For those of you who just want the good news, we’re on for season 4 of Wynonna Earp. It will begin filming in January 2020 and air that summer. Plus the stars will be at San Diego Comic-Con in two weeks.
A Dry Season
Normally by July we’re talking about the upcoming season of Wynonna Earp, eagerly absorbing press photos and tidbits from Emily Andras and her glorious cast and crew, and looking forward to whatever joy we’ll derive from the (only two weeks away) San Diego Comic Con.
This year has been drastically different. January and February rolled around with zero information about the new season. This was odd for our friends, who love rilling us up and celebrating with us.
Finally though it was revealed. Season four was delayed and hadn’t started filming because IDW was broke.
Money is Complicated
Television money is even more complicated. When you talk about making a television show, there are a number of sources that money comes from. The production company, the network, and the content owners all combine forces to pay for the rather expensive proposition of a TV show. In this expensive water, IDW had suffered an astounding loss.
The publishing division of IDW lost $801,000 in the third fiscal quarter of 2018. Losses like this followed into the fourth quarter and again into 2019 where by June it was revealed they’d had a net loss of $3.7 million in the second quarter. In order to supporting their flagging publishing division, there was a little robbing Peter to pay Paul going on between divisions. But it was very clear that IDW had overextended their pockets.
For those who have juggled money at that scale, it’s not abnormal to bolster a slugging division with money from another. However for Earpers the worry became clear. IDW did not have the money.
In the middle of all this, the contracts for some of the stars were up. In fact, the four primary actors had their contracts expire. Since this was a fourth season, they were due a raise, which is the industry norm at that stage of a series.
Thankfully, the fanbase and the cast and crew were all-in when it came to the show. Billboards were purchased on Times Square. The stars continued to attend conventions and promise Earpers that they were still here with us.
Still, we couldn’t help worrying. All the hashtags in the world wouldn’t help the one place where help was needed. What the show needed was money. All the fan expression in the world couldn’t help when the issue was not that IDW didn’t want to invest in a show but that it had nothing to invest.
Saved by SyFy
Mo Ryan reported for Vulture that it was an infusion from SyFy itself that saved the show.
When things went sideways at IDW in recent months, the [SyFy] network made its support crystal clear by offering to pay a higher license fee for the program. Multiple sources confirm that Syfy ponying up those additional funds — a rare gesture from a network to a struggling studio — helped ensure the fourth season would get made.Wynonna Earp Season 4 Is Finally, Actually Happening – Vulture by Maureen Ryan
It’s difficult to stress how rare this is. SyFy has always been an odd-duck when it came to what they chose to (and not to) produce. For them to be so readily willing to chip in the money is a unicorn moment. And it’s a testament to the power of the fans, showing how much we wanted a show like this.
But Season Five…
Astute, sharp eyed Earpers will have already noticed. We don’t know what’s going on with season five yet. There’s no word on when it may happen. There’s no word on if it may happen. We hope and prepare and here we stay, waiting and fighting for season five, and for now that’s all we can do.
We can also watch season three on Netflix, starting July 16th. And we will be on-site for Comic-Con to give you the latest news as soon as possible.
Until then, stay strong Earpers, and look for a twelve (12) episode season four next summer from our favourite crafty Canadians.