Speaking at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, Amazon CEO and cyberpunk villain Jeff Bezos announced that hit sci-fi series The Expanse had been ‘saved’ – that is, renewed for a fourth season by Amazon Prime after having been cancelled earlier this month by its former broadcaster, the Syfy network.
Bezos made this announcement at a talk attended by members of the cast and crew, which must have been a pleasant surprise.
This follows outcry on a massive scale from fans of the show, with an online petition to resurrect the show garnering over 100,000 signatures. Celebrities such as comedian Patton Oswalt and writer George RR Martin voiced support, and the show’s fanbase had a whip-round to have a banner reading ‘#SaveTheExpanse’ flown around Amazon’s headquarters. Evidently Mr. Bezos looked out his window at the right moment – although, to be fair, he’s said to be a fan of the series of novels on which the show is based.
While Netflix, who distribute the show internationally, were also touted as potential saviours, the fanbase always had their eyes on Amazon – as evidenced by the plane campaign – possibly because Bezos is known to be a fan.
Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, founders of Alcon Entertainment, which produces the show, tweeted a statement in response: “We couldn’t be more excited that The Expanse is going to continue on Amazon Prime…We are fully aware that this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the staggering outpouring of support from the most creative, hardest working sci-fi fans around the world. From reddit campaigns to airplanes, we say thank you. It worked!”
Coming fresh on the heels off another popular show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, being cancelled and then almost immediately picked up by another network, this, perhaps, heralds a sea change in television as a medium. It can’t quite be called democratic, but this suggests a shift in favour of vocal, devoted fanbases, and away from what shows survive and what shows die being governed purely by dispassionate bar-charts of viewing figures.
The Expanse is currently airing its third season (still on SyFy, but not for long), which has garnered an impressive 100% fresh rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes.
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