I’m running a bit behind on posting this info because I have been helping with relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey, but Syfy made two major announcements late Friday.
The bounty-hunters-in-space show Killjoys has been renewed through a fifth and finale season with ten episodes each for its final two years. The news does not come as a huge surprise because, despite year-over-year ratings drops, it was the network’s highest rated show in the 18-49 demo this Summer (though Dark Matter did beat it in total viewers several times), and it comes as part of a partnership with the Canadian Space Channel which helps defer costs. Plus, these low to moderate rated cable shows have typically been getting renewed through a fourth or fifth season once they hit their third year to give them a binge-worthy run (though that didn’t hold for Dark Matter, more on that below). Series creator Michelle Lovretta commented that “this renewal is the kind of privilege every creator hopes for — a chance to plan the end of your story with the luxury of 20 episodes to do it”. The fourth season of Killjoys is scheduled to air in Summer of 2018.
Not so lucky was the criminals-turned-heroes-in-space show Dark Matter. The show has a similar partnership with the Space Channel and similar ratings levels–though they dropped further than Killjoys this year–but Syfy was not inclined to keep that one going. Series co-creator Joseph Mallozzi made the following rather terse statement in his blog after the cancellation.
It is with great sadness that I confirm the news. Syfy has cancelled Dark Matter after three seasons.
To say that I’m incredibly disappointed would be an understatement.
I’ll save my comments and field your questions in a future blog entry. For today, I just want to extend a heartfelt thanks to my amazing crew, my wonderful cast, and to all of you, our incredible fans.
You all deserved better.
Mallozzi elaborated on the situation in a subsequent post and claimed the cancellation came due to the ratings drops and the fact that the series was an acquisition and not owned by Syfy (thus the network sees little or nothing on future gains). He said that he offered to pitch the fourth season of the show to the network executives, but they were not interested. He claimed that he had an overall five season arc, but indicated that he could do a wrap-up of the show with a six episode mini-series.
I have already seen fan efforts start to emerge to save the show, so perhaps that final season is still possible. Previously, Syfy (then known as the Sci Fi Channel) agreed to do the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series after they cancelled Farscape, so a strong showing from the fans could convince them to do the same for Dark Matter. We have already seen NBC’s Timeless uncancelled after a push from the fans on the social networks and Netflix agreed to a series finale for Sense8. So if fans come together and make enough noise, perhaps Dark Matter could get at least one more season. I cover in more detail what fans are currently doing at this link.
Among Syfy’s other Summer shows, Wynonna Earp was renewed for a third season in July and Blood Drive is still awaiting word on its fate, though its future does not look promising due to its low ratings.