Things have not been easy for Constantine. With the shift from the pilot to the series in changing the casting direction, it’s taken a couple of episodes to get things running smoothly in a sense. The show didn’t start alongside other traditional fall premieres and instead waited on NBC to schedule it alongside the Grimm premiere ahead of Halloween to tie it in thematically. It’s a Friday night show. It’s on at 10pm. It’s essentially had everything going against it in general.
Now we’ve learned that the series will have just thirteen episodes for its first season with no back pickup of the final nine to bring it to a “standard” US first season order.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While we’ve had a few cancellations of series so far, less than normal, NBC is making the call a bit early because they’ve only had five episodes out so far while other series are further along. That lower episode count may give them a way to justify going ahead with a second season next year because they can watch the season move forward over the next few months.
What also may help is that the series, which does follow Grimm, has seen soem solid growth now. This past weekends episode was up 38% over the previous week – which is strong, and it has a lot of DVR lift to it as well with the 4th episode seeing an 81% rise in viewership. It’s also worth noting that episode four is where many folks, myself included, felt that the series started to get its legs and figure itself out in terms of tone, character and execution.
NBC is wanting their comic book based series to succeed, so potentially doing it as a fall series for thirteen episodes and then having Hannibal handle the spring half may work well in the end. NBC has done good by the show by doing airings on the Syfy channel as well, which is adding more fans to it. It also, potentially, gives it a home to go to if it doesn’t survive on the primetime network. Deadline also notes that NBC is having the cast appear on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade broadcast this week, which is certainly not a bad thing.