‘Defiance’ Canceled By Syfy After 3 Seasons

On the heels of canceling Dominion after two seasons, Syfy also has canceled its former companion, Defiance, after three seasons.

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 slateComing 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.

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  1. chuckiechkon Oct 16, 2015 12:41 pm

    hmmm, wonder what will happen with Z-Nation

    • tomko44on Oct 16, 2015 2:02 pm

      I think that the writers thought Z-Nation was going to be canceled and the end of season one was the end of it. This season got a bit wacky. How Citizen Z went from being in a secure, remote arctic station to some old burn-out warehouse complex is stupid. The show is campy and fun, but not well thought out.

      • chuckiechkon Oct 16, 2015 2:50 pm

        zombie farm animals lol

      • hawkdoc60on Oct 16, 2015 6:22 pm

        Z-Nation was wacky from the very beginning. I had to stop watching i after the third or fourth episode.

  2. on Oct 16, 2015 12:42 pm

    Syfy can’t seem to find their niche. Their development seems off under this new west coast regime, and the ratings keep sliding. Plus, sister network USA is getting more into their space, and candidly doing it better.

    • on Oct 16, 2015 12:58 pm

      Disagree. Science fiction IS a niche. SyFy was run by morons for a long time and the new regime needs time to get things on the right track again.

      • shutuprobon Oct 16, 2015 2:44 pm

        Yes, sci-fi/fantasy is supposed to be SyFy’s niche — the problem is that SyFy is run like nobody there knows it. They air non-genre crap like wrestling and reality crap like Ghost Hunters and they keep cancelling scripted shows, which are *supposed* to be their bread and butter after 2 or 3 seasons, often on cliffhangers. Defiance, Dominion, Alphas, Stargate Universe — of those four, only Defiance got a real finale. Caprica was more or less pre-cancelled when SyFy realized that it was dystopic science fiction and set it up for failure by airing it all by itself, without another one-hour scripted show airing either before it or after it. By SyFy’s recent (lack of) standards, Lost Girl and Haven’s five-year runs and Being Human’s four-year run are anomalies.

        I think that the time is ripe for one of the other media conglomerates to start a real SF/F channel. It’s not as if SyFy wants to be one.

        • Jameson Oct 16, 2015 9:28 pm

          Face Off’s quite a very show that really fits Syfy’s brand. They should have more of that.

          Speaking of, I wonder if there’s still another new season of Creature Shop Challenge.

        • Lisa Tomlinon Oct 17, 2015 4:39 am

          I so agree with you. Syfy has way to many non genre shows on the air. The problem with SyFy is that its ran by a bunch of people that don’t know what real Sci fi shows are. A lot of Sci Fi fans will not watch crap shows such as wresting and reality shows They keep cancelling shows that have followings and are good shows. Such as Dominion and Haven and Eureka and adding crappy reality shows that some sci fi fans will not watch. I am not trying to trash those shows but some fans will not watch them and don’t consider them part of the genre. SyFy needs to find a balance between those fans who like doing that and those who don’t. But that will never happen sense the channel is ran by a bunch of idiots who don’t really know the genre and the fans who like sci fi. At this point the channel has screwed with the fans so much that I don’t think they will ever get back to its glory years of the past. In my experience sci fi genre fans have long memories.

        • D Ruth Stricklandon Oct 18, 2015 8:29 am

          shutuprob, You are so right. SyFy is Biting its own nose off to spite its face.Whoever is running SyFy is a MORON

    • hawkdoc60on Oct 16, 2015 6:24 pm

      It would help if Syfy stepped away from its “original” movies with the horrible CG effects and shitty story writing. Go back to the classic sci-fi shows and movies, and it would likely fare better.

  3. Maryannon Oct 16, 2015 1:00 pm

    I am very happy that Defiance got the ending it did, although it was bittersweet to say the least. I am not sure how they would have come back from that ending if they had wanted to, but I would have loved to see it go on. The showrunners must have seen the writing on the wall. This really did feel like a series ender.

    • tomko44on Oct 16, 2015 1:59 pm

      I think they knew the writing was on the wall and ended the season in such a way that they would be ending the series as well.

  4. nerdrageon Oct 16, 2015 1:07 pm

    SyFy is making some of the right moves, getting rid of crap like Dominion and Defiance. The much-better 12 Monkeys is the right direction. Hope The Expanse is more of the same, with Childhood’s End to follow…

    • John B.on Oct 16, 2015 11:34 pm

      100℅ Agreed.

  5. Citizen Roperon Oct 16, 2015 1:16 pm

    “cross-platform experience” = marketing gibberish. Loved the series idea but all the bells and whistles that came with it just looked like dead weight.

    • tomko44on Oct 16, 2015 1:58 pm

      It wasn’t marketing gibberish… it is a statement of fact. Defiance was launched with the online MMORPG of the same name. The game was supposed to change based on the series and vice-versa. The problem was with the game. I tried it and it was very hard to use the skills and get better weapons. I eventually expect the game to collapse.

  6. Mon Oct 16, 2015 1:40 pm

    Kevin is the epitome of class and deserves all the success in the world – a shame to see this go but I’m sure something even better is forthcoming.

  7. Ianon Oct 16, 2015 1:41 pm

    SyFy need a Game of Thrones-type or Sopranos-type hit to put them on the map and they’ll be set.

    • Alex Bartooon Oct 16, 2015 8:30 pm

      They had one, It was called Stargate SG-1 and it ran from 10 years.

  8. Irzuon Oct 16, 2015 2:10 pm

    Defiance was a great show, sad to see it end. This third season was really strong, and Kevin Murphy is an incredible showrunner, great writer, and very nice man.

  9. scriptwreckedon Oct 16, 2015 2:37 pm

    Damn. Sorry to see it end. Defiance is one of those rare shows that actually got better with every new season. It was one of my favorites and it will be sorely missed.

    • Anthony F. Sanchezon Oct 16, 2015 4:16 pm

      I totally agree with you. With each new season the writing was exponentially better and the story-line kept evolving in all the right ways. I am so disappointed right now.

  10. RichOrRickon Oct 16, 2015 2:57 pm

    Great! Now they can spend more time and less money making actual garbage like Sharknado and Big Creature vs. other Big Creature…

  11. Yannon Oct 16, 2015 3:03 pm

    SyFy continues to struggle. The new regime is arrogantly lost at sea. Non scripted is no better. Fce Off fell off dramatically after they won the Critics Choice award. Whose idea was Bazillion Dollar Club? They need to clean house.

  12. Evillincolnon Oct 16, 2015 4:01 pm

    I really dug this show.
    Right when they introduced the alien race that was clearly played by all black folk.

  13. Janis Mooreon Oct 16, 2015 4:14 pm

    Well, that’s the last of the shows that I watched on Syfy, so I guess I won’t be watching it anymore. The new shows that they have talked about I don’t have any interest in them either, such a shame. Back to animated Star Wars on the Cartoon Network. LOL

  14. Anthony F. Sanchezon Oct 16, 2015 4:14 pm

    Z-Nation SUCKS… Dominion SUCKED after season 2, and DEFIANCE WAS THE BEST DAMNED SHOW EVER. Are they really going to leave us hanging after the way this last season ended? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

    • Anthony F. Sanchezon Oct 16, 2015 4:19 pm

      I meant Dominion got worse with Season two. And I apologize for using the adjective “sucked” for Z-Nation. I should have just said it was plain HORRIBLE. Because it is. The decision to remove Defiance may be a financial one, but the show was brilliant. Thanks.

  15. NYC Juanon Oct 16, 2015 5:16 pm

    SyFy has been a head scratcher since it changed it’s name. Traditionally it has been the place on cable for sci-fi/horror but other networks have beaten them to the punch including A&E, FX, MTV, & it’s sibling network USA. SyFy would’ve given more time both in promotion & encores for iRobot. Why didn’t SyFy develop their own horror anthology TVMA series after FX scored big with American Horror Story? As the broadcast networks grab more Marvel/DC based shows, SyFy’s presence shrinks even further.

    SyFy needs to take a GoT like risk. The inclusion of the WWE was supposed to fil the coffers to enable that. Defiance & Dominion suffered from the same fate as many failed sci-fi shows. The writers were too focused on a weekly plot. The character development occured within that framework. GoT does the opposite. There are only a couple of spectacle episodes each season where the plot of the violence overshadows character development. The rest of the episodes are all character development. The viewer can sense the epic plot coming together as each character’s story trek begins to converge with the other.

    iRobot, TWD, & GOT all put character development far ahead of any concept of a weekly or epic/core plot. SyFy needs to try that.

    • Dennis Lincolnon Oct 16, 2015 10:16 pm

      Exactly this. Syfy should be doing what FX did with AMERICAN HORROR STORY or something like a more genre-tilted FARGO.

  16. JRodon Oct 16, 2015 7:10 pm

    I’m so pissed. I thought Defiance was SyFy actually giving a shit about production value, for once. I am a HUGE science fiction nerd, and SyFy finally broke me off with Defiance.

    I also thought Dominion was rather well-done.

    They need to stop investing in crap shows, and keep their eye on producing higher quality ones. Take a note from UK television–less shows, higher quality.

    Asshats! The lot of em’.

  17. Todd at the beachon Oct 16, 2015 8:27 pm

    Ghosts of Stern all die a sad death

  18. Sjron Oct 16, 2015 8:31 pm

    How saw. Defiance was well executed and had production value. Post alien invasion world with many races in peace and turmoil. Star Trek esc with tough guys and a theme. Killjoys better stay because thats all they have left unless we need to see Tara Reids crooked boobs get bit every summer. Get it together SyFy llus.

  19. am440on Oct 16, 2015 11:50 pm

    Since the name change they’ve gone down hill. I liked Defiance, Alphas, Lost Girl, Being Human, Continuum, The Dresden Files, Farscape, Sanctuary and the Stargate Franchise. Haven started out great but for me has turned odd. I hate the Ghost Hunter crap they have on and the two hour schlock movie on Saturday night. I’ve taken to watching the old shows on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

  20. on Oct 17, 2015 1:48 am

    Funny, they cancel Defiance, which was simply awesome, but they keep that dumb Killjoys garbage. That has got to be THEE dumbest junk on TV!

  21. SILENCERon Oct 17, 2015 7:14 am

    The SciFi channel’s largest error was NOT taking Blood and Chrome to series. It would have been a massive success. Defiance may have run it’s course, but it was – at the very least – the best looking show on the channel.

  22. Elizabeth L Tayloron Oct 17, 2015 7:20 am

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I binged watched this show on Amazon Prime and was really hoping for Season 4. I’m so disappointed. I will just have to deal with it as long as they don’t cancel Face Off any time soon, . I’m hoping the Expanse and Children’s End will satisfy.

  23. on Oct 17, 2015 8:34 pm

    That sux! I loved that show! It did end on a great note tho! I thought, what are they gonna do after this!?!

  24. Daniel Unedoon Oct 17, 2015 11:52 pm

    Launch a new network with a new Farscape show. People would flock to it.

    • Christina Janickion Nov 6, 2015 7:31 am

      Farscape was by far the very best sci fi show of all time! I’m over all the reality shows on “syfy” but they keep cancelling the good scripted shows over and over again. I just don’t understand that. Does anyone running the “syfy” channel know anything about science fiction?????

  25. AnnaGon Oct 17, 2015 11:57 pm

    Why create new shows just so you can cancel them after 2-3 seasons? If cancelling Continuum, Haven, Lost Girl and Dominion wasn’t enough of a saving to keep Defiance alive, then where’s the money for these new shows coming from?

    • Georgeon Oct 18, 2015 8:06 am

      Continuum and Lost Girl are both Canadian Imports.

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