Since 2009, Warehouse 13 has offered a quirkier alternative to the darker science fiction serials offered by the Syfy network. The tale of government agents tasked with recovering artifacts of supernatural or super-scientific origin has garnered a decent cult following over the years.
Though Agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McLintock), Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly), and Artie Nelson (Saul Rubinek) have survived everything from rage-inducing combs to a malevolently resurrected H.G. Wells, there's one thing the heroes of Warehouse 13 can't escape: network cancellation. In a move sure to disappoint loyal fans, Syfy has decided to discontinue the series.
EW reports that Warehouse 13's fifth season will be its last. Already truncated to just six episodes, the series will officially end in 2014. Syfy President of Original Content, Mark Stern, stated:
"Warehouse 13 has been an incredible signature series for us... We are grateful to the loyal and passionate fan base and know that Jack Kenny, his gifted creative team, and outstanding ensemble cast will give them an amazing finale season."
This is an odd move on the part of Syfy, given that season 4 of Warehouse 13 has yet to finish and production of its follow-up won't begin until mid-summer. The series is still pulling in decent numbers for the network (though its week-to-week ratings have fluctuated this season). So, why cancel a well-liked and well-watched show?
One possibility pertains to Warehouse 13's current lead-in series, Defiance. Defiance was a heavy investment for Syfy – a cross-media experiment designed so that an MMORPG video game and television show could actively promote and influence one another. Since Defiance has been officially picked up for a second season, it may be that Syfy is trying to free up more budget resources for the expensive property by cutting Warehouse 13 short.
Of course, this is all just speculation. It may be that Warehouse 13 was designed to end in its fifth season, and these final six episodes are truly its intended swan song. If so, this may end up being a blessing in disguise for the series' fans. After all, it's always a shame to watch a favorite show outlive its charm.
Warehouse 13 will continue to air its current season on Syfy on Monday nights.