Word just broke that Syfy has cancelled their post-alien invasion series Defiance after three seasons. The announcement does not come as a huge surprise because the show’s ratings have dropped notably over the past two seasons. In its first season, it averaged a 0.8 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic and then it dropped to a 0.5 average during its second season and a 0.3 score this past Summer. Also suggesting the demise of Defiance was the fact that Dominion was just cancelled this week after two seasons and its ratings were in the same range. When Defiance arrived on Syfy back in 2013, it was pegged as the network’s next flagship series and a online game tie-in was launched at the same time for a multi-platform experience. The game failed to find much success, though. and the audience for the television show had already started to drop off by the end of its first season. Syfy stuck with it for two more seasons but apparently decided not to go ahead with a fourth year. Defiance was likely an expensive entry for Syfy and it did not have much in the way of international partnerships or financing that I am aware of. That network’s Dark Matter and Killjoys, which aired in a three hour block with Defiance on Fridays this past Summer, pulled lower ratings and got renewed, but they are part of a partnership with the Canadian Space Channel. As more and more scripted shows are appearing across the many cable and broadcast channels and the audience is getting further fractured, these partnerships are becoming more important to the survival of television shows.
From what I understand, the Season 3 finale of Defiance wrapped up many of the show’s storylines and acted very much as a series finale. Still, I know that fans of the show were hoping for it to continue into a fourth year and I expect an attempt by them to try and convince one of the other networks and/or streaming services to pick it up, though we haven’t seen much success with that of late. Defiance joins several other Summer sci fi shows to get cancelled recently including Syfy’s Dominion, Extant (CBS), and Proof (TNT). And we are still waiting to hear word on The Whispers (ABC), Wayward Pines (FOX), Olympus (Syfy), and more. Keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for any breaking news because I expect to hear word on these shows over the next week or so.