Following the recent announcement of a two-part Special Event to air in December, fans of NBC’s time travel show Timeless (affectionately dubbed “ClockBlockers”) continue to spread the word of their love for the show, aiming to recruit new viewers in hopes of securing a third season of the critically-acclaimed program. Following a successful stunt at San Diego Comic-Con in July, the campaign brings its message to people enjoying late-summer weather along the Southern California coast. Beachgoers will be treated to the campaign’s banners in flight Saturday, September 15, from Noon to 3PM PT. The banners will pass by multiple landmarks en route, including the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach Pier, Angel’s Gate Park, Long Beach, Seal Beach and Balboa Pier before turning back north at Newport Beach and heading inland to wrap up the three-hour flight. (see map below for the exact flight route)
The main banner references the final moments of the shocking Season Two finale, in which future versions of lead characters Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) and Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) appear in the present time, challenging the current versions of themselves to save friend and fellow “Time Team” member Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) from a devastating fate. The banner also directs viewers to the campaign’s website, savetimeless.com, recently launched to help educate new viewers and keep fans in the know about the group’s ongoing efforts to help producer Sony Pictures Television find a new home for a potential third season of the show. A second banner added specifically for this flight informs viewers that they can currently stream both seasons of the show online via Hulu.
Immediately following the formal announcement on June 22 that NBC had opted not to order a third season of the series, fans rallied on social media to send a message to the cast, crew, Sony and broadcaster NBC that they would fight for the beloved show, in hopes of garnering some form of closure to the second season’s cliffhanger. The group decided on a 4,000-square-foot banner, flown by helicopter (affectionately dubbed a “heliCLOCKter” by series star Malcolm Barrett) for three hours at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the the largest fan and industry conventions in the U.S. A second helicopter documented the stunt via livestream for fans unable to attend in person. The campaign raised more than $23,000 in less than two weeks to fund the flyover.
In the week following the banner stunt, the campaign kept the momentum going on social media – where the show enjoys a robust fanbase, particularly on Twitter, where the show trended for 9 hours on May 13, the night of the Season Two finale – and via direct communication to Sony Pictures; streaming outlets such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Studios; as well as A&E Networks, parent company to the History Channel, via historically-themed postcards and follow-up gifts, as a reminder to executives that the fandom refused to go away quietly. On Tuesday, July 31, that hard work was rewarded with an announcement from NBC that the network had approved a two-episode Special Event to air in late fall (later confirmed to be in December, though an official air date has not been announced) to wrap up the show’s run on NBC.
In his response to the announcement on Twitter, Sony Pictures Television co-president Chris F. Parnell (@chrisfparnell) cited the fans’ dedication as a major factor in the decision:
“Thank you to all of the helicopters, tweets, paperclips, cupcakes, popcorn, cookies, and the fans. Especially to the fans. We’re not done yet. Please encourage everyone to catch up on @huluand get ready to make the push to watch our show live this holiday.”
Emily Schepker, who coordinated both banner flights on behalf of the campaign, says Sony’s ongoing support of the show has helped motivate the fanbase:
“A lot of Timeless fans haven’t given up hope on a Season Three yet. Right now we have two new episodes airing on NBC in December, but we’re hoping to introduce the show to new viewers in the meantime by advocating for people to watch the show on Hulu. We’re hoping to bring in a lot of new fans, and garner the attention of viewers who haven’t been keeping up with show news. We want to help make the 2-episode special into a major viewing event. If we get enough momentum, we’re hoping that will help Sony make a deal later on. ClockBlockers get really excited whenever we fly the banner, so this will help keep our momentum up while we focus on promoting the show for the next few months.”
Timeless ran for two seasons on NBC. The program follows historian Lucy Preston (Spencer), Delta Force operative Wyatt Logan (Lanter) and software engineer/pilot Rufus Carlin (Barrett) as they travel through time, fighting an evil shadow organization known as Rittenhouse, which attempts to alter history for nefarious purposes. Each week the “Time Team” jumps to a different era, often finding themselves involved in historical events such as the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the Apollo 11 Moon Mission and the Salem Witch Trials. The trio regularly met real-life historical figures – Davy Crockett, Elliot Ness, Harry Houdini, Ian Fleming, Hedy Lamarr, Marie Curie, Robert Johnson and Harriet Tubman, to name a few.
The show was lauded for its honest portrayals of lesser-known figures such as Bass Reeves, the first black U.S. Marshal of the West, and Katherine Johnson, one of the women who helped win the Space Race (later portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film Hidden Figures). The show highlighted stories of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community; groups often overlooked on television and especially rare for a weekly family drama.
Timeless has the rare distinction of having been rescued from cancellation not once, but twice. Fan outcry after NBC’s decision to cancel after Season One brought the show back for a 10-episode Season Two, with the successful banner flight helping secure two bonus episodes in the fall. ClockBlockers are hoping a third time really will be a charm in finding the show a new home for further time travel adventures.
For more information regarding the banner flights, contact Emily Schepker: Emily.Schepker@gmail.com, or
862-432-7910; for information regarding the website, contact Jordan Hawman: firstname.lastname@example.org.