Another DC Comics-based drama series was brought to a sudden and unexpected end. Krypton on SyFy was canceled this week after two seasons but the usual culprit, WarnerMedia, is not the cause this time.
Deadline reported the SyFy network, owned by NBCUniversal, opted not to renew based on sagging ratings. Krypton’s same-day ratings this past season dropped by 50%.
Wednesday’s episode, “The Alpha and the Omega,” was the finale of season two. It ended on a cliffhanger and set up subplots that were to play out in an anticipated third season most thought was a certainty. Same-day ratings for the episode were only 350,000 viewers, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Season one’s finale, “The Phantom Zone,” had 560,000 viewers while the pilot boasted 1.32 million. A breakout hit, Krypton became the network’s most-watched debut season for an original series and most-watched season in general for a scripted series since Ascension in 2014 and Defiance in 2015, respectively.
For SyFy to make money off a show coming from an outside studio and as expensive as Krypton, which commanded a high license fee, ratings have to be linear. That is made difficult when a portion of the audience watches on digital platforms rather than regular TV.
Fortunately, streaming could prove to be Krypton’s saving grace. Producer Warner Horizon is shopping it to other outlets; HBO Max and DC Universe, where Krypton’s first season has a home for binging, are the likely options. (Related: Ian Ziering Thinks DC Universe’s Swamp Thing Can Be Saved, Calls Experience Fun)
Krypton’s axing also halts the planned and much-talked-about spinoff starring Lobo. The Main Man (played by Emmett J. Scanlan) showed up for a hyped guest spot in season two and stuck around.
On the hunt for Brainiac, the last Czarnian runs into and picks a fight with Seg-El and Adam Strange. In the end, he becomes frenemies with the two and aids Seg in finding his missing son, Jor-El (father of Krypton’s Last Son and Earth’s one-day Superman). (Related: Report: Michael Bay “In Talks” To Direct Lobo for Warner Bros.)
Scanlan was going to return for Lobo’s solo spinoff written and produced by showrunner Cameron Welsh. Krypton, executive produced by David Goyer and Welsh, was set on Superman’s homeworld two generations before his birth and the cataclysm that destroyed the planet.
Krypton’s abrupt cancellation follows in a string of bad luck and questionable decisions by WarnerMedia which include a scrapped Batman Arkham game, a Superman game discontinued amid development, and the strange cancellation of Swamp Thing on DC Universe. (Related: New Batman Arkham Concept Art Leaks – Game Reportedly Axed)
Were you watching Krypton? Do you hope it finds a new home on a streaming service?