Earlier this summer, NBC's Constantine, which became a massive cult hit - but not a hit in the ratings - was not renewed for a season two. The show also had its original number of episodes cut while the show was on the air and still in production, which is reminiscent of what happened to another cult show on NBC - Hannibal.
Hannibal paved the way for Constantine as Constantine took its time-slot and was a similar case: with cult status, low ratings, and a cut in episodes by the network. Largely because of fan effort, Hannibal has been renewed twice and is currently in its well deserved third season. The same cannot be said for Constantine, however.
This week Daniel Cerone, one of the minds behind Constantine, announced that after a valiant effort by fans, the show would not be returning for a second season on another provider like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, despite petitions by creators, fans, and the involvement of actors like Stephen Amell and William Shatner in the campaign to "#SaveConstantine".
Despite these out-pouring of tweets and support, nothing with Constantine panned out and it was a month later that it was announced everyone was being released from their contracts.
Constantine was a well-balanced show that picked up narrative pace with each episode and brought the world of Hellblazer to life in a way that paid tribute to the comic universe and made it accessible for an audience that had maybe only heard of that Keanu Reeves film in passing. It's dark themes, wicked sense of humor, and suspenseful plot lines made it fun to tune in every week. Matt Ryan's take on the British, chain-smoking petty dabbler of the dark arts is one of the most spot-on re-imaginations of a comic character since Robert Downey Jr. made his debut turn as Tony Stark, and though the loss of Matt Ryan's take on the character alone is enough for Hellblazer fans new and old to be disappointed in NBC's handling of the series, the show itself also featured it's own universe that was filled with so much unfinished potential.
It's this potential that is a huge loss for TV.
Constantine tied itself into the universe of DC comics by way of the supernatural, of which Constantine is an important part alongside his on-and-off again team, Justice League Dark. The origins of the Spectre (portrayed on the show by Emmett Scanlan as Detective Jim Corrigan), Doctor Fate, Zatara and his daughter Zatanna, Deadman, and many more characters were hinted at during the show's short first season before ending on a cliffhanger that sent Twitter into a frenzy. Seriously. All the feelings.
If the idea of the Justice League Dark team in a live action context sounds familiar, it's because of Guillermo's Justice League Dark film, which currently exists as a script with the name "Dark Universe" attached to it. Del Toro has stated in the past that he will work on the film after Crimson Peak, his horror film slated for later this year, is complete. This match of film property and director seem made for each other, and hopefully it is able to be made and not fall into the abyss of forgotten screenplays. The film does plan to prominently feature John Constantine in a leading role, and this news started another petition as the Constantine series first came into hot water: keep Matt Ryan in the role.
Since the news of the initial cancellation, it was being spread around the internet that Arrow show-runner Marc Guggenheim has expressed interest in bringing Matt Ryan's take on the character over to the CW, albeit in a different form as an "expert on the Lazarus Pit."
So, Constantine the show may be over, but it doesn't mean the end for our favorite demon fighting, chain smoking, ex-punk rocker, especially now that the twitter crusade has lead to more people watching the show by streaming it through NBC's app, their cable provider, or on Hulu.
If you haven't watched the show yet, give it a shot! It was my favorite of this year's new crop of "superhero" shows - and one of my favorite shows, period - because of how different it was from everything else out there. There's a reason fan-favorite television series Supernatural took many of it's cues from Hellblazer comics and characters. (Castiel's coat, anyone?)
You never know if we'll be seeing John Constantine and friends pop back up somewhere else, be it in theaters, on Arrow, or just another internet takeover.