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Timeless: How to Get Viewers to Actually Watch

Time-travel series offer an always intriguing premise: What if?

Such shows rely on the butterfly effect. This is a phenomenon in which a small localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. And you can't find a much more complex system than the history of the world. What if you make a small change in the past? How will it affect the future?

On paper, Timeless sounds like a great idea. It's created by talented producers Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and Shawn Ryan (The Shield). It combines parts of Quantum Leap (jumping back to key points in history) and Sliders (a team format). Granted, Sliders was more inter-dimensional than time travel, but it still fits the what-if format.

Let's start with a simple overview of Timeless (no mean feat). Gabriel Flynn, a former Nsa asset, breaks into Mason Industries and steals a top-secret time-machine prototype and kidnaps the project director,

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