USA confirmed yesterday that sophomore series Colony will be returning for a third season. That show’s linear ratings have been down a bit in its second year, but I have been confident that it would get the renewal nod because it is still performing well for a cable series and it has been posting good delayed viewing gains (more important to the cable channels than the broadcast nets). It has also been the most-watched scripted cable show on Thursday nights based on total viewers throughout its first two years. Plus, Colony has a very loyal fanbase that has been active on the social nets lately lobbying USA to renew it with the #RenewColonyNow hashtag campaign. That is another factor that I believe has been important for the cable channels, especially if they have international financing and/or partnerships tied to a show, because it provides another measure of the audience strength and also shows engagement, something that the old school Nielsens do not capture. We have seen shows like Stitchers on Freeform and Wynnona Earp on Syfy get renewed despite low ratings in part because of their “stickiness” on the social nets. Colony does not necessarily count as a low-rated show, but I do believe that the engagement on the social nets by its fanbase helped it out.
The third season will have thirteen episodes like the second and will debut in early 2018. This show comes from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Ryan J. Condal and focuses on a family that must make difficult choices in order to survive while living in a world under alien occupation. It stars Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead). On Monday, USA announced that their supernatural series Falling Water would be returning for a second season.
Also announced yesterday, Netflix has given the greenlight to a third season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the Lemony Snicket children’s books by Daniel Handler. The first season of that show started streaming in January and has been well received. A second season was confirmed last month and now Netflix has extended that to a third. The first season covered books one through four and now it looks like the next two seasons should finish out the complete run of thirteen books. Whether the streaming service decides to take the story beyond that remains to be seen. A Series of Unfortunate Events stars Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) and Patrick Warburton (The Tick, Seinfeld) and was developed and produced for television by Barry Sonnenfeld. The second season should debut in early 2018 with the third following in 2019.
We are currently in Upfront season when the networks are preparing their schedules for the 2017-18 season and beyond, so expect plenty more announcements over the next month or so. And be sure to stay tuned to this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for updates and breaking news.