The CW will be announcing their 2015-2016 schedule tomorrow, and chances are good that all decisions for their new schedule have already been made. However, there is one opportunity that I and many other fans like myself have hoped they will consider.
The former NBC series Constantine – which, like Arrow, The Flash, iZombie and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow is based on a DC Comics property – and it is also now a show without a home. The show’s producers and studio Warner Bros. Television are shopping the show around. The cast seems to want to do more – also a sign that they believe in the project and its long-term future. Actors including Stephen Amell from Arrow, Joseph Morgan from The Originals, and Captain Kirk himself William Shatner have all offered to guest star if the show is picked up somewhere else. So, there’s a market for it.
Airing on Friday nights on NBC – a network that truly did give the show a chance, though a back nine would not have hurt – Constantine was doing a lot of world-building in its first 13 episodes. When word came out that later scripts that were ordered included characters such as Dr. Thirteen, DC Comics fans went nuts, in a good way. Some may have dismissed Constantine, claiming it was not like its comic book source material… though anyone who actually sat down and watched the show would see the Matt Ryan series was very faithful.
But… if the show didn’t last on NBC, why should another network – in this case, The CW – pick it up? Especially when The CW has more shows than they have timeslots for, a problem also had by CBS? Here are some reasons, and some arguments against some complaints against the show.
1. Cost amortization. Yes, I’m pulling the business card first. Sets are already built. Major roles are already cast. With those two hurdles already out of the way, money can be spent in other places, like cool guest stars or promotion.
2. DC Comics connections. This is where it might get tricky… Constantine is not from the same producers as Arrow or Flash, however, Arrow’s Marc Guggenheim has talked about interest in using the character, and he seems like an amenable guy who would be good at coordinating with Daniel Cerone and his team. We saw how well the Arrow and Flash crossovers did. Now let’s see how well things would do with the magic side of the DCU involved. Also, who wouldn’t want to see John Constantine snarking on guys wearing green and red leather? What would Zed see in these characters’ futures? The possibilities are endless.
3. Those guest star offers. Those actors said they’d appear. Hold them to it. Bam! Instant promotion, and advantages the show didn’t get on NBC.
4. Supernatural isn’t going to be on the air forever. That’s not a slam on Supernatural, but, at some point Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are going to want to end it, and at that time, there won’t be a show quite like theirs on the network anymore, unless one is developed. In the meantime, here’s a great show that could explore supernatural elements. Heck, it’d pair really well with Supernatural too, just saying. I thought the in-development pilot Dead People might’ve paired well with Supernatural, but since that didn’t go, why not go with a known quantity?
5. Ratings. The ratings weren’t that high for NBC but they’d be great for The CW. And, assuming there are ways to stream Season 1 beforehand, they could get even higher if the show were to move elsewhere. I’m also going to go out on a limb and assume that people who stayed in to watch Constantine on Friday nights did so purposely, and those same viewers would go out of their way to watch it on The CW.
6. Why The CW? Warner Bros. is a partner in the venture, and the profits they don’t make on the network, they make in streaming and DVD deals. There’s a lower ratings threshold, but if people are watching this stuff in other ways, the studio still makes a profit. There’s a lot of money to be made in Constantine, and more episodes would also increase the resell value of the first 13. And, again, crossover potential.
7. But wouldn’t this basically make The CW The DC Network? Yes and no. No one says all the shows need to be on at the exact same times. But also, these series are all from such different genres, to the point that it should be okay. If things are spread out, though, that would meet The CW’s initiative in having new programming year-round.
8. But he needs to cuss! Premium cable or nothing! Guess you’d rather settle for nothing. Just remember how many “adult” TV series throw in swearing and that sort of thing just because they can get away with it, and it just comes off as silly. (Except Daredevil. That’s amazing in every way.) Constantine is an interesting show without all that, and we know he’s probably cursing everyone out the second the cameras move away anyway.
9. Can The CW afford the effects? Have you seen The Flash? Constantine’s VFX budget would be fine if it moved. And, again, some assets have already been created and already exist, which is cheaper than launching a new show.
10. Think of the cosplay and the promotion you’d get out of it! John Constantine cosplay is easy, and that’s free promotion for your show. As a bonus, if people don’t recognize it as Constantine, they’ll think it’s Castiel, which means Supernatural is being promoted. Double win! (Also: Joint TV promos with Cas & John. You know you want it.)
So, folks at The CW: I’ve made my case, and given you my reasons. The ball is in your court. May the Helmet of Fate lead you toward making the right choices.