Recent visitors to New York’s Times Square may have noticed billboards bearing the message “#fightforwynonna,” paid for by fans of Syfy’s ‘Wynonna Earp’ who are hoping to save the latest cult favorite that might be in danger. But unlike previous shows that fans have rallied around, like ‘The Expanse’, ‘Lucifer’, and ‘Shadowhunters’, ‘Wynonna Earp’ wasn’t canceled. It wasn’t even in danger of cancellation. Syfy ordered a fourth season and was in talks for a fifth. No, in this case, ‘Wynonna Earp’ is in danger simply because the company that produces it, IDW, doesn’t have the money to make it!
Syfy only licenses the show. IDW produces the whole thing themselves, allowing them to keep the rights and make deals, like the one they made with Netflix to offer the first two seasons to stream internationally. The money from Netflix helped pay for the existing episodes, but IDW doesn’t have the money to make the additional episodes that Syfy has ordered. But contractually speaking, they are still obligated to deliver them. IDW has not negotiated a deal with Netflix for Season 3 or anything beyond that. Maybe they should.
This practice has become standard, as it allows networks to offer more shows by only paying a fraction to license them, versus the full cost of producing them themselves.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, Adam Wyden, “the founder of the New York-based hedge fund ADW, which owns 9 percent of IDW Media Holdings,” said:
“There’s certainly value, but I think the way you have to think about it is, is it worth making Wynonna Earp and taking the risk that you don’t sell out the international rights? How do we justify making season four and five if we know we’re going to lose money? IDW is working very, very hard to try and sell up the international windows so they can limit the amount of risk. The company wants to make Wynonna Earp… I really don’t know why they went down this route.”
‘Wynonna Earp’ has a devoted following of “Earpers” and the show has been praised for its depiction of strong women and LGBTQ relationships. Earpers have bought 49 billboards over the past two weeks to show their support.
Bonnie Ferrar, manager of the 25,000-strong @wynonnafans Twitter account, explained:
“Sometimes it can feel like tweeting and emailing isn’t enough. So, one Earper decided to take our infamous ‘polite no chill’ to the next level. NYC Earpers have come out in packs to hold signs, film the billboards and fight for the show we love. Their coverage has enabled other fans to stay involved and included in this fight — no matter where they are in the world.”
But once again, ‘Wynonna Earp’ wasn’t canceled. Syfy ordered an additional season and was discussing a fifth. According to Wyden, IDW “wants to make ‘Wynonna Earp’.” So… I’m not sure who these fans with signs and billboards are meant to appeal to. From the sound of things, they should have saved the money spent on 49 billboards and just given it to IDW. It obviously wouldn’t have been enough to finance a whole season– maybe not even a whole episode (I don’t know how much billboards cost)– but it would’ve helped. Not sure what good the billboards and such do, since all parties involved with production and distribution want the new seasons.
Check back for updates!