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DC TV Status: Where Peacemaker, the Penguin Series, and The Sandman Now Stand

Plus, what we know about "Titans," "Doom Patrol," "Sweet Tooth" season 2, and more DC TV titles.

by | November 30, 2022 | Comments

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Warner Bros. Pictures’ plans for the DC Comics characters always seem in a state of flux — projects are announced and forgotten, release dates shift constantly, and any attempt to maintain a consistent universe seemingly falls by the wayside. DC’s small-screen Multiverse, on the other hand, appeared on firmer ground with long-running shows like Smallville and The CW’s The Flash, surprise successes like HBO Max’s Doom Patrol and Peacemaker, and beloved animated programs including Young Justice and Harley Quinn.

But that sense of solidity may be changing. In summer 2022, DC’s new corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, announced to investors a 10-year plan for the characters, with a heavy emphasis on theatrical features. The company’s long hunt for a mastermind (à la Marvel’s Kevin Feige) to take control of a brand reset for film and TV finally ended when James Gunn and Peter Safran assumed their duties as co-CEOs and chairmen at the newly formed DC Studios on November 1, 2022. Meanwhile, the sale of The CW television network to Nexstar Media Group seemingly ended the longstanding foothold for DC on broadcast TV.

Of course, the DC superheroes always bounce back from any crisis, so there is always hope to be found. But it is worthwhile to take stock of the series based on the characters currently airing and in development in light of WBD’s and DC Studios new plans. Will your favorites survive a seeming Zero Hour to become Legends in a new (52) environment? And what of the studio’s “Chapter One” roadmap to integrate some TV shows into the new DC Cinematic Universe (DCU)?Let’s take a look at what we know about the various DC TV series for more insight.


The Flash -- "Negative, Part Two" -- Image Number: FLA820fg_0001r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: The CW -- 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(Photo by The CW)

Status: Returning to The CW for a ninth and final season beginning February 8

What We Know: The final 13-episode season of The Flash will presumably resolve any remaining season 8 threads before going into its final story. Additionally, former Batwoman star Javicia Leslie will appear in the series, but it is unclear if she will be reprising her previous Arrowverse role — some reports indicate she will be an as-yet unannounced villain. Leslie will be joined by several other Arroweverse alumni, including one last appearance by Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. Beyond that, it is worth noting that the program’s series finale will effectively end the Arrowverse as an ongoing shared fictional universe. The other remaining CW superhero shows — Superman & Lois and Gotham Knights — take place in separate realities along the DC Multiverse and the DCU Chapter One plans will supplant the Arrowverse with a new prime reality.


Superman & Lois

(Photo by Nino Muñoz/The CW)

Status: Returning for its third season on The CW March 14

What We Know: A still strong performer for the network, Superman & Lois continues on as a mid-season series due to ongoing production difficulties related to the Covid-19 epidemic that, unfortunately, caused various unannounced delays in its second year. Meanwhile, season 3 will definitely look different in one respect: former star Jordan Elsass (pictured above, far left) chose to quit the series in mid-August 2022. Shortly thereafter, Michael Bishop was cast in Elsass’ former role: Superman’s (Tyler Hoechlin) son Jonathan Kent. In subsequent months, Michael Cudlitz joined the series as its Lex Luthor. Prospects of a fourth season look dim as Nexstar plans to cut all but three CW scripted dramas from its lineup (All American has already claimed one of those slots) and Gunn formalizes a new, main DCU Superman with the Superman: Legacy feature film.


Status: Debut alongside Superman & Lois‘s third season on March 14

What We Know: Although the series comes from former Batwoman producers James Stoteraux, Natalie Abrams, and Chad Fiveash, the series takes place in a separate reality in which the Batman is dead and his adopted son, Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan), is accused of his murder. Forced to ally with the children of Batman’s foes, Hayes attempts to clear his name and protect a city now without its Dark Knight. In the immediate wake of Batgirl’s shelving, rumors suggested the yet-to-air series might also end up scrapped, but this is not the case. It will air at least one season, although with Nexstar claiming the average age of a CW viewer is 58, the program’s attempt to skew much younger may lead to a quick end.


Sweet Tooth

(Photo by Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)

Status: Returning to Netflix for a second season in the near future

What We Know: Although not part of any DC comic book universe, the series was published by the company’s now-defunct Vertigo imprint. The second season will see Gus (Christian Convery) confront General Abbot (Neil Sandilands) directly as additional secrets of the virus, the hybrid kind, and Gus’ family are learned.


Read Also: What We Could See in Sweet Tooth Season 2


Titans s3 key art

(Photo by HBO Max)

Status: Cancelled with six remaining episodes expected to air in 2023

What We Know: The Titans continue to do what they do best as they face a new set of threats. Joining the series for the fourth season are Joseph Morgan as Brother Blood, Franka Potente as Mother Mayhem, and Lisa Ambalavanar as Jinx. Set in Metropolis, the team faces the Church of Blood as the program returns to some of its horror roots. And if that were not enough, Titus Welliver made an appearance as Lex Luthor. Unlike previous years, the season was split into two parts, with the second half streaming, presumably, in 2023. Sadly, the program was cancelled in January.


Status: Cancelled with the second half of season 4 expected to stream sometime in 2023

What We Know: With Rita (April Bowlby) now leading a “Doom Force,” the team is seemingly, finally, a superhero outfit. But that could change with the wrong choice of words or the arrival of a new antagonist. Additionally, recent Doom Patrol comic book addition Space Case — aka Casey Brinke — will join the team in the form of actor Madeline Zima. Sadly, the program was culled alongside Titans, but if a list of episode titles floating around the internet is to be believed, the series was already planning its ending anyway.


My Adventures with Superman

Jack Quaid

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)

Status: Set for a Cartoon Network debut in 2023

What We Know: Announced at the same time as Batman: Caped Crusader, this animated series will focus on Clark Kent (Jack Quaid) as he builds his Superman persona, gets accustomed to Metropolis, and starts a relationship with Lois Lane (Alice Lee). Also along for the adventure: Jimmy Olsen. Creative staff include executive producer Sam Register, co-EPs  Jake Wyatt (Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus) and Brendan Clogher (Voltron: Legendary Defender), and co-producer Josie Campbell (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power). In August 2022, Campbell said the series is still “slated to come out” on Cartoon Network and its associated app.


Peacemaker season 1 key art (HBO Max)

(Photo by HBO Max)

Status: Season 2 development on hold

What We Know: The success of Peacemaker on HBO Max means its planned second season will go forward. No plot details have emerged, but it is easy to imagine Chris (John Cena) seeking to get the band back together for any number of reasons. It is also possible Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) might want to exact some revenge on the task force. And with Gunn now the co-CEO and co-chair of DC Studios, the possibility of Peacemaker continuing beyond the second season increases exponentially. In the interim, though, Gunn admitted to journalists in January that his duties as DC Studios’ co-CEO means he hasn’t had a chance to write the program’s sophomore outing. The program is currently on hold in favor of Waller (more on that below).


Related: What Peacemaker Season 2 Could Hold


Dead Boy Detectives

Dead Boys Detectives

(Photo by DC Comics)

Status: Ordered direct to series on HBO Max

What We Know: Based on characters appearing in an issue of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and a third season episode of Doom Patrol, Dead Boy Detectives stars George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri as two British schoolboys who enjoy being dead and solving crimes together. Kassius Nelson will also appear as Crystal Palace, their connection to the mortal realm, with Briana Cuoco as Jenny the Butcher, Ruth Connell as the Night Nurse (the part she played in the Doom Patrol episode), Yuyu Kitamura as Niko, and Jenn Lyon as Esther. In September 2022, Lukas Gage joined the cast with Caitlin Reilly, Max Jenkins and David Iacono also signing on that November 2022. Production on the eight-episode series began in Vancouver that same month. Steve Yockey serves as showrunner and an executive producer alongside Jeremy Carver, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter. Presumably, the program is now considered part of the DC Elseworlds initiative for projects set outside the main DCU continuity.


The Sandman

(Photo by Netflix)

Status: Renewed for a second season at Netflix

What We Know: Although the series was welcomed by fans, critics, and viewers when it debuted in August, its future was unknown for a distressingly long time as the Warner Bros. Television production requires a green light from Netflix to continue. Thankfully, word finally broke of its renewal in early November. As previously reported, co-creator Neil Gaiman said on several occasions that season 2 was mapped out during the writing of season 1. Based on the structure of that debut season, the program will likely move on to the next major Sandman comic book story, “Season of Mists,” which sees Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie in the television series) making a momentous choice and Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) dealing with the fallout. Gaiman’s statement about the renewal strengthens our guess about the subject matter. “It’s time to get back to work,” he wrote. “There’s a family meal ahead, after all. And Lucifer is waiting for Morpheus to return to Hell…” Like a number of the returning series on this list, The Sandman is now likely considered part of Elseworlds.


Related:
The Sandman Season 2: What’s Next for the Dream Team

5 Things We Learned from The Sandman’s Surprise Episode


The Batman’s Penguin Spinoff Series

Colin Farrell as The Penguin

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Status: In development for an eventual HBO Max slot

What We Know: Announced shortly after the success of The Batman feature film, the series will star Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot as he continues to climb the Gotham’s criminal underworld. And although that premise offers a chance for the series to be a prequel, it will take place in the gulf between The Batman and its eventual feature film sequel. Matt Reeves and Lauren LeFranc are the executive producer with LeFranc serving as showrunner. In early October 2022, Craig Zobel signed on as an episode director and executive producer. And at the end of the month, Cristin Milioti was cast as mobster scion Sofia Falcone, who will no doubt challenge Cobblepot’s climb to the top of Gotham’s criminal underworld. The program is expected to being production in February and, according to DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran, it will be considered an Elseworlds project.


Related: Everything We Know About HBO Max’s The Batman Spinoff Series


Arkham Asylum

Matt Reeves

(Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)

Status: In development

What We Know: Growing out of Reeves (pictured) and HBO Max’s plan to develop a series centered on the Gotham City Police Department, the Arkham Asylum series will instead focus on the family known for running the infamous mental institution. In October 2022, The Staircase’s Antonio Campos signed on to serve as executive producer and showrunner. Like Penguin, the series will be an Elseworlds program outside of the DCU.


Creature Commandos

Status: In development

What We Know: The first of the Chapter One television projects set inside the DCU, this seven-episode animated series will focus on Amanda Waller’s latest black ops team: a group of “monstrous prisoners” forced to work together. Gunn already wrote all the episodes of the first season.


Waller

Status: In development

What We Know: Viola Davis is set to star in a Chapter One live action series focusing on her morally flexible Suicide Squad character. Watchmen‘s Christal Henry and Doom Patrol‘s Jeremy Carver are already set to write the program with unspecified members of the Peacemaker cast set to reprise their roles.


Paradise Lost

Status: In development

What We Know: This Chapter One live action series will focus on the genesis of Themyscira — Wonder Woman’s birthplace — and the political intrigue as its all-women society takes shape.


Booster Gold

Status: In development

What We Know: Based on the popular DC Comics character, this Chapter One series focuses on a going-no-where man from the future uses everyday technology in his era to become a superhero in ours. Will it lead to riches and brand deals or will Booster become a genuine hero with a Justice League membership?


Lanterns

Finn Wittrock

(Photo by Amy Sussman/FilmMagic)

Status: Completely overhauled by the DC Studios team. The previous Green Lantern project has been shelved

What We Know: Announced at a HBO Max preview day in 2019, Green Lantern was said to be most ambitious comics-to-screen adaptation ever attempted by Berlanti Productions (the company behind the Arrowverse, Titans, and Doom Patrol), but those ambitions clearly changed in late 2022. Originally set to star Jeremy Irvine and Finn Wittrock (pictured) as Green Lanterns Alan Scott and Guy Gardner, respectively, word broke in October 2022 indicating the program will now focus on Green Lantern John Stewart. Irvine and Wittrock were released from their contracts and the previously announced showrunner, Seth Grahame-Smith, exited the series. Berlanti and other executives at his company remained involved, but none of the other previous creative staff stayed on. In fact, it is unclear who is developing the John Stewart version of the series.

That lack of clarity made a little more sense in January 2023, when Gunn revealed the Berlanti Green Lantern series has been shelved in favor of a DC Studios concept called Lanterns. The “event” program will focus on Stewart and Silver Age GL Hal Jordan as they investigate a “dark mystery” related to the overall Chapter One storyline. According to Gunn, the Berlanti project was a space opera while Lanterns will be set primarily on Earth. Creative participants in the new show are unknown at this time.


Status: Renewed for a fourth season on HBO Max

What We Know: After much worry and doubt in the late summer — when Warner Bros. Discovery was pulling the plug on seemingly everythingHarley Quinn was renewed for another season. Of course, with a show as unpredictable as this, it is hard to guess what Harley (Kaley Cuoco), Ivy (Lake Bell), and the others will do in another batch of episodes. Mayhem is a safe bet, though. Naturally enough, it will also be an Elseworlds series.


Batwheels

Status: Renewed for a second season

What We Know: The children’s program centers on a Batmobile with a consciousness, known as Bam (voiced by Jacob Bertrand), as he and the other Bat-related vehicles learn to become a team and fight crime around Gotham in their particular, gasoline-filled way.


Justice League Dark

(Photo by DC Comics)

Status: In development (probably)

What We Know: As part of Bad Robot’s DC initiative, Justice League Dark will presumably unite Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Zatanna (who was reportedly getting her own feature film), and other magically inclined characters in a league all their own. Magic and mysticism is, of course, their focus. But like any hero team, learning how to deal with one another will no doubt be a key element of the project. It is unclear how Keanu Reeves’s return to Constantine movies will change the plan or if Justice League Dark is still even in development. As it happens, the series is not part of the Chapter One plans, but it could still happen as an Elseworlds project.


Status: Season 8 has been announced

What We Know: The off-the-wall, younger-skewing Teen Titans series will return for another season, as announced in February 2022, but it is unclear when it will air. As a Cartoon Network series, the program is likely safe, but with Warner Bros. Discovery also announcing plans to scale back its family offerings, it is unclear if Cartoon Network itself is safe.


Status: All episodes are available on HBO Max, but is unclear if it will return

What We Know: The third season of the series moves from Epix to HBO Max with a new subtitle (The Origin of Batman’s Butler) and a new focus. Set five years after the English Civil War, Alfie (Jack Bannon), Thomas (Ben Aldridge), and Martha (Emma Paetz) must navigate a new world of superheroes. And considering the subtitle, we imagine the story will also see Alfie move from ex-SAS mercenary to Thomas and Martha’s faithful houseman — a role that will be very surprising to fans of Bannon’s take on the character and Pennyworth’s overall vibes.


Status: To be determined

What We Know: Completing its fourth season in June 2022, the fate of the series is, as co-creator Greg Wiseman put it on Twitter, a question of “if,” not “when.” Considering WBD’s stated plan to reduce family offerings, it is possible the series has once again been canceled. Then again, Young Justice’s audience is more diverse than the family market, which is allegedly one of the reasons it was canceled after its second season on Cartoon Network many years ago. This time, though, it may turn out to be its saving grace. And with Gunn and Safran also taking charge of DC’s animated offerings, there may be more hope for the program than existed awhile ago.


Noonan’s

HARLEY QUINN: Kite Man

(Photo by ©DC Universe/Courtesy Everett C)

Status: Set for a 10-episode debut season on HBO Max

What We Know: Tentatively titled Noonan’s, the project is a Harley Quinn spinoff focusing on Kite Man (Matt Oberg) as he and Golden Glider return to a life of crime after purchasing the currently eponymous bar for villains and other assorted ne’er-do-wells. Like the other animated series in this list, is it unclear if the project still fits the WBD corporate strategy. Ordered directly to series in April, the program will presumably stream on the successor platform to HBO Max and Discovery+.


Batman: Caped Crusader

Batman: Caped Crusader

(Photo by Warner Bros. Animation)

Status: In development

What We Know: Revealed in 2021, Caped Crusader will be an animated series from the mind of Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm, The Batman’s Matt Reeves, and J.J. Abrams, with head writer Ed Brubaker and co-executive producer James Tucker adding spins of their own. While it will share some visual similarities with Batman: TAS, the program’s stated goal is to “once again reinvent Batman and his iconic rogue’s gallery with sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world.” In August 2022, HBO Max cancelled the series with Warner Animation Group intending to shop it around to other outlets.


Status: Cancelled

What We Know: Subtitled “Frenemies,” the new season sees The Crocks (formerly Injustice Society villains Sportmaster and Tigress) and their daughter, Artemis (Stella Smith), moving next door to Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and her blended family in an attempt to move past their villainous ways. Courtney takes this to heart by also adding Artemis and Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) — another second-generation villain — to her circle of friends even as a murder mystery threatens to destroy the Justice Society of America. The season finished filming well before any of the Warner Bros. Discovery changes took hold, but as part Nexstar’s sweeping revision of The CW, Stargirl was cancelled at the end of October, 2022.


Merry Little Batman

Merry Little Batman title

(Photo by Warner Bros. Animation)

Status: Cancelled at HBO Max

What We Know: The holiday-themed Batman special centers on a six-year-old Damian Wayne, Batman’s biological son, who adopts a “Little Batman” persona to save Gotham from a villain’s Yuletide plot. Mike Roth (Regular Show) directs from a script by Earth to Ned’s Morgan Evans. Like Caped Crusader, the special will not stream on HBO Max, but as it is at some stage of production, it will be shopped around to other services and channels.


Strange Adventures

Status: Shelved

What We Know: The program, originally announced alongside Green Lantern, was meant to be an anthology program probing the stranger corners of the DC Universe. The Berlanti Productions series was meant to be headed by Gotham’s John Stephens, but news slowed to a trickle quickly. In August 2022, HBO Max confirmed the program was no longer in development.


Constantine

Constantine vol. 1

(Photo by DC Comics)

Status: Shelved

What We Know: The series — rumored to star Sope Dirisu as a slightly younger version of John Constantine — was to be part of an initiative from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot to create a Justice League Dark sub-universe. But as things in the DC realm change constantly, the concept was shelved when Keanu Reeves agreed to star in a Constantine movie sequel.


Madame X

Madame Xanadu

(Photo by DC Comics)

Status: Shelved

What We Know: Like Constantine, Madame X was to be part of the Bad Robot Justice League Dark universe. And like that series, it was set aside in the wake of the Constantine movie sequel deal.


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