The CW May Lose Half The Arrowverse

By Nathan Kamal | 3 weeks ago

arrowverse the cw

The Arrowverse may be the most undersung and under-discussed of comic book shared universes. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is pretty much the undisputed king of the hill (and box office) and the DC Expanded Universe has had fascinating failures and seems to be righting the ship with movies like Matt Reeves’ The Batman and The Suicide Squad, the Arrowverse is just kind of in the corner, quietly doing its thing. Unfortunately, it seems like its network is a bit uncertain of its future. Reportedly, only two of the shows in the Arrowverse have currently, officially been renewed by The CW, leaving a number in limbo. This includes Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow (as well as the newcomer show Naomi and Gotham Knights, which is still in pilot production stage). 

While these Arrowverse shows have not been officially canceled, it is still worrisome. For one thing, historically most of these shows have been approved by the CW at the beginning of Quarter One of a year, which has come and gone. The first show approved so is the ninth season of The Flash, which stars Grant Gustin as the titular speedster and is generally considered the flagship show of the Arrowverse since the conclusion of the original cornerstone series Arrow. The third season of  Superman & Lois, which stars Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch, has also been approved. Of the other currently running Arrowverse shows, Legends of Tomorrow has seniority; it first aired in 2016, but has considerably less name and brand appeal that the much more prominent Flash and Superman. Batwoman has been on the air since 2019, but has seen considerable turmoil in that brief time. Original star Ruby Rose left the show after one season and was written off. Subsequently, both Rose and the CW leveled accusations of toxic behavior against each other in the press. Javicia Leslie was brought onto the show as a new character as the next Batwoman. 

batwoman

Another thing complicating the future of the Arrowverse is rumors that Warner Bros and ViacomCBS may be looking to ditch the CW. The network was formed in 2006 as a joint effort by Paramount (via CBS, which owned the shuttered UPN) and Warner Bros (which owned the similarly failed WB network), merging their rosters of programming and content. However, 2006 was a long time ago in a very different media environment. At this point, Warner Bros is far more invested in its HBO Max streaming platform and Paramount in their burgeoning Paramount+ than maintaining the CW as a content source. While the two production companies are by no means certain to be looking to offload, it does make future renewals of shows that much shakier. 


On the other hand, the Arrowverse has a strong, loyal fan base that may convince networks to keep them going as long as possible. After all, the CW is the network that kept Supernatural going for 15 seasons and already has a spin-off prequel in production, so they know something about keeping their fans on board. We will just have to see if they are willing to do the same for the Arrowverse.