12 Monkeys Is Getting a Bizarre Send-Off After Four Seasons

Image: Still via Youtube
Image: Still via Youtube

Turns out, there is a future where 12 Monkeys is no longer on the air, and it’s coming sooner than we thought—Syfy has confirmed that after it dumps out the entirety of the third season over three days in May, the series will conclude with a fourth season. Wait, be kind and rewind: whaaaaa?

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The plans were first revealed by Entertainment Weekly alongside the announcement of the show’s renewal for one more season. Starting May 19, Syfy will be doling out all of season three of the show—10 episodes in total—over a three day period. Episodes 1-4 will air on the 19th, 5-7 on the 20th, and then 8-10 on the 21st. The show will then return for final 10 episode season some time in 2018.

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This is very sudden, and super strange way for 12 Monkeys’ end to come about. A final season renewal would be understandable. But paired with the news of bizarre way Syfy is rolling out the third season of the show, it seems like an uncharitable way to end one of the best shows on the channel—and a cornerstone in Syfy’s reinvention of its brand to refocus on traditional science fiction programming, alongside series like The Expanse, Dark Matter, and Killjoys. We’ll be very sad to see it go.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

cayde-6
The Magnificent Cayde-6

Hey... before y’all get too carried away with the anti-SyFy rhetoric, you need to consider this: last season’s ratings were on the soft side - even for a niche program on a niche channel... so what they’re probably doing is making the 3rd season an “event” to consolidate viewership and make more advertising dollars.

With that strategy, the money made will pay for the 4th season - which, as we all know, isn’t a luxury 99% of all wobbling shows are afforded.

Think of all the shows that had their plugs pulled mid stream - or the ones that were notified of the end while production was still under way, which gave the producers very little time to fashion a send-off: the American remake of Life On Mars comes to mind, and that was an epic disaster.

Journeyman did get a heads up as well, but they shut it down with a bit more grace - even if we felt that there was years of untapped potential hanging there in the air.

More recently, FOX is really hemming and hawing over the future of Pitch, which I think is the best show they’ve aired in a very long time... but it was crazy expensive with fairly soft numbers - and while the last episode of the season could sorta act like a series finale if they decide to cancel, it’s not what I would have liked.

Of course, the studio letting you know ahead of time doesn’t always help: see Star Trek: Enterprise’s “These Are The Voyages...”

So while SyFy’s behavior may sound capricious, they’re at least going through the motions for shutting 12 Monkeys down responsibly - even if it’s in their own, special way.

And let’s bare in mind that weeding out the underperformers lets the network focus more energy on bigger hits like The Expanse and The Magicians - shows that are generating talk on social media platforms.