When Arrow first came to The CW, people liked it, but it wasn’t until season two when everyone jumped on the bandwagon (this writer included.) The rising success of Arrow brought about three other DC properties to network television; Gotham, The Flash, and Constantine. The first two have since been renewed for second seasons. The latter? Not so much.
Constantine has had nothing but problems since the beginning. The producers decided to replace the female lead after completing the pilot, resulting in reshoots for Zed’s introduction. The debate of whether or not John Constantine could brandish his smoking habits on network television drew the ire of the die-hard comicbook fans. Heck, even NBC themselves didn’t fully support the series admitting they were “jumping on the comic book bandwagon”.
Despite all those problems however, the show has gotten better with each episode. Unfortunately it will conclude its first season with 13 episodes since the network has not ordered a full 22-episode season. This is normally a sign that the network will cancel a series. Things became even more alarming when a photo was circulated on social media of star Matt Ryan holding up a sign that said #SaveConstantine. We at the Big Comic Page have been doing our part to spread the word, and it seems like it might be working if there’s any truth to the new rumor.
Let’s start by saying that Constantine was nowhere to be found on NBC renewal list, but the latest reports suggest Constantine will instead be moving over to Syfy – a subsidiary of NBC. In addition, the series will be renamed in line with its original Vertigo Comic title Hellblazer.
Bear in mind this has not been confirmed, but it does make a lot of sense when you think about it. Arguably the largest problems for the show are the tone and direction. This is a result of the many influences acting upon it. NBC wants something for mainstream audiences, whereas the creators have their own stories to tell, and fans want something entertaining that sticks close to the source material.The Syfy channel is known for its science fiction, supernatural, drama, reality, and horror programing, which will allow directors and writers to have more creative control over its storytelling and tone that should result in what fans are hoping to see.
The comics had to deal with this in the opposite way. The Vertigo Hellblazer series was cancelled to reintroduce John Constantine under the larger DC “New 52” umbrella. Conversely however, if the television Constantine is being cancelled in favor of renaming it to Hellblazer, fans will hopefully get a chance to see the dark arts the way they were originally intended, meaning that the current Rising Darkness story arc would be a lot more horrific on Syfy than, well, generic on NBC.
I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet since this is a rumor or it is until NBC makes an official statement, but one would assume Syfy is more than thrilled to have the Exorcist, Demonologist, and Master of the Dark Arts on their network. Fans will also benefit since the stronger elements of the show can be brought to the forefront of the series as opposed to the background.
If the rumor is true, how do you feel about the jump from network to cable?