NBC’s supernatural show Constantine got off to a rocky start when the critical and audience response to its pilot episode was less than enthused. Based on the long-running series of Hellblazer comics, Constantine is the first of several planned TV shows based on DC’S Vertigo comics – a list that also includes titles like DMZ and Preacher. In that respect it’s been something of a prototype for how well the darker side of DC can work when adapted for a TV format.
Despite the weak pilot, Constantine got a piece of good news shortly before its premiere when NBC ordered an additional nine scripts for the first season, which would take it all the way up to 22 episodes. The early episodes struggled in the ratings however and despite a recent uptick, it looks like NBC has decided to take a more cautious approach.
Deadline reports that the production of Constantine‘s first season has been stalled at 13 episodes, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the show will be cancelled. According to Deadline‘s sources, Constantine‘s late launch meant that the network only had four episodes worth of ratings to work with when the time came to make a decision about how many episodes to order. This report was confirmed by showrunner Daniel Cerone, who urged fans to keep tuning in every week if they’d like to see a second season of Constantine.
The producers are confidant. Constantine higher ratings than Hannibal and CLIMBING. Hannibal got 2nd season. So keep watching! #Constantine— Daniel Cerone (@DanielVCerone) November 24, 2014
Last week’s episode of Constantine, ‘Daunse Vaudou‘, marked a 38% increase in ratings week-to-week, and the highest of any episode so far. The show definitely seems to be on the way to finding its feet (and an audience) despite a shaky start, with the ongoing rivalry between John Constantine and Papa Midnite making for some pretty entertaining television. If the current trajectory continues, Constantine could be a genuinely great show by the end of its first season.
In fact, being limited to 13 episodes instead of 22 might actually end up working out in Constantine‘s favor. It means less pressure to draw out a single story arc over almost two dozen episodes, and would offer the showrunners a chance to regroup and really get an idea of where they want the show to go in a second season. If nothing else, maybe they can come up with a way to prevent Constantine from feeling like a Supernatural knockoff.
Let us know in the comments if you’re hopeful for a second season of Constantine, or if you think NBC should just go ahead and cancel the show already.
Constantine returns in ‘Rage of Caliban’ next Friday @10pm on NBC.