‘Resident Alien’ Eyes Move To USA As Series Faces Uncertain Future At NBCU & Possible Netflix Play

EXCLUSIVE: A little over a month after Season 3 of Resident Alien wrapped its run on Syfy, the future of the quirky sci-fi comedy-drama is up in the air. And there is some intrigue over where the series starring Alan Tudyk would continue should it get a fourth season.

I hear there are talks about Resident Alien moving from Syfy to NBCU cable sibling USA Network, which currently doesn’t have scripted originals besides Chucky, which it shares with Syfy. According to sources, a return to Syfy appears unlikely, so USA is Resident Alien‘s only feasible destination within NBCU, whose UCP division produces the adaptation of the comic book by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse.

More from Deadline

But a potential Season 4 pickup by USA would come with a major budget reduction, as much as $500,000 an episode, which will be challenging, I hear.

Budgets in basic cable always have been modest. They now are undergoing additional scrutiny amid the economic realities of ad-supported cable networks being heavily impacted by cord-cutting and the overall decline in linear viewing.

RELATED: Hollywood Contraction — A Multi-Part Deadline Series

As Deadline reported exclusively in December, USA has been exploring a return of its “Blue Sky” drama brand with hourlong shows whose budgets are capped at $2M-$3M an episode.

For now, the focus is to try to keep Resident Alien at NBCU, I hear. If that proves impossible, UCP, part of Universal Studio Group, is expected to explore other options, including shopping the series to Netflix. The streamer released Seasons 1 and 2 of Resident Alien on Feb. 13, a day before Season 3 premiered on Syfy with next day availability on Peacock, which also houses the show’s library.

RELATED: 2024 Premiere Dates For New & Returning Series On Broadcast, Cable & Streaming

The well-reviewed series (its first two seasons average 97% on Rotten Tomatoes) landed on several must-watch lists, and Season 1 made it to Netflix’s Top 10 of English-language series for its first five weeks of release.

It is unclear whether Netflix would be interested if approached. Additionally, a move to the global streamer would be challenging due to the patchwork of international rights that need to be untangled as Resident Alien has been a strong performer internationally for NBCU and available in a slew of territories. Netflix went through that with Warner Bros. TV on Lucifer and with eOne on Designated Survivor. Universal Studio Group’s Universal Television just did it for comedy series Girls5eva, which moved from domestic-only streamer Peacock to Netflix for Season 3.

RELATED: Renewed TV Series 2024: A Photo Gallery

Created by Chris Sheridan based on the comic book, Resident Alien centers on the titular character, played by Tudyk, who is sent to wipe out humanity on Earth but over time develops compassion for his hosts and starts to defend them from other extraterrestrial threats while working as a doctor at a small Colorado town.

Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund, Levi Fiehler, Judah Prehn and Elizabeth Bowen also star.

Sheridan, Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, David Dobkin and Robert Duncan McNeill executive produce. Jocko Productions, Amblin Television and Dark Horse Entertainment produce with UCP.

In addition to Chucky, Syfy’s original series slate includes Reginald the Vampire as well as Canadian co-production SurrealEstate.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.