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How a dinnertime email saved ‘The Expanse’

Bezos and 'Expanse' cast
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos strikes a celebratory pose with two of the stars of “The Expanse,” Cas Anvar and Wes Chatham. (Keith Zacharski / National Space Society / In the Barrel Photo)

The head of Amazon Studios confirms that the plan to announce the rescue of “The Expanse” was cooked up while Amazon’s billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos, was sitting at a dinner table just a few feet away from the cast of the fan-favorite science-fiction TV show.

I was right beside Bezos when he made the announcement on May 25, during an awards banquet at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference. I had tipped off his team while dinner was being served that I planned to ask about the fate of “The Expanse,” but once we got up on stage, Bezos artfully beat me to the punch.

“Ten minutes ago, I just got word that ‘The Expanse’ is saved,” he said, setting off cheers in the banquet hall.

The decision meant that the outer-space opera, which had been canceled by the Syfy channel only days before, would go on to a fourth season as an Amazon Prime Original.

Fans had been pleading with Amazon to pick up the show, and in an interview published today on Deadline Hollywood, Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke confirmed that a deal was “pretty much done” by the time Bezos sat down to dinner.

But she also confirmed that she pulled the trigger only after getting Bezos’ dinnertime email.

Get Salke’s side of the story via GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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