When we first heard about the new series “Believe,” along with the fact that it had J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron (one of our favorite directors even before “Gravity”) are around as executive producers, we were immediately excited that this could be the sort of high-concept series that NBC really needs now after trying so hard with “Revolution” and “The Event.” The premise of a young girl with powers that could save the world is at least interesting, and the network is showing a good bit of belief (pun intended) in it by hoping to launch it using the Winter Olympics.
But, there are some behind-the-scenes issues that continue to have us questioning whether or not this is a show that is going to get off the ground successfully. For the second time in the past year, we have a report (per Deadline) of a change in showrunner. Co-creator and the original guy running the show in Mark Friedman left in July, and now we have the news that his replacement Dave Erickson is also going to be saying goodbye to the show. Co-executive producer / director Jonas Pate (who directed the second episode after Cuaron took the pilot) has been appointed Executive Producer and showrunner.
Even in spite of all of the creative strife (which is never a good thing for a new show), we are still going to hold out hope that this is a project that can come together given the names of the people involved. Also, we’ve seen some Abrams series before undergo some major creative changes to still turn out well in the end. “Fringe” became worlds better after some of the changes that it made going into its second season, for example.
Still, this is going to be one of those shows that we’re going to watch more intensely thanks to all the news floating around it, and we’ll be interested in seeing whether or not the premise or Cuaron / Abrams’ names will be the primary selling point. There is no premiere date for “Believe” yet, but we will probably have one in the new year.