Will Netflix or Amazon Prime Pick Up Colony Season 4?
Fans of the post-apocalyptic drama series “Colony” on USA Network Colony were devastated when the series was cancelled on July 21, 2018, after three successful seasons. The series premiered at ComicCon in 2015 and attracted immediate attention for its gripping storyline and well-drawn analogies to the French Resistance during WWII. Critics praised the show’s fresh take on a genre that has grown saturated with brainless “young adult” dystopian worlds and at least at first Colony earned good ratings, with 2.2 million viewers; over it’s first two seasons, Colony was the #1 scripted cable series on Thursday nights.
Unfortunately the show’s ratings declined in the third season, possibly in part because after failing to win a California tax credit for shooting in Los Angeles, filming was moved to Vancouver BC. The show may also have lost some focus as one of its co-creators and executive producers, Carlton Cuse, left the show to focus on his new Jack Ryan series for Amazon. During the third season the show dropped to 1.3 million viewers, one of the lowest average viewerships for dramatic programs on cable.
Is it possible that Colony will be brought back from the dead by Netflix, Amazon Prime, or some other streaming service?
Colony TV series
The Colony TV series was well-written, with industry veterans Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal penning many episodes. The premise of the show was relatively simple: Earth of the near future has been occupied by alien invaders who have apparently taken over the entire planet, sealing off entire cities with enormous structures and essentially enslaving the populace. The main characters were the Bowman family, separated from their child and trying to survive while reuniting the family. The family patriarch, Will, (ably portrayed by Josh Holloway) is coerced into agreeing to work for the invaders, while his wife Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) has become a member of the resistance.
Season one of Colony began by scene setting and establishing the characters. The storyline is credible and balanced a swift moving plot with good character development. The main plotline followed the struggle of the Bowman family to stay together, while fighting back against occupation.
Season two of Colony started by filling in some gaps about the invasion and about what happened to Los Angeles at the time of the alien incursion, before moving back to following the Bowmans as they struggle to find their son. The tension escalates as Will and Katie come into conflict, pursuing similar goals but with different means.
Season three of Colony skips ahead several months and reveals that the Bowmans left Los Angeles and are now hiding in a cabin in the woods before being forced on the run. They discover a Resistance outpost which leads to a dramatic season (and apparently series) finale as they must face a choice about what side to be on.
Why did Colony end?
Fans of the show never got a clearcut answer as to why the show came to an end, although speculation about causes was rampant and the show’s falling ratings do speak for themselves. Showrunner and executive producer Ryan Condal sent out a Tweet regarding the reasons for the cancellation, but provided little hard data, saying only “Colonists, Thank you from the bottom of my stone heart for all your passion and effort. But, sadly, #Colony is dead. The reasons are complicated, mostly dumb, and would provide little comfort. But know that @WesTooke and I shall return with new things from new places.”
The efforts refer to the multiple petitions and activities the fans, or ‘Colonists’ launched to try to convince USA Network to change its mind.
Den of Geek had this to say:
“Colony got off to a strong start for USA. It was the most-watched scripted cable series on Thursday nights for its first two seasons. Then the show lost a crucial California tax credit and was forced to relocate to Vancouver, and ended up changing its storyline to accommodate the move. Since then, ratings slipped to among USA Network’s lowest.”
What’s the likelihood of Netflix picking up Colony?
It isn’t impossible that Netflix or Amazon Prime would pick up Colony and resume making episodes. Streaming services are always hungry for content, and picking up an existing program with a fanbase is a decision that they have made before. It certainly seems true that USA Network is not interested in reviving the property; they are putting their time and energy into their new Purge series partnership with SyFy. There is a hardcore Colony fan base who have attempted to pressure the networks into a reboot with at least two different petitions. Between the two fan efforts, they have accumulated almost 10,000 signatures as of March 2019.
On the negative side of the ledger, shows like Colony are relatively expensive to produce. They use expensive special effects and are heavily reliant on location shooting, which adds to the budget. In addition, Colony attracted strong critical support but its ratings, while good for a cable show, were still on the small side. The fan effort of 10,000 signatures should be compared to the pre-Internet petition by hard-core Star Trek fans who successfully petitioned to win the classic show a reprieve from cancellation in 1968 and 1969. The Star Trek campaign generated more than a million letters – letters, written on pen and paper and sent through the mail. Colony’s fans, though steadfast and loyal, haven’t demonstrated the kind of public support that makes streaming network executives want to risk money on a show that already failed.
TechJunkie will of course continue following the story, and if there are future developments we will definitely report them. For now, Colony is dead, and there are no signs of a resuscitation on the horizon.
In the meantime, there are a lot of great shows still out there! We’ve got a roundup of the best thrillers on Netflix, the best standup comedians on Netflix, the best gangster movies on Netflix, the top 100 movies on Netflix, and of course the best shows of all types on Netflix. So you should be able to find something great to enjoy even if Colony doesn’t come back!