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Last week, fans of the sci-fi show Dark Matter were surprised to learn that the series wouldn't return for a fourth season on the Syfy network. Now, series creator Joseph Mallozzi has written to the fans of the show to reveal what he believes to be the actual cause of the cancellation. Basically, it all comes down to the almighty dollar. As he wrote on his blog:
Working against us was the fact that we weren't a SYFY original. We were an acquisition. For those not in the know, an original is a series that is developed by the network and, more importantly, owned by the network, allowing them to monetize the show through things like international sales, streaming, etc. The network pays a lot more but presumably reaps the benefits down the line.
Joseph Mallozzi, who's also known for his work as a producer on the various Stargate television shows from 2000 to 2011, went on to explain that because Dark Matter wasn't an original Syfy series, the network simply seems to have decided to bail on a property that it couldn't monetize in other ways for itself. While the show cost less for them to air than a Syfy original, they had no real stake in the series, and it looks as though having more shows that are owned by the network on air is what those behind Syfy are looking for right now.
In his post, Mallozzi also notes that while Dark Matter's ratings had fallen a bit since Season 2, it was by less than 10%, when the industry average is around a 25% drop off from season to season. The show was also putting up good numbers in delayed viewing and was one of Syfy's most watched shows in 2017.
Mallozzi had a clear five-year plan for the show, so when he realized it might be cancelled, he offered to go to the network and sell them on the creative direction the show was planning to take in the seasons ahead. The series, which originally focused on the small crew of a spaceship waking up with no memories of their lives or mission, was, as of the end of Season 3, headed into an all-out alien invasion plot with the added bonus of an android insurrection, so he and his team clearly had massive ideas for Dark Matter going forward. Unfortunately, he was told flat-out that the decision wouldn't be based on the show's upcoming creative direction, and that going in to pitch wouldn't do them any good.
Couple this with the fact that Mallozzi had heard about Syfy investing in a lot of original programming for this coming TV season, and it would seem that Dark Matter really was just a victim of circumstance. While he tried pitching a six-episode final season to wrap up the Season 3 cliffhanger, that wasn't an option Syfy would consider, either. So, financial reasons have sunk another cool show before it can get a fitting send off.
Joseph Mallozzi is currently trying to see if another network would be willing to step in and save Dark Matter from the television history books just yet, so, while we wait to hear word on whether or not his bid is successful, you can relive Dark Matter Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix right now, with the final season hitting the service on September 25. For a list of what else you can catch in the coming weeks, check out our fall premiere guide and September's Netflix premiere guide.