Fans of the Syfy series The Expanse are not taking the show's cancellation lightly. They are petitioning both Amazon and Netflix to pick up the series for their respective streaming services, renewing it for season 4 and allowing the show to come to a natural conclusion. Based on the novels of the same name by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (who write collectively under the pen name of James S. A. Corey), The Expanse is set in a future where humanity has successfully colonized the Solar System.
The show follows a rotating cast of government officials, police officers, and military members - all of whom begin to investigate a vast interplanetary conspiracy from different angles. The series has been praised for its complex characters, fantastic visuals, and riveting plotting. It has won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and one Saturn Award nomination as well. Unfortunately, that, as well as a loyal fan base, wasn't enough to save it from cancellation by Syfy, though the agreement that was struck between Syfy and production company Alcon Entertainment practically guaranteed a cancellation at some point.
The Expanse's fan base has now established a petition on Change.Org, pleading for either Amazon or Netflix to purchase the rights to the series and keep it running. At the time of this writing, the petition has amassed nearly 90,000 signatures in just six days.
Petitions to save popular television series from cancellation have become increasingly popular, though the end results have been decidedly mixed. Recently, Marvel fans swung into action, petitioning for the renewal of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D when word got out that the long-running series was on the chopping block following ABC's cancellation of Marvel's Inhumans. Similar efforts were launched for FOX's Lucifer and Starz Ash vs. The Evil Dead, though the latter effort was shot down by Bruce Campbell when he announced his retirement as Ash Williams.
The most successful of these fan efforts to date is the recent campaign to save Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The critically acclaimed cop show, which had run for five seasons on FOX, was picked up by NBC one day after its cancellation, following an online campaign that saw extensive support from the show's devoted fans on social media.
It remains to be seen if the effort to save The Expanse will be as successful, but nearly 90,000 signatures in less than a week is nothing to brush off, particularly in these days when just over one million regular viewers per episode can be considered respectable for a cable television series. On the other hand, Amazon and Netflix may be more interested in pursuing their own science-fiction properties than saving established shows. However, it's also worth noting that Netflix already distributes the series internationally, whereas Amazon has domestic online distribution rights. So, anything's possible.
[UPDATE: The Expanse producers released the following statement regarding the push to save the series.]
“The outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the fans of THE EXPANSE has been remarkable and encouraging. The show’s impassioned fan base, including hundreds of thousands of viewers and the likes of of George R.R. Martin and Patton Oswalt, appear to be as hopeful as we are that this stunning space drama can find a new home on another platform.” - Alcon Entertainment co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson