Why NBC Decided to Un-Cancel ‘Timeless’: ‘We Heard From Fans’

“We went back to the drawing board in every way,” NBC Chariman said Sunday

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“Timeless” fans, cast and crew were shocked last week after NBC decided to cancel the show, only to announce it was renewing it three days later.

On a conference call with press on Sunday, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt expanded on the network’s change of heart, and it came down to the fans.

“We heard from fans and the outcry and we woke up the next morning and thought, ‘Let’s figure out how to bring it back,’” Greenblatt said. “We went back to the drawing board in every way.”

NBC said that the executives had high hopes for it when it debuted last fall — along with a roster of other time travel shows that were also launched across multiple networks.

“We all love the show creatively and we were hoping for it to have a bigger audience in the fall,” Greenblatt continued. “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.”

However, execs couldn’t find a room for the show in the network lineup and along with the dwindling ratings, decided to cancel it after just one season.

The show averaged a 1.1 rating and 4.62 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic — rising to an average of 2.1 and 7.97 million viewers with seven days of delayed viewing. But the same-day rating slipped as low as 0.6 near the end of its run in the post-“The Voice” Monday time slot.

As soon as the news was announced, though, fans took to the internet to express their disappointment with the decision. Despite some low ratings, the show had gained a strong cult following, allowing for “Timeless” to join an exclusive group of shows that have been brought back from the dead. It’s also the only time travel show that premiered last season that has survived into the new year.

In response to a question about whether the move was a marketing ploy for the show, Greenblatt quickly denied it.

“I wish we were that clever,” he joked. But he added, “we would never do that to the creators of the show.”

“Can’t thank the fans enough for fighting so hard for us online and spreading the word about the show,” said co-creator Shawn Ryan on Twitter. “Can’t wait to show you more.”

“I have never seen a show be cancelled & but days later renewed because of just general love from the people involved & the fans,” star Abigail Spencer tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Everyone knows is my favorite show ever. I just can’t believe I get to be a part of a story too!!! The BEST kind.”

So fans, don’t let anybody tell you that you don’t have a say in your favorite shows. Some executives may listen.