Salvation,” the wildest and, in many ways, most original show that you’re probably not watching just ended its first, and some fear its only season with multiple cliffhangers. Is the world about to blow up in a nuclear war even before the asteroid hits? What is that new plan to stop the asteroid that Liam came up with at the last minute? Did Amanda make it out of the burned ruins of Capital Eye alive? Who freed that traitorous vice president and where did they take him?

Low ratings may sink ‘Salvation’

The sad truth about “Salvation” is that it averages a 0.5 rating in the important 18 to 49 demographics.

Considering that the show is science fiction and thus is more expensive to produce than most programming, that kind of number does not bode well for renewal.

On the other hand

However, CBS earlier sold the exclusive live streaming rights for “Salvation” to Amazon. Deadline suggests that the deal will have caused the show to break even or even make a small profit regardless of the ratings during its broadcast run. The upshot is that the prospect of money for side deals like live streaming strengthens the case for “Salvation” getting a second season.

The case for a second season of ‘Salvation’

The plot of an asteroid threatening to collide with the Earth has been done before, most notably in the 1998 films “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact.” However, in “Salvation” the asteroid is just the McGuffin, the thing that happens that causes the characters in a movie or TV show to do the things they do.

The asteroid and the efforts to stop it are just one aspect of a dizzying array of plots that involve cold war style intrigue, a secret government conspiracy, romantic triangles, family secrets, and high-tech, space-based visions.

Whether one likes or loathes “Salvation” depends on how one approaches the material. The series has been positively Shakespearian in its plot twists and its backstabbing and backbiting.

On the other hand, some scenes have seemed to be hoaky, such as the dance scene at the end of the final episode of the season.

Salvation,” from an artistic perspective, deserves a second season. One is left wondering what happens next at the end of the last episode. Too many shows of its type have been cut off in midstream because the suits at the network decided to cut it loose (and I’m thinking of “Stargate: Universe” here.) If the business case can be made for the second season, then “Salvation” should get its shot.