Move is likely a cost-cutting measure

NBC is cutting its order on midseason sci-fi thriller “Day One,” opting to air the show as a four-hour event movie instead.

“Day One” will still bow following the net’s coverage of the Winter Olympics but will no longer run as a 13-episode series, as originally planned.

Move is likely a cost-cutting measure, as NBC will be able to judge the performance of the “Day One” mini before deciding whether to proceed with a series.

Indeed, Peacock execs said “Day One” could still morph into a series for next season should the event perform well. Network compares the strategy to how sister cabler Sci Fi (now Syfy) launched “Battlestar Galactica,” which was revived as a three-hour project before being redeveloped into a new series.

Move comes just days after ABC opted to launch its own sci-fi thriller, “V,” as a four-hour event in November. But unlike with “Day One,” the Alphabet hasn’t cut “V’s” order and still plans to air nine more segs in midseason.

Peacock execs said they’ve always looked at “Day One” as more of an event, hence the decision to launch it out of the post-Olympics fanfare.

Two hours of “Day One” have already been shot. Creator and exec producer Jesse Alexander is now prepping the second two hours to wrap up some storylines, while leaving a few loose threads open for a potential series.

“I’ve been in discussions with the network for some time about the best way to launch what I truly feel is an awesome television program,” Alexander said.

Scribe added that he felt the post-Olympics slot would give the show “all the promotional power it needs for great success.”

NBC is still mulling how to schedule the four-hour event — but it’s likely to be broken up into two two-hour segments airing the same week. The Vancouver Winter Olympics conclude on Sunday, Feb. 28, so conceivably part one of the “Day One” mini could air the next night, March 1.

Peacock will probably not want to run part one of “Day One” on the following Sunday, March 7, as that’s Oscar night on rival ABC.

Alex Graves directed the “Day One” pilot. Drama revolves around the aftermath of a global catastrophe and how the residents of one apartment building in Van Nuys band together to survive and figure out what happened.

“Day One” stars Adam Campbell, Catherine Dent, Julie Gonzalo, David Lyons, Derek Mio, Carly Pope, Thekla Reuten and Addison Timlin. Universal Media Studios produces.

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