The 6 Major Superhero Shows That Got Cancelled In 2023

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Grant Gustin as The Flash, Joivan Wade as Cyborg, Teagan Croft as Raven

Six notable superhero TV shows - all of which happened to be from the greater DC Universe - got cancelation notices before 2023 ended.

DC had plenty of struggles on the big and small screen in 2023, with multiple movies becoming theatrical flops.

DC, in particular, has seen its fair share of negativity. However, it comes amid a major regime change with James Gunn and Peter Safran's takeover of DC Studios and major franchises like the Arrowverse ending.

Biggest Superhero Shows Canceled in 2023

Warner Bros. canceled six TV shows from the greater DC Universe in 2023 as the studio began to go through internal changes ahead of the new slate of DC Universe projects starting in 2024.


Titans poster

After highlighting a darker and more adult take on the Teen Titans from DC, Titans ended with its fourth season as the show's final episode aired on Max on May 11, 2023.

Variety announced the show was canceled in January 2023, and it was also revealed that the show's creative team knew Season 4 would be its last and planned an ending accordingly. 

Speaking with Rotten Tomatoes, showrunner Greg Walker explained that the team "wrote [themselves] into a corner intentionally," trying to figure out how to bring the Titans back from the point they'd reached in their lives before the cancelation became official:

"We wrote ourselves into a corner intentionally. How do you bring back the various Titans from where they are in their lives? What kind of momentous event would do that? We’d just started talking about that when our fate was revealed."

However, even after the show's cancelation, writer Tom Pabst admitted that he'd be surprised if there wasn't a revival for Titans at some point in the future.

Even if it takes a few years to get back on track, Pabst expressed confidence that the premise behind Titans "was one of the best superhero premises" on his radar.

The Flash

The Flash, Grant Gustin
The Flash

After becoming the second show in The CW's Arrowverse, Grant Gustin's The Flash closed off its run on the network with its ninth and final season in 2023.

In May 2023, The CW president Brad Schwartz explained the decision to end the Arrowverse, calling the shows in that series "the hallmarks of The CW" while the network looked to become "bigger and profitable" by any means necessary.

This also came after reports revealed that The CW was looking to revamp its approach to releasing content, mostly due to the costs behind running a franchise like the Arrowverse.

Additionally, Gustin appeared on a panel at Phoenix Fan Fusion in June 2023, explaining that he decided to leave the series to spend more time with his family and return to being 100% emotionally and physically.

Doom Patrol

Doom Patrol
Doom Patrol

The same report detailing Titans' cancelation revealed the same fate for Doom Patrol, a series centered on one of DC's more unique teams of heroes that took a darker and more mature route for its four-season run.

Season 4 was developed as a conclusion to the series, with Part 2 ending its run on Max in November 2023.

James Gunn revealed in January 2023 that the decision to cancel the show was made before his promotion to DC Studios co-CEO, offering his best wishes to everybody involved with the series:

"The decision to end the series precedes us. But I certainly wish the best for the talented group of creators, actors, and the rest of the crew that produced both shows."

However, even while being satisfied with the ending story-wise and going out "on [their] own terms," showrunner Jeremy Carver admitted that he and his creative team weren't "necessarily happy about this chapter ending" for the Doom Patrol squad.

Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois
Superman & Lois

Existing in the greater multiverse of the Arrowverse, Season 4 of Superman & Lois wound up serving as the series' final season as the program was officially canceled.

Deadline shared in May 2023 that The CW was moving away from scripted series, resulting in most of its scripted line-up being canceled; Superman & Lois was included in that crop of shows.

The CW CEO Brad Schwartz explained in July 2023 that Superman & Lois initially avoided cancellation with the rest of the Arrowverse due to its performance on the air, and it also ranked highly digitally amongst shows watched on The CW app.

Season 4 began production in January 2024 and is expected to release at some point in the Spring or Summer of 2024

Gotham Knights

Gotham Knights
Gotham Knights

Although Gotham Knights got a full series order before its pilot episode even aired, that was a high point for the series as its run ended after only one season on The CW.

Variety shared in June 2023 that The CW decided to cancel Gotham Knights after its only season on the air, with ratings being poor and reviews from critics and fans dooming the series as well.

The show tanked on Rotten Tomatoes, only earning an 18% approval rating via its Tomatometer score along with a 54% Audience Score, discouraging The CW from moving forward further into this story.

Executive producer and showrunner James Stoteraux explained in June 2023 that bringing the show back for another season "would be extremely cost prohibitive," noting that the studio and executives "can’t make the numbers work" financially.

Pennyworth: The Origins of Batman’s Butler

Pennyworth: The Origins of Batman’s Butler
Pennyworth: The Origins of Batman’s Butler

Originally known for its controversially long title, Pennyworth ran for three seasons on Epix and Max before its eventual cancellation as it told the origin story of Batman's classic butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

This series met its official end via a Variety report in January, mere days after Doom Patrol and Titans were both axed, which included a statement thanking the creative team for their work on the series.

James Gunn didn't explain why this series was officially canceled, as he and Peter Safran look to develop a DCU slate that is more closely connected across all mediums.

Particularly disappointing with this news is that fans didn't even learn exactly how Alfred came into the employ of Bruce Wayne; the show looked back to his early days before Bruce's birth but didn't move far enough along to see the two meet.

All of the aforementioned shows are available to stream on Max.

- In This Article: Doom Patrol (Season 4 Part 2)
Release Date
October 12, 2023
Brendan Fraser
Diane Guerrero
Joivan Wade
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.