‘The Expanse’ is officially saved and headed to Amazon
Another day, another streaming service swooping in to rescue a TV series that couldn’t cut it on cable.
For weeks, fans of Syfy’s The Expanse have been held in suspense over the show’s abrupt cancellation and subsequent hints of a pickup, a la Brooklyn Nine-Nine. That suspense is now at an end, thanks to Jeff Bezos.
The Amazon founder and CEO summed up the situation succinctly during an appearance at the International Space Development Conference: “The Expanse is saved.” The watching crowd, which included multiple members of the show’s cast, erupted with cheers immediately.
Alcon Entertainment, the production company behind the series, released a statement from the company’s two co-founders: “We couldn’t be more excited that The Expanse is going to continue on Amazon Prime! We are deeply grateful that Jeff Bezos, Jen Salke, and their team at Amazon have shown such faith in our show.”
In a subsequent tweet, Alcon also thanked Laura Lancaster, who heads up the company’s TV division.
We also want to thank Laura Lancaster, head of Alcon Television for her tireless efforts. We are fully aware that this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the staggering outpouring of support from the most creative, hardest working sci-fi fans around the world.
— Alcon Entertainment (@AlconEnt) May 26, 2018
Now three seasons deep (and counting, thanks to Amazon), The Expanse is based on a series of sci-fi novels by James S.A. Corey, a pen name used by co-writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. It’s set in a future where our solar system has been colonized, and the splintering of humanity across different planets (and non-planets) has created a unique set of socio-political tensions.
The show has won wide critical acclaim for its smart, relevant writing, but that acclaim hasn’t ever translated into a huge audience.
Ratings aren’t everything, of course, but there’s a business side to Syfy’s cancellation as well. The cable network has limited ownership of the series, with no stake in the streaming rights. That places the emphasis in Syfy’s investment on live broadcasts.
The fact that Alcon retains ownership of The Expanse is also a big reason why the show will be allowed to live on. When Syfy moved to cancel, Alcon was then able to shop the series around in search of a new home. Fans responded with a hashtag (#savetheexpanse), a widely circulated Change.org petition, and a GoFundMe campaign to pay for an airplane banner.
The show’s Amazon pickup had been rumored — Bezos is reportedly a big fan — but now it’s official.