Season finale season is upon us, and that means lots of cliffhangers. Unfortunately, not all of those shows manage to hang onto the cliff. Season finale season is also cancellation season, and while most of our favorites (like Once Upon a Time) are coming back, time-traveling tale Timeless looked like it was going to be history. NBC announced the show’s cancellation last week, but a surprise reversal over the weekend brought it back — kind of.
At first, reports had Sony, the producer of Timeless, looking to move the show to another network in the wake of NBC’s snub. But, as is tradition for shows with low ratings and high fan passion, there was a lot of noise made on Twitter, and NBC figured they might want to hang onto Lucy, Rufus, and Wyatt, after all.
In a statement made to reporters, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt said of the show’s cancelation and un-cancelation, “[NBC execs] 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.” And yeah, for what it’s worth, he insisted there were no sinister plans to toy with fans’ emotions in order to drum up support for the show.
All that said, Timeless is still living on borrowed time. After a strong start, ratings slid precipitously — NBC didn’t initially decide to cancel for no reason. The network clearly still has its doubts. Instead of ordering a full season, NBC has ordered a Netflix-sized 10-episode season, which won’t air until at least spring of 2018. That long of a layoff seems like it would be killer for a show already struggling to retain viewership, but if Firefly has taught us anything (and no, we’re not comparing Timeless to Firefly), it’s that fan love dies hard.