed to keep fans satisfied until Empire hit theaters. (It certainly didn’t, but the fans forgave it, and it certainly didn’t hurt Empire at the box office).
Animated webisodes seem like a fairly smart idea to help fill in the gaps until Revolution comes back, but we don’t think the show’s fan base will forget about it while its gone.