After weeks of declining ratings, the creator of NBC’s time-traveling series, Journeyman, thinks it’s likely that the show has run out of time.
Journeyman debuted on September 24, 2007 on NBC. The series stars Kevin McKidd as San Francisco reporter Dan Vasser who suddenly begins jumping through time. Dan begins to realize that he is time traveling because he needs to change people’s lives in some way. Journeyman also stars Brian Howe, Gretchen Egolf, Moon Bloodgood, Reed Diamond, and Charles Wyson.
The series premiere attracted a decent 9.5 million viewers with a 3.7/9 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. Unfortunately, viewership has been falling ever since and, on November 5th, dipped to a low of 5.25 million with a 2.1/6 rating/share. That’s especially bad when you consider its lead-in, Heroes, attracted 9.88 million and 6.1/9 rating/share.
Last year at this same time, ratings-challenged Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was attracting almost 50% more viewers with 7.27 million and a 3.3/8 rating/share.
Despite sagging ratings, NBC is still airing its Journeyman episodes, likely because of the writers strike and the network’s concern over running out of new scripted content. This doesn’t mean however that the series has a secure future. Series creator Kevin Falls is fully aware of the show’s chances for survival and doesn’t want to leave the viewers hanging.
In an interview with Premium Hollywood, Falls says that it looks likely that Journeyman will end with episode 12 (episode 13 if you include the pilot). “Episode 12 is the end of our order,” he says. “And let’s not kid ourselves. It’s a longshot that we would get a back nine (episode order), given the strike and our questionable numbers.”
Falls shares that viewers will get some answers to the series’ ongoing mysteries in the 12th episode. He continued, “We wrote it in a way so it could be the series-ending show. I mean, it wouldn’t answer every question, but it would give you a lot to chew on. We would give you some answers, and we’d withhold others.” In the episode, Dan travels to a mental institution and uncovers some answers when he meets a fellow time traveler.
If the unlikely happens and NBC does order additional episodes (or even a second season), Falls says he hasn’t given away all of the show’s mysteries. “In the case we would actually go on to a second season, we didn’t want to turn over every card, but I think people will find (episode 12) satisfying, and it’s really good.”
That being said, it’s looking like a possibility that episode 12 may not even air. While there are schedule slots open for NBC to air episodes 10 (a Christmas show) and 11, there’s apparently no space left for episode 12. Falls shares, “I think the idea is that NBC, what they want to do is tie up all their loose ends. Like, Heroes and Life and our show, have all that stuff done by the first of the year, so that they can, if there’s still a strike, air new programming or mid-season shows… so they can start fresh… so we’ve got this episode 12 dangling out there, and… I don’t know if it’ll ever see the light of day on the network.”
One way or the other, fans should have an opportunity to see the 12th episode. Even if the series is cancelled and doesn’t finish its run on NBC, Falls says that a DVD release is planned. Still, he finds it upsetting, “What makes us so frustrated is that, at a time when writers are striking and networks need programming, why on earth would you not find a place for episode 12? And that’s the question for which nobody seems to have an answer.” Stay tuned!