In his television debut, DC Comics’ John Constantine took on demons and angels, but the sardonic Brit occult detective faced an opponent he’s yet to match wits against in comics: baseball.
NBC’s pilot for “Constantine” — starring Matt Ryan as the titular antihero — went up against Game 3 of the World Series and escaped relatively unscathed, with 4.3 million people tuning in. Variety reports that the 10 pm Friday night debut of the “Constantine” pilot held on to 90% of the audience that tuned into the fourth-season premiere of “Grimm,” and that according to Nielsen numbers, it averaged a 1.4 rating for adults aged 18-49. NBC reached better numbers last year with “Grimm” and the debut of “Dracula,” but didn’t face competition with the World Series then. With the overnight projections in, “Constantine’s” audience will likely grow when PVR viewings are factored in.
The Neil Marshall-directed pilot “Non Est Asylum,” written by executive producers David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone, featured a non-smoking Constantine — a notable difference from his Vertigo “Hellblazer” run — but did include some DCU Easter Eggs, including a prominent appearance of Doctor Fate’s helmet.
Cerone talked to CBR earlier this week, and said the show will incorporate more of Constantine’s comic book roots into the show, starting with Alan Moore’s “American Gothic” storyline from “Swamp Thing,” which featured Constantine’s debut: “In a way, Moore set out a perfect template for the first season of television because you have a large mystery with an epic feel. Something is coming. A great force is going to be released.”
Constantine airs Friday nights on NBC. By Ryan Ingram