'Timeless' Saved From Cancellation as NBC Reverses Course With Season 2 Renewal

The network had canceled the drama from Sony Pictures Television earlier this week.
Joe Lederer/NBC
'Timeless'

This is not a drill: NBC has reversed course on its decision to cancel Timeless.

The network has renewed the Sony Pictures Television-produced time-travel drama for a second season. 

It's unclear when season two of the series will air. Co-creator/co-showrunner Eric Kripke initially noted that it would air in summer 2018 with 10 new episodes, but that is not set in stone. Spring 2018 is also a possibility. 

Producers Sony TV fought hard to keep the show going after the initial cancellation with both Kripke and co-creator/co-showrunner Shawn Ryan having pitched a family-friendly take on season two. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the independent studio had been offering the lion's share of the profits to NBC in exchange for the renewal as SPT believe in the show's creative and that it has a solid chance to be a long-running, family-friendly franchise. Early buzz has Timeless moving from its former 10 p.m. slot to a potential home at 8 p.m. as it has been a favorite for co-viewing with parents and children. (The Smithsonian also hosted a panel for the drama.)

The freshman time-travel saga spent most of the season on the bubble in spite of landing the coveted post-Voice time slot that NBC used to launch Blindspot last season. The Ryan-Kripke effort did not get a full-season pickup, with NBC instead opting for a 16-episode season.

Unlike much of NBC's drama slate, Timeless hails from outside studio Sony Pictures Television (also home to The Blacklist). The show starring Abigail Spencer finished with a 2.0 rating — an improvement over time slot successor and recently renewed Taken (1.5 adults).

NBC opted to renew Blindspot after Warner Bros. Television offered an ownership stake in the series and greater financial incentives. Sony initially offered a financial incentive for the show to return but sources say NBC ultimately thought about more of the creative and the type of programming they'd want to invest in and picked it up without changing the terms of the co-production. (Timeless is a co-production of Sony and NBC's Universal Television.) The series also ranked as the fourth-highest scripted series when all delayed viewing is factored in.

Timeless becomes the lone time-travel show to survive the freshman bloodbath. Since canceled are Frequency, Time After Time and Making History.
 
This season, NBC more than any other network has made ownership a major priority. That makes things incredibly difficult for indie studios like Sony and Warner Bros. Television to succeed, as neither is vertically aligned with a Big Four broadcast network.
 
 
"I think the mission was successful. We went back and I'm pretty sure we changed NBC's minds so yeah, we got more episodes coming. See ya real soon," co-star Matt Lanter said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
 
 
Keep track of all the broadcast renewals, cancellations and series pickups with THR's handy scorecard.
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