There aren't a lot of people who can say they were a showrunner on a series that got canceled and later saw the cancellation get reversed by another network. The Expanse showrunner Naren Shankar is one of those lucky few people, and this year during an Amazon Showcase at Comic-Con 2018, Shankar shared the incredible story of how he learned The Expanse was being picked up at Amazon, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos has his hand in the surprise. As Shankar tells it, he didn't get a call when the show was renewed. Instead,
We were at the banquet at a space conference and Jeff Bezos was there -- he was being honored, he had done a science panel. And in the banquet he announced that he had picked up the show. He took us all by surprise. It was like an out-of-body experience because there's video of him, I'm sitting there, and he's announcing the shows picked up. I look like a stunned animal. It was crazy, it was crazy. We didn't think it was going to happen and it did, and here we are!
The Expanse isn't the first time a viral movement led to a show being brought back from the day. Even Longmire saw its day in the sun. However, it's still rare for a show to come back from the dead and The Expanse experience was a little different than many of the stories we've heard about projects getting saved from cancelation. The fandom found creative and unique ways to express their love for the show after its cancellation, and Naren Shankar also talked at Comic-Con about how amazing it was to be along for the ride.
You know, it was a really amazing grassroots effort, because it just popped up. It's nothing that was directed by us. It was an ad executive in Brussels... and just people all over just expressing a tremendous amount of love and passion for it and they just wouldn't let it go. They're the ones who raised the money to fly a plane over Amazon's headquarters, sent a model of the Roci up in a weather balloon and took pictures of it in space. It was amazing it was out there. It was like, we didn't put it into motion. We just simply rode that as everyone was putting it out there. It was an amazing and an incredible experience.
The experiences Naren Shankar mentions have been well-documented online, and if you haven't looked into it, they are even fun for non-fans. The fanbase really made stuff happen for the show and was so much gratitude when The Expanse was picked up by Amazon for a fourth season, and moving to streaming means that there are fewer restrictions on the show to fit into cable television standards. Expect some changes, including fewer language restrictions and new length times, but the cast is coming back and we can expect it to still be the show we know and love.
The Expanse is expected to return to Amazon in 2019, and we'll keep you updated with more details as we have them. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Comic-Con 2018 coverage.