V producers aren’t letting modest ratings hold them back: The upcoming second season finale is going to finish with a major cliffhanger, sources say.

The story decision is crucial as it suggests the producers either have some degree of confidence that the series will land a third season … or some measure of all-in bluster.

“To cliff-hang or not to cliff-hang?” is the angst-ridden serialized TV show writer’s existential question every season. If you don’t provide resolution, you risk a hugely unsatisfying ending should the network kill your show. Yet if you write an ending that wraps up key storylines, you could lose fan interest and storytelling momentum — which makes things tougher if the show does return for another season.

Remember Jericho? Producers famously muscled CBS into renewing the show by ending the first season on a spectacular cliffhanger that rallied fan support. (Thousands of pounds of nuts were involved).

For V, there is a real possibility of leaving fans in a lurch about the fate of the visitors and the resistance. Recent episodes have averaged 5.7 million viewers and a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 — that’s right on the borderline.

Plus, ABC has a new entertainment president at the helm, Paul Lee, who isn’t personally invested in V and will want to get his own new shows on the air next fall. Ratings for upcoming episodes and the strength of the network’s new projects in development will play a big part of the decision process, with insiders saying the network’s V verdict will likely go down to the wire in May.

(But since I don’t want to be complete wuss about this … if I had to bet on the show’s fate right here, right now … I’d bet V comes back).

As for what the final episodes are about, well, I’ll only hint that Laura Vandervoot’s visitor Lisa plays a key role…

TV Survival Scorecard: Which shows will survive next sesason (and which won’t)

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