As an actor, Tom Welling is not known for being hyper-prolific, since he is not one to blindly dive into any ol' project that crosses his path. Even if he was, though, there's a good chance fans will forever know him best as the mild-mannered Clark Kent on the Superman origin tale Smallville. He returned to the role, so to speak, a couple of years ago for the Arrowverse crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths," and Welling will once again return to his former home at The CW with his latest project. Though it might not be exactly what fans are craving.
The CW announced it has acquired Tom Welling's latest TV series Professionals, which features his first starring role since Lucifer, and co-stars the always great Brendan Fraser, who'll soon be seen in Season 3 of Doom Patrol, and Wonder Woman's Elena Anaya. The thing is, though, this isn't exactly a brand new series. Professionals was created a few years ago as an international series by LEONINE Studios, was filmed in 2019, and was released in certain countries in 2020. And unfortunately, it wasn't exactly well-received by all.
An action drama, Professionals stars Tom Welling as the kinda-cool-named Vincent Corbo, whose A+ security skills are put to use by keeping high-profile clients safe for top-dollar fees, even if it means sidestepping the law. Brendan Fraser plays futurist and billionaire Peter Swann, who becomes suspicious after the expensive and fancy medical satellite he designed exploded soon after launching, and hires Corbo. Swann's fiancée Dr. Grace Davila, as played by Elena Anaya, is a medical genius trying to thwart a worldwide disaster. Naturally, Dr. Davila was previously in a relationship with Welling's character, which only complicates an already complex situation filled with shady corporate leaders, dirty government heads, and more waves of corrupt criminals.
It certainly sounds like a solid time, with filming taking place across locations in Ireland and South Africa. And it was created by Jeff Most, who was a producer on 1994's The Crow, as well as some of its less-than-stellar sequels. But it doesn't take much time looking at reviews for the show to get an understanding of why it may not have been automatically secured and released by any U.S. distributors last year ahead of its global premiere. It doesn't quite sound Superman-worthy. Or even Lex Luthor-worthy. Though everyone's mileage will obviously vary.
Professionals marks the latest outside-the-box acquirement for The CW, which has been bolstering its primetime schedule with content from other countries ever since the COVID pandemic first started causing filming delays in 2020. Even though most productions are as back to normal as one could hope during a health crisis, The CW is clearly game with playing it safe just in case other setbacks come up. Since last August, the network has acquired such series as Canada's Coroner, the UK's Dead Pixels, Italy's Devils and New Zealand's Wellington Paranormal, which is in the midst of airing its second season.
For those who do want more from the Smallville universe, though, Tom Welling did confirm in June 2021 that he and former co-star Michael Rosenbaum are working on bringing an animated TV follow-up to fans. But at this point, things are still in development, so we'll have to wait and see if that pans out.