If we're being honest, “Constantine” has been dead for a while.
“Constantine” has been dead since November when NBC confirmed that the DC Comics adaptation wouldn't get a back-nine order. The number of network shows that do low ratings in the fall, fail to get back-nine orders and then somehow get picked up for additional episodes the next season is basically “zero.”
“Constantine” has also been dead since February, when the series finale did a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49, capping off a season in which even factoring in DVR numbers, the series was barely doing “Dracula”-level ratings.
And, most significantly, “Constantine” has been dead since May when NBC confirmed that at least as far as NBC was concerned, the series was cancelled.
Through it all, showrunner Daniel Cerone has kept hope alive for fans with nebulous tweets about pitching future seasons to NBC and Warner Brothers pitching the potentially desirable — were it not for a season of dismal ratings and a not-insignificant price tag — property to other homes. Fans have kept their own spirits up with completely irrelevant beacons like Stephen Amell volunteering to appear in a “Constantine” crossover with “Arrow.”
But on Sunday afternoon, Cerone finally gave up the ghost.
In a TwitLonger tweet, Cerone writes, “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.”
I suppose I did my part to embalm “Constantine” hope, getting optimistic quotes from star Matt Ryan in a pre-finale interview and then refusing to just come out and say “It's dead” in my BubbleWatch gallery.
It's part of the peculiar mixed emotions surrounding this Never Say Die moment in TV fandom. Love “The Mindy Project”? Don't worry if it's cancelled, because Hulu will save it! Love “Longmire”? There's a Netflix out there for you! Miss “Heroes”? Yes? That probably means you've forgotten why you stopped watching, but it's coming back to NBC! In denial that the main character of “Prison Break” pretty much double-died? FOX sounds ready to do more “Prison Break” and seemingly with Michael Schofield somehow. Remember that “Coach” was a show that once existed? It's going to exist again.
This doesn't change the fact that when most shows are cancelled, they stay cancelled, because when most shows are cancelled, there are reasons why they've been cancelled. So while it's great that “Constantine” has passionate fans and the perceived might of the DC Empire, it also had only 5 million viewers and only a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+7 DVR ratings. That puts it tied with “The Mindy Project” in the key demo, only “The Mindy Project” is a far cheaper half-hour sitcom on the bring of syndication inventory, as opposed to a special effects laden hour-long drama with 13 episodes of inventory.
There's just something peculiar to me about Daniel Cerone stringing fans along with nebulous teases for roughly six months, offering nothing other than those teases to stir up a fanbase. And Cerone's final tweet confirming the show's final demise? It only has 625 RTs.
In any case, I thought “Constantine” was a decent show. It had strong production values and a very good lead performance from Matt Ryan. And in certain episodes, it seemed to be coming together pretty nicely. I'd point to the two-part “Saint of Last Resorts” arc as representative of “Constantine” at its best. I'd have kept watching for a while on the basis of that potential.