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In a show revolving around an entire team of superheroes, you'd think a serious budget would be a no brainer. And yet…
Update: Apparently the CW has enough faith in Legends of Tomorrow, because they've decided to give it a second season. You can read more about the renewal here.
Fans of the DC Television Universe might have some reason to worry. While the creation of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow is underway, it has come out that the CW may have overextended themselves in regards to budget. It seems that the first season of the Legends of Tomorrow is more expensive than the network originally anticipated. Intel from Bleeding Cool is now claiming that the CW may be nixing the idea of a second season, knowing that show will likely continue to become more expensive as it grows. Yikes.
Legends of Tomorrow is CW’s spin off of both of its already existent successful DC television programs, Arrow and The Flash. Arrow served as a trailblazer for the network, proving that a television series based of a DC Superhero could indeed be successful. Premiering in 2012, Arrow was essentially the test dummy of the genre for CW, who were able to bring comic book characters to life partly because the character of Green Arrow isn’t superpowered himself. Rather, he uses Martial Artistry and a variety of trick arrows to serve as a vigilante.
Once the formula for Arrow was successful, CW took a big step forward with The Flash and succeeded in bringing his superspeed to the small screen, and presumably learning how to properly budget themselves for this undertaking. The Flash was also a success, with an announcement regarding the Legends of Tomorrow being announced February 2015. Fans of DC comics, as well as the previous two series had a collective nerd-gasm, imagining a live-action take on a not-quite Justice League.
Both The Flash and Arrow have since helped introduce characters in their respective second and fourth seasons that are set to appear as principles in Legends of Tomorrow. Among them, fan favorite and Justice League Unlimited member Hawkgirl, as well as DC Universe staples like The Atom. Additionally, they’ve added highly respected actors to the roster such as Alias’ Victor Garbor as pyrokinetic and molecularly powered Firestorm. Who doesn’t want to watch Mr. Andrews kick some ass?
What is it about Legends of Tomorrow that makes it so much more expensive than its predecessor? I can only imagine the multitude of visual and special effects are what is taking such a toll on its budget. Afterall, in a show that revolves around time travel, and where each protagonist has a unique set of superpowers, the effects team must have their hands full. Maybe having one superpowered lead in both Arrow and The Flash allowed for a more budget-friendly production, rather than having to stretch funds across a baker's dozen worth of heroes.
While Legends of Tomorrow still seems like it’s gearing up to be an epic television series, reports that a second season might already be cancelled is super discouraging. Afterall, why should we bother hunkering down for yet another comic book TV series if we know it isn’t going to have staying power? Here’s hoping the reports are wrong.
Then again, if the production team and writers know of the series fate from the jump, they may be able to structure a storyline that has a satisfying arc and epic conclusion. So often new series are suddenly cancelled, making their hasty and accidental finales disappointing.
I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed for Legends of Tomorrow. And hope that’s it’s not going to quickly be cancelled and be a Legend of Yesterday.
Legends of Tomorrow will premiere January 21st, 2016 on the CW.