Movie and show rights licensing is often a complicated affair as proven today. Netflix has reacquired the first two Netflix Original seasons of the now Amazon Prime Original series The Expanse. Confused, yet? Same.
Updated (02/10/2020): Well, blink and you missed it – The Expanse has once again been removed from Netflix internationally. We’ll update you once/if we learn more.
Let’s recap how we got here.
The sci-fi series has grown massively in popularity over the past few years and has been referred to (especially since the Amazon acquisition) as the best sci-fi series currently on the air.
The Expanse was originally a Syfy series that Netflix managed to pick up the global distribution for back in 2016. It carried both seasons one and two before the show was killed by Syfy after three seasons on the air.
After lots of lobbying by fans and a bit of good luck, the show was eventually rescued by Amazon Prime Studios who have since produced season four, with a fifth season and more rumored on the way in the near future.
Netflix in international regions lost both the first and second seasons at the end of September 2018 months after it was announced that Amazon had taken over the series.
The return of The Expanse on Netflix internationally doesn’t seem to have affected its availability on Amazon Prime, though with all four seasons still available.
The strangest thing with the readditions today is that the two seasons on Netflix still features the Netflix Original branding and ba-dum intro (but not the new one).
Will season three and four of The Expanse be on Netflix?
Even though Netflix has now picked up The Expanse again, do not expect any further seasons (with the exception of number three perhaps) to come to Netflix.
The new seasons are produced solely by Amazon Prime which is where the new seasons will stream exclusively.
So why did Netflix pick these previous two seasons up again? Well, we don’t know officially. It could be the case that Netflix gave up the international rights for a couple of years to go exclusively on Amazon Prime.
There’s also an argument that could be made that the licensing has been sold again to Netflix to help promote and drive more subscribers Amazon’s way.
Don’t worry though, Netflix has plenty of sci-fi series of its own coming up. Another Life has been renewed for a second season expected in 2021 and also Netflix and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working on Three-Body Problem.