Deadline is reporting that SyFy will not be renewing series The Expanse once the current third season has run its course. Alcon Television Group, which fully finances and produces the series, plans to shop it to other networks.
The Expanse is a series based on the best-selling book series of the same name by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The story unfolds across a colonised galaxy 200 years in the future, when two strangers become unwittingly swept up in a vast conspiracy.
The Expanse was one of the first series greenlit after the change in programming direction at SyFy in 2015, with the network signalling a return to its roots of sweeping space opera series in the vein of Battlestar Galactica. The show launched the same time as The Magicians, which has recently been renewed for a fourth season, and 12 Monkeys, which was renewed for the upcoming fourth and final season. The series is one of the most well reviewed sci-fi series on TV, with the current third season scoring 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (vs. 95% for Season 2 and 76% for Season 1.)
The report from Deadline indicates that the cancellation is said to be linked to the nature of the agreement of SyFy for the series, which only gives the cable network first-run linear rights in the US, meaning puts an extraordinary emphasis on live, linear viewing which is inherently challenging for sci-fi/genre series which tend to draw the main share of their audiences from digital/streaming.
Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, released a statement saying:
The Expanse transported us across the solar system for three brilliant seasons of television. Everyone at Syfy is a massive fan of the series, and this was an incredibly difficult decision. We want to sincerely thank The Expanse’s amazing cast, crew and all the dedicated creatives who helped bring James S.A. Corey’s story to life. And to the series’ loyal fans, we thank you most of all.
Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, released a statement saying:
We are very disappointed the show will not be returning to Syfy. We respect Syfy’s decision to end this partnership but given the commercial and critical success of the show, we fully plan to pursue other opportunities for this terrific and original IP.
Not going to lie, this potential cancellation of The Expanse as a whole stings for me, as the series is one of my favourites currently airing. I know some will be hoping that Netflix will pick it up, but I hope that there is still another life for the series as it is truly a great show.