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Frequency Producers Explain How All That Time-Traveling Will Work

Details on The CW's reboot

Malcolm Venable

CW's Frequency reboots the 2000 movie of the same name, following Detective Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List), who's stunned to hear her father's voice coming through a long-broken ham radio, 20 years after his death. Raimy warns her dad, NYPD Officer Frank Sullivan (Riley Smith), that the sting he's about to go on will lead to his death. Frank survives, dramatically changing Raimy's life in the present, but with tragic consequences.

Naturally, that means the series will spend its time hopping back and forth between 1996 (when Frank died) and 2016, meaning time-travel geeks have a LOT of questions about how exactly producers plan to make that work.

Producers, including Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) offered some insight into Frequency's time-travel mechanism at the Television Critics Association gathering Thursday in Beverly Hills. The show will be a blend of a family drama and a crime drama as both Raimy and her dad are living in their own times and creating memories.

Catch up on all the latest news from TCA

"The butterfly effect [will be] really personal," Carver said, adding that we won't see, say, a different leader of the United States in every time-change instance. "Moving past the pilot, we're going to be living in 1996 and 2016."

List said that, although she's having to suspend some disbelief, it's working so far. "I had to make the leap," she said. "How do you just believe? I think humans are naturally skeptical, especially as adults. I got used to making the leap to believing 100 percent. Raimy makes that leap in the pilot, given what her father does to make her believe. I'm going one day at a time. My brain hasn't exploded -- yet."

Frequency also stars Anthony Ruivivar as the deputy Chief of Police who led Frank on that last fatal mission; Mekhi Phifer as Frank's former partner, who's urging Raimy to let go of the hurt and anger; Daniel Bonjour as Raimy's boyfriend; and Lenny Jacobson as her childhood friend, Gordo (both of whom are kept in the dark about Raimy's secret).

Carver said producers currently have a three-year plan in mind for the show, with branches extending out to the future. "The show is not merely dependent on saving a family member," he said.

Frequency debuts Wednesday Oct. 5 at 9/8c on The CW.