Last year, the creators of NBC’s time travel series Timeless got smacked with a lawsuit, claiming they’d stolen the idea for their history jaunting show from the Spanish series El Ministerio Del Tiempo. Now, Variety reports that a U.S. District Judge has denied NBC’s efforts to have the case thrown out outright, meaning it’ll move on to the summary judgment stage of the litigation process.
The suit—lodged by Onza Partners, the producers of the Spanish series—alleges a number of similarities between NBC’s show and its own, including shared goals of using time travel to stop a villain from changing the past, and “the presence of a three person team of one woman and two men,” in which the woman has “an academic background (with unorthodox elements) and knowledge of historical accuracy helpful—or crucial—to carrying out the given missions.” (Aura Garrido plays that part in El Ministerio, Abigail Spencer in Timeless.) Onza says it met with Sony in 2015 to discuss an American version of El Ministerio, negotiations that were abruptly cut off when Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke’s show went into development.
Judge Stephen Wilson ruled that “an examination of more than just the pilots is required” for a determination of similarity between the two shows, and that Onza’s “well pleaded facts state a plausible claim for an implied contract.” Timeless is currently 15 episodes into its first season.