DC’s giant expansion of its television slate took something of a knock in November, when NBC announced that it would not be ordering season one episodes of Constantine beyond the first 13. Fans of the show, which had its highly anticipated premiere on October 24th 2014, were dismayed – but NBC went to great pains to stress that it was not ruling out a second season. Now, executive producer David S. Goyer has weighed in on the matter.
“It’s not dead, at all – it’s solidly in contention for a second season of NBC, which is still supporting it. Constantine got caught in the midst of a change that is happening at the networks. It gets big numbers on DVR and online views, but it is sort of a tweener that doesn’t fit the traditional viewing box at the big networks. It’s not State Of Affairs, it’s just not that kind of show, but NBC likes it. It’s frustrating, what happened, because creatively we’ve really started to hit our stride and people are responding to that. If I were a betting man, I’d say there’s an excellent chance for a second season.”
The show, which is based on the Hellblazer comic series, features the popular character of John Constantine. He is a con-man turned supernatural detective, by way of being a master of the dark arts. The story chronicles an impending, unseen threat against humanity, which Constantine must work to prevent. Starring Matt Ryan in the lead role, it is a fascinating mixture of horror, drama and humour that creates a truly refreshing viewing experience.
The creators and writers of NBC’s Constantine have already proven themselves to be adaptable and responsive in their working methods. The pilot episode featured a lead female character – Liv – played by Lucy Griffiths, who was ultimately deemed too passive. She was written out by the time it aired, with a stronger, more challenging female character appearing from episode two.
While DC’s Arrow continues to make a strong showing in the ratings, and Constantine’s fellow newbies Gotham and The Flash have had strong starts, Constantine seems to be taking a little longer to find its audience – not because of a lack of quality, but because the tone of the series is relatively unusual in television.
Gotham has the air of a gritty police procedural, The Flash is lighter, and Arrow is more of a corporate conspiracy mystery. As Goyer says, Constantine doesn’t fit into a neat genre box in those terms, which explains why DVR and online figures are greater than broadcast viewings. What that proves is that people are making a point of seeking this show out, rather than simply watching it because it is on – which is hugely encouraging for any creative endeavour. Hopefully, NBC will take that fact into consideration when making their second season decisions about Constantine.