Can the CW’s Superhero Lineup Save the Recently-Cancelled ‘Constantine’?
Comic book fans have proven themselves to be some of the most passionate people out there. It’s evident in the wild success of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC’s TV universe on The CW. The beginning of Arrow back in 2012 saw the network hit record ratings, followed by the even bigger Flash crossover series. The CW is only continuing to expand, announcing Legends of Tomorrow, the superhero team-up show featuring a smattering of Flash and Arrow characters. One more show though could potentially enter the ring, following Constantine‘s cancellation on NBC.
In its short 13-episode run, Constantine garnered a devoted Internet following. The ensuing days since its cancellation have been a swell of support for it, demanding that it come back on the air in some capacity. In the age of streaming TV, it’s never been easier to bring a show back from the dead. Even so, the most suggested solution is far more ambitious. Constantine is based on a DC comics series, starring the titular hero as a wisecracking occult detective. It has all the pieces for a compelling show, but didn’t last long in its uneven adaptation from NBC.
So, the proposed solution: Revive Constantine as part of The CW’s already-expanding DC universe. Arrow star Stephen Amell has gone so far as to suggest that his hero appear as a guest seeking knowledge of the resurrection-centric Lazarus Pits. It would make some amount of sense given the recent rise of more mystical forces on Arrow, while giving Constantine a clear-cut path to popularity. Just about anything attached to Arrow/Flash showrunner Greg Berlanti has turned to gold, and bringing a new, diverse world into his meticulously crafted universe could be a strategy that helps everyone.
The real hope though is that a CW revival could fix many of the problems NBC’s adaptation possessed. First and foremost, they neutered John Constantine down to a focus group appeal. Gone was his trademark bisexuality and chain-smoking, taking away two aspects of his character that had made him iconic and interesting. The CW has given Berlanti pretty much free reign to do as he pleases with his characters, and we imagine a similar loose leash would be given to a new-look Constantine.
As it stands, the show is being shopped around to multiple networks. None make quite as much sense as the obvious choice though. Supernatural is fast-approaching its end despite a Season 11 renewal. The Vampire Diaries is about to lose a main cast member in Nina Dobrev. Soon, there will be an occult vacuum on The CW, while a perfect replacement sits ready to fill it in Constantine. This would of course come with the added benefit of the network possessing a far less itchy trigger finger than competitors like NBC when it comes to cancellation. Within the DC TV universe, Constantine could flourish the way to its maximum potential on the backs of already-established shows.
Given the popularity of comic book properties in entertainment, there’s a good chance this show is in high-demand to be picked up somewhere. Netflix though might find itself in a hands-off position given their close working relationship with Marvel. Hulu has no current precedent for a show that would require a real special effects budget and high-profile talent. FOX has already set their lineup for 2015 through 2016. ABC is strictly a Marvel network with Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. The only logical choice here is clear, and it’s only a matter of time before someone at The CW with decision-making power realizes this.
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