Deadly Class may no longer be in session at SYFY, but ComicBook.com has learned that Sony Pictures Television will shop the acclaimed comic book adaptation to other networks for a potential season two pickup. The series, which stars Teen Wolf's Benjamin Wadsworth, Psych's Liam James, and Lana Condor from To All The Boys I've Loved Before, averaged a little over 400,000 viewers for SYFY during its first season. It is not yet clear who Sony might pitch the series to, although they do own Crackle, a streaming app/website that will be venturing into the world of comic book TV with Pennyworth, a series about Alfred Pennyworth and from the creators of Gotham.
The premiere launched on YouTube ahead of its TV premiere, and while its numbers online were strong, some fans wondered whether that would eat into its premiere ratings. Ultimately, most of the series was viewed on a time delay, with the last couple of episodes enjoying a ratings bump in part becuase executive producers Rick Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott urged viewers to watch live in order to bulk up the numbers. The week of the finale, Remender seemed to be pretty confident that the show would get a second season, reassuring several fans who reached out to him on Twitter about it.
"[The] show is too good and our fans too loyal to not get season 2," Remender tweeted at the time. "All will be well."
Indeed, a fan campaign to renew Deadly Class has been underway since even before the season finale aired. The show has a lot of upside, with Condor appearing in a key role and a multicultural cast, along with a premise that has the ability to capitalize on '80s nostalgia without feeling too hacky about it. ComicBook.com called the pilot one of the best comic book TV pilots ever made, and the show's "Vegas episode," like the comic issue it was based on, was a revelation. The series is based on a comic book series by Remender with artist Wes Craig.
Part of what will likely upset fans is the fact that the show ended on a dark cliffhanger: having stormed F-Face manor, the group splintered and was already in conflict when they rounded a corner and were captured by gunmen in the employ of Chico's father. The fact that they were carrying Chico's head at the time likely did them no favors. Lex was murdered and both Maria and Marcus were about to be either killed or kidnapped, then the series faded to black.
"I just write it like f--k it. We're going to get a second season; it's one of the best shows on television," Remender told me. "I couldn't believe in it more. It's too good. If the universe conspires against a second season, then f--k it. All right. So be it. But, all I know is that the show and the people involved in making it, and from the writing to the acting to the crew to the post production to the sound mix, everybody is so passionately invested in it has become such a family who believe and love this show that ... and when I see the finale product, I know it's A-level television, and I'm just very gratified. It's very good. So, I plotted the story in a way where it was like, well, if we don't get a second season, then, what am I going to have a nice resolution to season one because I'm betting on failure? I think that the down ending and the way that it all comes together is true to Deadly Class, it's true to the book. It's the Empire Strikes Back version of where we could end things, and for me, it's the most interesting way to end the season. The most true to the tone of the series."
The ending felt a bit like the bleak closing moments of Krypton's first season. That series, which centers on Superman's biological grandfather on his doomed homeworld, ended on a shocking twist that essentially demanded a second season. It got one, which premieres next week at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Wednesday.4comments
Deadly Class follows a homeless teenager named Marcus (Bejamin Wadsworth) after he is recruited to a boarding school for budding assassins. Remender has said that one of the benefits of TV is that he will get to explore some of the spaces in between stories in the comics, and to elaborate on things that he moved past fairly quickly the first time around. Set in a dark, heightened world against the backdrop of late ‘80s counterculture, Deadly Class follows the story of Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a teen living on the streets who is recruited into Kings Dominion, an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his own adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital.
Deadly Class will not be back on SYFY, but keep watch here at ComicBook.com for updates on its status.