Timeless is finding that, as can happen in time travel shows, they are getting a do over. Only a few days ago, NBC announced that, after one season, it was pulling the plug on this time travel/adventure show. But as reported by Deadline, an uproar among fans apparently caused them to change their mind about Timeless. At least that’s what they’re saying right now.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) May 13, 2017
Timeless started off relatively well this year, with an initial order of 13 episodes, to which NBC later added an additional three, bringing the first season to 16 in total. Ratings were fairly solid at the beginning, hovering around 6 to 7 million viewers per episode. By the end of the season, this had dropped to an average of around 3 million.
NBC apparently didn’t like the direction the numbers were trending. Timeless was one of a number of shows on the “bubble” of either being renewed or canceled. When the axe fell, it looked at first as though Timeless was a goner. But fan reactions and second thoughts by the studio heads apparently changed that decision in a matter of hours. NBC Chairman Robert Goldblatt explained the decision early Sunday.
“Well, we all loved the show creatively and we were hoping for it to have a bigger audience in the fall. Once it came off the schedule in midseason, we thought, ‘Well, we love it, but can it grow, and do we have a place for it, and all those questions that you ask yourself when you’re looking at the renewal of a show that is a borderline.”
Greenblatt went on to point out that the network had been weighing the future of several different shows, Timeless included.
“There was a moment earlier in the week where we just thought. We have all these shows that are coming back and these new shows and maybe there’s not room for Timeless and we decided to move on from it.”
But then he suggested that they almost immediately regretted the decision to cancel Timeless, and, as they were in charge, felt free to change their minds.
“And then woke up the next morning, all of us, and heard from fans and the outcry and we thought. ‘Well, let’s figure out how to try to bring it back.’ We went back to the drawing board in every way with our partners, with Sony, and I’m happy to say we were able to figure out a way to bring it back. We love the show creatively. Nothing would make us happier than to see the audience grow.”
Of course, this quote would seem to suggest that negotiations with Sony, in which Sony may have compromised on the contract regarding Timeless, actually led to the reconsideration of the Timeless cancellation, rather than the uproar from fans. There’s also another alternative theory for why this happened, one that Greenblatt absolutely rejects.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 14, 2017
Some have suspiciously suggested that this entire cancellation/un-cancellation scenario was designed as a remarkably clever marketing gimmick to grab the attention of viewers and the media. In other words, in this conspiracy theory, NBC never had any intention of actually canceling the show. But according to Greenblatt, that’s just not what happened.
“I wish we were that clever in the middle of scheduling things. Maybe we’ll do that with some other shows, so keep your eyes peeled. We would never do that to the creators of the show. That didn’t happen, and they weren’t in on it. These things are really tricky in negotiations. It just happened the way it happened. I’m happy it happened this way as opposed to the other, where we pick up a show and two days later and we cancel it.”
[Featured Image by NBC]