Why Gotham Knights was cancelled (Why season 2 didn't happen)

Gotham Knights was The CW's final DC TV series but it wasn't given a chance to tell its whole story. Here's why the show wasn't renewed for a second season.

Gotham Knights -- “More Money, More Problems” -- Image Number: GTK105a_0120r -- Pictured (L-R): Tyler DiChiara as Cullen Row, Olivia Rose Keegan as Duela Doe, Oscar Morgan as Turner Hayes, Fallon Smythe as Harper Row and Navia Robinson as Robin -- Photo: Amanda Mazonkey/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Gotham Knights -- “More Money, More Problems” -- Image Number: GTK105a_0120r -- Pictured (L-R): Tyler DiChiara as Cullen Row, Olivia Rose Keegan as Duela Doe, Oscar Morgan as Turner Hayes, Fallon Smythe as Harper Row and Navia Robinson as Robin -- Photo: Amanda Mazonkey/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /
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The CW made one last venture into the world of superhero dramas before its sale to Nexstar in 2022 and that saw Gotham Knights come to fruition. It was a dark series, focused on a group of young heroes and villains framed for the murder of Batman. Led by The Dark Knight's adoptive son, Turner Hayes, the group came together, rose up against the Court of Owls, and became Gotham City's new heroes.

Though it was initially met with something of a divisive response, Gotham Knights grew into a bit of an underdog, with fans responding well to its first season overall, particularly the second half of it as it hurtled towards a high-stakes finale. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled before that finale even aired, meaning that it would serve as the final ever episode.

If you'd like to know more about why the final DC TV series on The CW won't be back, here's why it was cancelled.

Gotham Knights wasn't one of the four shows The CW chose to renew

When Nexstar acquired The CW, it inherited a line-up of programming that it did not plan on committing to. While some shows had already been cancelled prior to the sale, further shows were axed since they took over, including Stargirl and Nancy Drew. Gotham Knights remained in contention for potential renewal. However, it faced some stiff competition and the network only planned on renewing four holdover shows from the original CW's final line-up.

According to reports, the network was open to keeping one DC drama on its schedule for the 2023 - 2024 TV season and it had to choose between Gotham Knights and Superman and Lois. While earlier reports indicated that the network may have been leaning towards Gotham Knights because it was the cheaper of the two (and Nexstar is aiming to produce cheaper programming for the network), Warner Bros. - who produces both - was eager to get Superman and Lois another season. After extensive talks between the two, The CW agreed to renew Superman and Lois for a fourth season (albeit with major budget cuts and a shorter episode-count), cancelling Gotham Knights in the same announcement.

It made sense to renew Superman and Lois as it is the network's joint-most-watched program; it's also incredibly popular with fans and critics. It's just such a shame that it came down to a choice between the two, because in previous years, that choice wouldn't have had to be made.

The CW was once the home of DC TV shows with its extensive library of Arrowverse shows. Gotham Knights was performing solidly for the new CW, so in any other year, it would likely have been renewed for a second season. But with new owners Nexstar changing the direction of the network, and Superman and Lois ending with that fourth season, the era of DC TV on The CW is sadly coming to an end.

Moreover, given all the changes going on at Warner Bros. Discovery, and the launch of a single shared DC Universe, there was no one to intervene and save the show. If this had happened a few years ago, WB could have always moved the show to streaming service Max, but with the DC relaunch and the multiple cancellations of other DC shows, that was just not on the cards for Gotham Knights.

If you love Gotham Knights and would like more DC TV content, listen to The CW Spiral Podcast for news and updates about their futures. Subscribe to the YouTube Channel here.