After a valiant effort by the fans and cast of Constantine, NBC has officially declined to renew the series for season 2. Still, that does not mean that the #SaveConstantine has failed – at least not yet. As producers are attempting to find the series a new home on a different network.
The road, so far, has not been easy for the Warner Bros. show. Following a premiere at San Diego Comic-Con, the show underwent significant revisions – including the complete removal of Constantine co-star Liv (Lucy Griffith) in favor of a more familiar DC character Zed (played by Angélica Celaya) but failed to capture a large enough return audience for ongoing placement at NBC. Fans of the series, performers, and comic book characters rallied around Constantine in the hope of encouraging NBC to give the show another shot for success. Nevertheless, after a significant drop in ratings following the series premiere, Constantine struggled to gain new viewers – leaving NBC little option but to pass on season 2.
Report of Constantine‘s cancellation came directly from series producer Daniel Cerone – who delivered the news via Twitter, thanking fans and the network, while also teasing a possible season 2 return on a different channel.
Check out Cerone’s summary of Constantine’s future below:
Thanks to @NBC for Season 1. Got a nice call from the powers there. We were considered but they feel they had a strong development season.— Daniel Cerone (@DanielVCerone) May 8, 2015
As mentioned, even though Constantine possessed a rabid fanbase and held mostly steady ratings, overall viewership averaged around (an unremarkable) 3.5 million households each week – with only minor upticks on certain episodes. The show ended its season 1 run with 3.3 million viewers, a slight improvement over its series low penultimate episode (which secured on 2.96 million).
To that end, Cerone is correct in claiming that certain networks would love to acquire a show with Constantine‘s viewership; yet, as we know from A&E’s cancellation of Longmire, ratings are not everything. Longmire was eventually picked up by Netflix for season 4 but there’s no guarantee that a new network or streaming service will “Save Constantine.” Previously, it was rumored SyFy might pickup and rebrand the show as Hellblazer – but those reports were since debunked.
Fans will disagree but, for executives (and many critics), Constantine fell short because it stuck too close to a supernatural procedural format that has over-satured the TV market in recent years. This means that any outlet interested in picking up Constantine would need to be confidant the series will retain all of its viewers (some of which might not have access to select cable networks) as well as draw new watchers away from long-running (and firmly established) series like CW’s Supernatural.
For now, the #SaveConstantine lives-on – likely with more urgency than ever before – and it will be interesting to see which networks could be interested in picking up the show. If one does, even faithful viewers will likely agree that there’s room for refinement and improvement in the series. A new network wouldn’t just need to save the series from cancellation, they’ll need to save it from the general perception that Constantine is an overly-safe comic book adaptation.
There are plenty of source material stories that could help differentiate Constantine from its competitors but, if a network really wants the series to succeed, they’ll likely need to shift the show away from mass-appeal paranormal detective work – to the kind of gritty and uncomfortable storytelling that made Hellblazer characters so memorable in DC Comic history.
If not, there’s always interest in a Constantine movie sequel, right?
Constantine has been canceled. We will keep you in the loop if a new network picks the show up for season 2.
Source: Daniel Cerone