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UPDATED: Veronica Mars to Ditch Neptune for the FBI Academy in Quantico?

Will Veronica be saying goodbye to Neptune?

If Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has his way, that might be just what happens next year, if the struggling mystery series is picked up for a fourth season of noir-tinged intrigue.

Despite reports yesterday that Veronica Mars had been cancelled, The Hollywood Reporter has indicated that Thomas has devised a plan to "fast-forward a couple of years and have [Veronica] studying at the FBI Academy."

While the series' current season has layed the groundwork for this to occur at some point in the future (criminology professor/murderer Hank Landry has pushed Veronica to apply for an internship), the change would in fact significantly alter the series, propelling the timeline several years in the future and shifting the series' locale from sunny California to Quantico, Virginia.

Thomas is said to be filming a trailer for an "alternative" fourth season and will be submitting it to the CW for consideration. Network executives will then be able to choose with the following options: (A) ordering a fourth season of Veronica Mars with new FBI academy direction, (B) ordering a fourth season with the current Hearst College-based timeline in place, or (C) not ordering a fourth season at all.

Personally, I find myself extremely torn by this information.

On the one hand, I want the show's producers to anything that will keep Veronica Mars on the air for as long as possible (without sacrificing the quality, natch). However, I'm also a little concerned what impact a radically different direction would have on the struggling series. After all, it's hardly likely that much beloved supporting characters Mac, Logan, or Wallace (not to mention Papa Mars) would somehow follow Veronica from Neptune to the FBI Academy in Quantico.

The shift from a college-set VM to a possibly darker adult setting could possibly change the perception of the show in the public's fickle mind (which could still perceive the brilliantly written and acted drama as a "teen" series) and might pull in a wider audience than another season of Hearst College-based young adult angst. But I'm definitely concerned what longtime viewers will think of the change. (I'm thinking here of the massive--and misguided--changes over at Alias, which preceded that series' cancellation.)

So what does this mean for our favorite intrepid sleuth? I'm not sure yet. But it does point favorably to the fact that Dawn Ostroff and the CW execs are at least open to the idea of a fourth season of Veronica Mars, whether that's set in Neptune or Quantico.

Fingers crossed that it's the fourth season that makes the most sense for the show long-term.

UPDATED: I've received an official comment from Rob Thomas, creator/executive producer of Veronica Mars, via Warner Bros. Television publicity:

"Each year we pitch to the network what the show will look like in an upcoming season," said Thomas. "This "FBI Version" of Veronica Mars will be one option that we present to the network. We're entirely prepared to proceed with Veronica Mars: The College Years as well. Warner Bros. Television, the studio that produces the show, certainly wouldn't be investing time, money and effort into a presentation if they didn't believe wholeheartedly in the show."

Stay tuned.

Comments

Liz said…
I gotta say, that FBI business is NOT sounding appealing. One of the best parts about the show is the supporting cast! Damn CW.
Bill said…
I'm similarly torn...

If it does get cancelled, I just want Thomas & co. to have some warning so they can give the series a proper sendoff.

The fastforward plan also immediately brought Alias to mind... the two times they radically altered the show marked its transition from great to good and then from good to kinda dull.

But at the same time, I like the idea... What concerned me about the move away from season long story arcs is that the only real action aside from the case of the week would be relationship drama, which is fine for me in small doses, but I wouldn't want that to be the only thing carrying over week to week.

FBI training means something's going on, and Veronica can still have a side gig solving cases. Though I'll miss the supporting characters, they could bring along one of them without it seeming too silly (Logan could drop everything and follow her east, or Mac or Wallace could end up working in the DC area).

It's a gamble as to whether it actually works out, but even if it fails miserably, I'm betting it'll still manage to be more interesting than 99% of the junk on TV.
The CineManiac said…
I say that any news that contradicts the cancellation news from yesterday is good news.
But I too am torn about this change. Of course I'd follow Thomas and the show anywhere, but I agree that bringing the supporting characters along would be to far a stretch.
But the real question is, does this mean we won't get to see that Veronica/Pix relationship?
At least it gives the CW options, hopefully they'll choose one of the two that doesn't involve cancellation.
rockauteur said…
I am actually pretty open to this news, unlike the previous blog posters. As I posted in my comment after the winter finale, I would have loved to have seen Veronica doing her FBI internship or working for the FBI. Hopefully we will get to see that. If I have to get FBI Veronica vs. no Veronica at all, I think I'll choose FBI Veronica!!!

With that said, it seems to be my going the more procedural route, but keeping us with Veronica and her stellar wit, this could open up the show to a wider audience. You know CW would market this change (well maybe). And though you would probably lose supporting characters (Piz is off to Grey's Anatomy spinoff land anyway), I still think you could keep some. Mac would probably still be VM's roommate, working at some firm in DC, perhaps even she is a computer analyst with the FBI or another government agency. Maybe by now Veronica is engaged to Logan, and he perhaps has made the move as well. Even Papa Mars could guest star, as official business brings him to DC occasionally. Veronica's cases would be more real, though she would still have time to take on quirky cases of her neighbor's missing dog.

I don't know. I think a darker FBI twist would not only make the CW more grown up in general, but wisely age the series to deter the network from cancellation. I'm like, totally there.
Anonymous said…
Hmmmm....

I just don't know. obviously, FBI Veronica is better than no Veronica, but....
Unknown said…
I think we've all seen enough FBI-type series to last us an eternity. While Veronica's FBI internship is a logical extension, I think it would be like every other crime drama (Law&Order, CSI, Numb3rs, Crossing Jordan, Bones, etc., ad nauseum). What's the hook? What makes it unique?

Even if they go that route, the only cast member I'd miss would be Keith. Everyone else has become two-dimensional (and thus disposable--yes, even Logan), probably as a result of the shorter arcs, which prevent telling truly multidimensional tales.

No, I think their best bet is to (a) continue at Hurst or (b) cancel it. At least this way all the [three] seasons are good. If they continue at the FBI, they risk pulling a Buffy or Alias where they ruined seasons 6-7 and season 5, respectively, with their bizarre direction shifts and cast changes.
Vance said…
I for one will support it as long as it stays on the air. I'm SURE they can figure something out for Wallace and Mac (at least for a while, I mean, they did manage to keep Francie and Will to "ground" Sydney for a few years on Alias). Actually, I think it could do exactly as you say, make it perceived as more "adult" and I think it could be a fresh new take which is not a bad thing. Sometimes I wish Grey's would do just that right now.
Vance said…
CRAP, E! just updated it and apparently only Kristen Bell would be apart of Veronica Mars the FBI years. NO KEITH? NO WALLACE? NO MAC???

apparently they were told yesterday, hence the cancellation rumour that flew around.
TxGowan said…
Yeah, I dunno. If Rob Thomas is behind it and he's willing to make it work and isn't just being coerced and trying to keep making a paycheck, it might be okay. The problem is the network wants to take anything different out of it. They want something they can sell and make money off of and the critic clout just isn't enough. My pie-in-the-sky solution is to keep them where they are at the college and become the Sleuth network's first original series.

See? I told you watching The Pussycat Dolls show would come back to haunt you.
"Veronica Mars: The FBI Years" could be good but I have to admit that I'd rather have no "Veronica" than an awkward or forced spin off. Nothing is more painful than watching one of your favorite shows spiral out of control ("Buffy," "Gilmore Girls," "Alias," I'm looking at you).
Anonymous said…
You all have more self control than I do. I'd rather watch the slow death than have nothing at all. Were the last two seasons of "Buffy" painful? Yes. Would I trade the absolute worst of those episodes for the best of unfunny "Ugly Betty" -- in a heartbeat.
Anonymous said…
Dude, you got Rob Thomas to offer an official comment? Dayhm! You're even more well connected than I thought.

I'm not convinced that this is what's best for the show but if it keeps it on the air, that's good for me. of course, I said the same thing about ALIAS and we all know how that turned out.
Anonymous said…
Either way I hope they bring back the Big Mystery over the entire season....this day to day scooby doo crap is what makes me not want to watch I liked how in the first two seasons there were these Huge mysteries and each case solved brought her closer and closer to revealing the truth...

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