Syfy cancels comic-based dramedies Happy! and Deadly Class


The trippy and bloody dramas Happy! and Deadly Class won’t get their next acts at Syfy.

Syfy is giving the axe to two of its biggest shows based on graphic novels. Happy!, starring Christopher Meloni, and Deadly Classan ensemble about prep-school assassins starring Benjamin Wadsworth and Benedict Wong, have been canceled after their current seasons.

Deadline reports that the decision ultimately came down to ratings. Happy! had a phenomenal debut and a strong first season. The series premiere was Syfy’s highest-rated since The Magicians, garnering 1.708 million viewers with 779,000, of those in the key 18-49 demo. But the numbers dropped sharply in season two, failing to justify a renewal.

When it came to Deadly Class, the call by the network was more marginal. Ratings held strong throughout the season, but weren’t good enough in the eyes of Syfy execs to keep it going. Since Syfy doesn’t own it, the show is not a priority for them.

Sony Pictures TV produces Deadly Class in conjunction with Syfy’s sister company, Universal Content Productions (UCP), and its Sony’s product. Happy!, on the other hand, is wholly owned and produced by UCP.

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A similar situation led to the cancellation of Whiskey Cavalier — a Warner Bros. TV production — over at ABC, a Disney network.

Both shows are being shopped around. Sony hasn’t given up on Deadly Class and will look for another outlet. Happy! could find a new home on Netflix where its first season is extremely popular, as other dramas based on graphic novels are (e.g., Umbrella Academy). But sources close to Deadline said that is unlikely for now.

Deadly Class is based on a series from Image Comics and the team of Rick Remender and Wesley Craig. Set in the 1980s, homeless teen Marcus Lopez Arguello (Wadsworth) enters King’s Dominion, a private school that teaches a “ruthless curriculum” to the next generation of the criminal underworld.

Remender, who also helped develop the TV series, assured fans a new network is being searched for:

Happy! is based on a graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson also published by Image. Nick Sax (Meloni), an ex-cop-turned-hitman has a little, blue cartoon horse named Happy (Patton Oswalt), that only he can see, for a sidekick. Morrison executive produces, and his vision is yet again adapted into something that closely mirrors his comics, much like DC Universe’s Doom Patrol.

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Syfy has renewed its other comic book adaptations, Krypton, and Wynonna Earp, which is based on an IDW publication.