As soon as news dropped that Wynonna Earp Season 4 would be the final season of the fan favorite supernatural western to air on Syfy, the next logical question for most fans (including this one) was: could Wynonna Earp Season 5 happen elsewhere? In this age of peak distribution platforms and cult classics revived from the apparent dead for one last hurrah, could there still be a future for Wynonna Earp? Like many things, it mostly depends on money.
Before we get too far into this article, it’s important to note that any possible continuation of the Wynonna Earp TV series is pure speculation at this point. There are currently no plans to film a Season 5. That being said, while the language in the press release made clear that Season 4B would be the final episodes to air on Syfy, there are obviously still people involved in making this show who would be more than willing to continue making it should the funding arise. In her press release statement, showrunner and creator Emily Andras doesn’t rule out the possibility of Wynonna Earp continuing elsewhere.
“We couldn’t be prouder of these last six episodes on SYFY,” states Andras, “and are thrilled to share them with our beloved fans, who have changed our lives forever. I have been honored to tell Wynonna and her family’s story, and along with Seven24, Cineflix and CTV Sci-Fi, are hopeful we can continue to share their inspiring tales in the future.”
TV shows are expensive to make, and are only greenlit and continued when they make financial sense for the financial partners that invest in them. This business reality became abruptly apparent to Wynonna Earp fans in the lead up to Season 4, when the series’ fate was unexpectedly left uncertain due to a lack of funding from producers IDW Entertainment, despite Syfy having reportedly ordered two more seasons from the company. IDW, which owns the rights to the comic on which the show is based, was contractually obligated to deliver on that promise, but apparently didn’t have the money to do so.
Months later, the matter was settled when Syfy, as well as Canadian distributor Space, contributed additional funding to get Season 4 made. Cineflix Studios came aboard to co-produce alongside IDW, with Cineflix Rights handling international sales for the series for the upcoming season. While a fifth season of Wynonna Earp was never officially announced, the plan for a Season 5 was made public as part of an IDW public filing.
Since then, Syfy has backtracked on its plan for a fifth season of Wynonna Earp, presumably at least in part due to the corporate reshuffling that has taken place in the last year at NBC Universal, which saw the conglomerate merge its development team from streaming service Peacock with development teams from its linear broadcast and cable networks. As part of the transition, former USA and Syfy president Chris McCumber left his job last year. Given that Syfy was the biggest financial contributor to Wynonna Earp Season 4 and that NBCUniversal no longer sees Wynonna Earp as part of its content plan, the future of the series is in serious jeopardy.
But it ain’t over til it’s over—with six episodes left to air on Syfy, an enthusiastic cast and creative team, and a hell of a dedicated fandom, not all hope is lost. Wynonna Earp needs a new distributor to get a Season 5, and this series has saved itself from the edge of cancellation before. In this busy media landscape, Wynonna Earp is something special—an unabashedly feminist drama that queer viewers can trust—and that’s not nothing. We currently exist in a binge-centric world where entire series can be watched in one weekend and forgotten by the next. Wynonna Earp sticks, it stays. It has been a home for so many neglected viewers to find a fandom in. That has immeasurable value, even when conglomerates can’t figure out how to make money off of it.
“Whatever happens next,” wrote Andras in a recent tweet, “it has been my honour.”