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DC TV Status: Peacemaker, the Penguin Series, and More Shows That Survived Warner Bros. Discovery's Purge

What we know about animated Batman: Caped Crusader, Titans, the second seasons of Sweet Tooth and The Sandman, and more DC TV titles.

by | August 25, 2022 | Comments

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Warner Bros. Pictures’ plans for the DC Comics characters always seem in a state of flux — including the latest announcement that the Aquaman and Shazam! sequels’ release dates have changed and The Flash star Ezra Miller’s troubles casting a shadow over that film. DC’s small-screen Multiverse, on the other hand, seemed 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 soon be upended with DC’s new corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, announcing to investors a 10-year plan for the characters, with a heavy emphasis on theatrical features, and the company’s hunt for a mastermind (à la Marvel’s Kevin Feige) to take control of a brand reset for film and TV. (Dan Lin is reportedly in talks for the role, according to THR.) Meanwhile, the upcoming sale of The CW television network may mean even fewer opportunities for the heroes to shine on broadcast.

Of course, the DC superheroes always bounce back from any crisis, so not all hope is lost. But it is worthwhile to take stock of the series based on the characters currently airing and in development in light of WBD’s new plan. Will your favorites survive a seeming Zero Hour to become Legends in a new (52) environment? Let’s take a look at what we know about the various DC Entertainment TV series for more insight.


Status: Currently streaming new episodes on HBO Max.

What We Know: Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Ivy (Lake Bell) return to Gotham as Ivy continues her plans to turn the city into an ecological paradise. Meanwhile, the Joker (Alan Tudyk) runs for mayor and Harley does her best to keep her relationship (and friendships) strong. Presumably, performance on the service will determine whether or not Harley, Ivy, and the rest of the gang will continue to cause mayhem in future seasons.


Status: Its third season debuts August 31 on The CW

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. The season finished filming well before any of the Warner Bros. Discovery changes took hold, but it’s long-term future is also unclear with Nexstar Media Group planning to buy a majority stake in The CW from current owners Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global. The network is expected to operate as usual through the 2023-2024 broadcast season, so a potential fourth season could be announced as early as next January.


Batwheels

Status: Debuting on Cartoon Network and HBO Max on September 17, 2022

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. Considering the way animated programs are produced, it is possible a second season is in production.


Status: Returning for its third season this October on HBO Max

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 vibe. Future seasons will likely be determined by the success of the upcoming set of episodes.


Titans s3 key art

(Photo by HBO Max)

Status: A fourth season is nearing the end of production with a tentative 2022 release window

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 upcoming season are Joseph Morgan as Brother Blood, Franka Potente as Mother Mayhem, and Lisa Ambalavanar as Jinx.


(Photo by HBO Max)

Status: A fourth season has been filmed and is expected to stream in later 2022

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. Rumors suggest comic book character Space Case will join the team and, if a list of episode titles floating around the internet are to be believed, the series may be wrapping up of its own accord.


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 in 2023

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. Beyond that, details are scarce, but it is worth noting that the program’s series finale will, effectively, end the Arrowverse as an ongoing shared fictional universe. The remaining CW superhero shows — Stargirl, Superman & Lois, and Gotham Knights — all take place in separate realities along the DC Multiverse.


Superman & Lois

(Photo by Nino Muñoz/The CW)

Status: Returning for its third season on The CW in 2023

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. His part, Superman’s (Tyler Hoechlin) son Jonathan Kent, will be recast.


Status: Set to debut during The CW’s mid-season in early 2023

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 the incoming CW owners, 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


Peacemaker season 1 key art (HBO Max)

(Photo by HBO Max)

Status: Season 2 is “safe” according to executive producer James Gunn

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. Beyond that second season, though, anything is possible, including a quick end if it ceases to fit the Warner Bros. Discovery corporate strategy.


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. Steve Yockey serves as showrunner and an executive producer alongside Jeremy Carver, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter. The pilot has been filmed, but it is unclear how much further the eight-episode season is into production.


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 is also possible 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.


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


Arkham

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 potential Arkham series will instead focus on the family known for running the infamous asylum. In August 2022, Reeves renewed his development deal with Warner Bros. At the time, the series was said to still be in development.


Green Lantern

Finn Wittrock

(Photo by Amy Sussman/FilmMagic)

Status: In development at HBO Max

What We Know: Announced at a HBO Max preview day in 2019, Green Lantern is said to be most ambitious comics-to-screen adaptation ever attempted by Berlanti Productions (the company behind the Arrowverse, Titans, and Doom Patrol). Both Jeremy Irvine and Finn Wittrock (pictured) are set to star as, respectively, Alan Scott and Guy Gardner – two members of the Green Lantern Corps whose stories take place decades apart, but intersect thematically. Besides being a Green Lantern, Scott is also a FBI agent in the 1940s who must hide his homosexuality from other G-Men. Gardner, meanwhile, is a vain and reactionary man of the 1980s who may or may not learn some humility by becoming a member of the Corps. Arrow veteran Marc Guggenheim serves as an executive producer while Seth Grahame-Smith takes point as the showrunner. According to recent updates in the wake of Batgirl‘s shelving, the program’s slow development is due to its ambitions (two time periods, major visual effects work, etc.) and the desire from all involved to get it right.


Constantine

Constantine vol. 1

(Photo by DC Comics)

Status: In development

What We Know: The series — rumored to star Sope Dirisu as a slightly younger version of John Constantine — is part of an initiative from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot to create a Justice League Dark universe. At present, it is unclear if this aligns with the WBD corporate strategy for the DC universe, which would seemingly include one persistent reality over the loosely-connected Multiverse planned by the previous Warner and DC leadership. In the meantime, reportedly, locations have been scouted, a 2023 production start date penciled in, and Guy Bolton wrote the pilot script.


Madame X

Madame Xanadu

(Photo by DC Comics)

Status: Still in development

What We Know: Like Constantine, Madame X would be part of the Bad Robot Justice League Dark universe. Based on DC Comics’ Madame Xanadu character, the series will focus on the DC sorceress who has various (and interesting) origins, but is best known for assisting heroes with her precognitive abilities. Since the character is fairly new to live action (Jeryl Prescott portrayed her in the short-lived and much-missed Swamp Thing series from 2019), molding the series to more closely fit the new strategy should be an easy task. As of July 2021, Angela Robinson was said to be spearheading development, but it is unclear if this is the case.


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 unite Constantine, Madame X, Zatanna (who is 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 series. Unlike the other two Bad Robot programs, Dark has no creative participants attached — publicly anyway — but it is said to still be on the production slate despite other Bad Robot projects at Warner Bros. getting the axe.


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: 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.


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 the list, is it unclear if the project still fits the WBD corporate strategy. Ordered directly to series in April, the program will presumably eventually 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, but Warner Animation Group will shop it around to other outlets.


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.


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.


The Sandman

(Photo by Netflix)

Status: To be announced

What We Know: Although the series was welcomed by fans, critics, and viewers when it debuted in August, its future is still unknown, as the Warner Bros. Television production requires a green light from Netflix to continue. At the same time, co-creator Neil Gaiman previously said on several occasions that season 2 was mapped out during the writing of season 1. If it continues, 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.


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

5 Things We Learned from The Sandman’s Surprise Episode


Strange Adventures

Status: Shelved

What We Know: The program, originally announced alongside Green Lantern, was meant to be an anthology series 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.


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