It was just over a year ago on July 1, 2013 that an odd little series named Siberia slipped onto the NBC Summer schedule with little fanfare and began its first season run. Those who had no knowledge of what the show was about were in for a surprise because at first glance it looked like little more than latest reality TV retread on the Survivor formula, only this time moved to the wilderness of Siberia. But things quickly took a twist as one of the contestants had an ill-fated encounter in the first episode and the others soon found that the game had morphed into a struggle to stay alive. And thus this mock-reality horror series hooked its viewers into its concept and set off on its journey of compounding mysteries and increasing terror.
NBC did very little to promote this series prior to its debut last season and viewers may have been a bit confused at first because it took a few episodes to fully develop into the horror series it would become. But by the halfway point, this show had turned into an engaging bit of genre television that had its audience riveted and asking questions about all the mysteries that kept surfacing. The problem was, though, that by that point the viewership had dropped almost in half from where the show premiered.
The first episode of Siberia pulled a 1.1 rating in the overnights based on the 18-49 demographic, which wasn’t a spectacular bow but was still good enough for a lower cost entry airing during the Summer. But the lack of promotion along with a premise that may have confused many viewers and the fact that Siberia aired in the same timeslot as the surprise CBS hit Under the Dome (which pulled a 2.9 rating for its debut on that same night), all worked against the show. It’s numbers starting decline to the point that it was pulling scores in the 0.7/0.6 range for the second half of its season.
After the series ended its first season run (on one hell of a cliffhanger), NBC said nothing about a renewal or cancellation, though it was noticeably absent from their Summer 2014 schedule. By all appearances, it looked like it was de facto cancelled, but in truth this only meant that NBC had chosen not to air further episodes of the show. But Siberia’s production company—Sierra/Engine Television—still owns it and can shop the show around to other venues. And apparently that is exactly what they are doing.
I did some checking up on the show’s actors on Twitter, and over the past few months they are still making public appearances together and the series has since had its debut internationally across several countries, so it is getting increased exposure. I checked in with several of those actors and received this tweet response from Neeko Skervin (@NeekoSiberia): “Yes there is still a really good chance of Siberia Returning. As of now negotiations are underway to make it all happen.” And also this from Miljan Milosevic (@MiljanMilosevic): “it isn’t cancelled yet. We will see. There’s still hope as far as I know…” I also contacted Sierra/Engine asking about the status, but have not received a response yet.
But despite the lack of substantial activity on the show and the fact that it has been written off as dead several times (including by me), a second season could still be on the horizon. And based on the traffic that I have seen lately at CancelledSciFi.com checking on the status of the show, apparently this sleeper sci fi/horror series has developed somewhat of a fanbase in the States and internationally. I would suggest that fans continue to make their presence known on Twitter and Facebook and also contact Sierra/Engine directly (Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org). A continued show of support can only help the show’s prospects at this point. And I am guessing that after Siberia has made the rounds internationally, then the studio will get to work on that long delayed second season.
For those who have not seen the series, I highly recommend checking it out. It received its DVD release earlier this year and is currently available from Amazon.com for under $20 (buying up the DVD set would be a good show of support as well). It was only eleven episodes, so you can make it through the first season pretty quickly, but by the time that final cliffhanger hits you are going to find yourself screaming for more and ready to join up with Siberia’s ever-growing fanbase.
Buy Siberia and Other Sci Fi TV Shows on DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon.com: