There is hope for The Expanse beyond its upcoming third season, which will be the sci-fi drama’s last one on Syfy. I hear Alcon Television Group, which fully finances and produces The Expanse, is in conversations with Amazon about picking up the critically praised series for Season 4. Sources stress the talks are still ongoing. Reps for both companies declined comment.
Amazon, along with Netflix, have been main targets for the fans behind the #SaveTheExpanse campaign. The show’s supporters have launched a massive effort to get a streaming company to pick up The Expanse since Syfy 10 days ago decided not to renew the show for a fourth season, with the last episode slated to air in early July. The campaign has included a petition, which has collected 130,000 signatures to date, and a GoFundMe page, which collected money for a #Save The Expanse banner to be flown over the Amazon headquarters last week.
I hear there is interest in making a deal, but, like in the case of Netflix’s effort to pick up drama Designated Survivor following its cancellation by ABC, complex SVOD rights make negotiations complicated.
Amazon owns North American SVOD rights to The Expanse, while Netflix carries the series globally outside of North America and New Zealand. (Netflix also has global SVOD rights to Designated Survivor while Hulu has domestic ones.)
Still, sources close to the situation are optimistic that a deal for The Expanse is possible.
The Expanse, from Alcon and the Sean Daniel Co, 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 cancellation decision by Syfy is said to be linked to the nature of its agreement for the series, which only gives the cable network first-run linear rights in the U.S. That puts an extraordinary amount of emphasis on live, linear viewing, which is inherently challenging for sci-fi/genre series that tend to draw the lion’s share of their audiences from digital/streaming.
But that is exactly the type of show a streaming platform would be interested in. Additionally, Amazon has been looking to beef up its portfolio of original genre drama series, so The Expanse could fit into that effort.
Co-created and written by Oscar-nominated screenwriting duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men), the series is based on the bestselling book series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). The cast includes Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, Frankie Adams and Thomas Jane.