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Jeff Bell Signed to Oversee "V"

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Warner Bros. Television, has signed Jeff Bell to a two-year, seven-figure deal in which he will serve as the showrunner for the studio's upcoming ABC drama "V."

"Like many people, I have fond memories of the original miniseries," Bell said of the old, and new series. "And to see how they did it now, it's epic."

Jeff Bell has already met with the writing staff. The challenge, he said, is to map out what direction "V" might take over the next several seasons.

Aliens on V

Just as the original "V" used the story of an alien invasion as an allegory for Nazi Germany, new "V" will tackle issues of government, devotion, race and faith.

"Especially when you look at our current times, with the economy, wars and social strife, it's the perfect time for a force like this to come along," Bell said.

"In many ways this is very American, individuals vs. society. It's about how America can appreciate and question things that seem to be too good to be true."

ABC has 13 episodes of "V" on tap for this season (click here for a first look), with the show set to launch in mid-season, sometime after January 2010.

Much like Lost, the network says "V" will have a set beginning, middle and end - allowing the show's producers to properly map out the series mythology.

The show will expand and contract by season - some seasons may consist of 13 episodes, some may last longer, with cast members coming and going depending on myriad factors.

"I've been on a bunch of serialized shows now, and it helps the audience to know that this is what you're in for, and this is how and when it's going to end," Bell said.

"We've been talking about it in terms of installments, either by chapters or seasons," the show-runner added. "We'll build this first season to a big conclusion that is hopefully awesome, with a cliffhanger that launches you into the second season."

Bell is familiar with such a setup; he most recently served as exec producer on CBS' "Harper's Island," another drama that had a pre-determined ending episode.

On "V," he'll serve as an exec producer alongside Scott Peters (who penned the pilot), Jason Hall and Steve Pearlman. Yves Simoneau directed and exec produced the pilot.

A remake of the 1980s miniseries, "V" centers on aliens who invade Earth with a message of peace - but whose motives are not as pure as they let on. Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Morris Chestnut (Boyz N the Hood) and Scott Wolf (Party of Five) star.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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