Defiance was a big financial investment and a content experiment for Syfy; it was developed in a partnership with Trion Worlds as a convergence of television and online gaming. After a solid ratings start, the show has been sliding, with its most recent third season averaging 1.1 million viewers in Live+same day, down 28% from Season 2. Still, Defiance qualified as Syfy’s most watched drama series this year, making its cancelation clearly a financial decision.
Defiance, from executive producer/showrunner Kevin Murphy, was set in the near future and featured an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven alien races. Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin also executive produced.
“Defiance was a truly groundbreaking series, delivering an immersive, cross-platform experience that transcended the television screen in a way that viewers had never seen before,” Syfy said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of the work of the extraordinary cast, writers, artists and designers – and especially showrunner Kevin Murphy – who together brought the rich world of Defiance to life over its three season arc.”
Added Murphy, “I got to collaborate with a group of stunning artists operating at the top of their game, and together we built a world. Because of that, there is no room for anything other than joy in my heart.”
Defiance is the latest Syfy drama to end this year, joining Dominion, Haven, Lost Girl and Continuum, as Syfy is overhauling its original slate. Coming up later this year are new series The Expanse, starring Thomas Jane, and limited series Childhood’s End, an adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel.
On tap for next year are new series The Magicians, Hunters as well as returning 12 Monkeys, which was renewed for a second season, and Canadian imports Killjoys and Dark Matter.