New NBC drama series Timeless has received a back order for 3 episodes, bringing its freshman season to what the network calls a full-season order of 16 episodes, six shy of the standard 22. Additionally, NBC has set the launch of the new drama series that the network announced in May would succeed Timeless in the Monday 10 PM hour, the Clive Standen-starring action series Taken, based on the hit movie franchise. It will debut Monday, Feb. 27, following the premiere of the spring cycle of The Voice.
Timeless, from Sony TV and Universal TV, is the first fall NBC drama premiering behind The Voice not to go to 22 episodes. Timeless hasn’t been a breakout hit like its fall predecessors in the slot The Blacklist and Blindspot. Still, it ranks as the No.1 show in the 10 PM hour among adults 18-49 with healthy time-shifted bumps, averaging a 2.7 rating in the demo and 10.7 million viewers overall in live + 7. (The series hit a Live+same day low on Halloween last night 1.1) Factoring in NBC’s decision to go with a shorter first season is the fact that Timeless is a very elaborate production that is hard to pull off for 22 episodes as each episode involves a different time period with new sets and new costumes. Additionally, NBC appears to have lowered the full-season order counts for serialized new series. Its fall breakout, This Is Us, has a full-season order of 18 episodes, comedy The Good Place, has a 13-episode pickup.
After a pre-emption for Saturday Night Live’s elections special next Monday, Timeless will run uninterrupted through its winter finale in December and then return in January for another uninterrupted run until its Season 1 finale on Feb. 20.
“Monday nights are critical to our success,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, “and we’re going strong into the rest of the season with the return of The Voice in February followed by the premiere of Taken, along with additional episodes of our great new series Timeless. We’re very happy to welcome Gwen Stefani back to ‘The Voice,’ along with Blake, Adam, and our new coach Alicia Keys. And Taken is a thrilling new series inspired by the hit movie franchise but updated in a very clever way.”
Timeless, which stars Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Višnjić, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit, has averaged a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.7 million viewers overall in live + 7, making it the top-rated Monday drama so far this season in 18-49. Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke are the co-showrunners, writers and executive producers. John Davis, John Fox and Marney Hochman also executive produce.
“Timeless is a phenomenal new show that takes the audience emotionally to a completely different place and time each week,” added Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to be ordering additional episodes so that we can run the final six hours of the season in a row with no pre-emptions after the new year. Our hats are off to Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan for producing one of the most ambitious new shows anywhere on television.”
From executive producer Luc Besson comes a modern-day thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Standen) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the trauma of the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. In 30 years, this character is destined to become the Bryan Mills from the Taken films.
The cast includes Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo. Alexander Cary serves as writer and executive producer. Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vésinne, Thomas Anargyros and director Alex Graves also executive produce.
The upcoming 12th cycle of “The Voice” will feature the return of Gwen Stefani as well as season 11 coaches Alicia Keys, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Stefani was previously a coach in seasons seven and nine and was an adviser for seasons eight and 10.