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Amazon officially saves The Expanse (update)

You can’t stop the signal

Wes Chatham as Amos Burton in The Expanse.
The Expanse Writers via Twitter
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Update (May 28): Amazon officially saved the show on May 26, according to statements from CEO Jeff Bezos, as reported by Collider.

“I was talking to the cast half an hour ago, before the break for dinner started,” Bezos said at a National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference event. “I was telling them that we are working hard at Amazon to save The Expanse but it wasn’t a done deal yet. During dinner, ten minutes ago, I just got word that The Expanse is saved.”

A press release from Alcon Entertainment co-founders also confirmed the news:

We couldn’t be more excited that The Expanse is going to continue on Amazon Prime! We are deeply grateful that Jeff Bezos, Jen Salke, and their team at Amazon have shown such faith in our show. We also want to thank Laura Lancaster, head of Alcon Television for her tireless efforts. 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!

The rest of the story below is the original report.

Less than two weeks ago, Syfy announced that it had canceled The Expanse, a spacefaring drama that premiered in 2015, rather than pick it up for a fourth season. Yesterday The Hollywood Reporter said that Amazon is in talks to bring the show over to its streaming service. But the deal’s not done, and the show’s writers are encouraging fans to keep the pressure on.

Our colleagues at The Verge once called The Expanse the best space opera since Battlestar Galactica, and we’re inclined to agree. Based on a series of novels by James S.A. Corey, a pseudonym for authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, the space opera tells the story of a far future where humanity is strung out across the solar system and on the brink of civil war. The first season was well received by fans and critics alike, but viewership flagged in its second and third seasons. That’s why Syfy made the decision to cut it loose.

That’s when the community that surrounds the show sprung into action. Almost immediately an an online petition sprang up to save the show, which already has more than 132,000 signatures. It also created several crowdfunding campaigns. The first flew a banner that read “# Save The Expanse” over Amazon Studios headquarters. The second has reportedly taken a model of one of the program’s iconic spaceships and flown it to the very edge of outer space.

But while many outlets are reporting that the show has been saved, it’s not at all a done deal. The official Twitter account for The Expanse’s writers says in plain English that, “the deal’s not closed.”

A major factor that makes the show so portable is that Syfy neither owned the rights to the show nor produced it. That was all handled by Alcon Television Group. If Amazon or another streaming service wants to pick the show up, Alcon already has all the costumes and all the sets ready to go. They could potentially just port the whole production as-is over to Amazon for the fourth season.

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