‘Leverage: Redemption’: Will Mark Sheppard’s Sterling Be in the Revival?

Leverage The Queen's Gambit Job Crew Sterling
Erik Heinila / © TNT / Courtesy Everett Collection

With the first eight episodes of Leverage: Redemption, out now on IMDb TV, we’ve loved every single callback to the original series. But we can’t help but wonder about some missing familiar faces, especially Mark Sheppard’s James Sterling.

“Sterling does not join us in these 16 because his character was really tied to the Nate Ford [Timothy Hutton] storyline,” executive producer Dean Devlin tells TV Insider. So while there are some “fun” guest stars still ahead — the first half of the season included appearances from French Stewart, Andrea Navedo, Dan Cortese, Kim Matula, and Joey Slotnick — “it didn’t really make sense to bring him back yet.”

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In the original series, which aired five seasons on TNT from 2008 to 2012, Sterling worked for the same insurance firm as the late Nate Ford (the Mastermind) and later Interpol and was generally a thorn in the entire crew’s side, even when he needed their help, like in “The Queen’s Gambit Job.” (If you enjoyed Christian Kane’s Eliot Spencer and Sterling’s scenes together in that episode, you’re not alone; Devlin did, too.)

The good news is that while we may not see Sterling in the eight episodes out now or the eight still to come in the fall, Devlin isn’t looking at this as a one-season-and-done revival. “This is a show that we really only see ourselves doing maybe 25 more seasons, and then after that, we want to call it quits,” the executive producer says. “So I guess that’s my way of saying there are so many stories I want to tell in the Leverage universe that I don’t think we’d ever run out.”

And who knows, maybe a return from Sterling could be in one of those stories. After all, Sterling was in the original run’s series finale, which saw the crew successfully take the Black Book. (It’s the record of those who got their money out when the financial system crashed, the “holy grail of the ones who got away with it,” as Sterling called it.) And while it won’t be part of these 16 episodes, “it would definitely come up if we get more episodes,” Devlin promises.

Leverage Series Finale Hardison Parker Eliot

Erik Heinila/©TNT/courtesy Everett Collection

Leverage: Redemption, Part 1, Streaming Now, IMDb TV