A few months ago, NBC announced that its ratings-challenged comic book-based drama Constantine would not be receiving a full 22-episode pick-up by the network, and that production would end after episode 13 was completed. In the TV business, declining to order an entire first season of a show is sometimes considered an “unofficial cancellation,” due to the fact that a channel rarely commissions a season 2 without having first optioned a full season 1.
Despite that bit of conventional wisdom, NBC has remained entirely non-committal in regards to Constantine’s ultimate fate, and repeatedly insisted that the struggling fantastical procedural was not seen as a goner.
Many fans have been quick to assume that NBC was just telling them what they wanted to hear, but a new report by Cinelinx suggests that a second round of Constantine adventures may not be as unlikely as once thought.
Per the report, NBC Universal doesn’t see a season 2 of Constantine as a viable prospect for their flagship broadcast network, but is impressed enough by the series’ passionate fanbase and heavy presence on social media to not want to cancel it outright. With that in mind, the company is considering moving Constantine over to NBC’s cable cousin Syfy for season 2, where ratings expectations would be lower and the level of creative freedom would be increased.
One of the goals in moving Constantine over to Syfy would be to play up the horror and supernatural elements the franchise is best known for, and downplay the procedural elements some fans believe have hampered the series’ storytelling. In line with this darker creative direction, NBC is also considering dropping the Constantine name in favor of the edgier Hellblazer moniker of the original comic book series. This would mark the first time that the Hellblazer name would be retained for a film or TV adaptation of the John Constantine character.
That all said, viewers that already love the existing Constantine show should rest assured that NBC’s potential plan would involve moving the entire current cast over to the newly rechristened Hellblazer, and also bringing along the same creative staff. This would not be a different show entirely, just a tweaked series that NBC feels would fall more in line with what fans have wanted from the beginning. It’s hard to imagine any fans of Constantine – or Hellblazer for that matter – objecting to a darker, more uninhibited televised take on the source material.
Of course, even assuming that the above report is correct, Constantine fans would be wise to keep their expectations in check until NBC announces what the program’s future holds. For every cult show that gets a second chance at life, three more get cut down in their prime, despite rumors that they’ll continue. Just ask the people still waiting for Netflix to pick-up a third season of Jericho or FOX to produce a followup movie to Millennium.
The Constantine season 1 finale airs Friday, February 13th @8pm on NBC.