NBC has ordered a pilot for a sequel to time-travel drama Quantum Leap, which the network aired for five seasons in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
The new version follows a team of scientists restarting the defunct project, seeking to learn about its creator, Dr. Sam Beckett, and his whereabouts, reports Variety. Executive producers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt of I Have an Idea! Entertainment are writing the pilot. Series creator and original producer Donald P. Bellisario and producer Deborah Pratt are set to return as executive producers, joined by Martin Gero of Quinn's House Productions.
Quantum Leap aired from 1989 to 1993. Set roughly 10 years in the future, the show starred Scott Bakula as Beckett, a physicist who sought to prove people could time travel during their lifespan. The experiment, however, caused him to "leap," randomly trading places with people for days, weeks or months. Sam could not move on until he learned of a pending dilemma in that person's life and acted to solve or thwart it -- as the show's opening narration put it, "striving to put right what once went wrong."
Beckett was partnered with Al Calavicci, a Navy admiral and government liaison to the project. Al provided Sam with the information he needed to figure out each episode's conundrum and how to resolve it from a database housed in a supercomputer nicknamed "Ziggy." The character was Sam's anchor to his own time and appeared as a hologram only Sam could perceive, with some exceptions. Al was played by the late Dean Stockwell, who died in November 2021 at age 85.
Canceled in its fifth season, the finale was retooled so Beckett changed Al's history, visiting his wife while Al was held captive during the Vietnam War and telling her that he was alive and would return to her. A title card at the end of the episode declared Sam would never return home, doomed to leap forever. The ending proved unsatisfying to fans, who have pushed for the show to be revived in some form ever since. Bakula himself wrote a film script in 2017, and NBC's Peacock streaming service considered doing a revival in 2020.
In September 2021, Bakula revealed in the Bob Saget's Here for You podcast that there were talks to revive the show. "I don't know what it would be. I don’t know who would have it. The rights were a mess for years. I don’t know if they're even sorted out now. That's always been the biggest complication," Bakula said.
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