HBO Max Abandons DC Series But Another Network Saves It

HBO Max stopped developing The Sandman spin-off, Dead Boy Detectives, but Netflix picked it up and will air the show.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

The Dead Boy Detectives in Doom Patrol

In today’s media landscape, it often feels like showrunners have to play a complex game of 4D chess and musical chairs for the sake of continuity. The DC drama Dead Boy Detectives is one such property that has made the switch from HBO Max to Netflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Greg Berlanti drama didn’t quite fit with the new DC initiatives spearheaded by James Gunn and Peter Safran, and the show had to find a new home on a new streaming platform.

One major detail that serves as a catalyst for this streaming migration is that HBO Max “would not have been able to market the show until 2024, with execs at the streamer blessing producers to take the show out elsewhere.” We should know by now that the only constant in the entertainment industry is change, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. Even though DC may have pushed Dead Boy Detectives off in favor of “five inter-connected shows that will live alongside Peacemaker on HBO Max,” Dead Boy Detectives will do just fine after its move to Netflix.

It’s worth noting that the Berlanti-produced drama You also resides in Netflix’s catalog after failing to break through on basic cable, and the series made itself right at home by quickly becoming one of the most popular scripted originals that the streaming giant presently has to offer. We can safely call this a good thing, considering that Berlanti has a strong and lucrative relationship with Warner Bros., who shopped the series. While DC may have had different plans for Dead Boy Detectives, it’s good to know they gave Berlanti their blessing to continue with the series elsewhere.

doom patrol spinoff
The Dead Boy Detectives in Doom Patrol

DC’s Dead Boy Detectives follows Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, a deceased detective duo that team up to solve mysteries with supernatural implications. The duo made their first appearance in issue #25 of The Sandman and are also portrayed by Sebastian Croft and Ty Tennant in the HBO Max Series Doom Patrol. This isn’t the full extent of Paine and Rowland’s ability to cross over to other titles, and the current storyline is connected to titles like Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and Black Orchid.

Maybe crossing over from HBO Max to Netflix isn’t so bad after all, as the ghoulish detectives are already familiar with pivoting from one storyline to another while doing their thing, which has been aptly described as “a vintage detective series — only darker and on acid.” The important thing to consider is that DC didn’t give Dead Boy Detectives the boot. It’s all too common these days for shows to get canceled during a restructuring, but we see this as the series getting a second chance, and we’re thrilled to see what direction Berlanti will take the series in.

While we continue to see more restructuring in the DC Universe, we’re happy to say that Dead Boy Detectives can continue to develop under Berlanti’s guidance. If you’re bummed about the migration because you only subscribe to HBO Max, borrow the Netflix login info from your mother-in-law before they crack down on password sharing. But at the end of the day, we don’t think Dead Boy Detectives got evicted; they’re just moving on up to bigger and better things with the new Netflix deal.