CONSTANTINE stands at the precipice

4 min read


I really enjoy Constantine, the show based on DC/Vertigo’s long-running Hellbazer comics. It helps that I am familiar with the comic books, though I have never been a serious reader. In fact, I think I only own one or two complete story arcs. But those were good and as such jack-of-all-trades sorcerer John Constantine has always been a favourite of mine.

The Keanu Reeves movie took an interesting – and in my opinion, worthy – stab at the comic’s world. Then came the NBC TV series, which I’ve said before is probably the best damn thing that comics have contributed to TV entertainment (well, okay, Daredevil is absolutely kicking everyone’s ass now).

Sadly in a world of candyfloss drama like The Flash (does that entire city seriously only have one coffee shop?), painful chest-beating like Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (you all like it, but I still think the Nineties wants its show back) and Gotham (okay, never seen that, but if it’s not about Batman I don’t care), Constantine is just not getting any traction. This despite it following stuff like Supernatural and Grimm, but doing it so, so, so much better.

As a result rumours of Constantine‘s imminent cancellation have been circling for a while and even talks of it moving to SyFy have been debunked. In my opinion, Constantine should never have been on NBC in the first place, but on cable or something like Netflix. Yet despite that handicap, the series is fun, interesting and a great nod at the comics.

Now, news started showing up yesterday that the show is indeed being canned after its stunted 13-episode run, though that appeared to be premature. First the original news, courtesy of /Film:

It seems like every comic book property in existence is getting a TV show nowadays, but that doesn’t mean they’re always successful. NBC has just given the axe to Constantine, which starred Matt Ryan as the Vertigo Comics antihero.

Then things were clarified that the decision is still pending a meeting with the big shots at NBC:

Well, this has certainly done an about-face. BuzzFeed’s original source has apparently changed their mind, and Constantine is now “awaiting news” of either cancellation or renewal. Their original article has also been changed to reflect as such. Keep hope alive, and #SaveConstantine, true believers!

Showrunner Daniel Cerrone also spoke to to clarify the show’s current status:

I just received confirmation from the corporate offices at NBC. I was assured that Constantine has not been canceled and our pitch meeting to discuss a potential second season remains on the books. By the way, this is a pitch meeting involving the president of Warner Bros and and the entertainment heads of NBC. Nobody at this incredibly busy time of the development season has time to waste taking pointless meetings.

Now, is it fair to say that Constantine is a long shot? Sure, that’s fair to say. While we marginally improved a tough time slot for NBC, we’re a very expensive show to produce. A lot of NBC’s decision making will not doubt hinge on their new pilots and how they feel those new shows would fare as a companion piece to Grimm, versus a second season of Constantine.

My guess? The show’s people knew it might be a problem, so leaked premature news of a cancellation in order to drum up support for the show. There is already a Twitter movement and I see even William Shatner is tweeting his support:

Well, maybe it will help. After all, ratings aren’t all that matter these days. On the other hand, ratings appear to be all networks understand. Please, can AMC, HBO, Netflix, Amazon or even the SABC just step up and give this demon hunter a chance?

Last Updated: April 15, 2015

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