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Was Dark Matter Season 4 Picked Up by Netflix or Amazon Yet?

Posted by Arch on December 27, 2018

The space opera “Dark Matter” first aired on the Space channel and on SyFy (formerly known as the SciFi Channel) in June of 2015. The science fiction series showcased the awakening of six people from stasis on board a starship, none of whom had any memory of who they were or why they were on the ship. After three seasons, though the show had developed an avid, even cultlike following, SyFy canceled the series on September 1, 2017, after three seasons and 39 episodes. The news was announced by the show’s co-creator Joseph Mallozzi on his personal blog and later confirmed by the network.

Fans of the show immediately took to the internet to express their outrage over this decision. They sent angry emails to the network, tweeted their support to cast members, and launched online petitions to save the show. They also wrote to Netflix and Amazon, urging them to pick up the show for another season that would tie up loose ends and give the fans closure. Unfortunately, at this date it appears conclusive: there will be no resurrection for “Dark Matter.”

What Is “Dark Matter” About?

“Dark Matter” is a story about six seemingly unconnected people who one day woke up from stasis aboard the Raza starship. With no memories of their lives or their identities, they assume the names One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six in the order which they woke up. Over the course of three seasons, they would learn about their past lives and the events that brought them aboard the Raza.

Based on the eponymous comic book written by its creators Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, “Dark Matter” was originally developed for the Canadian specialty TV channel Space by the Toronto-based Prodigy Pictures. SyFy joined the project in late 2014 and ordered a 13-episode first season.

Filmed entirely in Toronto and starring mostly unknown young actors, the series debuted on June 12, 2015. One week later, it was joined by “Killjoys”, another sci-fi series made for the Space network and picked up by SyFy for US broadcast. Neither show was a major ratings success, but both had respectable viewing figures and quickly developed a cult following.

For the next three seasons, “Dark Matter” and “Killjoys” would occupy SyFy’s Friday night prime time schedule during the summer months. During their third seasons, both shows averaged about 0.6 rating points in the coveted 18-49 demographic. However, after the season was over, only “Dark Matter” was canceled. Not only was “Killjoys” not canceled but it was picked up for two final seasons of 10 episodes each.

Why Was “Dark Matter” Canceled?

Many sources claimed that “Dark Matter” was canceled due to poor ratings, but there’s more to it than just that. After all, it was SyFy’s second highest-rated show after “Killjoys” and regularly outrated the network’s other two primetime shows, “Wynonna Earp” (0.5 18-49) and “12 Monkeys” (0.35 18-49), both of which have been renewed.

These ratings might seem low compared to broadcast television, but they are pretty good for a niche cable network like SyFy. And let’s be honest – the glory days when new episodes of “Battlestar Galactica” averaged a 2.0 rating for SyFy (then still SciFi) are long gone. The media landscape is much different than it was in the mid-noughties and all TV networks have seen steep ratings declines over the years.

The show’s co-creator Joseph Mallozzi offered another explanation for the cancelation. Namely, “Dark Matter” isn’t a SyFy original in the truest sense of the word. Neither the network nor its parent company (NBC Universal) holds the distribution rights to the show, which means that they can’t make profit by selling it to international buyers or making lucrative deals with streaming platforms. Instead, the distribution rights are entirely owned by the show’s production company, Prodigy Pictures.

What about “Killjoys”? Well, that show is a co-production between Canada’s Bell Media and Universal Cable Productions (UCP). In fact, UCP holds worldwide distribution rights to the series, so every time it is sold to a streaming platform or a TV station abroad, its parent company NBC Universal – which also owns SyFy – will receive a hefty share of the profits. As such, even if the show underperformed on SyFy, the network would still have a way to turn a profit from international syndication.

Based on this information, it is clear that SyFy canceled “Dark Matter” primarily for financial reasons and not because of its ratings, which were better than the majority of SyFy’s lineup.

Why Would Netflix or Amazon Want to Save the Show?

Netflix has a long history of saving shows that were canceled by broadcast and cable networks. By the time “Dark Matter” was canceled in September 2017, they had successfully rescued “Arrested Development”, “The Killing”, “Longmire”, and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”. Although Amazon Prime hadn’t yet rescued any shows canceled by TV networks, they were looking to add critically acclaimed original programming to their portfolio.

Unlike television networks, streaming platforms don’t care about ratings. Instead, they want their shows to build a large online following and generate a strong word of mouth that would attract new subscribers. Historically, sci-fi shows haven’t performed all that well ratings-wise, but they’ve all managed to build cult followings, especially in the online community. It is thus no surprise that the fans and creators of “Dark Matter” looked to Netflix or Amazon to give their show a chance at survival.

Did Netflix or Amazon Pick Up “Dark Matter” Season 4?

Before Netflix or Amazon could pick up the show, SyFy still had the option to order additional episodes. That’s why the creators proposed a six-episode fourth season that would bring the story to a close. The network took some time to consider this proposal, but they ultimately rejected the idea.

The creators of “Dark Matter” then started talking to the representatives of Netflix and other popular streaming platforms. Even though some of them expressed interest in renewing the show for a fourth season, it was already too late.

You see, by failing to renew the show in a timely manner, SyFy effectively allowed its cast members’ contracts to expire. They were thus free to pursue other projects and many of them have already boarded new shows.

To pick up the show for another season, not only would Netflix have to renegotiate contracts with every single cast members but they’d also probably have to recast a few roles due to schedule conflicts. The simple truth is that fans wouldn’t want to watch their favorite show with half of the original cast members replaced. And that is the main reason why Netflix and Amazon haven’t picked up the show.

At one point, it looked like the show might get picked up by MGM’s streaming platform Stargate Command. The renowned studio wanted to expand the “Dark Matter” universe so that it would crossover with the platform’s sole original show, “Stargate Origins”. Mallozzi was very excited about this, especially because he spent more than a decade as a writer on the “Stargate” television franchise, which was SyFy’s biggest hit until the 2003 reboot of “Battlestar Galactica”.

Unfortunately, all these plans fell through due to contractual issues. And just like that, it became clear that fans won’t be seeing the fourth season of “Dark Matter” any time soon.

Will There Be More “Dark Matter” in the Future?

Everyone involved in “Dark Matter” has since moved on to new projects. But the creators are still holding out hope that the show might return in the future, even as a two-hour reunion movie that would resolve the cliffhangers from the season 3 finale and wrap up all ongoing storylines. It could take years to work out a deal, negotiate contracts, and figure out the way to synchronize schedules.

Meanwhile, Mallozzi has been posting extensive outlines of his planned season 4 episodes to his Twitter account, as well as his personal blog. This gives fans an opportunity to learn what would have happened to their favorite characters had the show been picked up for another season.

However, at this date, it seems clear that there simply isn’t interest on the part of any of the players who would need to make a restart happen. RIP, “Dark Matter.”

30 thoughts on “Was Dark Matter Season 4 Picked Up by Netflix or Amazon Yet?”

Oddvin Preinstad says:
For gods sake, id be happy with a book to tie up the cliffhangers
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Robert Jerger says:
Just started watching this series again on Netflix and I very rarely rewatch any series. I love this show.
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Kettl says:
Too sad. If good promoted, they can make good money with Episode 4 or even a 5th!
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Daniel Samson says:
SyFy cancelled Stargate Universe to. Without closure. For WWE WRESTLING. We all know wrestling is fake but its not sifi. Will never. watch a Sy Fy show until all seasons are on dvd and storylone is complete. And only if the show is worth watching. Even then I’ll borrow from library if there is any chance syfy might get a cent of profit.
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Lupin says:
WWE came on because of money issues… I don’t understand why people don’t understand basic math and claim “X show was canceled because of y show”, WWE effectively finances SYFY by producing a highly lucrative advertising spot which equals MONEY FOR STARGATE UNIVERSE. If SyFy really wanted to maximize profits they would turn into a sports channel / reality tv instead.
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Robert says:
Dark matter does not need just a 4th season it needs more than that they could do so much more with the show than just wrapping it up. It has so much potential.
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Robert Hooper says:
I love Dark Matter, I keep watching it over and over, would love to see a 4th season for a conclusion.
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Green Hair says:
I agree , Dark Matter does have sooo much potential …. Fans WILL wait for more or closure 🙂 look @ Farscape we waited for 5 years until they finally gave us closure 🙂
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the raza says:
Excellent write-up thanks. I will never bother with anther syfy show again after canceling the only sci fi show I have enjoyed in a long time and then airing wrestling re-runs wtf is wrong with these money driven a holes. Really missing Dark Matter.
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Vormina says:
It never ceases to amaze me just how little these companies actually care about their viewer base. SyFy has become notorius for killing shows in the middle of the storyline; Farscape, Firefly, Dark Matter, and those are just the ones off the top of my head. It’s not often when great storylines, acting, casts, and production value all come together to create these wonderful shows where you have an interest in every single character, only to have it end unfinished after a couple seasons, yet these mind-numbing, no-content, tasteless, talentless, boring reality shows go on for decades.
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Kruc says:
Scifi didn’t kill Firefly. Surprisingly that was on Fox
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Javeid Sharif says:
For me Dark Matter was a modern version of Firefly
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Kerroj says:
Man, I really miss this show.. I really like Killjoys, too, but this one I really miss. Another excellent Syfy series that I miss is Defiance.
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David Chor says:
I have searched for shows to watch on Netflix since other shows like Haven. The networks left this one in limbo as well! No wrap up for the show or cast.! This really pissed me off! I am tired watching series that never get concluded! The shows are not the problem …The Companies are! I need to stop watching Netflix and other studios who leave their shows with no conclusion! This method of production will get your fan/customers mad at you! This will be the biggest future effect on ratings more than anything else. When your fan base finally realize what your doing no one will watch your future shows, Why watch a series when the studio will not give fans closure….Good or bad. The empty endings are driving me crazy!
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Steve says:
Loved the show, would love to see netflix figure out a way to finish at least one more season.
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Oresther Jerez says:
What do you mean Haven has a Conclusion Syfy made sure to finish the show But you do have a point
Jill says:
Please continue Dark Matter. What a great show!
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lily says:
Although I am a Chinese, my friends and I love Dark Matter a lot. Great cast and fantastic storyline! I follow their Instagram and miss them very much. I really hope that I can watch this in the future with my friends.
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Nathan Derr says:
Dark matter is so much better than killjoys, wyonna erpe (Can’t spell), or the exspanse. One of the best series I’ve ever watched. Please bring it back!!!!
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lily says:
I love them too!!
Please bring it back!!
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Hugo says:
Would love to see some new seasons ! Please bring it back !
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Max Chiavari says:
vote with your money. Stop paying for cable all of you. I cancelled cable about 12 years ago. I just finished watching all 3 seasons of the show on netflix. I loved it. Stop paying for cable . this is the best message you can give them CANCEL YOUR CABLE ACCOUNT NOW!
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Gary Handwerg says:
I just watched all 3 seasons off dvd i got from our library for free. i see there are other unfinished shows mentioned here i haven’t seen. no need to bother looking if they are the same unfinished series.
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Lupin says:
Vote with your BRAINS… if you want NEW content you have to pay for it… and with so many people complaining about having to PAY for new content that streaming services get popular over the idea of reducing costs there is only one outcome. No new shows.

You can easily look up that Netflix is incapable of financing the shows they’re producing on their subscription fees alone. They require a large amount of external backing to pretend like they’re competitors when they’re just trying to disrupt the market.

The same thing Amazon did when they intentionally undersold retail for several years, relying on investor money to keep afloat. The goal was to bankrupt their competitors by manipulating the market into an unfair competition.

More so, “vote with your money” means to PAY MORE for quality… paying less means that quality doesn’t matter to you. You need to BUY THE MERCH! The same way futurama came back was with merchandise sales… in today’s economy merchandise helps finance shows.

Jeffery Legere says:
Syfy execs needs to be strung up by what ever genitals they posses. If they get their hands on something good, you can guarantee they will cancel it in favor of putting something stupid in it’s place.
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DMFAN says:
Bring back dark matter…please !!!!!
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bcnana says:
A good yarn gone cheesy when the creators can’t be bothered to finish the tale!!
Shame on you!!
Science fiction folks hate this crap. If you can’t complete the work….don’t bother starting it!!!
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KSh says:
What? The creators do want to finish it. Have you not read anything in the body of the article?
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Mark S says:
I enjoyed this more than Killjoys. A great cast and storyline. I’ve loved Sci Fi for over 30 years and this one I’ll start following the story through the comics now!
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Trishana says:
Would love to see more seasons of Dark Matter. I agree with most of the comments here. Like Firefly this show had some great storyline p, awesome cast and good tech. Loved the show – so much better than the usual garbage we see on Scify genre. Netflix pls bring it back!
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EDWARD D HAGERTY says:
I watched the first season of Dark Matter on Netflix and liked it a lot, but I don’t remember the 2nd season on Netflix so I went to other movies and series and then when season two was mentioned by Netflix I was wrapped up watching or planning to watch several other shows, so I backburnered Dark Matter, but kept it on MY LIST. Then I was bored and when I’m bored I look at shows I’ve kept around, but never remember Netflix renewing it and that’s when I found Netflix’s LOVE, which Netflix had added a 2nd and 3rd season without me knowing. I binge watched LOVE and now pray it’s got a 4th season or more and again I got bored and went hunting in the back of MY LIST and was surprised Dark Matter had 13 additional new episodes, a third season, and I’ve been binging on it with just 3 episodes to go and hoping with what I’m hearing that Netflix will pour some money on a good show for at least another 2 seasons.
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Lupin says:
Lets see… the TV network gets money for you paying for SyFy, they get Advertising revenue for hosting the show in a given timeslot… Netflix pays them 1% of what they would get and is KILLING good shows because people don’t understand that paying LESS doesn’t magically mean you get MORE. Netflix uses outside investor funds to pay for most of what you get, they are incapable of staying afloat on their own.
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brendon says:
On netflix you can request Movies/TV shows. Click on the downward pointing triangle to the right of your icon > Help Center > Quick links (last column on the right) > request a show/movie
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Deborah Boeddeker says:
Very confusing. Don’t understand this.
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Katrina says:
Thank you for the directions to request movies\shows on netflix, Brendon!!
John says:
What do Bonnie Hammer (NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group-Syfy), Kathleen Kennedy (Disney/Lucas Films), and Gail Berman (Fox Broadcasting) have in common? They are basic! These three women do not understand fandom, science fiction, or branding. Each has destroyed a franchise; Hammer the entire Syfy network, Kennedy the Star Wars, and Berman cult favorite Serenity. May all their stock options fail.
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MrBigR504 says:
Yeah, and take Wynonna Earp wit’cha!
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Xavier Sosa says:
This show needs to be finished or wrapped up with a Netflix movie
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Nicolas Julien says:
season 4 and 5 please !!!
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Tom says:
This is why I rarely allow myself to get interested in a show. It’s ALL about money. Leave people hanging. They don’t care. They have to cut their losses. They don’t owe anything to the people who made their show popular to begin with by watching it.
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Belen phillips says:
I need dark matter season 4 please !!!!!!!
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Marlon Ramjohn says:
Bring it back, it’s a great show dark matter bring it back
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Marlon Ramjohn says:
Would like to see a season 4. This show is great
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