Constantine's First Season Will Stop at 13 Episodes, May Still Be Renewed
NBC has decided to halt production on the DC Comics adaptation, Constantine, rather than continue after the initial 13-episode order. It will continue to run its freshman season in the Friday 10 pm time slot until the finale, which will air sometime in February.
Although halting production rather than extending to a full season order usually signals a death knell for a new series, as seen recently in NBC shows A to Z and Bad Judge, Constantine's situation is a little more ambiguous. It hasn't been a breakout in the ratings like fellow Warner Bros. adaptations Gotham and The Flash, but it has generated a modest audience considering its terrible time slot, which is fondly nicknamed "the death slot." But it is reportedly still in contention for a second season renewal, mostly as a result of the inauspicious timing of the decision to halt production.
Networks usually have approximately seven episodes' worth of ratings to analyze when they make their decisions, but due to Constantine's late start on October 24, they only had four. This is particularly unfortunate considering that fans and critics alike hailed the fourth episode as a creative turnaround, and the fifth episode saw a significant jump in the ratings. It had a 38% increase over the fourth episode in the 18-49 demographic, an 85% retention rate from lead-in show Grimm, and higher performance in DVR ratings. So although NBC's decision doesn't exactly bode well for the show, the fact that they made the decision before the show hit its stride makes a second season far more likely.