While we hate to use the overworked “prestige TV” descriptor, it’s kind of hard not to when discussing The Expanse.
The critically acclaimed series, created and written by Oscar-nominated screenwriting duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men), and based on the bestselling book series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey), was recently cancelled by Syfy, in a move that shocked fans, and sparked a massive fan campaign to see the show picked up elsewhere.
The cancellation was said to be based on the nature of the original agreement between the show’s producers (Alcon Television Group), and Syfy, for the series. As was revealed post cancellation, the cable network only ever had first-run linear rights in the US — meaning that in order for Syfy to profit from the airing the show, live viewing figures would have had to be huge. And as anyone who enjoys scifi knows, most tech-savvy scifi and genre fans tend to opt for digital viewing or streaming over watching live, meaning The Expanse was never going to make the cut from that ratings standpoint.
However, following the disappointing news, now comes a ray of hope in the form of streaming giant Amazon, who we hear are in “preliminary talks” to pick up the series for season 4.
Amazon currently owns North American SVOD rights to The Expanse, while Netflix caters to the series outside of North America. So what does that mean for the show’s chances? Well, while SVOD rights spell complicated negotiations for all those parties involved, it’s common knowledge that Amazon is currently looking to add to its roster of original drama series. A genre show like The Expanse might just be the sort of show a streamer like Amazon might want to attract, if a deal can be struck.
The Expanse is currently airing its third season Wednesdays on on Syfy, with a finale planned for June 27. The best thing fans can do now is remain hopeful and continue to tune in.
The series stars Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, and Frankie Adams.