Over the course of three days, NBC went from canceling its first-year drama “Timeless” to reversing course and picking it up for a second season. On Sunday, network head Bob Greenblatt explained how the decisions played out.
“We all loved the show creatively, and we were hoping for it to have a bigger audience in the fall,” Greenblatt told reporters on a call announcing the network’s 2017-18 schedule. “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?’ — all those questions you ask when you’re looking at the renewal of a show that is a borderline.”
“Timeless” was a quintessential bubble show this season, averaging a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 on the night it aired but scoring pretty strong delayed-viewing numbers (it rose to 2.1 after a week of DVR catchup). On Wednesday, Greenblatt says, he and other decision-makers at NBC looked at everything else they were bringinig back and the lineup of new series and decided there wasn’t room for “Timeless” next season.
“We woke up the next morning, all of us, and heard from fans and the outcry, and we thought let’s figure out how to bring it back,” he says. “We went back to the drawing board in every way with our partners at Sony, and I’m happy to say we were able to find a way to bring it back.”
Greenblatt declines comment on whether part of finding a way to bring “Timeless” back involved a reduced license fee from Sony. “But we made a great deal to bring the show back,” he says. “The fans were part of that, and our own passion was part of that.”
“Timeless” Season 2 will most likely air in spring or summer 2018.