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article imageJason Ritter & Sarah Roemer reveal truth behind The Event hiatus Special

By Earl Dittman     Nov 28, 2010 in Entertainment
Actors Jason Ritter + Sarah Roemer, the inseparable soul mates at the core of The Event – an intense sci-fi, conspiracy TV series reminiscent of Lost & 24 – explain the reasoning for a mid-season finale and what will happen when it returns in February
If you have been suffering cerebral withdraw pangs ever since watching the final episodes of 24, Lost and Heroes, last year, your painful mental jonesing could have needlessly been avoided by viewing a single Monday night episode of The Event. In an instant, all of your X-Files inspired desires for top-notch science fiction-influenced television would have been fulfilled in a heartbeat.
But, for those of you who haven't caught an episode of the series (which, sadly enough, seems to be an inordinate amount of viewers according to its low ratings), The Event is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), an everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancée, Leila (Sarah Roemer), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. Sean's quest sends ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood); Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes), who is the leader of a mysterious group of possible extraterrestrial detainees; and Leila’s shadowy father (Scott Patterson). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.
Jason Ritter as Sean Walker in The Event
Jason Ritter as Sean Walker in The Event
NBC
While The Event was in real danger of being canceled just weeks ago, NBC, the network behind the series, made a surprising commitment to keep the show -- promising to keep it up and running by ordering the rest of season's hour-long installments. With the Monday, November 29th episode marking the end of the first half of the Season One, The Event is slated to return on February 28, with 12 consecutive new episodes (including one episode that will allow viewers to catch-up on all the action, conspiracies and plot twists that occurred before the November 29 Mid-Season finale.). Most importantly, the three-month hiatus will allow The Event to avoid going against such ratings-draining competition such as Monday Night Football and it will give the series' writers a chance to fine tune some of the more murkier aspects of the various story-lines.
Jason Ritter, best known for his stints on Joan Of Arcadia and The Class and appearances in a slew of indie and art house films such as Happy Endings, Mumford, Raise Your Voice and A Dry Land, considers The Event mini-vacation a real chance for it to garner a whole new group of fans who didn't give the show a fair shake at the beginning of the season – particularly when they discovered there were aliens in the midst. “I feel like a lot of people, in general, will make sort of snap judgments, and I think that happened to our show," he says. "One of the things that we promised is that we were going to give answers right away. And so by the second episode, we said that some of these people are not of terrestrial origin. Immediately, a bunch of people went, 'Oh aliens, I knew it. I'm tuning out,' without really examining how complicated that aspect can be. In The Event, they're not your typical aliens. I mean, there are lots of theories as to who they are. I mean, one of my favorite theories that I've heard out there is that they in fact are from Earth but from a different time or in a different parallel.
Sarah Roemer as Leila Buchanan
Sarah Roemer as Leila Buchanan
NBC
“So, when someone makes a judgment on a show with sort of a broad stroke, it's frustrating because it has been excelling in the subtleties of all of these things and the gray area of 'Are these people different from us?'” admits Ritter, who, as Sean Walker on The Event, is willing to die for Leila. ”I just think that there are a lot of subtleties that were glossed over by some of the people who were turned off to it early on. And I would hope that if they tune back in they would get really sucked into some of the more complicated elements of the show.”
Sarah Roemer, who portrayed Shia LeBeouf's love interest in Disturbia, also feels the lengthy hiatus will give the cast and crew a chance to win back some of the potential fans they might have lost. “I think in the beginning, in the very beginning, the narrative was moving around a lot, which I think confused a lot of people,” explains Roemer, who portrays Leila Buchanan, Sean Walker's would-be fiancée who suddenly disappears during a Caribbean cruise and becomes involved in the complex government conspiracy. “But there was so much they were trying to cover to catch people up to speed on what was happening. So it just showed how many different puzzle pieces to this massive puzzle there are. I think now, by this point, like they've been able to go so much deeper and do all of the different story-lines and explain who's who and what part people have to do in the grand scheme of things.
“So, I feel, you know, there's less jumping around and less of the flashbacks having to explain everything that's going on,” admits Roemer, who recently wrapped filming on The Love Child opposite Donald Sutherland and Rebecca Romijn. “I mean, it still does it but not to the extent it did, which I think threw some people, as far as trying to keep track of what was going on. But I think they've done an excellent job of explaining very quickly what's going on. I mean, it still leaves questions but that's the whole fun part of the show.”
Jason Ritter and Sarah Roemer in The Event
Jason Ritter and Sarah Roemer in The Event
NBC
While loyal fans of The Event may find the three months nearly unbearable, Ritter thinks it's a move that will benefit the series and give The Event better-than-average chances of returning for a second season next fall. “I feel like it's a necessary break, especially for the writers and for NBC to be able to air the final 12 episodes of the Season One, all in a row," he confesses. "So it's sort of that thing where it's a longer wait, but the payoff will be all the better for it. It's great for us, because they're going to do a whole re-launching. Obviously, it's something that they thought a lot about and they know that it's a dangerous time for shows like this. I knew that they were deciding whether or not to take shorter, multiple breaks, but they decided to just go for one big one to really give the audience what they wanted once we started back up. So once we start back up, there's no stopping us until the very end. We got to watch these first ten all in a row and that was really great. You know, I got into a rhythm where all my friends would come over and we'd all watch it together. So, I'll miss it while it's gone but once February 28 rolls around, my group will be back together until the end of the season.”
You can also count on Roemer to be sitting pretty right in front of her big screen on February 28, waiting to see where The Event will be taking her next. ”We never get the entire script, we just get our parts and our lines, so we don't know what's happening with everyone else – I never really know what to expect,” the former model-turned-actress admits. “Since Jason was always supposed to be looking for me, I thought we would probably be apart for the whole season, but we weren't. So, it is nice to kind of be surprised episode-to-episode with what's to come and what's coming up soon. It's got me even more curious as to what's going to happen in the first few episodes in February. I heard that they are really big, huge things that will be happening, which I want to talk about, but I can't. I've really enjoyed doing and watching the show up to this point and how everything is been unfolding and knowing a little bit where it's going. I can't wait. I can't wait to get started on the second half. Like Jason said, I think the wait is going to be well worth it.”
Laura Innes  Jason Ritter  Blair Underwood and other members of the cast of The Event
Laura Innes, Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood and other members of the cast of The Event
NBC
The Event – Mid-Season Finale airs on NBC, Monday, November 29, 2010 (9:00pm-10:00p.m.EST, 8:00p.m.-9:00p.m.CST) Check local listings.
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