Donald P. Bellisario and Scott Bakula have both expressed their ire with the NBC network over the series finale. Originally Bellisario was asked to write an episode that could function either as a season finale cliffhanger, or as an end to the show. When Bellisario complied, the cast and crew were assured of the series renewal. In the eleventh hour NBC decided to cancel the show after all, and re-edited the ending with title cards revealing the fate of Sam and Al. This was one of at least four endings, at least two of which were filmed. If the show was to end, Bellisario originally planned to have Al and Beth as an old married couple discussing how they would locate Sam who had leaped again. Had the show continued, Bellisario planned to have Sam leap into a space station in the distant future, and Al becoming a leaper himself to rescue Sam.
Sam leaped beyond his day of birth a total of four times. In Quantum Leap: The Leap Back - June 15, 1945 (1991), Al and Sam traded places due to an accident, which allowed for leaping within Al's life. In Quantum Leap: The Leap Between the States - September 20, 1862 (1993) revealed that Sam's great-grandfather had a very similar genetic profile and blood type. In Quantum Leap: Play It Again, Seymour - April 14, 1953 (1989) and Quantum Leap: The Americanization of Machiko - August 4, 1953 (1989), he hadn't been born yet but was already conceived. Although since he was able to leap into his great-grandfather, that would already allow him to leap back past his his own lifetime.