'Swamp Thing' Canceled Less Than a Week After DC Universe Debut

Just six days after its debut on DC Universe, Swamp Thing has been canceled.

Only one episode of the series has aired on DC Universe. The remainder of the show's 10-episode run will play out on the streaming platform, but it won't return after that. 

The cancellation follows the series having its order cut from 13 to 10 episodes, with sources telling The Hollywood Reporter that creative differences were the cause of the reduced run. There are also questions about the role of the year-old DC Universe in parent company WarnerMedia's larger streaming plans.

Swamp Thing stars Crystal Reed (Abby Arcane), a CDC scientist who returns to her Louisiana hometown to investigate a strange disease ravaging the bayous. Andy Bean plays Alec Holland, with Derek Mears as Alec's Swamp Thing alter ego.

Co-showrunners Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman adapted the Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson comic and executive produce with Len Wiseman, who directed the first episode; James Wan; and Michael Clear.

THR asked Verheiden about the reduced order in an interview, but a DC Universe rep wouldn't allow an answer.

The cancellation comes amid WarnerMedia readying a tiered streaming service to launch in late 2019 and compete with the likes of Disney+ and Comcast's forthcoming free, ad-supported service. The WarnerMedia platform will feature scripted originals and library content from TNT, TBS and HBO, along with shows from Warner Bros. TV. 

The idea of having two streaming services — even though DC Universe is considered a niche platform — could be a potential wrinkle for WarnerMedia. In addition to its series, DC Universe (which does not release subscriber numbers) features a massive library of comics via its proprietary comic reader, which could pose a problem if the parent company wants to fold that service in with its larger OTT service. The addition of the comic library was designed to help DC Universe take on Marvel Unlimited. Also unclear is whether DC Universe content would be exclusive to that platform before it hits WarnerMedia's unnamed service and if the DC label could be an additional monthly charge on top of a base fee.

For the time being, it's business as usual at DC Universe, which recently expanded its availability to Xbox users. Next up, it has the animated series Harley Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders poised to join a scripted roster that includes Titans (already renewed for season two) and the critically praised Doom Patrol. Also ordered to series at the platform is Geoff Johns' Stargirl, which is expected in 2020.