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UPDATE: CW’s Not Cancelling Frequency, But They’re Not Ordering More

The radio set on the Frequency TV Series

The Frequency TV series season finale will air on January 25, 2017.

After experiencing continued soft ratings, Deadline is reporting that the CW is putting the brakes on their sci-fi drama series Frequency. The first season will only have 13 episodes, with the final one airing next year, on January 17th. The CW hasn’t canceled the series yet and may be waiting to see if viewership picks up once Frequency hits Netflix. Through an exclusive deal with the CW, 8 days after the finale airs in January, Netflix will have the entire 13 episode run available to stream.

Original Post 8-11-16: Frequency EP Explains Why the CW Television Reboot

Adapting movies into TV shows isn’t a new thing (Casablanca got a series back in the 50s), but it’s becoming a more popular thing in recent years. It’s being spurred on by the success of movie-to-TV shows like Stargate (an entire franchise in this case) and more recently Fargo, but the results aren’t always good, or profitable. (Looking at you, CBS, with your Limitless and Rush Hour shows.) So earlier in the year when it was revealed the CW was picking up a Frequency TV series, most people were conflicted. The original sci-fi thriller / drama wasn’t exactly a smash hit, but it has gained a following over the years. And now, Frequency EP Jeremy Carver has revealed why they wanted to bring the film to TV to attendees of the recent Television Critics  Association Event.

For those unfamiliar with the movie, the basic plot involves an NYPD detective who, thanks to a magnetic disturbance, is able to talk to his father 30 years in the past, the day before his father dies in a warehouse fire. He warns his father, and saves his life, but that action has unintended consequences, which the father and son must team across time up to correct.

Changing the Central Relationship in the Frequency TV series

Carver has previously shared that he’s a huge fan of the original film, and he said that when WB approached him with potential projects to develop, he had no idea they owned the rights to the property, let alone that they were open to doing something with it.

It was a popular movie in my heart. I really enjoyed it. From the moment I saw it, I was struck by the central relationship between father and son. Whether it was popular or not doesn’t affect how I decide what I like or not like, it was that central relationship. When I saw that there was a possibility to do it, I lept at the chance. I might contest that the movie wasn’t popular; it was very well liked. There’s a certain element of the movie that flies beneath the radar which is a plus for us because it allows us to develop new characters and takes (on the story).

Interestingly, though the central relationship between the father and son was key to Carver, he made the decision to change the son to a daughter (played by Peyton List) for the Frequency TV series. When asked why, he explained that it felt like a much bigger challenge to him to reinvent the story with a strong female character at the core. “The idea of exploring a father/daughter relationship where in many circumstances it’s just limited to a daddy’s little girl type of trope. I was very interested in exploiting that trope and exploring a very different kind of father/daughter relationship.

Rebooting a Less Popular Property

Star Lenny Jacobson also weighed in, discussing what he views as a benefit to adapting a lesser known / less popular property.

In this day and age when people are doing reboots, sometimes it’s better not to reboot something that is untouchable, as you can see with Ghostbusters this year. People lost their minds because you’re messing with their childhood. Thank god that since it’s not super popular we’re not going to ruin anyone’s childhood by redoing the movie into a TV show … Reboots are scary. People get angry.

Messing With Time

Carver also revealed that “the butterfly effect [will be] really personal.” He said that, for example, there wouldn’t be a different US President with every time change. He also added that after the pilot, the series would be living both in 1996 and 2016.

Carver also responded to concerns that the show could run out of ideas by the end of the first season. “As of right now, we have a three-year plan, which branches us off into more years if that’s where we’re going.” He added, “You see a lot of different things, a lot of different conflicts introduced in the pilot … Different family conflicts, different work conflicts that are not the central mystery.

The Frequency TV series debuts on Wednesday, October 5th. So, what do you think? Are you interested in the series? Do you think they’re on the right path for a reboot?

Featured Image: The CW

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