This Week in Sci Fi TV: Renewals for The Expanse, Legion, The 100, and More

By | March 19, 2017

There have been quite a number of renewal announcements for sci fi and fantasy shows over the past seven days, included some shows fans were nervous about, so this will be a special renewal announcement edition of This Week in Sci Fi TV.

 Renewed by Syfy for a Third Season

Syfy announced just yesterday that The Expanse has been renewed for a third season. That show is well loved by its fans, but the ratings have not been great in its second season and the renewal was definitely not guaranteed. It started out the season with a 0.25 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic, decent numbers for its network, but dropped within a few weeks to a 0.14 score, about where Incorporated was when it got cancelled this year. But it has trended up since then and has seen decent delayed viewing gains (I’m also guessing that its digital viewing numbers are good, but Syfy does not share those stats).

The show has received high praise from fans and critics alike and seems to be getting more attention from the sci fi community of late (in fact, I will be on an upcoming episode of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy discussing the show). It is based on the series of books by James S.A. Corey that currently includes six volumes with at least three more on the way. The Expanse combines hard sci fi with politics and is reminiscent of Battlestar: Galactica, a show that it is commonly compared to. Syfy refers to it as Game of Thrones in space, which is also a fairly adequate comparison. The third season will have thirteen episodes just like the second and should cover most if not all of the third book in the series Abbadon’s Gate. Expect it to debut early in 2018. The second season of the show, which airs Wednesdays at 10 PM EST, is currently eight episodes in and will wrap up on April 19th.

FX Renews  for a Second Season

FX announced this week that their X-Men spin-off series Legion has been renewed for a second season. The news does not come as a big surprise even though its ratings have been only passable the past few weeks. The show started out with a 0.7 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic, very good for a cable series these days, though it has slipped from there and been in the 0.4 range the past couple of weeks. But it has been more than doubling its numbers with delayed viewing (more important to the cable channels than the broadcast nets), and I’m betting that this show’s survival was not heavily leveraged on the linear viewing. The second season will likely be eight episodes like the first and it will probably debut in early 2018. This series, which is not tied to the big screen X-Men franchise, centers on the super-powerful mutant Legion who is the son of Charles Xavier in the comics (that connection has not been established in the show, however).

The CW Renews  for a Fourth Season

The Happy Net strikes again as The CW announced late last week that low rated The 100will be coming back for a fifth season. That post-apocalyptic show had its Season 4 debut last month and it has been performing below the network’s average, but it still got the renewal nod. Likely that is because The CW wants to get it to the seventy-plus episode range as the TV Grim Reaper suggests which makes it more attractive to the syndication market (though it does fall short of the typical 88 episode threshold). A fifth season of The 100 of thirteen to sixteen episodes (its typical order) gets it to 71-74 total. Consider it a good chance that could be the show’s final season, but that will have allowed it a decent run and the chance to wrap up its storylines if the creative staff knows in advance next year will be its last. I have had the show as On the Bubble but conditioned by the fact that it is a CW entry and that network’s decisions are not driven as heavily by the overnight ratings.

Syfy Renews  for a Fourth and Final Season Before Its Third Season Debut

Syfy has announced that time travel themed 12 Monkeys will continue into a fourth season which will be the final one for that series. That show, based on the movie of the same name, is currently scheduled to return on May 19th for its third year and the early fourth season renewal comes as a bit of a surprise. 12 Monkeys is one of Syfy’s lowest rated shows from the past few years, but it is also well regarded by sci fi fans. Apparently the network felt good enough about it going into its third year and to go ahead and give it that fourth, final season to wrap up all its storylines. That will give it a decently binge-worthy run of 46 episodes total and also should not leave fans hanging on an unresolved story arc. Its fourth season will be ten episodes like its third and will bow at some point in 2018.

Interestingly for this one, its third season will be aired in its entirety across three nights when it debuts on Friday, May 19th.

Netflix Officially Renews ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ for a Second Season

Netflix has officially picked up A Series of Unfortunate Events–based on the children’s books of the same name–for a second season. I had previously heard that the streaming service had committed to two seasons upfront, so I believe that this renewal was pretty much assumed all along, but Netflix has made it official now. The first season of the show averaged 3.8 million viewers per episode in the 18-49 demographic according to Symphony AM (numbers that Netflix disputes, though they don’t provide their own stats). That put it above Luke Cage and the second season of Daredevil as far as viewership goes. The next season of A Series of Unfortunate Events will like bow in early 2018.

More Renewals and Likely Renewals

Other recent renewal announcements include: Star Wars: Rebels (DXD), Lucifer (FOX), Channel Zero (Syfy), The OA (Netflix), Travelers (Netflix), The Good Place (NBC), The Librarians (TNT), Mars (NGC), Beyond (Freeform), The Flash (CW), Arrow (CW), Supergirl(CW), Legends of Tomorrow (CW), Supernatural (CW), The Man in the High Castle(Amazon)

Several shows that have not received a renewal announcement but that likely will include: The Magicians (Syfy), Gotham (FOX), and Shadowhunters (Freeform).

For a look at the status of all the currently airing sci fi and fantasy shows, check out the latest Scorecard at

First Trailer Drops for 

Starz’s American Gods–based on the Neil Gaiman book about the gods of old growing, well, old while living in America–is set to debut on April 30th. Here is the first full trailer for the show. (You can get a preview of the upcoming schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.)

News Bites:  Final Season to Have 6 Episodes

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed this week that the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will consist of eight episodes. That will likely air in 2018, with the seventh season (which will have eight episodes) set to premiere this Summer on July 16th. (You can get a preview of the upcoming schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.)

Patrick Stewart had claimed that he was retiring from the role of Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies (though he said he would do Deadpool 2 if asked), but he has made an exception saying that he would play the character in the Legion television series (in the comics, Professor X is the father of Legion).

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