May 11, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15 Trailer Review: NBC’s “Constantine”


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THE FACTS:  John Constantine (Matt Ryan) has the ability to see demons and spirits hidden from the outside world and the ability to defeat them; unfortunately, he’s also been damned to hell for actions in his past.  Trying to redeem himself, he sets out to protect Liv (Lucy Griffiths), who recently started seeing the netherworld herself.  The series creator is Daniel Cerone, who created the ABC summer procedural Motive and has written/produced for The Mentalist and Dexter.  Also involved as a nonwriting producer is David S. Goyer, of the Dark Knight trilogy.

WHAT’S IT SAYING:  Hello, post-Grimm timeslot!  Like Nick on Grimm, Constantine can see the creatures lurking around humanity, and he has the additional motivation of trying to save his soul.  More spectacle and less violence than Dracula and Hannibal offer, not to mention a more straightforward narrative.

WHAT’S IT REALLY SAYING:  Neil Marshall, who directed the “Blackwater” episode of Game of Thrones, was behind the camera for the pilot, and it’s hard to believe the regular series episodes will have anything like the production values showcased in the trailer, which look movie-level impressive.  A lot of the show will come down to the relationship between Ryan and Griffiths, as he tutors her and tries to keep her safe, and the trailer is more concerned with loading on the CG than giving us much of that.  Still, Ryan seems to have plenty of action-hero charisma, and that will certainly help.

THE OUTLOOK:  There are only so many eyeballs to be had in the Friday 10PM slot, but this looks like an extremely good fit with Grimm, and unlike Dracula and Hannibal, it may hold its full lead-in (albeit at a higher cost to NBC than the 2 international co-productions require).  A promising choice for its place on the schedule.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."