Birds of Prey is a superhero show that I sadly did not learn about until it was long over. The show premiered in October of 2002 and followed Helena Kyle, aka Huntress, the daughter of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Selena Kyle (Catwoman). When Batman disappears from New Gotham City, Helena (Ashley Scott) takes over as the city’s protector along with Oracle (Barbara Gordon, played by Dina Meyer) and Dinah Redmond (daughter of the original Black Canary, played by Rachel Skarsten) as the “Birds of Prey.” They are aided by Alfred Pennyworth (Ian Abercrombie) and Det. Jesse Reese (Shemar Moore). The group frequently runs into schemes masterminded by Dr. Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn (assistant and sometime girlfriend of the Joker).
The show’s concept is intriguing, not to mention rare; how many all female groups of superheros on television can you name apart from Supergirl? For that reason I am especially sad that this show did not go beyond its first season, as what I’ve seen looks amazing.
As for why Birds of Prey was cancelled after only thirteen episodes, it looks like this show was another victim of ratings. While the show did premiere with excellent ratings (7.6 million viewers to be exact), the ratings began to sharply fall and the WB (now the CW Network) subsequently axed the show once the finale aired. I know that television networks need to make money and I understand why ratings play a big part in that, but I feel like it’s unfair to stop a great concept like this after only thirteen episodes.
It is my personal belief that a television show should be given two seasons to prove themselves before they can be cancelled. After all, some of the greatest tv shows had abysmal first season ratings (MASH and Star Trek come to mind) and yet when they were given a second chance with another season, they rebounded. Who knows what might have happened if Birds of Prey had been given this chance.
Did you get the chance to watch Birds of Prey? What did you think about it? Should it have continued past season 1? Let me know in the comments!
For more of this series, see also:
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