Scott Bakula Addresses ‘Quantum Leap’ Rumors, Says He Has ‘No Connection’ to the Reboot

Scott Bakula isn’t leaping back into Quantum Leap. The actor is not involved in NBC’s reboot of the much-loved series, he recently confirmed, though he’s given it his blessing. 

Scott Bakula won’t appear in the new ‘Quantum Leap’

Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell in a promotional shot for 'Quantum Leap'
Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett and Dean Stockwell as Admiral Al Calavicci in ‘Quantum Leap’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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On September 15, Bakula took to Instagram to “quiet the rumors” surrounding his possible return to Quantum Leap. Unfortunately, he had some bad news for fans who’d been holding out hope that his Dr. Sam Beckett character would appear in the new series, which premieres on September 19. 

“Thanks for hanging around through the decades! Here’s the simple version of what’s going on with the Quantum Leap reboot and me,” the NCIS: New Orleans star wrote. “I have no connection with the new show, either in front of the camera or behind it.” 

Recently, Ernie Hudson, who plays an older version of Herbert “Magic” Williams in the new series, told TVLine “the invitation is out there” for Bakula to reprise his role. That fueled speculation that the actor might return. 

A ‘Quantum Leap’ pilot script featured Dr. Sam Beckett 

The original Quantum Leap ended in 1993 with what many fans felt was an unsatisfying finale. After Sam succeeded in saving his friend Al’s (Dean Stockwell) marriage to his first love Beth (Susan Diol), a title card revealed that he continued to jump through time and never returned home. 

When the reboot was announced, some people expected that it would finally address the mystery of what happened to Sam. And it sounds like that may have been the original idea.

“In January, the pilot was sold and a script was sent to me because the character of Sam Beckett was in it, which makes sense, right? As so many of you have been asking me [for] the last several months, ‘How could you do QL without Sam?’ (or Al, for that matter),” Bakula wrote. 

However, Bakula ultimately decided not to sign on to the new Quantum Leap

“As the show has always been near and dear to my heart, it was a very difficult decision to pass on the project, a decision that has upset and confused so many fans of the original series,” he went on to say. 

Bakula pointed out that the show’s core concept of “‘leaping’ around in time and walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” was still “worthy of exploration, especially given the current state of mankind,” even without his character.

“In that spirit, I am crossing my fingers that this new cast and crew are lucky enough to tap into the magic that propelled the original Quantum Leap into the hearts and minds of generations past and present,” he added. “I wish them good luck and happy leaping!”

Dr. Ben Song is the new head of Project Quantum Leap

In the rebooted Quantum Leap, Raymond Lee plays Ben Song, a physicist who’s leading a new team charged with restarting Project Quantum Leap. The goal? To understand the mysteries behind the machine and the man who created it. But things take a turn when Ben makes an unauthorized leap into the past, leaving his remaining team members behind to try to figure out what motivated him to make such as risky move. 

In addition to Lee, the cast includes Caitlin Basset as Ben’s holographic time-travel companion, Addison; Mason Alexander Park as Ian Wright, who runs the team’s AI unit “Ziggy”; and Nanrisa Lee as Jenn Chou, the project’s head of digital security. Hudson plays Magic Williams (a character previously played by Christopher Kirby), the no-nonsense military officer at the head of the confidential operation.  

So, will the new Quantum Leap deliver the answers fans of the original show have spent the past three decades asking? That remains to be seen. Though Bakula won’t appear, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of the show clarifying what Sam has been up to – and where in time he’s been – all these years.  

Quantum Leap premieres Monday, September 19 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. 

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