This morning, news broke that Constantine will halt production after it fulfills its original 13-episode order. The news comes after Constantine’s ratings have failed to compete or surpass NBC’s veteran series Grimm. However, NBC’s decision may not totally be a bad thing for the series, as closing production does not necessarily equate to a cancelation with this series. More below.
Constantine’s future has come into question several times over the past few weeks. The new comic-related series had a decent premiere in terms of ratings but fell off in subsequent weeks. On the bright side, this weekend’s episode posted a 38% gain in viewership and, on top of that, the show does well with the DVR crowd. While Friday’s 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic may not give NBC enough of a reason to extend the series order for more episodes, that old colloquialism about the fat lady singing is definitely in play here.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on various full-order pick-ups as well as series shutdowns, you’ll know that NBC made a similar decision with the low-rated Bad Judge and A to Z on Halloween. In the case of those two comedies, cancelation was inferred. However, Deadline reports that Constantine is still very much in contention for a second season. The network is a big fan of the show and with only 5 episodes under its belt, Constantine certainly has room to improve in the ratings—it just won’t have 22 episodes in which to do it.
Instead, Constantine will finish airing its 13-episode run after midseason. Then, we may see one of NBC’s new dramas fill the slot, and by late spring, NBC's Hannibal should return to the Friday night schedule.
Obviously, at some point NBC will have to make a decision on whether or not to give Constantine a second season, but if the numbers continue to grow while the show is on air, there’s a good chance we’ll see Constantine return next year.
Again, it’s tempting to see this as bad news, but network dramas have started to do well with the shorter episode counts that cable and subscription cable are used to. Programs like the aforementioned Hannibal and Fox’s Sleepy Hollow get a short episode count each year, which allows those shows to be more tightly written. No filler episodes are necessary and overall, the viewing experience is better. Constantine may not have been officially planned using that episode model, but 13 more episodes would certainly be better than none.