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“V” Premiers big, Retooling still ahead

First, if you missed “V” last night, you can now download it as a free video on iTunes. Second, if you did see it, you weren’t alone. Almost 14 million people watched with you. That’s a good sign for ABC which has three successful Sci-Fi shows right now (LOST, FlashForward, and “V”).

The question is can ABC sustain, or even grow, those numbers. There are just three more episodes before the series goes on hiatus until March (to avoid the Winter Olympics and American Idol). During that time, the show will get retooled. This week they added new show runner charged with speeding up the pace of the show.

USA Today talked with Elizabeth Mitchell about the show before last night’s premier.

Mitchell, who plays hero FBI agent Erica Evans, says the resulting changes merely speed the pace of storytelling to pack a bigger wallop, including big cliffhangers in the Nov. 24 episode. Filming on that episode is set to wrap today, giving actors another unexpected 10-week break as the show is retooled. (Mitchell will trek to Hawaii to shoot new Lost episodes.)

“They didn’t do anything different. They heightened it, they took it up,” she says. The changes are meant to recapture the big-event appeal that started V in a different era. “The idea is to make it a movie, something where we are on the edge of our seats, wondering what’s going to happen.”

From what I saw last night, “V” will make sci-fi geeks very happy even as LOST draws to a close.

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