The Real Reason The Second Half Of The It Miniseries Bombed
Part 2 of the It miniseries apparently struggled after rewrites
The rewrite came via Tommy Lee Wallace himself, who admitted to Yahoo! TV that he didn't undertake reworking Night 2 of "It" lightly, initially offering the job to Night 1 scribe Larry Cohen. Unfortunately, Cohen declined, leaving Wallace to do the job instead.
"Larry's script for Night 1 was just wonderful, well-organized and cleverly structured into seven parts for seven characters. His script for Night 2 wasn't nearly as successful, in my opinion. For reasons of his own, he had completely moved away from the plotting of the book, and created a much smaller story. I wasn't happy with it at all, but Larry didn't show much enthusiasm for a big rewrite," Wallace explained. "I asked him to come to Vancouver and work with me on the script for Night 2, but he declined. The rewrite better reflected the basic plot of the book, or as much as a radical condensation would allow."
For his part, Cohen claimed he was simply too busy to do another re-write on "It." He also acknowledged that he didn't think the project was quite as interesting in its condensed format, telling Yahoo! TV, "It wasn't that I didn't think it could be successful at four hours, it was that I felt it would be more conventional as a result. There were so many hard decisions about what to cut out that we made along that way, that the prospect of excising more was difficult."
One can hardly blame Cohen for opting out, and he was clearly right about further condensing King's work. But one has to wonder what might've been had he re-worked Night 2 of the miniseries in the style of his crackling Night 1 teleplay.
In the end, Wallace's script lacked the soul and specificity found in both King and Cohen's works. Combined with some spotty casting and even spottier special effects, Night 2 of Wallace's "It" remains one of the most frustrating misses in television history.