This Friday past, we had what is known on the US network television calendar as “Bloody Friday”, i.e. the last day before networks finalize their new season lineup they hope to shop to advertisers. In other words, time to clean house. And unfortunately it would appear that no amount of social media prestidigitation and fervent fan hocus pocus was able to save a certain magic man from being swept right out NBC’s door. Yes, despite a massive fan campaign on Twitter and Facebook, the network has now officially cancelled Constantine after it’s brief 13-episode first season.
Showrunner Daniel Cerrone confirmed the news on Twitter, but immediately reiterated that this may not be the last time we see the show.
— Daniel Cerone (@DanielVCerone) May 8, 2015
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
Constantine, which is an adaptation of the long-running comic Hellblazer and which follows chain-smoking magic man and English bastard John Constantine (Matt Ryan) as he battles the supernatural forces of darkness, never felt like a perfect match for NBC. The show started off a little slow, skewing more towards the more procedural type shows that frequent NBC (also nerfing some of Constantine’s more un-family friendly habits), but in so doing not really doing the source material proper justice.
After a few episodes in though, it really started coming alive as the story arcs started heading more into the mythological elements that has made the comics such a hit for decades. By the time we hit the later episodes, as it became more likely that the cancellation axe was hanging, you could practically see the creators just say “Stuff it. We’re probably not going to be on this network much longer, so no need to keep them happy!” as Constantine’s trademark chain-smoking made an appearance, alongside much more darker storylines. And with that, the show really became what it should have been from the start, which also made it’s cancellation that much more painful.
But according to Cerrone’s Twitter feed, it seems like they’re really pushing for the show to be revived on CW, where it would be right at home alongside something like Supernatural. And the fans have really responded to this suggestion. And by fans, I’m including William Shatner.
That got Cerrone offering Shatner the role of Kent Nelson, aka the very first Doctor Fate (whose signature helmet was already glimpsed in a very early episode of Constantine).
— Daniel Cerone (@DanielVCerone) May 9, 2015
Most intriguingly though, not only did Arrow‘s Stephen Amell also get behind Constantine finding a new home on another network (preferably CW where Arrow is), but he also revealed over the weekend at the Wizard World Philly convention (via ComicBook.com), that an Arrow/Constantine crossover was not only possible, but had already been discussed and apparently was quite a popular option.
“There is an opportunity for interconnectivity with any DC television show that exists. Like, as an example, yesterday Constantine was cancelled. I know, it’s brutal… It’s a good show, and it should come back. And it may come back, like there are various platforms where it could come back.”
“Constantine is an NBC show, I’m on the CW. I had discussions with DC Comics — not NBC or the CW — DC Entertainment about guest starring on Constantine when it was on the air. That was and is on the table…”
“The reason that I was going to guest star on Constantine, at least the idea that we were throwing around was he’s an expert when it comes to the Lazarus Pit, which is now something that is a part of and will continue to be a part of Arrow.”
“I think that all the support that it got, Geoff Johns at DC was supporting it, Jim Lee was supporting it, I think Grant [Gustin] was throwing a little weight behind it, as he should, because that dude is a heavy weight in the DC television universe. I don’t know how it would play. I just think that it deserves an opportunity. I really do.”
The mention of Grant Gustin, the star of CW’s breakout comic book TV series The Flash, is a timely one, as one fan pointed out that Constantine was actually pulling in better numbers than even that show (but due to NBC’s higher expectations, it was still deemed a failure – US TV networks are weird). So yeah, I would be willing to bet good money that CW is indeed taking a long hard look at this. And based on Cerrone’s last tweet, something may just be in the pipeline.
Last Updated: May 11, 2015