On HBO, Showtime or AMC, a series would get more leeway to develop. They aren't so dependent on ad revenues so the tyranny of the Nielsens, where shows get cancelled if they bomb on the premiere, isn't so much of a factor. A live action space opera will have a bigger than usual budget and so will be under unusual pressure to perform.
I don't think syndication is much of a factor for shows of that ilk anymore. There is an ongoing revenue stream potential in streaming. There's no reason why a show that's already reached its primary audience on cable can't make more money on Netflix, hulu, etc. The key is timing the releases right to avoid cannibalization of the audience.
In other words, figure out the maximum amount each viewer will pay to get the show a certain amount of time quicker, and then let the audience sort themselves into each audience, with the tradeoff being money vs time. The entertainment biz is in the process of figuring out what this equation is, exactly. You can see the repercussions in news of companies doing deals with Netflix et al.