NBC Un-Cancels 'Timeless' for Two-Part Series Finale

NBC will briefly reopen the door for the drama, which is set for a holiday special.
Courtesy of Patrick Wymore/NBC
'Timeless'

NBC may try, but it just can’t seem to quit Timeless. The young sci-fi drama, canceled for the second time in only two seasons, is being revived one (seemingly) last time for a two-part series finale.

Answering the pleas of both fans and producers Sony Pictures Television, the brief revival is a fitting end for the Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke drama. Loyal viewers were vocally irate when the show was canceled after one season — and while the surprise second run sealed its fate with low ratings, some sort of wrap-up has been on the table since May.

“While we wish we could’ve made another dozen seasons of Timeless, this is the next best thing,” Ryan and Kripke said Tuesday in a joint statement. “We’re thrilled to take the lifeboat out for one last spin and bring closure to our story. The studio, network, cast and crew are all doing this for one reason only: the fans. Because they deserve it. Because the fans made this happen and we thank them for their passion, support and helicopters. So? You guys want to get Rufus back or what?” (I’m not sure who Rufus is, but I’m guessing that’s among the reasons why the show keeps getting canceled.)

Despite the double cancelation, NBC is clearly aware of an appetite for Timeless outside of its soft 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.6 million viewers. What makes those modest live-plus numbers impressive, however, is what a great percentage of them come in after live viewings. The most recent season of Timeless improved 100 percent within a week of time-shifting.

“We’re excited to tell one final chapter to this incredible story,” said NBC Entertainment co-president of scripted programming Lisa Katz. “A huge thank you to all — our cast, crew, producers and partners at Sony — who have worked so very hard, and to the fans who kept us on our toes and made sure we did our very best week after week.”

Few specifics are available about the Timeless ender, only that the “two-part” status likely means it will run as a two-hour TV movie. The network also said that it will air some time during the holidays, giving “closure to the globetrotting series that has generated incredible viewer passion.” Stars Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit are all listed as cast for the wrap-up.

Timeless was one of several time-traveling shows to pop up during the 2016-17 broadcast season. And while it will soon be a thing of the past itself, it lasted a heck of a lot longer than its contemporaries.