The news is ominous for those who love DC Universe’s original TV series.
WarnerMedia on Monday hit heavy with its ax, reportedly laying off a majority of the streaming service’s staff.
The conglomerate also fired a third of DC Comics’ editorial staff and closed DC Direct, the maker and merchandiser of DC collectibles.
The layoffs couldn’t come at a worse time: DC is set to hold its first online fan convention “DC Fandome” on Aug. 22, with an astonishing array of talent to promote its comics, TV shows, and movies.
Now fans are worried if DC Comics itself is in jeopardy.
As for DC Universe, many have seen its shuttering as inevitable now that WarnerMedia is throwing all its weight behind its new streaming services HBO Max.
How many streaming services does a company need?
What distinguished DC Universe, however, was the range, depth, and intelligence of its original productions, all centered on DC’s rich, underused stable of characters.
DC Universe’s first series, “Titans,” presented an embittered Dick Grayson forging a new team of heroes. “Doom Patrol,” its spinoff, went further and both darker and weirder.
“Swamp Thing” never seemed to get a chance: Despite plans for at least a three-season run and a “Justice League Dark” spinoff, DC Universe canceled the show one week after its premiere. The DVD is available and, with so many series shut down because of the coronavirus, CW plans to air the season this fall.
The animated series “Young Justice” and “Harley Quinn” found audiences, the latter a hilarious, foul-mouthed take on the notorious anti-heroine.
“Stargirl” aired on both DC Universe and CW, and the family-friendly show proved to be so popular, CW picked it up for a second season. It will not air on DC Universe.
The second season of “Doom Patrol” aired on HBO Max. There’s no word yet on whether it will get a third season, but viewers really need some closure after that finale.
The third season of “Titans” has been filmed but the premiere date is delayed because of the pandemic.
With most of the staff gone, the chances of getting any further original programming seem slim to impossible. It’s more likely that DC Universe will be forced to turn its video library to HBO Max while DC launches a separate subscription service for digital copies of its comics, similar to how Marvel Unlimited operates.
Worth noting: DC Universe as of July dropped its annual subscription plan. It’s strictly month-to-month.
That, more than anything, suggests the DC Universe is in its final days. That’s a loss for DC fans and for those who love edgy TV.