Ooookay. That didn’t last long.
DC Universe series Swamp Thing has been cancelled – and there’s only been one episode put to air. To be clear, the rest of the season’s 9 episodes will still be hitting the DC digital service, but the company has already decided there will not be a second season.
On the surface, it’s a surprising move. The early reviews from critics and the audience response have been quite positive for the series, which follows a CDC researcher (Crystal Reed) who returns to her hometown to investigate a deadly, infectious virus that’s hit a swamp. Just as she begins to develop a bond with scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean), he’s taken from her. But, this swamp’s secrets are deep, and there’s a chance he remains near.
There are a few reasons being brought up as to why the show is being canned this early on. Co-parent company Warner Bros. Digital Networks is part of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, and WarnerMedia is looking at launching a new streaming service of its own. Deadline reports that the DC Universe is now being reevaluated as a result.
According to Bloody Disgusting, there have also been creative differences and tax/budget issues to contend with. Creative heads had trouble agreeing on a show that was more in the horror realm or more in the “weekly procedural” side of things. Furthermore, the show’s production budget took quite the hit when paperwork issues resulted in the loss of a $40 million North Carolina rebate, a huge amount for a show trying to get off the ground.
The big one is of course subscribers. It appears that the DC Universe streaming service isn’t getting the big numbers that would put execs at ease, so culling could begin here. The DC universe shows also include Titans (which is distributed on Netflix outside the US), Doom Patrol and Stargirl, the latter of which is expected to kick off in 2020.
The show hails from Warner Bros. Television and James Wan’s Atomic Monster banner. Wan is one of the show’s executive producers, the pilot was directed by Underworld helmer Len Wiseman, and the show was created by It and Conjuring Universe writer Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden (Daredevil, Ash vs Evil Dead).