×

Syfy Cancels ‘Defiance’ After Three Seasons

Syfy has opted not to go forth with a fourth season of “Defiance,” Variety has learned.

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.

More TV

  • An Emmy statue stands outside the

    How to Watch the 2019 Emmy Nominations

    Ken Jeong and D’Arcy Carden are gearing up to present 71st Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, and cord cutters can still tune in to find out who might take home TV’s top honors. The nomination ceremony will begin on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. PT/ 11:30 a.m. ET from the Saban Media Center in Los Angeles. Jeong [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News to Produce Two Daily Shows for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi

    NBC News has joined Quibi’s ambitious bid to build a mobile subscription TV service. NBCUniversal’s news division plans to build a custom set at 30 Rock where it will produce daily morning and evening newscasts, seven days per week, for Quibi, the well-funded mobile video startup from chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman. The [...]

  • David Harbour Comedy Special 2019

    TV Review: 'Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein'

    One thing the new mockumentary “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein” does quite well is prove that there are perks to appearing on a streaming service’s signature hit. David Harbour, the stolid and familiar presence from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” is given the opportunity to cut loose here with a broad, loopy half-hour that feels a bit like [...]

  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London

    BAFTA Undertakes Major Renovation of Its London Headquarters

    BAFTA has undertaken a major renovation of its London headquarters that will double the building’s capacity and increase space devoted to the British academy’s programs to promote skills training and new talent. Work has already begun on the $31 million overhaul, which is expected to take two years. In the interim, BAFTA will relocate its [...]

  • Picture shows: MAKING OF - Underwater

    Netflix Orders 'Oceans' Natural History Series From 'Blue Planet II' Creator

    Netflix has ordered a multi-part natural history series on the world’s oceans from Freeborne Media, the production outfit of acclaimed natural-history producer James Honeyborne, who created “Blue Planet II.” Each of the series’ episodes will focus on a different ocean, “combining the disciplines of oceanography, geography and earth sciences to experience these characteristics in new [...]

  • 13 REASONS WHY

    Netflix Revises Controversial '13 Reasons Why' Suicide Scene

    Netflix has edited the controversial suicide scene from “Thirteen Reasons Why” two years after the show originally premiered. “We’ve heard from many young people that ’13 Reasons Why’ encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help—often for the first time,” Netflix said in a statement Monday. “As we [...]

  • Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and

    Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and Heroic' 'Years and Years' Character

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of “Years and Years.” Russell T. Davies’ limited series “Years and Years” began with a birth, but it did not wait until the finale to book-end the story with a death. In the fourth episode of the multi-year spanning family drama, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content