The fans spoke, and at least one network listened.
At first, it didn’t seem like any of the new time-travel series were going to make it out of the 2016-2017 season alive. The CW’s “Frequency” was dead, FOX made “Making History” history, ABC’s “Time After Time” ran out of time, and NBC’s “Timeless” also got the ax this past week.
But then, a broadcast miracle happened. On Saturday, NBC reversed course on history and decided to renew “Timeless” for a second season made up of 10 episodes that is expected to air in 2018.
“Timeless” joins the coveted ranks of other shows that have also been resurrected by the very same network that killed it, including “Unforgettable” (CBS), “Designing Women” (CBS), “Family Guy” (FOX), “Jericho” (CBS), “Breaking In” (FOX), and “24” (FOX). The more common way a show has come back these days is if another network or streaming service steps in (such as how “The Killing” moved to Netflix and “Friday Night Lights” went to DirecTV) or the current age of revivals that has brought back shows like “Prison Break” and “Gilmore Girls” much later, if in slightly different forms.
“Timeless” hasn’t exactly been a ratings giant for NBC. The series premiered to 7.6 million viewers, but dropped steadily ever since. By the time of its Season 1 finale, the show had only averaged 4.6 million viewers over the course of its 16 episodes.
Clearly strong numbers wasn’t the reason for bringing back “Timeless.” Did a butterfly get smushed? Did someone finally succeed in killing Baby Hitler? Or perhaps James Franco found another time-traveling diner. We’re not exactly sure, but The Hollywood Reporter cited a dedicated push from producers at Sony TV, even after the cancellation was announced. Kripke along with co-creator and co-showrunner Shawn Ryan are aiming to make Season 2 even more family-friendly, and the executives at Sony believe “Timeless” can become a long-running, family-friendly franchise. Sources stated the studio even offered a majority of profits to NBC in order to secure the renewal.
When NBC initially pulled the plug on “Timeless” on Wednesday, the outcry from fans was swift and loud. But no one was more upset than “Ghostbusters” star and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones, who made her feelings known on Twitter.
WTF?! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO KEEP A GOOD SHOW ON TV?! @NBCTimeless was an excellent show!!! Y’all making a huge mistake!!!
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) May 11, 2017
Fortunately, a few days later, “Timeless” co-creator Eric Kripke was able to share the good news that it was coming back.
— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) May 13, 2017
On “Timeless,” the Time Team, consisting of historian Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer), Delta Force operative Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) and scientist Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) travel back in time to pursue a rogue NSA asset who steals a time machine with the intent to change American history. In addition to fixing his interference, they also deal with issues of race, gender and politics throughout the centuries.