As Yogi Berra would say, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over and in the case of the NBC series ‘Constantine,’ the show is officially over and dead.
Fans of ‘Constantine’ have been rallying behind the series since it was first hinted that NBC was thinking of not renewing it for a second run. While the show did have a loyal fan base, ‘Constantine’ didn’t bring in the numbers the network had hoped for especially airing after their Friday night supernatural hit, ‘Grimm.’ Moving ‘Constantine’ from the 10pm hour to 8pm, didn’t help the show either and with declining ratings, the powers that be decided it was not worth fighting the demons that plagued the show and cancelled the series.
Executive producer and showrunner Daniel Cerone did hold out hope that a new home could be found for the comic book anti-hero. Several celebrities, such as Stephen Amell, also pitched in their endorsements with Amell volunteering to do an ‘Arrow’/’Constantine’ crossover if the show saw a second season.
But alas, the demons won. Cerone announced the news via his Twitter account:
A sad day for #Constantine. More in link below. #Hellblazers #SaveConstantine
I promised I’d share news when I had it — sadly, that news is not good. The cast and writers of Constantine are being released from their contracts. The studio tried to find a new home for the show, for which we’re forever grateful, but those efforts didn’t pan out. I’m sorry, I wasn’t provided any information on the attempts to sell the show elsewhere. All I can report is that the show is over.
Many ingredients went into this TV series. From the dedicated cast that breathed these characters to life, led by Matt Ryan as the comic-made-flesh embodiment of John Constantine, to the exceptionality talented crew that put unreal images on screen, to the original Hellblazer writers and artists who gifted us a universe.
As a general principle, writers don’t choose a writing career to achieve stardom. Whatever demons or insecurities drove them to find freedom of expression through written words generally keeps writers comfortably obscure behind their words. Nor do people choose writing as a means to financial freedom. I’d venture to guess that most who set out to write professionally never receive a paycheck for their hopeful scribbles or key strokes.
In fact, nobody I know ever chose a writing career — it chose them. You write because that’s what you do. Like breathing, it just happens and you have to do it and you just hope that someday somebody out there notices what you’re trying to say.
If that’s the dream of writers, than the writers of Constantine lived the dream, because we’re leaving behind wild and passionate fans who believe in and were moved by what we tried to do. To leave such a significant, dedicated and active fan base on the table — that’s the real sadness. You all deserve many years of the series we set out to make, and we’re disappointed that we couldn’t deliver that to you. The good news is that Constantine will live on for years in many more forms. But our time as caretakers has ended.
Thank you for letting us in.
While the series will no longer continue, here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Matt Ryan as the Hellblazer (who frankly was fantastic in the role!). With the introduction of the Lazarus Pit on ‘Arrow’ and Constantine an expert on the magical qualities of the pool in the comics, could there be a possibility that Ryan could make an appearance on the CW series? Then there’s also Guillermo del Toro’s Justice League Dark inspired project titled ‘Dark Universe’ that is still in development. Del Toro has stated in interviews that he would like to see Ryan play Constantine in his film. Having Ryan reprise the role for the movie would be a great way to bridge the small screen DC universe with the cinematic one.
So while the NBC series is dead, we may not have seen the last of Constantine. It’s a small consolation for fans but one that eases the pain of the show’s cancellation.