Save THE EXPANSE by NOT binge-watching it! (URGENT!)

I admit it: I got THE EXPANSE canceled by Syfy.

I didn’t mean to. It’s just that I’ve fallen so far behind in my TV watching that I’m still on stuff that first aired back in April! I’ve been collecting the season 3 episodes The Expanse on my DVR to binge-watch over the summer at some point when I have more time…something I did for the previous two seasons, as well. I mean, if I’m going to invest in what I think is the best DVR on the market, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to use it for its purpose.

And that’s why the series just got canceled!

The Expanse, based one the Hugo Award-winning book series by the same name, debuts new episodes each Wednesday night at 9pm (8pm Central) on the Syfy Network. While the series is more complex than most other sci-fi series out there—it’s been called “Game of Thrones in space” (which is pretty spot on)—it’s amazingly well-produced with great acting and awesome visual FX that show outer space and zero-G physics incredibly accurately.

It’s rated 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and those fans who, like me, have stuck with the show consider it to be one of the finest television space sci-fi series on the air.

That’s why we were dumbfounded last week when Syfy announced that this critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite series would be canceled after its third season. Supporters immediately mobilized, starting an online petition (which already has over 110,000 signatures), creating a website and #SaveTheExpanse, and posting this very well-edited video reminding fans why The Expanse is so good and worth saving…

By this past Tuesday, thousands of fans had raised enough money on GoFundMe to hire a plane to fly a banner over the Santa Monica, CA offices of Amazon Studios trying to convince Jeff Bezos to pick up the series on Amazon Prime…

There’s also been a concerted letter-writing campaign to Netflix executives trying to convince them to pick up the beloved space science fiction series.

With time running out and the Toronto-based Expanse sets already being taken down (some possibly being purchased by Star Trek: Discovery), fans have been working overtime in a valiant attempt at a last-minute rescue of the series.

And then this video got posted…

CAS ANVAR, who plays Alex Kamal on The Expanse and played the Romulan character Sentek in the final two episodes of STAR TREK CONTINUES (see…there’s the fan film connection!), said that there’s still a chance to change Syfy’s decision—which is, after all, a business decision: make The Expanse more profitable for them.

How, you ask?

Well, the first way is to increase the ratings! TV ratings are measured 1) on first viewing live when a new episode airs (in this case on Wednesday nights), and 2) over the course of the next three days as DVR recordings are viewed. After that, it doesn’t matter when you watch it because Syfy is no longer paying attention or measuring anything for that episode.

So if you want to #SaveTheExpanse, do NOT wait to binge-watch it over the summer!!! Watch it on Wednesday nights or on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. That’s what I’ll be doing for the next seven weeks while the show airs its final 7 episodes.

Second, for those people outside the U.S. and Canada, the show is available for purchase on iTunes and AmazonPrime for $2.99 per episode. Do you have a friend overseas who hasn’t seen the show yet? Gift them one or two of the first few episodes to try out. (It’s cheaper than hiring a plane to fly a banner!)

And finally, the more that an episode gets watched, the more it counts. If you record and watch it live on Wednesday and then watch it again on Friday, that’s TWO watches, and that adds to the ratings. So even if you aren’t in the room or in the house, leave the TV and DVR on and…


Going out to dinner or to the store? Leave your DVR playing the latest episode of The Expanse…it’ll be even better because the commercials will all play and Syfy will love that! Do you ever fall asleep with the TV on? Let it play The Expanse while you gently slumber and dream of Earth and Mars going to war while the Belters take sides.

We’ve got less than two months left to save this series, folks! We didn’t save Star Trek when Enterprise was canceled back in 2005. But this time we might just have a chance. Spread the word. Even if your friends don’t watch the series, just ask them to record it and let it play while they go out to work or to the gym or to McDonalds or Starbucks or wherever. It’s not a lifelong commitment, people. By the end of June, the game is over…one way or the other.

So let’s go down fighting…or if we’re successful, maybe go UP fighting!!!


20 thoughts on “Save THE EXPANSE by NOT binge-watching it! (URGENT!)”

  1. Besides that, who can we write to?

    Lately we’re watching in near-real-time because it’s just a great show and want to catch up as soon as we can.

    1. I’m about to leave to pick up my son from school. The DVR is playing Wednesday night’s episode right now, even though I’m only up to the first episode of season three. I’ll be trying to catch up a bit more this weekend.

      Remember that you can also record it while you’re watching live and then play it again (and again?) in the next three days, and The Expanse will get even more ratings points.

  2. I stumbled on it on YouTube, watched a couple clips, was impressed with the huge quality, and bought season 1 and 2 DVDs, but my work schedule is such that I have to record Wed, and I can watch the next Monday or Tuesday.But SyFy didn’t help much with their advertising, I remember a little around the start of the show and then nothing. I will easily say that The Expanse is the top Sci Fi show I have ever seen, for its quality and story. Lots of shows have people hired who do nothing but media work for a show, yet Sci Fy never seems to have any. I was amazed BSG made it as far as it did, and we all know what happened to FireFly.

    1. I think you mean “Farscape.” “Firefly” was Fox…and also canceled long before its time.

      As for Syfy, they confound me. Here is a network that has carried (and then canceled) some of the greatest science fiction to ever be seen on television. Then they give us FIVE “Sharknado” films. The name of the last one? “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming – Make America Bait Again.” It came out last summer, with filming occurring in more than five countries, including the UK, Australia and Bulgaria. Oh, and yes, this August Syfy will grace the world with Sharknado 6. I can hardly wait…well, actually, yes I totally can. 🙂

      1. No, I did mean Firefly, but in the context of series ended before their time, add in Space: Above and Beyond, and others that have been listed. Your Sharknado comment is right on, as they probably spent as much on that one film as a big chunk of a season of The Expanse. Yet then, we have also seen how suits at other, unnamed networks, effectively ruin other series and fan support, don’t we? I don’t know what it takes to be an entertainment suit, but it definitely does not seem to be a finger on the pulse of your customers….

        1. The job of being a suit is actually harder than you might think. My son’s godmother used to be just such a suit at NBC. There’s a lot of educated guessing going on…and it’s not always on target. Remember when they added a monkey to “Friends”? But many times it’s hard to know what your audience really wants. Often, they don’t even know themselves! 🙂

          1. Thank you for the reply, we will just have a disagreement on that issue. I have a hard spot with “management” anyways, having seen little done by them that could not have been done by the workforce in both incarnations (US Navy and semiconductor manufacturing). You need to have a few people on your staff engaged with the customers and you can develop a good data base of responses to various ideas and such. But, good Sci Fi (theres the hook, what is good?) and understanding todays environment (i.e. DVRs and play on demand) have altered the traditional “ratings” and it has yet to find a way to measure accurate engagement. Your whole blog here is about that very idea, that only if the viewers follow the networks requirements can an accurate picture be given. That says their model is bad, and they have yet to adapt. This also was reflected in the poor showing of “into Darkness” fed into Beyond, the customers wanted something more, and also there was the little thing of a fan film…

          2. As much as I complain about Discovery, I’m not entirely certain what I would do differently to make a show that was a guaranteed success. Sure, I could please the older, hard-core Trek fans, but those weren’t the droids that CBS was looking for. They wanted younger viewers who would be more likely to adapt to new technology and pay a subscription fee for streaming. If I told you to design a “younger, hipper, more edgy” Star Trek, could you do it, Brian? I’m sure you’d say, “Well, that wouldn’t be Star Trek!” Maybe you’re right. But what if you stuck to your guns and simply refused to do it anyway other than the way YOU wanted it done? Assuming they didn’t just fire your ass, you’d better hope you guessed right, otherwise they WILL fire your ass. That’s what happened to my friend at NBC. Remember “Whitney”? Nope? Well, that sorta explains why my friend is no longer a VP at NBCU. 🙂

  3. Sadly this is just what SyFy Channel seems to do… Farscape, Caprica, Blood and Chrome. LOTR The New B5 Pilot, Legend of the Rangers. (Not that other LOTR thing…) I guess so much for that promise to get back to their roots… I guess It won’t be long until we can expect more WWE.

    For what it’s worth, I buy the Expanse on Itunes. Partly because it’s the thoughtful kind of show I want to keep. and Partially because where I live SyFy is a premium digital add on.

    I do hope the expanse lands at another network. Where maybe it’ll get the care and feeding it deserves.

    I actually sent a somewhat more detailed message earlier but I think it may have been captured by the Martian Congressional Republic. So I hope this shorter transmission will do.

    1. Nah, no interception by Mars…just a busy weekend for your favorite blogger. (I am your favorite blogger, right?) 🙂

      While Farscape and Caprica were awesome series cut off way too soon, Blood and Chrome was always intended to be a limited series. And as much as I loved B5, Legend of the Rangers pretty much sucked. Sorry, but that’s what I thought. The only good thing about it was G’Kar, and he was barely in it (and not going to be in the series had it been picked up). And honestly, after the end of season 4 of Babylon 5, the show essentially tanked…which is what happens when you remove Harlan Ellison from the equation so that there was no one left to tell JMS, “You just wrote crap! Now re-write it!” (That was Harlan’s job on the show, or so Harlan once shared at a con…and Joe confirmed at another con.)

      But I digress…

      There was some good news last week in that the ratings for the sixth episode of The Expanse jumped 10%. If there’s another jump this week (a significant one), perhaps someone important will notice.

      1. You know Jonathan, there are 2 times that I have actually thrown something at my TV
        1. was the S4 – Finale of Farscape (I will let you guess the other.)

        The Mini Series was made due to the huge backlash caused by it’s cancellation. See
        Cancellation – Section for further details.

        Blood and Chrome Pilot

        This I actually enjoyed a lot More than GINO. Shame they didn’t do something with it.

        B5=LOTR – Pilot

        I’ll agree that LOTR wasn’t my favorite, But then it wasn’t given a chance to grow. They tried a few things SPFX wise that maybe they weren’t ready for and that had they gone to series maybe would have been reigned back.

        Although i am hopeful for the Expanse, I think due to the changed TV landscape (more Genre shows) – and the huge number of save ( Insert Show name here ) campaigns it’s going to be tough sledding.

      2. On B5, the problem was JMS wrote a story for 5 seasons, at the end of season 3 they said “Ok so we’re only going to give you one more season”, which is why season 4 is so mega-eventful, because it’s actually seasons 4 and 5 crammed into one, and now season 4 ends as season 5 would have ended, the story is complete, where they return and say “Ok, you can have your fifth season back”. So that was a thing, sadly (B5 is my most fave scifi of ever and ever, and I have actually not watched season 5).

        About The Expanse, what an awesome show, but it looks like Amazon will pick it up and there’s no need to worry. Apparently Bezos loves The Expanse books so much and was pretty bummed when SyFylis snagged it from him. Here’s to hoping for an increased budget at Amazon! =)

        1. Actually, it was TNT that gave B5 the extra season after PTEN canceled it. JMS had previously ditched most of the Londo Molari stuff to end the saga at season 4, and so that part of the story worked very well when dropped into season 5. The rest of the storyline with the rouge telepaths and Byron was all new and not something that JMS had been developing and refining for decades. So that plot ended up being pretty lame. Too bad Harlan had already moved on…as I’m sure he would have spoken truth to power.

          Speaking of stuff JMS had been developing for decades, do you know how B5 was originally supposed to end? Not the way you think! The original plan was to launch a sequel series after the end of the fifth season. That sequel series would follow Babylon 4, which had gone back in time to the previous Shadow War and wound up fighting with the Minbari. Jeffrey Sinclair would go through the same metamorphosis as Delenn had (and indeed, JMS made sure that plot happened in the two-parter “War Without End”) and become Valen. And that would be why the Minbari scanned the soul of Valen in Sinclair when they captured his ship during the Battle of the Line. The cool thing about Babylon 4 is that it would be a mobile base-station. Remember, unlike B5, B4 had its own propulsion system. And although the Minbari tech was well ahead of Earth’s a thousand years later, after going back in time, B4 was far more advanced than the Minbari tech of the time.

          Unfortunately, Michael O’Hare proved to be a disappointment (sniff, sniff) and was fired from the series after the first season. And even though JMS still set up the scenario for a sequel series, it never materialized. Excalibur got a handful of episodes, but they mostly sucked. Then Legends died a quick one-and-done death. But we’ll always have 4 and a half excellent seasons of B5 to cherish…and I do cherish them (just as you do, as well, it appears).

          1. It would have been really nice to have a prehistory war show against the shadows, but I’m not sure how realistic that would have been considering no humans would have been in it (so few people would be emotionally connected to it). I was with you until your comment on MOH, I mean it was clear that you weren’t aware, but still, that raised my eyebrows a bit. There is an amazing and wonderful get-together of the (as of then) remaining cast, this is where JMS revealed MOH’s reason for departure and what he was going through; 20th anniversary babylon 5 comic-con on youtube, recommended.

  4. One More thing S4 of B5 aired during PTEN Network’s final season. after that it was Picked up by TNT who did everything they could to make B-5 and Crusade a success. But then Ego’s, something we know much about here. lol

    1. Yep, I mentioned the PTEN-to-TNT switch-over in another comment. As for Crusade, well, that was eleven hours of my life (plus two for commercials) that I will never get back. Galen was the only decent thing about that show. Even the Excalibur was pretty laughable. It was like they said to the CG artists: “Design a ship that looks like a giant penis…” And that’s exactly what they did!

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