DC fans were sent into a flurry the past day as a Variety report circulated that Doom Patrol and Titans, two refugee shows from the DC Universe streaming service, were expected to be cancelled.
But now, Variety has updated that piece to reflect that a decision has not been made and that “like all shows,” their renewal will depend on the performance of the upcoming seasons that will be out later this year. I think fans were freaked out about maybe even those seasons being not allowed to air, given that anything seems possible after WB killed its finished Batgirl movie in order to take the tax writedown. Nothing feels safe, even if so far, Batgirl and one Kevin Smith project appear to be the only confirmed casualties under the new WB Discovery management.
But even if Titans and Doom Patrol are safe for now, I would be somewhat surprised if that continued into the future, and for me personally, I do expect probably Doom Patrol, and possibly Titans to be canceled as WB tries to rein in its variety of DC universes they have running, whether that’s deserved or not.
Titans, at least, has seemed like it has performed solidly in terms of viewership for DC, though I’m not sure if you can make the argument that it’s a better series than the far, far weirder Doom Patrol. I would, however, argue that both the last seasons of Titans and Doom Patrol were not great compared to the ones that came before, and that was even with Titans being allowed to do the first ever real live-action Red Hood storyline, which landed with something of a thud. It was…fine, it just wasn’t very impactful. Doom Patrol, meanwhile, continues to be somewhat charming, but after three seasons I’m not sure how much steam it has left.
The thing is, these two shows just really do not fit in anywhere with DC’s current plans, and have always felt like oddballs among the live-action lineup. More and more DC shows are going to be either spun out of the DCEU, like Peacemaker, or The Batman, like The Penguin, and my guess is that there is going to be less room for “standalone universe” shows like Titans and Doom Patrol, and possibly even Superman and Lois. So if anything is “not safe” in DC TV as WB Discovery heads toward a grand overhaul of DC, I have to believe its these two series, and I’m not sure there’s any level of performance they could hit in their next seasons to save them. That may be pessimistic, but WB management has not exactly felt like cause for optimism for many current DC projects.
I think it would be a mistake for DC to collapse these sub-universes that have amassed dedicated fanbases just because they don’t fit their overall DC “vision.” One thing that feels refreshing about DC compared to Marvel is that everything doesn’t have to fit into one universe, but we’ll see if new management agrees.
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