DC Universe throws Swamp Thing to cancellation waters one week after debut

DC Universe learned the wrong lesson from Netflix and Marvel’s collaboration as it apparently canceled Swamp Thing days after its season premiere.

Clearly, the higher ups at DCU weren’t feeling this one. It started out with 13 episodes that got cut to 10 — hardly a ringing endorsement — and now the ax comes before the first season gets going. The remaining nine episodes will run and then die a lonely death with shows like Birds of Prey.

This is a weird strategy on several fronts for DCU.

1. The timing could have been better

Even if Warner Bros. decision makers hated Swamp Thing, cancelling it just after the premier is a bad look. One that basically tells potential viewers don’t waste your time with this one — it’s going nowhere. Watch it and hate it and you’ll feel completely justified it’s not returning. But on the other hand if viewers did like it, that sparks up another bring back Swamp Thing campaign.

DCU would have been better served not letting any word get out about Swamp Thing’s fate and just hoped it quietly disappeared. This sets a bad precedent for any future DCU shows, which won’t endear the service to fans who likely hoped DCU would at least give the show an opportunity to find an audience.

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2. How niche can DCU go?

The darker turn on Titans eventually seemed to win over viewers while Doom Patrol was an immediate hit. Swamp Thing’s horror roots might have been too focused to find an audience. Will the same hold true for the cheery, legacy-focused Stargirl series? And if Swamp Thing wasn’t even given the opportunity to find an audience does this mean DCU is going to stick to safer properties? Namely those focused or revolving around Batman and Superman?

3. What message does this send to subscribers?

Unlike an Amazon Prime or Netflix, DCU doesn’t have a ton of original content. One of the big selling points for the streaming service is the original shows that won’t be found anywhere else. But if DCU already starts canceling shows in addition to removing some films from the service, what is the big incentive to sign up?

Photo Credit: DC Universe

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