Hype Ends, “The Event” Begins Tonight

New series touted as a cross between "Lost" and "24"

It's being described  as a cross between "Lost" and "24," which means tonight's premiere of "The Event" should more than live up to its name.

The highly anticipated NBC series stars Jason Ritter as Sean Walker, who stumbles upon the gargantuan coverup that gives the show its name while investigating the disappearance of Leila, his girlfriend of seven years. Leila (Sarah Roemer), goes missing while on a cruise, and her vanishing is somehow tied in to the murky, but frightening conspiracy. Shady government intrigue, a kidnapping and an assassination attempt are early plotlines that should help adrenaline junkies get over the end of the two aforementioned series. The pilot ends with a shocking moment that portends some science-fiction elements.

In a thinly veiled swipe at "Lost," which may have had its own writers only slightly less confused than its loyal following, "The Event" executive producer Evan Katz, who also oversaw "24," promised to keep viewers guessing "the fair way."

"Everything is designed to answer questions so you're not frustrated or feeling like we're making it up as we go along," Katz said.

The show was one of four new series screened at San Diego Comic-Con in July, and viewers seemed to love it.

"If the crowd reaction was any indication, THIS is the must-see series of the fall," wrote tvsquad.com's Michael Maloney. "If you're still going through Jack Bauer and Jack Shephard withdrawal, trust us -- Ritter's Sean Walker is your new hero."

The series is a thriller, love story, and mystery with an element of science fiction. Creator Nick Wauters promised elements of "mystery, sci-fi, thrillers, and a love story."

"We wanted to create something that' has a little bit of something for everyone," he said.

Some early reviews have the pilot jumping around a bit, with flashes forwards and backwards that could leave viewers confused. But Katz says stick with it, and all will be revealed sooner, not later.

"The show is really designed to answer questions, to satisfy people, to keep them hooked, frankly," Katz told E! "We're keeping mysteries open, but we're solving them. In the second episode, we're very clearly answering the two largest open questions in the pilot."

"The Event" airs tonight at 9 p.m. EDT on NBC. It also stars Blair Underwood as President Eli Martinez and Zeljko Ivanek as CIA Director Blake Sterling. 

Selected Reading: TV Squad, E! Online, TelevisionBlend.

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