In an effort to move toward more event programming, NBC has ordered an eight-episode limited series called The Slap.
Based on the 2011 Australian short-run series, which itself was an adaptation of a 2008 best-selling novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap examines what happens when a man disciplines a child who is not related to him by slapping him at a suburban barbecue. Subsequent episodes follow the personal and legal ramifications that arise after the event and focus on the different viewpoints of those who attended the party.
The original, which also had a limited eight-episode run on ABC1 last fall, starred Jonathan LaPaglia (brother of Anthony LaPaglia), Melissa George, and Hotel Rwanda's Sophie Okonedo. It earned nine nominations at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and won five of them, including best telefilm, mini-series or short-run series. The Slap also was nominated for a BAFTA Award for best international program. The American adaptation is being written by Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz.
As a result of DVRs and time-shifted viewing, networks are seeking out limited-run miniseries as well as event and sports programming. In June, NBC announced plans for a live broadcast of a new production of the Broadway musical The Sound Of Music. Rather than attempting to remake the film version, the Peacock will present a new and fresh experience, featuring all of the performers singing live without any pre-recorded lip-synching. Earlier this week, FOX and FX launched a new production unit devoted exclusively to developing high-profile event programming and miniseries.
Are you a fan of event programming or do you see it as a promotional stunt? What do you think about The Slap?