Swamp Thing – Ep. 104 – “Darkness on the Edge of Town” — Photo Credit: Fred Norris / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DC Comics fans who don’t have DC Universe can check out the prematurely canceled series ‘Swamp Thing’ this summer, as The CW has decided to air it.  The CW usually offers a full lineup of original programming in the summer, while most networks switch to mostly reruns.  But thanks to the coronavirus, The CW doesn’t have as many originals in the can, so it has picked up the rights to ‘Swamp Thing’ along with CBS All Access’ ‘Tell Me A Story’, Candian drama series ‘Coroner’, and half-hour British comedy ‘Dead Pixels’.  Unfortunately, this news is accompanied by the announcement that ‘Tell Me A Story’ has been canceled on its home service.

‘Swamp Thing’ was the third original live-action series on DC Universe, but it was canceled after only its first episode was released.  This was after the first season was cut down from a planned 13 episodes to 10.  Reportedly, the show was never supported by the brass at Warner Brothers Television, who produced the show, but there were also said to be financial issues behind-the-scenes as the show was not given tax breaks that it needed.  Regardless, ‘Swamp Thing’ was well-reviewed and could have been a breakout hit… had it been given a chance.

The CW is only planning to air the existing first season.  There is no indication that more episodes will be ordered.  In fact, that may be hard to do, considering that the show was canceled a year ago and the cast and crew have moved on to other projects.

Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman wrote the series, and serve as executive producers along with James Wan and Michael Clear.  Andy Bean and Derek Mears shared the role of Swamp Thing– Mears in the practical suit, and Bean in the human form of Alec Holland, and providing the voice.  Crystal Reed co-starred as the show’s female lead, scientist Abby Arcane.  The show was planned to gradually introduce the team of Justice League Dark, with Ian Ziering recurring in the role of Hollywood stuntman Dan Cassidy, who, in the comics, became the superhero Blue Devil.  ‘Swamp Thing’ also starred Will Patton, Kevin Durand, Virginia Madsen, and Michael Beach.

‘Tell Me A Story’ was created by Kevin Williamson, based on the telenovela ‘Cuéntame un Cuento’, which reinterpreted classic fairy tales and fables as modern crime stories in an anthology format.  Season 1, released in 2018, reinterpreted ‘The Three Little Pigs’, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, and ‘Hansel and Gretel ‘.  Season 2, released in December of last year, featured twists on ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and ‘Cinderella’.  The two seasons were not connected plot-wise, but Paul Wesley and Danielle Campbell starred in both, in different roles.

CBS All Access

Regarding the anthology’s cancellation, CBS All Access EVP of Original Content, Julie McNamara stated:

“The brilliant Kevin Williamson, brought our favorite fairy tales to life in an anthology format that twisted and subverted the stories we all know into modern thrillers.  It has been a privilege to work with such an elite and talented group of creative minds like Kevin, Aaron Kaplan and the team at Kapital Entertainment, as well as the amazing cast of Tell Me A Story, who did a phenomenal job personifying and reinventing beloved characters from these six fairy tales.”  (via Deadline)

Th CW was the home of ‘The Vampire Diaries’, which was created by Williamson and starred Wesley.  It currently airs the spin-off ‘Legacies’.

As in the case of ‘Swamp Thing’, just because The CW is airing the existing episodes of ‘Tell Me A Story’ doesn’t necessarily mean that it will order more episodes, but it would likely be easier to order this series than ‘Swamp Thing’.  And if either show is a hit on The CW, anything is possible.

As for the new shows (to the U.S. at least), ‘Coroner’ stars Serinda Swan, and consists of two eight-episode seasons, and follows the criminal investigations of a recently-widowed, Toronto-based coroner.  It originally aired on CBC in Canada.

‘Dead Pixels’ is a six-episode half-hour comedy series that aired on E4 in Great Britain last year.  The series focuses on a trio of friends– Alexa Davies as Megan “Meg” Jefferies, Will Merrick as Nicholas “Nicky” Kettle, and Sargon Yelda as Usman– who are obsessed with an MMORPG called ‘Kingdom Scrolls’.

Are you looking forward to seeing these new shows on The CW this summer?