Swamp Thing Cancelled After One Season, Possibly Due to North Carolina’s Broken Promises
Swamp Thing debuted on DC Universe last week, and after one episode, the series will not be getting a second. The remainder of the show’s run will play out as normal on the streaming service but won’t return after that.
The season was cut short going from 13 episodes to 10 episodes and while some have said it was due to creative differences or a shift in Warner‘s streaming plans, but the reason might be much simpler, money.
It seems North Carolina is a bit confused on their promised millions of dollars in film grants and future funding for such grants are up in the air. The show is eligible for up to $12 million. That money has been set aside until an audit is completed. They had originally requested $16.3 million for the 13-episode season.
Tax rebates and grants are a way for states to draw production to them and $12 million is a good chunk of the season’s reported $85 million budget. Productions are eligible for up to 25% rebate on qualifying expenses. The money is paid out after production is completed and an audit happens. This can take up to three years after production.
In the 2019-2020 state budget, $31 million was to be removed from the fund due to it having a little over $67 million remaining. That money though was already promised. The future of the fund remains up in the air.
Elected officials seem to be disagreeing as to whether the incentives should exist at all. While the money has been restored in the budget proposed by the House, it hasn’t made it in to the Senate’s proposed budget. Budget negotiations are ongoing ahead of the fiscal year’s close on June 30.
This confusion by elected officials has likely lead to miscommunication and disruption and most likely made production not worth it and a logistical issue. The unknown nature of future incentives also makes planning for future production difficult.
The state had a tax rebate program which was then switched to a grant program. Legislation has been put forth to reinstate the tax incentive program.
Swamp Thing and the film Uncle Frank generated $75 million in in-state spending and created over 1,500 jobs.
Since all entertainment in the end is a spreadsheet, the likely reason for the cancellation is that the series wasn’t worth producing without these tax incentives and the overall cost to produce was too high to justify going forward.