Over the last couple of years cable channel Syfy has taken big steps to move way from the schlocky, monster of the week fare the network had become synonymous with. Sure, you’ll still be able to check out the latest the Sharknado saga has to offer—they’re not daft after all, that shit is ratings gold—but they’ve gone on an original programming binge. One of their latest, and perhaps best, is The Expanse, and even though we’re only a few episodes deep into Season 1, Syfy just ordered Season 2.
Currently in the middle of its initial 10-episode run—Episode 5 is set to air next week, on January 5—Syfy just issued a press release that reveals the young series has been renewed. According to the details, a 13-episode Season 2 of The Expanse is expected to hit the airwaves sometime in 2017. Network president Dave Howe said that one of the reasons the network made the decision is because The Expanse is "firing on all cylinders creatively."
Thus far, reviews for The Expanse have been largely positive, with a 74% “Fresh” rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and public interest has been equally encouraging. Syfy released the first episode online and on demand well in advance of its actual debut on the network, and more than 4.5 million people took the time to check it out prior to its December 14 premiere. Over the course of the first three episodes, it has drawn in an average of 1.6 million sets of eyes. You can see why they’re so keen on getting the ball rolling on more.
A kind of deep space detective noir, The Expanse is based on a series of novels of the same name by James S.A. Corey, a pen name used by collaborators Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, and thus far the series is generally following the narrative of the first book, Leviathan Wakes.
The story takes place 200 years in the future, when Mars and the asteroid belt far out in our solar system have been colonized for generations. Tensions between the Earth, Mars, and the Belters continually escalate, leading to the brink of hostility, war, and revolution. In the midst of this, a grizzled detective (Thomas Jane) and a rogue ship captain (Steven Strait) find themselves embroiled in a sprawling, twisted mystery and could very well hold the fate of the solar system in their hands.
Both the books and the series are totally worth checking out if you haven’t already. Syfy’s original programming can be a mixed bag, but The Expanse is definitely one of their best efforts in quite some time, and the idea that there is at least one more year of potentially awesome science fiction on TV is worth getting excited about.