Dead Boy Detectives (TV series)

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Dead Boy Detectives
Based on
Developed bySteve Yockey
Music by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
  • Joanie Woehler
  • Carl Ogawa
  • Chris Pavoni
  • Kristy Lowrey
  • Joshua Conkel
Production locationLangley, Canada
  • Brian Wessel
  • Troy Takaki
  • Imelda Betiong
Running time52–56 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)
The Sandman

Dead Boy Detectives is an American supernatural horror detective comedy-drama television series developed by Steve Yockey based on the DC Comics characters of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner.[1] The series stars George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri, Kassius Nelson, Briana Cuoco, Ruth Connell, Yuyu Kitamura and Jenn Lyon, and follows Charles Rowland and Edwin Payne, who decided not to enter the afterlife and instead stay on Earth to investigate crimes that involve the supernatural.

Plans for a television series began in September 2021, when a pilot was ordered by HBO Max for a TV series based on Gaiman's Dead Boy Detectives comics. The series was given greenlight by April 2022. However, it was moved to Netflix in February 2023. Gaiman later confirmed the series would be set in the same continuity as The Sandman, with Kirby set to reprise her role as Death in the series.

Dead Boy Detectives premiered on Netflix on April 25, 2024.[2][3] The series received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its writing, directing and tone, as well as the performances of the cast and visuals.


The series follows the ghosts of Charles Rowland and Edwin Payne who decided not to enter the afterlife and instead stay on Earth to investigate crimes that involve the supernatural.

Cast and characters[edit]


  • George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne,[4] a ghost detective who was killed in 1916 when his classmates performed a sacrifice ritual as a prank, only to inadvertently summon a demon who took Edwin to Hell
  • Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland,[4] Edwin's partner at the Agency who died in 1989 from hypothermia and internal bleeding
  • Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace,[4] a psychic medium able to see and communicate with ghosts
  • Briana Cuoco as Jenny Green,[4] owner of the Tongue & Tail butcher shop. She rents out the rooms upstairs to Crystal and Niko
  • Ruth Connell as Night Nurse,[4] the being who runs the Afterlife's Lost and Found Department, handling misplaced dead children. Connell previously played the role of the Night Nurse, in the Doom Patrol episode "Dead Patrol" – the first TV appearance of the Dead Boy Detectives
  • Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki,[4] a young girl and anime fan who lives across the hall from Crystal. She becomes able to see ghosts after a near-death experience
  • Jenn Lyon as Esther Finch,[4] an immortal witch in Port Townsend seeking revenge against the Dead Boy Detectives


  • David Iacono as David the Demon,[4] a demon who previously possessed and now stalks Crystal
  • Lukas Gage as the Cat King,[4] a magical cat able to take on human form, who puts a spell on Edwin that prevents him from leaving Port Townsend
  • Michael Beach as Tragic Mick,[4] a walrus cursed into human form who runs a shop selling magical artifacts
  • Joshua Colley as Monty,[4] Esther's crow familiar whom she transforms into a teenage boy
  • Max Jenkins as Kingham,[4] a Dandelion Sprite possessing Niko that Edwin traps in an enchanted jar
  • Caitlin Reilly as Litty,[4] a Dandelion Sprite possessing Niko that Edwin traps in an enchanted jar
  • Lindsey Gort as Maxine, a librarian at the Port Townsend Public Library

Notable guest stars[edit]

  • Sherri Saum as Maddy Surname, Crystal's wealthy but absent mother who works at the British Museum
  • Gabriel Drake as Simon, one of the lead instigators of Edwin's death who he later meets in hell.
  • John Brotherton as Seth von Hovercraft, Crystal's wealthy but absent father who works at the British Museum
  • Tamlyn Tomita as The Principal, the Night Nurse's immediate superior at the Afterlife's Lost and Found Department

Appearing from The Sandman[edit]

The following actors reprised their roles from The Sandman:


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateProd.
1"The Case of Crystal Palace"Lee Toland KriegerSteve YockeyApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T11.10148
In London, ghosts Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland successfully help a World War I-era spirit move on to his afterlife, before hiding to evade Death. The detectives are then hired to rescue a psychic medium named Crystal Palace from demonic possession, and they successfully exorcise the demon, David. Crystal suffers from unexplained memory loss and Charles offers to let her stay at the agency while she recovers. A poster of missing girl scout Becky Aspen is delivered to the agency leading Edwin, Charles, and Crystal to Port Townsend, Washington. Crystal rents a room above the Tongue & Tail butcher shop run by Jenny Green and meets the building's other tenant, Niko Sasaki. Crystal learns of Edwin's origin where he was killed in a botched ritual that summoned the demon Sa'al. With the help of Crystal's psychic powers and information extracted from a local grey cat, they find that Becky is being held by a witch named Esther Finch, who is using Becky to maintain her own youth. Crystal lures Esther away while Edwin and Charles break into her house to find Becky, rescuing her from a hidden basement containing a massive snake. Not fooled by Crystal's ruse, Esther returns and overpowers Edwin and Charles, leading Crystal to use her powers to invade Esther's mind. There, she sees a vision of Esther and an unknown woman in an ocean of blood. To allow them to escape, Charles briefly possesses Esther before the witch retreats, telling the trio they do not know what they have started. Becky, with her memories of her captivity erased, is reunited with her parents. Meanwhile, Charles' possession of Esther notifies the Afterlife's Lost and Found Department of the Dead Boy Detectives' location.
2"The Case of the Dandelion Shrine"Glen WinterShoshana Sachi & Cheech ManoharApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17652
Preparing to return to London, Edwin, Charles, and Crystal are confronted by the same cat that Edwin magically leashed and are taken to the Cat King to face retribution. While offended by Edwin's use of a binding spell on one of his subjects, the Cat King is fascinated by him, and cuffs Edwin with a bracelet imbued with a caging spell preventing him from leaving Port Townsend. The Cat King charges Edwin with counting every cat in Port Townsend to remove the bracelet, while also hinting of his attraction to Edwin. Back at the apartment, Edwin accuses Crystal of wanting to play detective and reveals that he will be sent back to Hell separated from Charles if Death catches them. Crystal encounters Niko, who emits a pink aura before collapsing, while the boys unsuccessfully visit Tragic Mick's magic shop to see about removing the Cat King's bracelet. Esther overhears them and buys something from Tragic Mick that she calls a "revenge starter kit". Charles mirror hops to the London office looking for a book to help Niko and Edwin deduces that she is possessed by Dandelion Sprites. Her symptoms worsen and the detectives visit the shrine where the sprites infested Niko. There, they discover that the sprites can be contained by the shrine's enchanted vessel, but Charles accidentally breaks the vessel when disturbing the shrine wakes past victims of the sprites. Upon their return, Crystal tricks the sprites, Kingham and Litty, offering body in place of Niko's only for Edwin to trap them in a jar. After recuperating from her near-death experience, Niko can see Edwin and Charles. Word of their success spreads and the Dead Boy Detectives begin receiving a clients from Port Townsend's ghost community. Meanwhile, Esther turns her crow familiar Monty into a young human and the Afterlife's Lost and Found Department's Night Nurse plants to find the detectives.
3"The Case of the Devlin House"Cheryl DunyeIan Weinreich & Kristy LowreyApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17653
The Dead Boy Detectives take on a case from recently decreased Susan Kessler whose sister Stacy and nieces Hope and Hannah were killed by their father, Brandon Devlin thirty years prior. Esther visits The Tongue & Tail and Crystal asks her about the gigantic bloody woman from Esther's memories. The witch reveals she was granted immortality by the goddess Lilith. As Edwin and Niko leave the library, they encounter Monty, who can see Edwin. At the Afterlife's Lost and Found Department, the Night Nurse is denied passage to Earth as she does not have the boys' exact location. With the Devlin house set to be demolished, the Edwin, Charles and Crystal seek answers and are monitored by two cats. The three see Brandon confront his family about a letter before brutally murdering them with an axe and committing suicide. The ghosts are caught in a loop, reliving the murders again and again. Brandon discovered his older daughter was planning to leave the family for university, igniting the murder-suicide and subsequent loop. Charles, remembering his own abusive father, is trapped in the loop when he tries to intervene. Edwin and Crystal find a secret room filled with surveillance monitors that Brandon had been using to spy on his family. They deduce that if they destroy the VHS recording of the murders, it will break the loop. Before they can, however, they are confronted by a misery wraith and Crystal is contacted by David who offers to help them fight off the wraith in exchange for re-inhabiting Crystal's body. Edwin successfully erases the VHS tape and drags Crystal out of her vision. With the time loop broken, Edwin, Charles, and Crystal flee the house as Death arrives and takes the family to the afterlife. Niko arrives having wanted to help her new friends. The group encounters Monty outside The Tongue & Tail and he flirts with Edwin. The cats note that the Cat King won't be pleased and Esther looks on with pleasure. Meanwhile, the Night Nurse meets the Devlin daughters in the Afterlife's Lost and Found Department where they tell her of how they were saved by the Dead Boy Detectives. She uses them to determine the boys' precise location.
4"The Case of the Lighthouse Leapers"Andi ArmaganianJoshua Conkel & Kristin Layne TuckerApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17654
Crystal and Niko find Jenny has received letters from a secret admirer. The detectives are visited by the ghost of Dagfinn who informs them of people mysteriously leaping to their deaths from his lighthouse into the sea. At the lighthouse, Edwin is diverted by a visit from the Cat King who makes advances in the forms of both Monty and Charles before telling Edwin that he has yet to count all the cats. Niko learns of the legend of the Washer Woman and Crystal hears the voice of a woman, nearly jumping to her death before Niko saves her. Edwin and Charles see a light moving beneath the waves. Searching the beach for answers, Niko finds a piece of red sea glass that Edwin uses to summon the Washer Woman. She tells the group a sea monster is responsible for the deaths and cryptically tells them that they must tire it out to defeat it. She also tells crystal that to regain her memories, she must look within when "the ground moves and the bird cries". Tragic Mick supplies the detectives with a music box that could lull the sea monster Angie to sleep. The Night Nurse arrives at the Tongue & Tail and tortures Jenny to find Crystal before wiping Jenny's memory. That night, the group prepares to confront the monster with the music box, but they encounter the Night Nurse who declares her intent to take Edwin and Charles to the afterlife. When Charles resists and defends Edwin, she forces him to relive some of his worst memories, including his death. Enraged, Charles repeatedly strikes the Night Nurse with the music box, forcing her off the cliff where she and the music box are swallowed by Angie. The others look on in horror. The next day, Niko sees Tragic Mick on the shores looking for a red sea glass, hoping the Washer Woman might help him return to his true form of a walrus. Edwin and Niko watch Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? on her computer while she reads her mother's letters, and next door, Charles and Crystal kiss.
5"The Case of the Two Dead Dragons"Amanda TappingKelli Breslin & Jeremy KaufmanApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17655
Following Crystal's nightmare revolving around David and Charles fighting off Night Nurse, Edwin is approached by the ghosts of two boys named Brad and Hunter who were murdered. They have no knowledge on how they died. Meanwhile, Niko mails a letter to her Mom and notices someone sending a secret admirer letter to Jenny. She follows the person to the Port Townsend Library and discovers that it is Maxine. Edwin and Charles learn from Niko that Brad and Hunter attended the same school as her. Esther orders Monty to get the Dead Boy Detectives' trust while annoyed that her giant snake is banging on the doors after Becky Aspen was taken away from it. After being taken to the location of Brad and Hunter's deaths, Edwin, Charles, and Crystal are told about their last moments involving a multi-eyed tree. They visit the high school and interview those who know them including Brad's girlfriend Maren. A student in the school's dragon mascot costume directs them to a student named Twitchy Richie in the yearbook room. Thanks to some ghostly tricks by Edwin and Charles, Crystal learns from Richie that they secretly treated people terribly including girls like they did with Brad's ex-girlfriend Shelby Khan. Meanwhile, Niko informs Jenny about Maxine being her secret admirer. She cuts a deal with Jenny that she will wash the floors for a month if this meeting fails. Maxine arrives at the Tongue & Tail where she mentions their mutual like of murder movies. At the cemetery, Edwin summons the ghost of Shelby Khan who died of a suicide. After a brief interruption from Brad and Hunter who get frightened away, Shelby mentioned that Brad sabotaged her chances of getting into the Olympics and regrets committing suicide. Crystal then gets a text from Twitchy Richie stating that Maren has more information for her. When Crystal goes to speak to Maren, Edwin and Charles enter her room as they see from her window the multi-eyed tree that was described. This leads them to stop Crystal from drinking a poisoned drink which was the same poisoned drink that killed Brad and Hunter. Maren then confesses that she spiked their drink with nail polish remover, stole their phones, and enlisted Twitchy Richie to move their bodies. Later that night, Maren had turned herself over to the police as Crystal tells Edwin and Charles that the police department is sending some police officers to pick up Twitchy Richie. Jenny's date with Maxine takes a turn for the worse when it was discovered that Maxine had stalked Jenny. This drives Maxine mad as he she tries to use a meat cleaver on her. When she finds Jenny, Maxine accidentally slips and impales her head on a spike just as Crystal and Niko arrive. Edwin and Charles confront Brad and Hunter about their actions as he declares their unfinished business solved. As the ground shakes, Edwin and Charles hide in Charles' bag as some tentacled creature drags Brad and Hunter underground. Back at the Tongue & Tail, Jenny, Crystal, and Niko have told the police about what happened to Maxine. After another contact from David while vowing not to end up like Maren and/or Shelby, Crystal tells David that she doesn't know how she will defeat David. Meanwhile in the park, Edwin meets up with Monty. Even though Monty kisses Edwin, he is told by Edwin that he started developing feelings for someone else as the Cat King watches through the grey cat and the tabby cat's eyes.
6"The Case of the Creeping Forest"Glen WinterBeth Schwartz & Oscar BalderramaApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17656
After what happened to Maxine, Crystal finds that she has stored away all of her romance-related decorations. Displeased with David's constant visits to her mind, Crystal and Niko go to Tragic Mike's magic shop to find something that can help. While giving them a "Light of Heart" and not having luck finding a red sea glass, Tragic Mike finally tells Crystal and Niko his origin that involved a girl being sacrificed to some gods by her father. The gods were not pleased with the sacrifice and transformed the girl into Sedna: Goddess of the Sea who gave birth to a bunch of sea creatures including walruses. Because of Mick's curiosity with humans, Sedna turned him into a human and he hasn't seen Sedna since. When Crystal uses the Light of Heart to make the wish, she loses her gifts as a side effect. Esther dispatches Monty to lure the Dead Boy Detectives into a trap and advises him not to get too attached to Edwin. While on the roof, Crystal and Niko work to cover up what happened to Edwin and Charles. Monty shows up claiming that his ghost friend Gladys had gone missing in Tall Forest. Edwin, Charles, Crystal, and Monty head to Tall Forest. Meanwhile in the belly of Angie, Night Nurse regains her consciousness and meets a man named Kashina who had been on different adventures and hasn't found a way out of Angie. At Tall Forest, Crystal covers up her loss of powers by claiming that the scratches on a tree came from a bear while Monty spreads the bio-luminescence stuff he got from Esther claiming that it is toxic to ghosts. Back at the Tail & Tongue, Jenny sets some boundaries with Niko while stating that she is not mad at her for what happened. At Tall Forest, Edwin, Charles, Crystal, and Monty see a dead elk get consumed by the spore colony as Charles reads from the Compendium that they are dealing with a forest elemental that consumes spiritual energy. Back inside Angie, Night Nurse struggles to find a way out. After hearing some of Night Nurse's back story, Kashina persuades Angie to let Night Nurse out and gives Night Nurse one of his rings to remember him by. After some splitting up is done, Charles and Crystal are contacted by David through mirror shards as he calls Crystal weak as Charles uses his special cricket bat to break the mirror shards. Edwin and Monty are confronted by the Cat King who exposes the information that Monty is a transformed version of Esther's crow. After Monty flees upon admitting the truth, Edwin turns away the Cat King's advances as part of his thanks as the Cat King warns Edwin that he will stop playing nice with him. Upon Monty running into her, Esther was not pleased with what the Cat King did and tears his human form apart enough to release the crow that he was. As Charles and Crystal learn from Edwin about Monty, they are confronted by Esther who unleashes a giant mushroom-type forest elemental called Teeth Face on Edwin and Charles. Deciphering the Washer Woman's riddle, Crystal looks in and is taken to a location where she meets a woman named Iris and the rest of her ancestors. Even though they are in Crystal's head, them ending up in a descendant's head is common for them as they help her realize that her powers are not completely gone. After learning some new abilities, Crystal regains consciousness and uses her new power to speak to Teeth Face telling it that Esther does not control it. Teeth Face understands and takes Esther with it back to its realm. Jenny tells Niko not to be a pity-party shut-in and to help people outside of her. As Crystal goes to check in on Niko, Edwin and Charles are then confronted by Night Nurse as Charles stated that Edwin was taken to Hell as part of a botched ritual where Sa'al later apologized to him for the technicality. Night Nurse looks at her book and finds her ring glowing that revealing the conflicting status of Edwin. This causes Night Nurse to have the Dead Boy Detectives stay together temporarily in the Afterlife's Lost and Found. Before that can happen, a spider-like monster composed of doll parts emerges from the wall and drags Edwin to Hell leaving behind Edwin's journal and Cat King's bracelet as Charles and Night Nurse are dismayed with what had happened.
7"The Case of the Very Long Stairway"Richard Speight Jr.Steve YockeyApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17657
Esther bursts from the ground and confronts Cat King for ruining her ambush as he mentions that Edwin was taken back to Hell. She kills him and he comes back to life stating that he cost him his third life. Esther then leaves to find a way to harness Edwin's ectoplasm. At the Tongue & Tail, Night Nurse can't help Charles get Edwin out of Hell as this is out of her jurisdiction. Crystal doesn't want Charles to turn to Night Nurse for help in rescuing Edwin and plans to head out to confront David. Jenny sees her head off and followers her with a cleaver. After seeing how Charles died and how he first met Edwin, Night Nurse agrees to help Charles get into Hell. As he descends down the staircase passing a weeping Maxine who doesn't know why she is here, Charles goes through the different levels of Hell while using Edwin's notes. While dodging the spider-like creature that abducted him, Edwin comes across his schoolmate Simon who gets paper cuts ripping pages out a book that regenerates as his eternal punishment for sacrificing Edwin to Sa'al. He briefly ends up in a mirror reality where he meets Despair of the Endless. After she sends him back, Edwin apologizes to Simon for not interacting with him much as Simon apologizes for sacrificing him. After Edwin leaves, Simon suddenly stops tearing out book pages as a blue light appears before him. Back at the Tongue & Tail, Niko is told by Night Nurse that she does not know where in the afterlife her father is placed. As Crystal arrives at the last known location of David, Jenny shows up. David appears and possesses Jenny while claiming that he can't take Crystal to Hell in order to rescue Edwin. Using her powers, Crystal has David buried near the tree of her mind where the ancestors are. She is advised by Iris that she will have to place him somewhere else when it comes time for it. When Jenny recovers, the man who David possessed also wakes up asking where he is. Esther pays a visit to Tragic Mick's magic shop where she intimidates him to give her supplies for a specific project. When Niko mentions how the dead can come back to life, Night Nurse corrects her by stating that they would return as zombies. After dodging two Misery Wraiths, Charles finds Edwin as the spider-like eats a body of Edwin as he finds Edwin who explains that he gets eaten and regenerated into a new body. Using a special tactic so that the spider-like creature can't hear them, Edwin and Charles flee as they dodge the gluttonous souls, the lustful souls, and motionless Limbo souls. After making their way back to the living, Niko has read from Night Nurse's book that if a soul that is to be collected has been to another plane, she would have to file Schedule LS 53-9 in order to have them removed a second time. Night Nurse agrees and leaves to go file Schedule LS 53-9. As Jenny recuperates in Niko's room with Niko reading the magic 8-ball that says "Outlook not so good", Edwin tells Charles his confession about loving him. Crystal joins them on the roof stating that she got her memories back. Night Nurse has returned to the Afterlife's Lost and Found as she makes her way to a room that say "002". Crystal consumes one of her memory marbles.
8"The Case of the Hungry Snake"Pete ChatmonRoss MaxwellApril 25, 2024 (2024-04-25)T12.17658
Regaining one of her memories, Crystal finds that she had not been nice to some people and misused her abilities. In addition, Crystal reveals to Edwin and Charles that her full name is Crystal Palace Surname-Von Hoverkraft. Meanwhile, Esther has trapped a random ghost to use as a guinea pig for her new invention and drains his energy. When Crystal calls her parents Maddy and Seth, they had no knowledge that she was gone and are busy overseeing the setup of an art installation at the British Museum. She plans to return to London to make amends. When Jenny awakens in Niko's bed with a half-braided hair caused by Niko, she now sees Edwin and Charles following her experience with David. As further proof, Niko shows her the trapped Dandelion Sprites. As Crystal starts to depart from the Tongue & Tail, an explosion happens. Crystal goes back in and rescues Jenny and Niko who state that Esther has abducted Edwin and Charles. Jenny is further surprised when Crystal mentions that Esther is a witch. Taking some meat cleavers, Crystal and Niko go visit Cat King who shares Esther's history that goes further back to the earlier days of Port Townsend and how she became a witch to deal with her husband and the girl he was having an affair with. Consumed by this discover and learning magic, Esther cut a deal with Lilith for eternal life. Though this did not include eternal youth causing Esther to sacrifice young children to her snake. The townspeople kept retaliating against her until the day she found a way to blend in better. As Charles is bound with iron chains, Esther has strapped Edwin to her special device to harvest his experiences in Hell in the form of gained power. Crystal and Niko go to Tragic Mick's magic shop where he gives them black salt and gives Niko a bear-type lucky charm. Then they go to Esther's house where Crystal throw's Charles' special bag to him so that he can slay Esther's giant snake. As Crystal confronts Esther, Niko tries to free Edwin. Thanks to a power boost, Esther is unfazed by black salt. After receiving help to get free from Monty, Charles confronts Esther's giant snake in the pit. As Esther tries to shoot a magic shard at Crystal, Niko jumps in the way of the attack. Crystal then uses her powers to enter Esther's mind and contact Lilith about Esther killing little girls and who gets justice for them. After Charles slays the snake, Esther suddenly ages to an old lady. Just then, Lilith arrives and drags Esther away to deal with her. Edwin, Charles, and Crystal then gather around Niko's body as it is shown still holding the lucky charm. After Jenny contacts Niko's mother to arrange for Niko's body to be returned to Japan for a funeral, Edwin officially welcomes Crystal into the Dead Boys Detective Agency as Jenny is invited to join them in London. Before departing, Edwin meets with Cat King again who offers his condolences for what happened to Niko. Edwin does give Cat King a kiss on the cheek and states that there are 147 cats in Port Townsend. Cat King says that he miscounted as Edwin states that Cat King forgot to count himself as Edwin departs. Back in London, Crystal and Jenny have finished setting up downstairs as Edwin states to Charles that he still has feeling for him. Just then, Night Nurse arrives with one of her superiors known as the Principal who helps make the "very big wheel go around". After seeing the Dead Boy Detectives' successful cases, the Principal allows them to continue his job helping ghosts with unfinished souls with Night Nurse being reassigned to be their chaperone. After the Principal leaves, Edwin formally welcomes Night Nurse to the Dead Boys Detective Agency. Somewhere in the Arctic, the Dandelion Sprites are in an igloo with someone in full Eskimo attire and holding the same bear-shaped lucky charm that Tragic Mick gifted Niko implying to the viewers that Niko is back from the dead.



On September 3, 2021, Variety reported that HBO Max ordered a pilot for a potential Dead Boy Detectives series, then-intended as a spin-off of Doom Patrol, with Steve Yockey as writer and executive-producer alongside Jeremy Carver, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and David Madden.[6] On April 14, 2022, HBO Max gave the production a series order, with Yockey set as showrunner;[7] Beth Schwartz was attached as co-showrunner that September.[8] By February 24, 2023, the project was moved from HBO Max to Netflix, reportedly due to being incompatible with DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran's plans to have HBO Max's DC shows be set in the DC Universe, as well as due to HBO Max's inability to air the series before 2024.[9]

On April 20, 2023, Neil Gaiman confirmed the series would be set in the same universe as The Sandman;[10] Gaiman was announced as an additional executive-producer that November.[11] While the producers had always planned for the series to be set in the same universe as The Sandman, which aired on Netflix, Warner Bros. (parent of HBO Max, DC Comics Studios and Dead Boy Detectives publisher Vertigo Comics) did not allow them to use elements from that series when Dead Boy Detectives was still an HBO Max project, to avoid licensing issues with Netflix.[12] As such, the showrunners instead included broad connections between both shows that still established them as part of the same continuity while only "lightly tipto[ing] around and through the Sandman universe". After the project moved to Netflix, the showrunners incorporated characters and more overt connection to The Sandman at the behest of both Netflix and Sandman showrunner Allan Heinberg.[13][14]


In November 2021, George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri, Kassius Nelson, Alexander Calvert, Briana Cuoco, Ruth Connell, Yuyu Kitamura, and Jenn Lyon were cast.[15][16] Lukas Gage replaced Calvert in September 2022.[8] In October 2022, Michael Beach, Joshua Colley, and Lindsey Gort joined the cast in recurring capacities.[17] A month later, Caitlin Reilly, Max Jenkins, and David Iacono were cast.[18][19] In April 2024, Kirby said she would be reprising her Sandman role as Death.[5]


The pilot episode was filmed between December 2021 and January 2022, with Lee Toland Krieger directing and executive-producing.[20][9] Filming for the series began on November 7, 2022, in Langley, British Columbia, and concluded on April 5, 2023.[21]


Dead Boy Detectives was released on Netflix on April 25, 2024.[3]


Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating with an average rating of 7.5/10, based on 45 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Dead Boy Detectives expands the Sandman universe with an addictively entertaining paranormal fantasy with excitement, romance, and young adult angst to spare."[22] Metacritic assigned a score of 65 out of 100 based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[23]

Audience viewership[edit]

Dead Boy Detectives debuted at number two on Netflix's Top 10 TV English titles for the tracking week of April 22–28, 2024, with 22.2 million hours viewed.[24] On the following week, it ranked at number three and garnered 34.1 million viewing hours.[25] On its third week, the series fell to number seven, earning 13.3 million viewing hours.[26]


  1. ^ Kirby Howell-Baptiste is credited as "Kirby" in this show.


  1. ^ "Dead Boy Detectives". Writers Guild of America West. Archived from the original on September 21, 2022. Retrieved September 21, 2022.
  2. ^ "'Dead Boy Detectives' Officially Moves To Netflix From HBO Max; Watch Teaser Trailer". Deadline.
  3. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (March 20, 2024). "Netflix Sets 'Dead Boy Detectives' Premiere Date; New Photos Revealed". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bitran, Tara; Nelson, Samantha (April 25, 2024). "The Dead Boy Detectives Cast Is on the Case". Netflix Tudum. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  5. ^ a b Ortiz, Andi (April 3, 2024). "Dead Boy Detectives Trailer Reveals Netflix's DC Series". TheWrap. Retrieved April 3, 2024.
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 3, 2021). "'Dead Boy Detectives' Series From Steve Yockey, Jeremy Carver, Greg Berlanti Gets HBO Max Pilot Order (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  7. ^ Otterson, Joe (April 14, 2022). "'Dead Boy Detectives' Ordered to Series at HBO Max". Variety. Archived from the original on April 14, 2022. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (September 22, 2022). "Lukas Gage Joins 'Dead Boy Detectives' Series at HBO Max (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (February 24, 2023). "DC Drama 'Dead Boy Detectives' Moves to Netflix From HBO Max (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 24, 2023. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  10. ^ Laudenbach, Sarah (April 21, 2023). "Dead Boy Detectives To Expand The Sandman TV Universe, Confirms Neil Gaiman". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on April 25, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (November 11, 2023). "'Dead Boy Detectives' Officially Moves To Netflix From HBO Max; Watch Teaser Trailer". Deadline. Retrieved April 3, 2024.
  12. ^ O'Rourke, Ryan (April 24, 2024). "'Dead Boy Detectives' Creator Explains Why the Series Made the Jump From Max to Netflix". Collider. Retrieved April 25, 2024.
  13. ^ Hullender, Tatiana; Behbakht, Andy (April 22, 2024). "Dead Boy Detectives Showrunners On Building A Story Within The Sandman Universe". ScreenRant. Retrieved April 24, 2024.
  14. ^ Ortiz, Andi (April 24, 2024). "Why Dead Boy Detectives Moved From Max to Netflix". TheWrap. Retrieved April 25, 2024.
  15. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 22, 2021). "'Dead Boy Detectives' HBO Max Pilot Sets Main Cast (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 21, 2022. Retrieved September 21, 2022.
  16. ^ White, Peter (April 14, 2022). "'Dead Boy Detectives' Ordered To Series At HBO Max". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 14, 2022. Retrieved September 21, 2022.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (October 12, 2022). "'Dead Boy Detectives': Michael Beach, Joshua Colley & Lindsey Gort Join HBO Max Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 12, 2022. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  18. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 1, 2022). "'Dead Boy Detectives' HBO Max Series Adds Caitlin Reilly, Max Jenkins (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on November 1, 2022. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (November 10, 2022). "'Dead Boy Detectives': David Iacono To Play David The Demon In HBO Max Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
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