The show’s cancellation comes just days after the cable network axed fantasy drama “Dominion.”
“Defiance” was Syfy’s big experiment with transmedia storytelling as the series’ storylines were specifically designed to mesh with the narrative of the video game of the same name, produced by Trion Worlds. The TV series revolved around the battles of seven alien races existing on a much-changed planet Earth.
Drama vet Kevin Murphy served as exec producer and showrunner of of “Defiance,” which wrapped its 13-episode third season late this summer.
“I got to collaborate with a group of stunning artists operating at the top of their game, and together we built a world. Because of that, there is no room for anything other than joy in my heart,” Murphy said.
In a statement, Syfy commented: “‘Defiance’ was a truly groundbreaking series, delivering an immersive, cross-platform experience that transcended the television screen in a way that viewers had never seen before. We are incredibly proud of the work of the extraordinary cast, writers, artists and designers — and especially showrunner Kevin Murphy — who together brought the rich world of ‘Defiance’ to life over its three season arc.”
After delivering good ratings on Mondays during its first season in 2013, “Defiance” fell off sharply in its move to Thursdays in 2014 and then again when it shifted to Fridays this summer. Its Aug. 28 finale averaged a 0.51 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.925 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.
Despite “Defiance” and “Dominion” being pulled off Syfy’s slate, the NBCUniversal cable network has a slew of high-priority projects coming up, including “The Expanse” and “Childhood’s End,” which are both set to bow on Dec. 14. Hotly anticipated series “The Magicians,” based on Lev Grossman’s novels, is set for a 2016 premiere, along with “Hunters, a thriller from “The Walking Dead’s” Gale Anne Hurd. Current series “12 Monkeys,” “Killjoys,” “Dark Matter” and “Face Off” have all been renewed, and in the works at the net is the Matt Damon-Ben Affleck produced pilot “Incorporated,” David Goyer’s Superman prequel “Krypton” and miniseries “Brave New World” from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV.
Rick Kissell contributed to this report.