Once again, the fight is on to renew Timeless. Last year, NBC canceled Timeless after its first season for the usual reason TV networks cancel shows; low ratings. Ratings are the measuring stick for which shows remain on the air and which don’t. Let’s be honest, on paper Timeless‘ ratings could have been better.
What NBC didn’t count on, however, was the response from fans when the cancelation was announced. Almost immediately, Timeless fans (known as Clockblockers) mobilized and social media was awash in #RenewTimeless hashtags, pleas from fans, videos, and more. The response was so powerful that NBC changed their mind and renewed Timeless for season 2 just three days later.
Obviously, there was much rejoicing and everyone involved with Timeless credited the fans and their passionate outpouring of support for the second chance.
Now, a year later, Timeless sits on the bubble once again.
When NBC renewed the show, it gave Timeless ten episodes. In essence, they gave the show a chance to prove they could get the viewers and, if that happened, they’d likely earn additional episodes for season 2.
As someone who watches the show, I loved the second season. Not only did we get to know more about the team, but the show tackled so many different subjects. Racism, LGBTQ issues, women’s right. We met historical figures like Harriet Tubman and Marie Curie. We traveled to Hollywood’s glamorous past and met a young John Kennedy. We learned that Denise Christopher has a wife and two amazing kids. People fell in love, people got hurt, someone we love died. It was one hell of a season.
Unfortunately, the numbers didn’t really move all that much. Not when you look at the Nielsen TV ratings. As far as Nielsen was tracking, Timeless wasn’t catching on with viewers.
Yet, NBC recently announced their Fall TV schedule and, while other shows were renewed, canceled, or picked up to go to series, there was no word on Timeless.
There’s still no word on Timeless as of this writing –– and that has everything to do with the fans. Because, while the Nielsen TV ratings may not show Timeless as a top show, the Nielsen Social ratings tell a completely different story.
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) May 23, 2018
The social engagement for Timeless has been incredibly strong. Whether it’s Kelly Clarkson’s fervent passion for the show or Leslie Jones threat to protest nude if the show wasn’t picked up, the passion is real.
UM WHAT THE ACTUAL FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCK!!!! OK IF TIMELESS IS NOT RENEWED, WE GONE HAVE A PROBLEM @nbc I WORK IN YOUR BUILDING!! I WILL MARCH NUDE IN FRONT OF YOUR OFFICES WITH THE SIGN “RENEW TIMELESS” I SWEAR!! @NBCTimeless #RENEWTIMELESS
— Leslie Jones ? (@Lesdoggg) May 14, 2018
The Timeless writer’s room put out a tweet yesterday about sharing deleted scenes if the tweet got a certain number of likes and retweets and fans responded so quickly it shocked the writers themselves!
— Timeless Writers (@TheTimelessRoom) May 24, 2018
Fans are out there every day tweeting or posting on Facebook or Instagram. If you track the #RenewTimeless hashtag on Twitter, you’ll see new posts every 30 seconds or so. That’s a lot of engagement and, from the look of it, NBC is listening because they still haven’t made a decision.
In a time where more viewers are cord cutting or prefer digital media and streaming, the metrics for shows that connect with the younger side of that 18-49 demographic so coveted by advertisers likely aren’t correctly gauging the fans watching via other means besides live TV or even TV in general. But that doesn’t mean they’re not watching and it doesn’t mean advertisers aren’t having their commercials seen. It’s just not as easily tracked as it may have been 20 years ago when live TV was much more commonplace.
It’s clear, however, that NBC has heard the cries of fans around the world and they’re pausing to consider whether or not it’s worth taking a gamble on another season of Timeless based on the numbers they’re looking at.
Personally, I think they just might. Especially if the fan response continues or even grows. It’s clear they can’t leave the show and the fans in limbo forever. They’re going to have to make a decision sometime.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to keep tweeting and talking about Timeless in any way I can so I know I’ve done everything I can to bring back a show I love dearly.
I hope you will, too.