Bringing in Donald Faison as Booster Gold was designed to increase interest in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and fend off cancellation, according to executive producer and co-showrunner Keto Shimizu. Shimizu, who was set to leave the series at the end of season 7, has been on Twitter, engaging with angry fans who were shocked and saddened that the show was cancelled on a cliffhanger. The time-traveling superhero was a big part of that cliffhanger: Booster betrayed the team, and they were arrested by a shadowy group of time cops. Had the series gone forward, Faison would have been a series regular in season 8.

In the comics, Booster Gold is the father of Rip Hunter, the Time Master. On The CW, the familial connection would have been changed, but the pair would still have been tied together by the Legends: Rip was the one who first assembled the team.

“DC was in our corner trying to help our chances of renewal,” Shimizu told a fan on social media. “They and WB wanted us to survive. We were asked for a new character to ‘excite’ the audience, and attract more viewers. We requested Booster, and DC agreed. It was all in an attempt to save the show.”

Ahead of the finale, Shimizu’s co-showrunner Phil Klemmer told ComicBook.com that they had requested Booster Gold numerous times, and that he didn’t know why DC had finally agreed.

“His name has come up I feel like every single season, as far as back as I can remember,” Klemmer told ComicBook. “And it seems maybe the one time that we didn’t expect him, was the one time he landed in our laps. I’m forever grateful for DC and for [DC’s creative director for TV] Kim Roberto, who is covering our show. We were not expecting it. I don’t know how those things work. I don’t know what goes on. DC is a fancy, shiny building; I feel guilty even stepping into the fancy lobby. So I don’t know what happens in there. I just know that someone in there, we owe a giant fruit basket.”

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Shortly after his appearance on Legends, Booster was referenced briefly on The Flash. That series was consistently the highest-rated Arrowverse show for most of its run and a favorite of corporate executives at DC, Warner Bros. Television, and The CW. It seems plausible that Booster could show up there next year, although it’s expected that The Flash will end its run with a shortened, final season, so any significant guest stars are far from guaranteed.