Dr. Sam Beckett theorized that one man could time travel within his lifetime, but could the beloved sci-fi series Quantum Leap return within star Scott Bakula’s lifetime? The actor offers a firm “maybe.”
Quantum Leap, which ran from 1989-93 on NBC, starred Bakula as Beckett, who becomes unmoored in time and begins “leaping” into other people living in other decades in order to fix problems with the Sacred Tim—er, regular timeline. It was and is a cult favorite show, and still wistfully remembered because of the brusque season finale which stated that Beckett was stuck leaping through time forever (although a secret, unused ending resurfaced only a few years ago). Of course, forever is a long time—certainly long enough for a cult favorite TV series like Quantum Leap to get a sequel or reboot, especially as networks and streaming services scrounge for content.
Speaking on Bob Saget’s podcast Here for You (via THR), Bakula said, “There’s very significant conversations about it right now going on. 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.” That’s hardly an announcement, and it seems like even Bakula is trying not to get his hopes up too much. However, back in 2017, show creator and TV mega-producer Donald P. Bellisario said he’d written a Quantum Leap movie. And in January 2020, NBC’s head of program planning and strategy Jeff Bader told /Film that the network was considering a revival for its Peacock streaming service, which already airs both revivals of the ‘80s and ‘90s sitcom Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell, respectively.
Quantum Leap seems like it would be a rather obvious choice to join the line-up. But I am a bit confused about his assertion that there are rights issues with the show. Bellisario and NBCUniversal own the series, which is quite straightforward unless there’s bad blood between the two. The biggest rights issue the show ever had was infinite amounts of period music the episodes used, much of which was too expensive to license for home video and was omitted. But that wouldn’t be a problem for a Quantum Leap reboot or sequel.
So is Bakula purposefully being obtuse? Is he conflating the problems with the old show and a potential new one? What does a “significant conversation” really entail? Are we having one right now? All we know for certain is that 30 years later fans are still hoping to see Sam Beckett leap home for good. Sound like Bakula is, too.
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