Could you imagine one place that had “Smallville”, “Arrow”, “The Flash” (both), “Supergirl”, the Batman movies, Justice League cartoons, “Teen Titans Go”, and the new season of “Young Justice”?
That would be a place I’d live in.
The sheer scope of what this presents isn’t known just yet. The questions are many, and the answers are extremely few. How much will it cost? When is the release date? How will this affect Netflix and CWSeeds content? Does this open up new and longer episodes of the Arrowverse cartoon series? Will The Ray debut on this network?
We just don’t know. But it’s fun to guess, right? So lets play pretend and wonder what an at launch service may provide for us.
Lets start with the animated side of things.
I think it’s fair to say that Justice League Action, and Teen Titans Go! episodes will be available. Not new, or even current season, but enough to wet the beaks of those interested. Other cartoons like Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are no brainers, as are Batman The Animated Series, New Adventure of Batman, and Batman Beyond. That’ll couple well with Superman the Animated Series, Teen Titans and Static Shock. That’s over 200 hours of content right there alone. You’d need a week plus of never sleeping, or leaving the couch to finish all that content alone.
That’s not counting the animated movies, which will be another 35 hour or so of content on the animated movie side of thing. There’s 29 movies by the time this roles out next year.
And I haven’t even counted the Super Friends cartoons, Young Justice (which is on Netflix still) and the animated Arrowverse cartoons.
You’re talking about around 300 hours of animated content. And we don’t even know if DC Comics properties like The Powerpuff Girls, Scooby Doo, Johnny Quest and the like will be included.
I’d pay five bucks a month for that alone.
Now assuming that Young Justice’s first and second seasons are moved to the platform in 2018, I think you can really make it a haven for comic themed shows. One of the things I think they should heavily invest in, is making the animated Arrowverse more fluid. I’m talking 10-12 episodes a season at 22 minutes a pop. When you factor in Vixen, The Ray, and Constantine, that’s not a bad innitial lineup and allows for more exploration. Hell, you could do a Superman animated series with Tyler Hoechlin as the voice of the star. You’d provide a more dynamic Superman experience without trying to take the wind from Supregirl’s sails.
However, the live action realm is where we hit a snag. The Arrowverse, which has around 170 hours of content, won’t be on the service I’d suspect. The deal with Netflix is too valuable and honestly, I don’t see DC tanking the deal with them if they don’t have to.
And honestly, they don’t have to. Smallville alone makes up for all but 22 hours of content lost to Netflix. Add in The Flash (1990), Birds of Prey (2002), Batman (1966), and Wonder Woman (1975) and you diversivy your live action line up pretty significantly. We’re not even talking about Shazam!, Lois and Clark, the Human Target series, Superboy, Gotham and Constantine.
Nor are we talking about Vertigo series, that could see digital presence, like Preacher, Lucifer or iZombie. Though Liv Moore and the gang suffers from the same deal that the Arrowverse does. And maybe, and this is just spit balling, what if the DC stream revives the recently cancelled Powerless?
Plus we also now have Krypton and Scalped to look forward too. But wait, there’s more. What about the pilots that weren’t picked up? That’d be a fun thing for fans. Right? That means Aquaman, and Wonder Woman with Justin Hartley and Adrianne Palicki are in the works. So is the awful 90’s Justice League. Talk about comedy gold.
And we haven’t even talked about the movies.
Going back to 1966, DC has had 28 live action films, with another two on the way before the launch of the service. That’s 30 films. And if you throw out the sit ones, Batman and Robin, Superman IV, Catwoman and Steel….fucking Steel….they’re all worth watching. On the range from solid to amazing. We’re not even talking television films, or imprints like Road to Perdition, History of Violence and the RED films.
I haven’t even gotten to the YouTube animated shorts, the dearth of other animated series like Batman Brave and the Bold, or The Batman. Not too mention Lego Batman.
To say there’s easily a few thousand hours of available content, without the Arrowverse and iZombie isn’t a far fetch. We’re also not factoring unannounced original programming, the YouTube series DC All Access, which could make a great weekly series on the service. You could keep the daily 6 minute editions, and then do one on Friday on the service of around 25 minutes focusing on more interviews and such, or just release a supercut of the weekly content in one continuous episode.
I’d have to say, as long as the animated and live action feature films were brought in alongside the television content not on Netflix, I’d say this a very wise idea. DC has 70 years of history fans would love to see.
The big hangup is the original content. They have to make sure they put forth great original content. The Titans series has to be part of the Arrowveres, and has to feature at least ten, 42 minute episodes. They have to make sure the Young Justice revival matches the length and production quality as its predecessors, and reviving a dead property, like Powerless or even Constantine needs to happen.
I think a great idea would be to have a three days a week interview show where they interview former stars or current stars of various DC properties. Quite possibly that would add a low cost original program with a high return. Another great idea would be dong what AMC tried to do with “Comicbook Men” and do a DC Comics series that focuses on behind the scenes stuff for DC movies and t.v. shows. With the Arrowverse airing from October to May, Preacher in the summer, and SyFy and WGN airing their shows at various times, plus the chaotic film and animated film schedules, with the animated television studios essentially working 24/7, you’ll always be able to go backstage with these things.
If you do all these things, holy crap, are you going to have a hell of a service that fans will want to be a part. But if you don’t make it a fully and inclusive DC Streaming service, leaving properties off for one reason or another, and you hurt the opportunity to make this success. Losing the Arrowverse, or “Smallville” or not having movies on, hurts this opportunity and diminishes the value. Especially if the original content fails.