Movies - TV
How a Battlestar Galactica Spin-Off Turned Into Quantum Leap
1978’s original "Battlestar Galactica" only ran for one season before being canceled, but it gained such a cult following that ABC contacted series creator Glen A. Larson to come up with a less expensive spin-off. The result was "Galactica 1980," which Larson created with "Battlestar Galactica" writer Donald P. Bellisario and was set in Galactica’s future and our present.
A caveat that ABC had for "Galactica 1980" was that it wanted the show to air at 7 p.m. and according to FCC regulations, programs airing at that time had to have some kind of educational content for children. Larson and Bellisario came up with the idea to have the characters time travel in each episode so that a history lesson could be incorporated into the adventures.
This original concept was only present in the three-part pilot, "Galactica Discovers Earth," as ABC wanted an even cheaper concept for the show. The Galactica heroes then engaged in smaller, present-day character dramas a la "The Fugitive" or "The Incredible Hulk," and "Galactica 1980" was canceled after 10 episodes.
When Bellisario was approached in the late ‘80s by NBC to develop a new series, he went back to the time travel idea to create “Quantum Leap,” which lasted five seasons and won 17 awards. The series followed Dr. Sam Becket as he would leap into various people with the help of a hologram and had to set the timeline straight before he can leap into another person to try and get back home.