Help, I've Been Peak TV'd!
12 Monkeys Syfy

Peak TV Treasure: 12 Monkeys

Are you overwhelmed by how much television is available right now? Is life getting in the way of keeping up with the shows you wanna try out? We feel your tube-related pain. Here’s a handy feature that’ll help you locate the hidden gems in this era of Peak TV.



CREATED BY | Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Nikita)

NUMBER OF EPISODES Twenty-six over the first two seasons.


PREMISE | I’ll try to keep this as simple as possible: James Cole (Nikita‘s Aaron Stanford) is recruited by a team of “Project Splinter” scientists to travel back in time to save the world. Where When he comes from — 2043, to be exact — humanity has been ravaged by a viral outbreak. Once in the present, he seeks the help of virologist Dr. Cassandra Railly (Suits‘ Amanda Schull), and together, they embark on a mission to stop the Army of the 12 Monkeys from unleashing the devastating virus. As Cole and Cassie dig into the group, they discover that the conspiracy is bigger than they imagined, and that its implications for time itself are potentially catastrophic. The cast also includes Fringe‘s Kirk Acevedo (as Cole’s best friend, Ramse), Rookie Blue‘s Emily Hampshire (as the unforgettable psych patient Jennifer Goines), Barbara Sukowa (as the time machine’s operator, Katarina Jones), The Originals‘ Todd Stashwick (as Deacon, the brutal leader of a group of survivors in the future) and Nikita‘s Noah Bean (as Cassie’s ex, Aaron).

WORTH YOUR TIME IF YOU ENJOY… | Smartly crafted time-travel plots that have consequences, post-apocalyptic scenarios, heavily serialized sci-fi mysteries, beautifully recreated historical details, stories about found families, love amid crazy circumstances.

YOU SHOULD PROBABLY ALSO KNOW… | You cannot check your email, do the laundry, etc. while watching 12 Monkeys. The show’s intricate mythology requires your full attention — but you’ll be handsomely rewarded for your close viewing when the storylines come together beautifully. (If you don’t understand everything that happens during an episode, don’t fret or give up. It’s still worth the ride, I promise.) And yes, the series is based on the 1995 film of the same name, but you don’t need to have seen it to enjoy the TV show.

IS IT COMING BACK? | Yes. Season 3 premieres later this year.

WHERE CAN I WATCH IT? | The first two seasons are available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Xbox.

Press PLAY on the video below for a very small taste of what 12 Monkeys is all about — we don’t want to ruin all the fun with spoilers! — then hit the comments: Will you check in with the show?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. webly3 says:

    Added to summer watchlist!

  2. Jami says:

    this is so good.

  3. Maria Foss says:

    OMG, Everyone should check out this show! If you don’t fall in love in the first 12 minutes, like I did, give it a few episodes. Or seven (which is when the series became Must See TV for my husband). The eps run the gamut, from suspense to horror to timey wimey alt reality tales, to soulful, surprisingly mature love stories. There’s even a sprinkling of humor Something for everyone!

  4. Ed says:

    12 Monkeys is one of the best shows on TV.

  5. GuessWhat says:

    dig the show
    jonesing for its return

  6. I’ll vouch for it! While I’ve been rapidly decreasing my serialized dramas and sticking with procedurals, fantasy and sci-fi which prioritize the stand-alone episode model, 12 Monkeys is one of the few serialized shows that needs to stay.

    While Cole and Cassandra are the main characters on the show, it’s Emily Hampshire’s stunning performance as Jennifer that steals the show (Brad who?) and it’s the beautifully crafted story and character of Katarina Jones that stole my heart.

    Do yourself a favor and watch it :)

  7. Karen says:

    Not sure that this show fits the category. It’s way too good to have been missed for 2 seasons. But if you have missed it then you are in for a treat as I would think binge watching would be an excellent way to view this one.

  8. laurelnev says:

    WHEN IS IT COMING BACK! I need a date!

    And if you’ve hung out w/ me on other genre show threads, you already know that I think THIS IS THE BEST!!! It’s what all movie homage and/or time travel shows should aspire to be.

  9. scifi woman says:

    Without a doubt, the best Sci-Fi show on TV right now. Incredible story telling.

  10. I am hopelessly addicted to 12 Monkeys. The series is well written, intelligent, visually stunning and the cast is amazing.

  11. Kim says:

    I love this show! It’s the best time travel show on TV.

  12. 12 Monkeys is one of the most brilliantly plotted programs of the past ten years. At each turn, the narrative is backed up by science, logic, and the key essence of human kindness and affection that allows us to not just root for our heroes, but LIKE them. This series is incredible, and reminds me how good and meaningful television can be.

  13. Rachel says:

    Whole heartedly agree. I’ve been losing interest in shows and dropping them left and right but not this gem. I am absolutely in love with it, it’s so good!

  14. Mariana Fernandez says:

    My fave show!! If you haven’t watched it do it now, you won’t regret it! It is smart, it is thrilling, it is intriguing. You will fall in love with the story and with the amazing tridimentional characters.

  15. Mo says:

    Do yourself a favor and listen to the “12 Monkeys Uncaged” podcast-brings another level of depth to the viewing

  16. Joe Tyrrell says:

    It’s as hard to write time travel as it is to do it, but 12 Monkeys is a consistently coherent, inventive, exciting and emotionally true adventure. It’s also very well acted.

  17. couch mom says:

    12 Monkeys, The Expanse, and Z-Nation are my favorite SyFy shows on now. Well worth the time.

    • Zoe says:

      The Expanse needs more exposure. Hands down one of the best show on TV today.
      The Production, editing, sound, acting , and writing need to be recognized more.
      There are official clips on YouTube if anyone want to check them out.
      The scene from last weeks episode with Thomas Jane is up on YouTube.
      It is a special scene that highlights how good the show is.

  18. Joey Padron says:

    Glad you picked 12 Monkeys as your pick for Peak TV feature this week. It’s such a great show and more people should be watching it. Can’t wait for new season to start!

  19. One of the most underrated shows on TV today.

  20. Kitty McCatUnit (@SharkUnit42) says:

    I was cynical when I started watching 12 Monkeys as TV versions rarely succeed. But by the first episode I was hooked and by halfway through S1 I knew I’d found my next obsession. After 20 years of X-Files I threw that out the window for this!

    If this show had the same publicity BSG did back in its heyday, it would be massive. It’s criminal how underexposed it is, because it’s right up there with Westworld in terms of brilliant writing and well developed characters, all acted with incredible talent.

    The plot is amazing and unlike most time travel shows, the creator knows his stuff and tries (and generally succeeds) in avoiding loopholes or addresses them with plausible explanations. Honestly, most other shows don’t come close to this standard, not to mention the writing team know how to develop emotion without being clichéd or cheesy.

    Thank you TV Line for your support! There’s so many of us frustrated fans out here wishing for greater media coverage, because once people have seen the show, they usually love it. It’s just nobody ever hears about it.

  21. Collette says:

    No. I’m astonished that, with so much TV available, 75% of it is crap, dumbed down and playing to the lowest common denominator. No wonder I rely so heavily on PBS and BBC.

  22. Ann says:

    I’ve watched this show since the beginning and I have to admit, it confuses the heck out of me. But the show is so good that it earns itself a second viewing so I can rewatch and put everything together and understand what’s going on.

  23. Katherine215 says:

    I’m so excited 12 Monkeys was highlighted!! It’s hands down my favorite show. It’s so good! Plot is so smart, characters are incredibly well-written, everything about it is perfect. WATCH IT!

  24. Pat says:

    Best summer watch ever! I am just so happy for a season 3.

  25. Camille says:

    Such a wonderful show !

  26. Maricar Dumlao says:

    Definitely worth watching!! Can’t wait for Season 3!!

  27. Luli says:

    I just need season 3, and Cassie and Cole.

  28. Catherine says:

    My husband and I even bought he Phillips Hue lights to sync with the show!

  29. slay says:

    “Hey look it’s time Jesus.” – Man this show has it all – humor, smart writing, great acting, insanely well thought out storylines, and best of all – it’s one of the best time travel shows ever!