Two years ago, NBCUniversal and Syfy embarked on a high-profile gamble with Defiance, a big-budget episodic series that launched in tandem with a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) of the same name. Now, after three seasons and a slowly diminishing viewership, Syfy has called time on the series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, officially cancelling the ambitious creative experiment.
Kevin Murphy’s futuristic drama aired its third – and now final – season over the course of the summer, with the last episode releasing on August 28. According to official figures, by this stage, Defiance‘s audience numbers have stooped to a series low of 1.17 million, which is a marked decline on the show’s previous two seasons.
Starring Grant Bowler and Julie Benz among many, many others, the show still holds the record for the second-highest premiere in Syfy’s history, before establishing itself as a bankable performer on the network’s Monday night slots. But since then, it’s been a case of diminishing returns for Defiance, leading to today’s unsurprising announcement.
“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,” the network said in a statement. “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.”
Now, Syfy will refocus its resources on its current, burgeoning slate of properties. While both The Expanse and Childhood’s End and The Magicians and Hunters have been pegged for a 2016 premiere, there’s still plenty to look forward to with 12 Monkeys, Killjoys and Dark Matter all returning for sophomore outings.
It’s third seasons and done for Syfy’s Defiance, but are you surprised by the show’s cancellation?