The CW has finally spoken about the fate of Swamp Thing, which the network dragged from the murky depths of the now-defunct DC Universe streaming service and placed on primetime in late 2020, revealing that Alec Holland’s future is not looking good.
Despite scoring some of the highest network ratings all year and breaking records in its Tuesday night time slot, CW president Mark Pedowitz has told Deadline that the series being renewed for a second season is, sadly, “unlikely.”
Pedowitz explained to the entertainment news outlet that while “the show performed well digitally for The CW Seed and [he] was happy that it aired it”, the network “would like to focus on shows such as Wonder Girl, Naomi or Painkiller” if “they wanted to go in that direction”.
However, thanks to the recent confirmation in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover that Alec lives on Earth-19 of the Arrowverse’s multiverse, it’s possible that Derek Mears could wear the Swamp Thing suit for a supporting role on Legends of Tomorrow.
“It’d be interesting to have Swamp Thing on Legends of Tomorrow,” admitted Pedowitz. “That would be a fun way to do it, but I’m not sure that would happen,”
Making matters worse, TVLine Editor-in-Chief Matt Webb Piltovich has reported that the sets for Swamp Thing are already dismantled and gone, a production move which makes the prospect of a second season even more likely, if not downright impossible.
“Considering how quickly DCU pulled the plug, and then factoring in that the sets are long gone and any cast contracts are quite expired, sources tell me that all signs point to a Season 2 not happening, anywhere,” wrote Piltovich.
This news undoubtedly comes as a devestating blow to fans of Swamp Thing, particularly those who loyally fought for the show’s continuation or held out hope that DC executives would come to their senses in the face of the massive amount of corporate pressure placed upon the series, the weight of which which subeqeuntly resulted in the series’ tumultuous production.
In May 2019, it was suddenly and unexplainedly announced that Swamp Thing would have the episode order for its first season cut from thirteen to ten episodes. Soon thereafter, and prior to its premiere on DC Universe, it was then announced that Swamp Thing had been cancelled.
Though rumor has circulated that North Carolina’s failure to honor the tax credits it had offered Swamp Thing was the reason for the series’ cancellation, this claim was eventually found to be innacurate, with Director of the North Carolina Film Office Guy Gasser stating that the news gained traction because “some outlets used an unverified source.”
“But if they even went straight to Twitter,” he added, “Where the report apparently first started, they would have found that the gentleman had nothing to back up his own claim.”
Unfortunately, the truth behind Swamp Thing’s cancellation has never been revealed, and it seems unlikely that WB will provide any further details any time soon.
“We appreciate there are questions as to ‘why,'” said a WB spokesperson in June 2019. “But unfortunately we are not in a position to answer at this time.”
Not knowing the real definitive reason, all we can assume is that the program was another victim of WarnerMedia’s indiscriminate cost-cutting that’s weathering away at DC Comics’ various offerings.
While every shred of evidence demonstrates that their budget-saving decisions are being made in the name of HBO Max, if true, this focus on their still-young streaming service could hold the potential for Swamp Thing to find a new home.
Are you going to miss Swamp Thing? Do you think Warner and The CW blew it by not giving it a second chance? Leave a comment and discuss below.