* UPDATE 13th January : Though it’s still a long way from being part of an upcoming schedule, it does look like Quantum Leap has taken yet another quantum baby-step towards a sequel series. Following the comments made last Autumn (see below), NBC has just announced that it has formally greenlit a sequel pilot to the original show.
The synopsis for the planned sequel states: It’s been 30 years since Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. Now a new team has been assembled to restart the project in the hopes of understanding the mysteries behind the machine and the man who created it.
Commissioning a pilot, having it made and then it being accepted to a schedule and then being greeted as a hit are very different but essential stages towards a successful return, but it does seem fair to state we’re closer than we’ve been for the last few decades in seeing a follow-on to the show, originally launched in 1989. At this point we know that Don Bellisario, who created the original show is on board for the revival, acting as executive producer alongside Deborah Pratt and Martin Gero. Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt (La Brea) would be the actual showrunners.
Dean Stockwell passed away in November last year but is believed that Scott Bakula will ultimately be involved in the project in some capacity (though whether he would be involved in an on-screen capacity is not known).
For those of us of a certain age, the holy grail of television reboots could still be Quantum Leap. Scott Bakula played Same Beckett, a scientist thrown back in time after testing out his Quantum Leap accelerator on himself but finding himself trapped in the past, leaping in to the bodies of various people in various time-frames, only able to move on when he righted a ‘wrong’ event in the timeline. He was assisted by Al (Dean Stockwell), a hologram beamed in from the contemporary Quantum Leap compound circa the then-future 1999, but who could only be seen and heard by Sam (and the audience). Each week, the series detailed another ‘Leap’ with Sam hoping the next time would be the leap… home.
The series ran for five years and left on a memorable episode (Mirror Image) that suggested that rather than science or God moving Sam around, it might be Sam himself? After righting one very personal ‘wrong’ Sam disappeared back into the timeline with an on-screen message saying Sam NEVER leaped home… (an ending that caused much consternation with the fans).
Over the years there’s been various tie-in novels and rumours about a sequel or reboot of the show, but they’ve never come to pass, largely because of a complicated rights-issues. However Bakula (just coming off seven seasons on NCIS: New Orleans) has spoken to Bob Saget on the latter’s podcast and said that there seems to be some serious movement towards some kind of revival.
“There’s very significant conversations about it right now going on,” said Bakula. “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.”