Production on season 4 of SYFY’s hit series Wynonna Earp should be chugging along right now. Melanie Scrofano should be swearing in new and creative ways. Creator and showrunner Emily Andras should be wrangling cast, crew, and production staff. Fans should be clamoring for pictures and sneak peeks and any little bit of information they can glean from their favorite show on television.

None of that is happening right now. Instead, the entire cast, crew, and production staff of Wynonna Earp is collectively holding their breath while waiting on a green light to start production on a season 4 that’s already been renewed and should be, at least, 3 episodes into filming.

As someone who’s been a fan of genre TV for decades, I’m used to seeing shows I love get canceled because of low ratings or because a network wasn’t willing to take a chance on a show that might not reach a broader audience because it’s niche, but in all my years as a fan, I’ve never seen anything like what’s going on with SYFY’s Wynonna Earp.

The series has earned both ratings and critical success, earning a season 4 renewal fresh on the heels of its season 3 finale. It’s also earned a large and loyal fan base, of which I’m a member. Earpers, as they’ve dubbed themselves, love the show for numerous reasons: its cast, its commitment to diversity, LGBTQIA representation as part of daily life, great dialogue, the ability to be both intensely dramatic and not take itself too seriously all at the same time. The list goes on. How much do fans love the show? Wynonna Earp won a People’s Choice Award as a write-in candidate thanks to Earper dedication.

In other words, Wynonna Earp is a hit by every measurable metric and certainly was on track to go into production on season 4 last month. The cast was was already to show up to work. Executive producer Emily Andras was ready to go. Everything on the Toronto-based side of things was geared up to roll and then… nothing.

The Earp Quake

On February 21, series star Melanie Scrofano tweeted the news. Wynonna Earp season 4 was on hold.

The tweet sent a shudder through Twitter and, suddenly Earpers flooded social media with questions for SYFY and IDW Publishing, a division of IDW Entertainment. IDW is also the owner of the rights and the production company who finances Wynonna Earp. The hashtag #FightForWynonna caught fire across Twitter and Wynonna Earp fans all over the world wanted to know why the show they love so much was suddenly in limbo.

On February 22, SYFY issued a statement saying they remained 100% committed to the show, reminding fans that they’d ordered season 4 and nothing had changed. Space Channel in Canada had also committed to season 4 so, for all intents and purposes, the delay wasn’t coming from the network side of things.

This is where the situation gets more convoluted. After all, most genre shows that don’t continue are either canceled by the network or don’t get renewed. In this case, the network was totally on board. So what gives?

Better question. Who isn’t giving? Answer? IDW Entertainment.

What’s holding up Wynonna Earp Season 4?

IDW Entertainment is producing Wynonna Earp and IDW Publishing currently owns the rights to the media property. Both IDW Entertainment and IDW Publishing are divisions of IDW Media Holdings. Recently ADW, a hedge fund and shareholder of IDW Media Holdings, announced its intention to sell IDW Media Holdings, Inc or push IDW to basically sell itself (I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of information here and I’m not a financial advisor, but Institutional Investor did a great rundown if you want the nitty-gritty) because IDW is currently running a net loss financially.

Because of their financial situation, IDW needs cash to pay for season 4 of Wynonna Earp and, thus far, it doesn’t have it. Which is why everyone’s in a holding pattern.

Like I said earlier, this is a rare situation for genre fans. In this case, Wynonna has a network, it just needs money to produce it and IDW doesn’t have the money. So the question is, what now?

Last week, Adam Wyden, the founder of ADW, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the Fight for Wynonna and, well, it sort of went over like a lead balloon. “How do we justify making season four and five if we know we’re going to lose money?”, Wyden said, being about as blunt as one can be:

“Someone’s got to pick up the tab. I suspect people at IDW are working hard on it, but the question is, if Amazon, Netflix or whoever don’t want to buy the international window, how can you expect IDW to say, ‘OK, we didn’t sell season three international, but, by the way, we’ll make season four and five.’ It doesn’t work like that. It needs to get sold.”

Now, all of this may be 100% true, but Wyden’s suggestions came off as both dismissive and unhelpful by saying “I think if all these Wynonna Earp people really want it to come back, they should be emailing Netflix and saying, ‘Pick up the international rights’”. First off, describing the cast, crew, and fans of Wynonna Earp as “These Wynonna people” is kind of a dick move, but “email Netflix” isn’t all that helpful. Who at Netflix? A little help here, Adam.

IDW Publishing was not amused and shot back a message via Twitter.

Long story short, the networks want season 4 of Wynonna Earp. The cast and crew of Wynonna Earp want season 4 of Wynonna Earp. IDW wants season 4 of Wynonna Earp. The fans want season 4 of Wynonna Earp.

But so far, there’s no season 4 of Wynonna Earp.

Earpers Have No Chill

Earpers, who are hugely fond of the hashtag #NoChill (it’s basically a mission statement) have done everything they can to get the attention of anyone and everyone who can help get Wynonna Earp season 4 into production.

Tweets with the hashtag #FightForWynonna are just part of the push, They’ve also had signs on the Today Show, billboards in Times Square (last count according to Wynonna Earp fan Bridget Liszewski is 45) There’s even a website dedicated specifically to the Fight For Wynonna.

The cast of Wynonna Earp is also lending their voices to the fight.

Most recently, fans have been asking Netflix to add season 3 of Wynonna Earp because Netflix would have to buy the airing rights and, essentially, infuse cash into IDW which could help fund season 4.

And, from where I’m sitting, Earpers are showing no sign of stopping:

“Keep reminding yourselves that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Polite #NoChill your hearts out and be as loud and proud about your love for Wynonna Earp as you can. We’ve been through these fights before, but we need everyone working together now like never before. We want anyone who wonders about our passion to know loud and clear that when it comes to the #FightForWynonna, Earpers are always ALL IN!”

The longer this delay goes on, the more likely cast and crew on Wynonna Earp will end up being released from contracts or need to move on to other projects. The Canadian film and television scene is both busy and overlapping, so it’s likely there will be scheduling conflicts as time goes on. It’s clear that everyone who’s working on Wynonna Earp is hoping to make the show happen and wants to make it happen.

But, sooner or later, someone’s going to have to make some decisions. Right now, there’s a series with good ratings, loyal fans, and one hell of a media presence. All it needs is the money to make it happen. So the fight continues and, just like Wynonna herself, we’re gonna fight till it kills us – and then we’ll fight some more.

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