After talks began last week, following the disappointing cancellation of the series at SYFY, Amazon has officially picked up The Expanse for season 4. The announcement comes after an impressive fan campaign that spanned the internet and even included a banner being flown over Amazon Studio’s headquarters in California. Needless to say, the studio got the message loud and clear, and has responded by throwing out a lifeline to one of the best science fiction series on television right now.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for television viewers, as the annual culling of shows seemed especially brutal this year. First there was the scare that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was on the chopping block along with Last Man on Earth, Lucifer and The Mick, but NBC came in with the save shortly (maybe too shortly) after the bad news was delivered. Nevertheless, the cops at the 99th precinct will get another season in 2019 and now it looks as though the crew of the Rocinante (or the Contorta) will get the same consideration, thanks to a smart decision by Amazon.
The move had been the show’s best hope and the likeliest place for it land. Amazon currently holds the North American SVOD rights to the series, which makes the decision to cut out the middleman essentially a no brainer. Alcon Entertainment will still produce the series with Amazon becoming its new home for season 4, and hopefully beyond. In a statement, Alcon Entertainment Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said:
“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. 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. From reddit campaigns to airplanes, we say thank you. It worked!”
While the support from fans likely played a significant role in Amazon’s decision, saving The Expanse also makes sense from the standpoint of Jeff Bezos’ recent mandate that the streaming platform find the next Game of Thrones. While it doesn’t seem likely that Amazon will suddenly start pumping a billion dollars into the series for season 4, like it appears the studio will do for the planned Lord of the Rings series, it may nevertheless be better suited to helping a Game of Thrones-like fandom flourish around the always impressive series.
That’s become especially important now that season 3 has really hit its stride and begun to deliver some incredibly strong episodes. It’s not too late to get into The Expanse if you haven’t already, (if you're in North America) you’ll just need an Amazon subscription if you want to see what you’ve been missing.
The Expanse continues next Wednesday with 'It Reaches Out' @10pm on SYFY.