In an unexpected decision, Syfy has opted not to renew its critically-acclaimed sci-fi series “The Expanse” for a fourth season – effectively ending the show on the network.
The decision comes as the series is in the midst of airing its third season with the finale to air in July – that rollout will still occur as planned. NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, who produces the series, says the cancellation was an “incredibly difficult decision”.
That this happened was a bit of a surprise. Though ratings weren’t stellar, they were solid and more importantly it was seen as a flagship show for the network – one that scored much critical acclaim and ushered in a new wave of smart sci-fi television. It remains the most well-reviewed sci-fi series on TV with a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for Season 3.
The problem is said to be linked to the nature of the series agreement – Syfy has only first-run linear rights in the U.S. to the series – which means it has to perform strongly in Live + Same Day viewing. That’s a challenge for a heavily serialised sci-fi series which relies mostly on digital viewing.
The show’s producer Alcon Television Group reportedly plans to shop it around to other networks saying in a statement: “Given the commercial and critical success of the show, we fully plan to pursue other opportunities for this terrific and original IP.”
Source: TV Line