'The Expanse' Canceled at Syfy

The current third season of Syfy drama The Expanse will be its last.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has made the decision to end the space drama with season three. The show's June 27 season finale will now serve as its series finale.

Starring Steven Strait and based on James S.A. Corey's best-selling book series of the same name, in the series written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, Syfy only had the rights to the first-run linear episodes in the U.S. That limited the upside for the cable network, making live and linear viewership imperative.

Opening to promising reviews and a strong collection of loyal viewers, its first season averaged 581,000 viewers in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, and 1.4 million total viewers with three days of DVR. Season two, which returned more than a year later with a significant marketing push and a solid lead-in, was down 24 percent among total viewers and averaged 457,000 total viewers. That compares more to similar returns for Syfy's inexpensive co-productions like Dark Matter and Killjoys, than to the cabler's original scripted series like The Magicians and Happy.

Its third season, which returned in April, tumbled another 5 percent among total viewers and 12 percent in the demo from season two.  

"The Expanse transported us across the solar system for three brilliant seasons of television. Everyone at Syfy is a massive fan of the series, and this was an incredibly difficult decision," said Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks at NBCU Cable Entertainment. "We want to sincerely thank The Expanse’s amazing cast, crew and all the dedicated creatives who helped bring James S.A. Corey’s story to life. And to the series’ loyal fans, we thank you most of all.”

The decision to bring The Expanse to its end comes as Syfy has a packed scripted roster that also includes the upcoming George R.R. Martin drama Nightflyers, The Purge, Deadly Class, Krypton, The Magicians, anthology Channel Zero, Van Helsing, Wynonna Earp and Killjoys, with the latter set to wrap in 2019. The Expanse will be Syfy's second series to conclude this year, joining 12 Monkeys.

Starring Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Dominique Tipper, The Expanse is set in a future where humanity has colonized the solar system. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men) served as showrunners and exec produced the Alcon TV Group drama alongside Naren Shankar.