Three shows, all sci-fi, and with one problem in common: Without help, and soon, they’re finished.
NBC’s Timeless, Syfy’s The Expanse, and Fox’s Lucifer are all in various stages of limbo, having either been canceled or not renewed by their respective networks, and are awaiting verdicts to decide their fate.
The Expanse is looking extremely likely to continue. Producer Alcon is in very deep talks with Amazon for a fourth season. That the first three seasons are already streaming on the service and that CEO Jeff Bezos is reportedly a fan also helps (and, let’s face it, Amazon can sure afford it). The move follows a huge fan movement to get the show rescued, with more than 130,000 people signing a Change.org petition and a GoFundMe campaign which paid for a “Save The Expanse” banner flown over Amazon Studios in Santa Monica last week. “The outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the fans of The Expanse has been remarkable and encouraging,” said Alcon Entertainment co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson in a statement. “The show’s impassioned fan base, including hundreds of thousands of viewers and the likes of George R.R. Martin and Patton Oswalt, appear to be as hopeful as we are that this stunning space drama can find a new home on another platform.”
As for Timeless, the show seemed doomed a couple weeks ago after NBC didn’t renew the time-travel drama for a third season along with its other last-minute pickups. On a conference call with reporters, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt didn’t give the obligatory “we love the show but…” when cooly explaining its fate would be decided after the finale aired. When its ratings barely budged for that last episode, odds seemed to go even lower. But then something happened. Which is to say, nothing happened. If NBC was going to cancel the show, why wait? The delay could suggest efforts are being made on some level to keep things going. We’re hearing there should be some resolution relatively soon (if fans are unlucky, then perhaps during the Memorial Weekend bad news dump).
Fox’s Lucifer probably might the longest odds, but this title isn’t officially dead either. The outpouring of fan love after Fox axed the drama took even the show’s star Tom Ellis by surprise.”Talks are happening,” Ellis told TV Insider. “It’s not going to be an instantaneous thing like Brooklyn Nine-Nine was. It’s worth reiterating that to the fans. But we’re not giving up. We knew we had a popular show, something people really adored, but not this much. I never felt like the numbers on Fox ever really reflected the actual popularity of the show.” As of Tuesday, Warner Bros. is continuing to make efforts this week to find Lucifer a safe haven.
In the meantime, Fox set an air date for two “bonus episodes” of the canceled series, “Boo Normal” and “Once Upon a Time,” which will air Monday, May 28.
For a full list of what was canceled right before the May upfronts, here’s our broadcast ax roundup.