The original V tv series was a mini-series that first screened in 1983. Created by Kenneth Johnson, who also wrote, directed and produced such TV classics as “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Bionic Woman,” and “Alien Nation.”
V, The Original Mini-Series, was highly successful and spawned a sequel mini-series, and a weekly TV series. During its original screening in 1983, V captured 40 percent of the US’s TV audience. In the following year, the sequel mini-series, V The Final Battle, aired and its ratings beat the Los Angeles Olympics which were being held at the time.
It’s fair to say that V was nothing short of a sensation on the small screen, but as early as pre-production for V The Final Battle, cracks that would ultimately lead to the V franchise’s implosion, were already appearing.
Budget cuts and creative differences led to Kenneth Johnson’s exit from V The Final Battle’s production. Johnson was credited as a creator but demanded that his name was removed and was instead listed as “Lillian Weezer” in the credits. Since then Johnson has never been involved in any other screen iteration of V.
The success of V the Original Mini-Series and V The Final Battle led to a 19 episode V TV series that aired from 1984 to 1985. The series retained much of the original cast but was considerably lower in budget and scope. The series quickly descended into a strange parody of the often tabloided British royal family’s Charles and Diana. Much of the original cast was quickly written out for either budgetary or creative concerns, the budget was slashed even further, and eventually, the show stumbled to a dismal end.
ABC rebooted the franchise in 2010 with a short-lived, two-season V tv series that showed promise but ultimately lacked the original’s vision and premise. Recently there is news that Kenneth Johnson has indeed sold the movie rights to an interested party. That party is the newly revived, “Desilu Studios” which were famously created by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the ’60s. The following is from Kenneth Johnson’s website on the situation regarding V the movie and Desilu studios.
“We are delighted to team up with Desilu to bring the timeless, and timely, story of resistance against tyranny into the 21st Century. V will be the first of a cinematic trilogy which will tell the full epic tale in the manner I always envisioned.”
It’s the classic, heart-warming story of a multi-millionaire buying a movie studio. So, as strange as it may seem, the studio that brought us I Love Lucy, may now bring us a brand new V movie trilogy.
So, in this episode, we explain how and why we are going to look back on V’s past and its future. What kind of turn would a new V movie, or trilogy of movies, take? Will it even be made? The V movie pitch actually has quite a history. We’ll dive deeper into these questions in the following episode.