SyFy Cancels The Expanse Due to Declining Ratings


Fans of the space opera television series The Expanse might be feeling more than a bit disappointed now. SyFy has opted to cancel the series after only three seasons. Based on the series of novels written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the pen name of James S.A. Corey, The Expanse tells the tale of a collective of characters dealing with mystery, intrigue, conspiracies, and military options throughout the far reaches of the solar system. The series seemingly did well for the first two seasons, but SyFy clearly wasn’t happy with the ratings for the third one. So, the cancellation order for The Expanse came through.

The series did start out strong. Thomas Jane played a police detective on the series. Jane likely helped establish the audience of the series since Jane gained a following from his starring role as Frank Castle in the popular 2003 Punisher movie. Jane’s quirky character of Miller originally found himself working missing person case that slowly unraveled a conspiracy. As the series progressed, the plot became more — pardon the pun — expansive. Storylines dealing with the United Nations and a potential nuclear war changed the scope of the series from the personal one centered on Miller. Making the series wider in scope wasn’t a bad idea per se. The novels did the same quite well. Unfortunately, the television series came off a bit too convoluted for viewers.

As the second season progressed, the various narratives became confusing. Too many characters competed for time on the screen. Far too many subplots entered the narrative. Confusion set in making the program difficult to follow. Jane, the top star of the series, seemed pushed to a supporting role. Viewers departed. Likely, The Expanse’s showrunners planned on a five-season or more series with the hope all the various subplots would be tied up. Poor ratings harmed that plan.

The Expanse, however, could continue on another platform. If sold to another network or streaming service, the fourth season and beyond would move forward. Currently, the producers of The Expanse are shopping the series to new buyers. The task may prove to be a very difficult one. Again, SyFy canceled the series because the ratings dropped down to levels below other original programs. Why would another channel pick up a series that isn’t drawing an audience? The answer is a different channel brings forth a different marketing and promotional campaign. Where SyFy falters another channel could succeed. Also, a new channel could fix up a number of the narrative problems with the series.


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