NBC’s Quantum Leap revival emerged as one of the biggest freshman hits of the 2022-2023 TV season, earning a Season 2 renewal early and giving showrunner Martin Gero the freedom to end the Season 1 finale on a cliffhanger without worrying about cancellation. The cryptic final scene left fans with more questions than answers to ponder over hiatus, on top of the lingering mystery of whether Sam Beckett will ever appear. While viewers will have to wait to see what’s next for Ben Song and Co., Gero spoke with CinemaBlend to give an update on whether Scott Bakula could reprise the role… or Sam could be portrayed by somebody else.
Quantum Leap didn’t even need all 18 episodes of its first season to prove that it can stand on its own with relying on the original series, but the show did drop references to the show that debuted in 1989 and ran until a disappointing finale in 1993 that ended without letting Sam find his way home. So, it would be a treat for fans of the original and newcomers who have experienced these references to get to see Sam in the flesh, but has there been any progress in recruiting Scott Bakula to reprise the role? Speaking with CinemaBlend’s Mick Joest, showrunner Martin Gero shared:
Gero’s comment that “the door’s always open” is reason to at least hold out hope that Bakula will one day reprise his iconic role, but the goal is for the sequel series to be able to stand on its own without relying on callbacks. Back before the new NBC show premiered, Bakula opened up about making the “very difficult decision” to pass on making an appearance, and he seemed to show no ill will toward anybody involved as he wished them luck. In response in the fall, Gero said that he would “respectfully always ask him” to do Quantum Leap, but that he respects that actor’s wishes.
The new show has certainly created a rich cast of characters to drive the story without needing to try and bring in stars from the original, but longtime fans will undoubtedly always associate Sam Beckett with the very premise of the series. While Bakula is iconic to the role, could Sam be recast so that he could be brought into the fold without the actor needing to sign on? Martin Gero addressed the idea:
Well, Martin Gero certainly didn’t mince words or beat around the bush about the idea of recasting Sam Beckett! Apparently, the options for Sam are either for Scott Bakula to return or Sam never to come back on screen at all. Based on the showrunner’s promise of a “pretty wild” second season, it sounds like the show isn’t going to need Bakula or Sam to guarantee more of the action and stories that made Quantum Leap an early hit of the fall 2022 TV season.
Unfortunately, there’s no news at the time of writing about when exactly that second season will premiere on NBC, although hopefully it will be part of the fall lineup again. For now, you can always revisit the first season of the revival and/or the original series streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.